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Forced Exposure New Releases for 1/22/2018

New music is due from Ab Baars & Terrie Ex, Cobra Family Picnic, and Dean McPhee, while old music is due from Modernettes, Plus, and Kanker Kommando.

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Meat Beat Manifesto, "Impossible Star"

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After a bit of a lengthy hiatus, Jack Dangers has returned with quite a bombshell of a new Meat Beat album.  Self-described as resembling "an MC Escher optical illusion that spirals around and around and never seems to end," Impossible Star feels like a deep and hallucinatory plunge into a dance club in a dread-filled, dystopian near-future.  Everything I would expect from a new Meat Beat album is certainly present (vocoders, cool samples, infectious grooves, deep bass, vintage synths, etc.), yet Impossible Star feels like a large and unexpected leap forward.  While Dangers has historically always been near the vanguard of fresh evolutions in dance and electronic music, this album is perversely backward-looking in a way, seamlessly synthesizing the best of MBM's previous directions into something new like a post-industrial magpie.  As a result, Impossible Star does not feel like a definitive (and unavoidably ephemeral) representation of electronic music in 2018 so much as it feel like something much more ageless, prophetic, and deliciously warped.

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Nakama, "Worst Generation"

cover imageFor their fourth album in a relatively short timespan, the Norwegian group (now a five piece) have produced their first fully improvised work, and it is a strange one.  Besides the fact that the concept here is mostly just thematic, compared to the more composition-based ideas they have used on previous albums, the performances are bizarre and impossible to classify, sounding like nothing else they have done, and the record is all the stronger for it.

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Vox Populi!, "Magiques Créations"

cover imageEver since their cult favorite Half Dead Ganja Music album was reissued back in 2013, I have been fascinated by this deeply unusual "ethno-industrial" duo from France and have done a decent amount of digging to track down the rest of their back catalog.  That has proven to be a somewhat convoluted task, leading to lots of dead blog links as well as a few wonderful unofficial compilations.  In fact, several of the best songs on this new digital-only collection have appeared on those unofficial releases, while some others appear to have come from an untitled 1988 tape.  Curiously, a lot of these experiments spanning 1984 to 1989 are just as good as anything that appeared on Vox Populi's formal albums (in some cases, even better), making this kind of a crucial bit of underground industrial archeology on Emotional Rescue's part.  I suppose motivated or frugal listeners can probably find a lot of these songs elsewhere if they put their minds to it, but this is an extremely well-curated collection that provides an excellent introduction to one of the most creative, cool, and underappreciated bands of the '80s cassette underground.

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Luciernaga/John Lindaman

cover image Both Joao Da Silva (Luciernaga) and John Lindaman utilize primarily a guitar to create expansive, occasionally difficult passages of abstract sound and noise, so pairing them together on this tape makes perfect sense.  What becomes more striking by doing this, however, are their differences.  With Luciernaga delivering a single live piece that is about an expansive sense of ambience, and a more free improv suite from Lindaman, both sides excel because of their differences, presenting two very different sides of a tried and true style.

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Richard Skelton, "Towards a Frontier"

cover imageBilled as Skelton's most ambitious composition to date, Towards a Frontier is a 66-minute epic that is part of larger multimedia project assembled during three trips to rural East Iceland.  Characteristically, this is an album very much shaped by the natural environment that Skelton was immersed in as this piece was gradually conjured into being.  More specifically, Towards a Frontier draws its primary inspiration from the changing seasons as experienced from an Icelandic mountain range.  While less instantly gratifying than some of Skelton's other recent works, this album has a masterfully paced slow-burning majesty and mesmerizing elemental power that gradually reveals itself with repeated, attentive listens.  Notably, nature does not seem particularly benign here, but Skelton keeps the mood intriguingly ambiguous as the piece unfolds, hinting at the primal, cosmic horror of our insignificance while simultaneously evoking something akin to religious ecstasy.

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Podcast Episode 379: January 13, 2018 (guest artist Jack Dangers)

Jack DangersImpossible Star, the 11th full-length album from Meat Beat Manifesto is officially out on January 19th. We are excited to feature a podcast featuring guest Jack Dangers and music from MBM, Jack solo, and The Forger. It's an extra long episode (just over an hour and a half) and includes many old favorites, new tunes, as well as backstory and discussion of the music.


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Aaron Dilloway, "Switches"

cover imageThe wonderfully unsettling and playfully creepy The Gag File deservedly got a lot of attention last year, but Aaron Dilloway also quietly released another excellent album on a small Dutch label in the late fall.  While less audacious and considerably less intent on evoking some kind of sad, wobbly, and hissing nightmare world, Switches is still a wonderfully bizarre, distinctive, and obsessive-sounding album.  In fact, the sickly, frayed, and hypnotic locked groove-style loops of Switches almost feel like a perverse prelude to The Gag File, relentlessly repeating gnarled and disorienting snatches of half-melodies to peel away the last vestiges of sanity to prime me for the malevolent and Ligotti-esque funhouse to come.

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2017 Readers Poll - The Results

Once again it's time to thank everyone for their participation in the Brainwashed Annual Readers Poll. As always, the Readers Poll doesn't particularly represent what the staff and writers feel are the best and worst of the year, but we happily once again provide commentary. All the best for 2018!

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Z'EV (Stefan Weiser), 1951-2017

http://www.brainwashed.com/10/2006/pictures/cristman/IMG_3855a.jpg

Unconfirmed reports have come in that our friend, Stefan Weisser, who the music world knows as Z'EV, passed away in Chicago on December 16th at 11:33pm. Z'EV has been an important pioneer in music for over 4 decades as a percussionist, sound artist, and poet. His music transcended genre names and he was equally comfortable playing alongside industrial, experimental, primitive, metal, rock, and numerous other classified artists. His health battles were made public over the last few years following being hospitalized with injuries suffered after a train derailment. Cause of his passing has not been confirmed at this time. He will be missed.

Please enjoy the following videos:

photo by Greg Cristman

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

Solex

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

The Hafler Trio, "Masturbatorium"

cover imageThe first part of Andrew McKenzie's unresolved sex trilogy was created as a soundtrack for performance artist Annie Sprinkle's "masturbation ritual," a role that it apparently filled quite successfully.  As a stand-alone effort, however, it is not among McKenzie's most rewarding and enduring works.  The problem is not lack of quality or ideas, but rather that it feels too unnaturally condensed to be truly satisfying.


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