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Forced Exposure New Releases for 8/29/2016

New music is due from Marisa Anderson, Æthenor, and John Chantler, while old music is due from Psychic TV, Alice Coltrane, and Georges Garvarentz.

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Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler, "Music Inspired by Philippe Garrel's Le Révélateur"

cover imageThis duo’s latest collaboration is a score composed to accompany Philippe Garrel’s haunting 1968 silent film Le Révélateur, which Lattimore and Zeigler have been intermittently been performing across the US since its debut at Ballroom Marfa’s 2013 silent film festival.  Naturally, Lattimore's harp is the most prominent element, imbuing these pieces with an eerily dream-like and rippling "music box" feel.  However, Zeigler’s presence is much more conspicuous here than it was on their previous Slant of Light (2014), balancing the delicate harp motifs with a bevy of synths, processed guitars, and lovely accordion-like melodies.  In general, I am not enthusiastic about soundtracks disembodied from their visual component, but this is an atypically good one, finding the perfect understated balance between whimsy, melancholy, menace, and surreality.

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Santos Silva/Wodrascka/Meaas Svendsen/Berre, "Rasengan!"

cover imageConsidering Rasengan! is a documentation of the first performance this pan-European free jazz quartet ever had together, the balance of unity and chaos here is exceptionally well done.  The two pieces that make up this 36 minute performance drift between what sounds like perfect synergy between the players to some all out messes of sound, both of which I have always felt is essential for this style of music.  Which, of course, means this is a very impressive record.

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Marielle V. Jakobsons, "Star Core"

cover imageFor better or worse, Marielle Jakobsons’ first solo album for Thrill Jockey continues her evolution away from her darker and heavier early work into more mellow, gently psychedelic territory more in line with her Date Palms project.  On the one hand, that makes sense, as Date Palms is probably the most popular of Jakobsons' many endeavors and quasi-New Age revivalism is still more or less in vogue.  On the other hand, I tend to loathe just about anything that resembles toothless pastoral burbling, regardless of who is making it.  Consequently, this direction is not for me much of the time.  While there are admittedly a few faint traces of the Jakobsons’ more distinctive and compelling past scattered throughout Star Core, this album is mostly significant for continuing the ambitious expansion of her palette and for being the first time that Marielle sings on record (as far as I know, anyway).  Also, the album's closing two pieces are sublimely mesmerizing.

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Sparkle in Grey, "Brahim Izdag"

cover imageFollowing their recent split release with legends Controlled Bleeding, this newest work from Sparkle in Grey retains the band’s improvisational flexibility, but lightens the mood somewhat.  Brahim Izdag takes a lot of directions, from complex post-rock excursions to traditional folk sounds and much in between, but somehow the band still manages to make it sound like a cohesive and unified, if somewhat sprawling record.

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Dylan Cameron, "Infinite Floor"

cover imageInfinite Floor may be his first solo record proper, but Austin's Dylan Cameron has honed his craft as a producer and engineer in that scene for a number of years now.  That technical expertise shines through on the eight songs that comprise this record, a suite of songs that ooze with rhythm, yet also a depth and complexity that rivals the most nuanced of electronic artists.  Strong rhythms, infectious melodies, and amazing production all come together as an excellent record.

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Robin Hayward, "Stop Time"

cover image The cover for Stop Time is meant to convey the nature of the tool used to compose it, an invention of Robin Hayward’s called the Hayward Tuning Vine. The idea behind it is to spatialize (and colorize) the relationship between just intervals played, in this case, on a baritone saxophone, a cello, and a microtonal tuba. At the performance from which this album is drawn, each instrumentalist was illuminated in a color corresponding to the pitch he played on the Vine. If the pitch shifted, so did the color. Those pitches were in turn fed to a surround-sound system and projected into different parts of the performance space. In the move to recorded medium, the spatial-visual element is partially flattened, making the slow accrual of rhythm, texture, and harmony the music’s driving feature.

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IMF, "Harlem Electronics"

cover image High-volume, high-velocity, whiplash-inducing noise torn screaming from the guts of a haywire machine. As the Pilgrim Talk website notes, Ian M. Fraser programs his computer to make noise. Once finished, circuitry and code do the rest, no human interaction required. The result is so quick-moving and chaotic that absorbing it in the first four or five listens is about as likely as a windshield absorbing a brick in a hurricane.

 

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Little Annie, "Trace"

cover imageLittle Annie’s latest solo album is a bit of a freewheeling evolution upon her recent cabaret/torch song work with pianist Paul Wallfisch, though Wallfisch was notably still involved in the lead single "Dear John."  For the rest of the album, however, Annie alternately collaborated with Toronto multi-instrumentalist Ryan Driver and Brooklyn electronic trio Opal Onyx.  Naturally, the more rhythmic and spoken-word-themed electronic pieces are the more dramatic departures, recalling some of her ‘80s work as Annie Anxiety.  While the Driver pieces show a considerably more subtle change, that seems to be the more significant and (presumably) more lasting one, taking Annie’s "chanteuse" persona in a more lush, lively, and conventionally beautiful direction.  Also of note: the title piece is easily one of the finest pieces of Annie's career.

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Body of Light, "Let Me Go"

cover imageWhile it may be easy at first glance to label Body of Light (the duo of brothers Alex and Andrew Jarson) as yet another entry in the EBM revival arena, that is not entirely fitting.  There are drum machines and vintage synths aplenty, certainly, but Let Me Go stands on its own as a brilliant record of pure unadulterated synth pop that makes no conscious attempt at being anyone else, or sounding of any time except the present.

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