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Forced Exposure New Releases for 6/27/2016

New music is due from Claire M Singer, Raime, and Belarisk, while old music is due from Jack Rose, Die Krupps, and Oiseaux-Tempête.


The Legendary Pink Dots, "Pages of Aquarius"

cover imageThe Legendary Pink Dots have been in the midst of a creative renaissance for years now, fitfully releasing some of the finest work of their career amidst the unending and distracting tide of solo projects, reissues, live albums, and archival discoveries.  The lion's share of Edward Ka-Spel's best ideas, however, have definitely been winding up in LPD's more abstract and experimental work.  I am personally perfectly fine with that, as that is the side of the Dots that I have always preferred anyway.  I suspect that most longtime fans were initially drawn to the band by their songs though and they have presumably been suffering through quite a long dry spell in that regard.  Pages of Aquarius is an album for them, as it is a solid, concise, and hook-heavy collection of industrial-tinged songs that harken back to the Dots of earlier times.  In fact, if I did not know better, I would have guessed that this album was recorded in the early '90s.  I am not sure if that is necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, but there are a definitely a handful of instant classics here regardless.


Rhys Chatham, "Pythagorean Dream"

cover imageTo his everlasting credit, Rhys Chatham has remained a restlessly evolving and adventurous composer well into his 60s, as well as quite an endearing perverse and unpredictable one.  Case in point: roughly a decade after composing his monumental A Crimson Grail for 400 guitars, Chatham is now is now experimenting with ways to perform his harmonically complex compositions all by himself in real-time.  Also, he has picked up the flute again (his original instrument, which was summarily abandoned for electric guitars after Chatham first experienced the Ramones).  As if that were not enough divergence from the norm, Chatham also employs a special Pythagorean/just-intonation tuning system for his guitar.  Despite all of those innovations, Pythagorean Dream is first and foremost an impressive performance rather than a bold new artistic statement.  I suppose that makes it a fairly minor release within Chatham’s oft-influential and frequently large-scale oeuvre, but it is still surprisingly effective for a one-man guitar/trumpet/flute tour de force and certainly sounds like absolutely no one else.


Bionulor, "Stary Pisarz"

cover imageContinuing his concept of "sound recycling", Sebastian Banaszczyk’s latest work is the studio recording of a piece first performed in 2014.  As part of the Festiwal Dekonstrukcji Slowa in Poland, he performed this work (translated as "The Old Writer") as a tribute to William S. Burroughs on his 100th birthday.  Consistent with his work to this point, it is a brilliant deconstruction of sounds that bear little resemblance to their source, but perhaps what is most surprising is the amount of conventional music he chose to employ, giving an added layer of depth to an already complex record.


Catherine Christer Hennix, "Central Palace Music" and "Live at Issue Project Room"

cover imageThis intriguing and wildly divergent pair of unreleased performances provides a fascinating window into the curious evolution of Hennix's singular artistry.  The newer and more listenable of the two is credited to her current Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage project and enlists a trio of vocalists to weave a mantric, quasi-devotional Eastern drone reverie for 80 minutes.  Far more intriguing, however, is the remarkably heavy and nerve-jangling 1976 performance from her earlier just-intonation ensemble, The Deontic Miracle.  In retrospect, it now makes perfect sense to me why it took so long for Catherine Christer Hennix's work to be fully appreciated, as there is absolutely no way that the world was ready for such radically dissonant drones forty years ago.


Norman Westberg, "The All Most Quiet"

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Swans' guitarist Norman Westberg’s second solo release for the increasingly essential Hallow Ground label continues the temporally disorienting 2016 hot streak begun with MRI (which was recorded at least four years ago).  Though there is a fairly wide gulf separating the two recordings time-wise, they both stand apart from some of Westberg’s other solo work by effectively balancing his warm and dreamlike guitar-drone tendencies with the added heft and menace of well-placed dissonance.  In short, this is yet another wonderful album.


Coil, "The Ape of Naples" reissue

2016 version. Pressed using the original Ape Of Naples plates approved by Peter Christopherson.

Mailorder color copies are transparent red - the same color Peter Christopherson chose for the original Ape box set.

Scheduled to ready in July.

The Ape Of Naples is Coil's highly celebrated final album completed by Peter Christopherson following the tragic death of Jhonn Balance in 2004. Often noted for being a fan favorite, The Ape Of Naples uses Balance's final recordings and material recorded at Trent Reznor's studio in New Orleans to create a deep, heavy masterpiece.

This first printing of 2000 copies is packaged in a heavy duty case wrapped, tip-on style jacket with Ian Johnstone's original artwork coated in a custom spot gloss. Each LP is house in a printed inner sleeve and side D contains all three original etchings. Ape's lyrics are spread across the gatefold.

CD version is packaged in a heavy duty digipack with additional spot gloss printing to match the LP edition.

More information can be found here.


Coil, "The New Backwards" reissue

2016 version. Pressed using the original New Backwards plates approved by Peter Christopherson.

Scheduled to ready in July.

The New Backwards, created in 2007, was originally included in the Ape Of Naples box set released on Important in 2008 and was constructed by Peter Christopherson using material from the Backwards sessions, recorded in the early 90's for a planned release on Trent Reznor's Nothing Records label. The New Backwards, like Ape Of Naples, is an intense fan favorite and an essential part of of the Coil catalog.

More information can be found here.


Nurse With Wound, "Dark Fat"

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I gave up trying to make sense of Nurse With Wound’s sprawling, self-cannibalistic, and absolutely inscrutable discography quite some time ago, but it definitely seems like it has been a very long time since Steven Stapleton has released anything that meets my not-particularly-stringent "this is an actual, legitimate new album" criteria (excellent Graham Bowers collaborations aside, of course).  Consequently, I was hoping Dark Fat would be the album to end NWW's long and perversely prolific silence (it was explicitly billed as "long-awaited," after all).  Alas, it is not exactly the bold new artistic statement that I was hoping for.  Instead, it is a sprawling collection of "live" recordings ranging from rehearsals to sound checks to actual gigs.  Despite its dubious hodge-podge origins, however, Dark Fat actually feels an awful lot like a studio album–quite a damn good one, even.  While longtime NWW fans will probably experience many flickers of recognition over the course of these two hours, Stapleton and his collaborators have so thoroughly reshaped and recontextualized everything that it all feels fresh, vibrant, inspired, and appropriately disorienting all over again.


Jon Mueller, "Tongues"

cover imageJon Mueller may be most often recognized as an exemplary and audacious percussionist, but even the most casual experience with his recent works makes clear the depth of his creativity.  On this latest album, he draws influences from his other projects (Death Blues, Volcano Choir), as well as builds upon the stylistic developments of his other recent works, such as the heavy use of vocals, to reach an unparalleled depth and complexity of composition.


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The Clientele

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Review of the Day

battles, "Tras" & "EP C"
Cold Sweat & Monitor (respectively)
For more than a year, Battles have been making a name for themselves for their live shows, by both supporting major players (like Isis, Lightning Bolt, and Fant?as) and headlining tiny sweatholes. The fourseome hasn't had much trouble packing tight audiences in without having a full-length album out nor having hipster critics gush over them. It's easily the buzz from feverish fans as Battles could be considered the newest supergroup to emerge out of a nameless scene that really doesn't exist. Tyondai Braxton is probably the least known of the crew, but his brilliant 2002 album, History That Has No Effect is embarassingly underlooked, David Konopka has played with Lynx, Ian Williams with Don Caballero and Storm and Stress, and John Stanier has drummed for Tomahawk and Helmet. Together, the sound is diverse, forceful, unavoidable, and their first two EPs are short but strong and soon to become legendary.

"Tras" opens the two-song single. At under four minutes, it's a perfect introduction to the band as it's both rhythmically challenging and catchy as all hell. The precise guitar riffs combined with a TV theme-like keyboard ditty are a perfect fit for drums that are aggressive enough for a metal record, but, as the drums come equipped with a super slick sound and an occasional shuffle, are way too cool to be wasted on brainless hair tossing. "Fantasy" is almost a throwback to the sampled staccato sounds of Ty Braxton's album with echoes reverberating in time with the rhythm. It's boldly almost completely absent of melody yet rich in beats, provided by drum machines, punchy samples, and live percussion. At the eight-minute mark when that 808 kick comes in, any speaker in its path is in trouble.

Together with Tras, EP C could easily form a complete album. The repetition on the opener "B + T" is deceptively simple: it's pretty and layered with different motives, occasional breaks and samples, all which keep the song in perpetual motion. After the short drumless "UW" that could make Kraftwerk blush by its atmospheric twittering, the band comes back in full swing with "Hi/Lo," substituting a low end synth where a bass should be. "Hi/Lo" may be slower than some of their other loud numbers but it's no less grand, building in intensity gradually over the nearly eight minutes, from a small pile of rubble to a mountainous beast. Finishing off the disc are the short "IPT-2" and "Tras 2," each incorporating what seems like a bit of digital fuckery at first, with the second one ending with the drummer trailing off on his own. It's hard to not admit that Battles are flirting with traditionally nerdy instrumental alt-rock/post-whatever styles, and, as a number of groups that each member was in before Battles, they are admittedly crafty. The trick to the craft is making something interesting enough for the band to play and attractive enough for the audiences to enjoy it, and with that, mark my words, Battles are something to watch.


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