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Forced Exposure New Releases for 8/18/2014

New music is due from Jenny Hval & Susanna, Camilla Green, Jarse, and Trentemøller, while old music is due from The Grateful Dead/John Oswold, Surgeon, Colin Potter, Athanor, and Owen Maercks.

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Tarab, "I'm Lost"

cover imageThe title of this Australian artist’s latest album is extremely fitting.  Passages of roughly edited tape, collages of indecipherable found sounds, and bizarre production is disorienting at best, and downright baffling much of the time.  It is because of this confusing, jarring, and sometimes frightening nature that the disc works so well.

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Gut und Irmler, "500m"

500m beautifully combines Gudrun Gut’s programmed percussion and editing discipline with Jochen Irmler’s meandering organ playing and natural spontaneity.

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Machinefabriek, "Stillness Soundtracks"

cover imageThis material is a series of soundtracks that Rutger Zuydervelt composed to complement Esther Kokmeijer's short films of Antarctica and Greenland, thus fitting in well with this Italian label's frigid, isolationist aesthetic.  Rather than overemphasizing minimalism and emptiness, Zuydervelt instead works in subtle and understated conventional electronic moments in, giving the album a unique feel rather than by-the-book sparseness that could have been.

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Hildur Gudnadottir, "Saman"

cover imageThe Touch label's extensive roster only has a few artists who would be considered classical in the traditional sense, and Hildur Gudnadottir is one of those.  With instrumentation consisting only of her cello and her voice on some of these pieces, and guest musician Skuli Sverrisson on bass for one of them, Saman is a stripped down  affair that excels at what it intends to do, but does not step out of that comfort zone either.

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Severed Heads, "City Slab Horror"

cover imageMuch to my delight, Medical Records has recently reissued two of the arguable jewels of the Severed Heads' discography: 1983's Since the Accident and this effort from 1985.  Both hail from the transitional period between the messy, contrarian experimentalism of the band's early years and Tom Ellard's later forays into more conventional electronic pop.  While City Slab Horror lacks anything like a hit single (Accident had "Dead Eyes Opened"), it is actually the more listenable of the two releases, finding a fine balance between Ellard's more perverse and absurdist tendencies and actual beats and hooks.  Naturally, the primitive technology employed sounds rather dated thirty years later, but Ellard's distinctive eccentricity remains as charming as ever.

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Regosphere/Xiphoid Dementia, "Subterranean Transmigration"

cover imageAs a split release with each artist submitting three pieces, the pairing is perfect.  The two projects share similar aesthetics and aptitude in their own take on modern industrial music.  Even though their individual work is clearly distinct from each other, the two fit together very well into a cohesive whole.

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Lawrence English, "Wilderness of Mirrors"

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I hate to use the phrase "return to form" to describe this album, as I have enjoyed most of Lawrence English's divergent recent efforts quite a bit, but Wilderness of Mirrors reminds me favorably of the darker, heavier albums that brought him to my attention in the first place (such as Kiri No Oto and It's Up To Us To Live).  Characteristically, English also offers an intriguing concept on Wilderness, but the primary appeal is simply that it is wonderful to finally get another substantial offering of what he does best.  That said, this effort does offer a few surprises, as Lawrence has picked up a few neat tricks from folks like My Bloody Valentine and Swans since he last surfaced in heavy drone mode.

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Murder Corporation, "Der Totenkopf"

cover imageAs one of the major triumvirate of Italian power electronics (alongside Atrax Morgue/Marco Corbelli and Mauthausen Orchestra/Pierpaolo Zoppo), Moreno Daldosso has not released any new material in over a decade, and Der Totenkopf may be his final recording.  With his two peers no longer with us, this record serves as an epitaph for this distinct group of artists, and it fits right in amongst the best of those albums.

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Ars Phoenix, "Violent Rain"

cover imageThere may be some throwback elements on Ars Phoenix's most recent album, but for the most part it makes for great contemporary synth pop.  Retaining a darker, and occasionally harsh, edge, the eight songs that comprise it work beyond just their mood, but as memorable, well-written songs as well.

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The Eye: Video of the Day

The Juan Maclean

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

Telefon Tel Aviv, "Immolate Yourself"

The world of "electronica" arguably moves quicker than any other genre of modern music. Subgenres like trip-hop, drum n bass, grime, dubstep, IDM, are just as quickly dismissed as they are embraced. When an album like this comes along (which avoids all subgenre pigeonholing) it can easily be passed over by critical purists, but, in the long run, this characteristic can make it have an exponentially longer shelf life. Fourteen months after its release I am still—actually even more—addicted to it. This is one of my favorite albums of 2009 and possibly one of my favorite electronic albums of the last decade.


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