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Podcast Episode 344: February 26, 2017

Mark NelsonWe're excited to feature Mark Nelson as the guest for this week's episode. Mark has recorded in Labradford, Pan•American, and now has joined with former Labradford member Bobby Donne to form Anjou. The second Anjou album, Epithymía, is due for release on Kranky March 24th. Other music comes from Azymuth, Noveller, Carla dal Forno, and Roedelius.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for 2/27/2017

New music is due from Dead Witches, Florian Hecker, and Ulan Bator, while old music is due from Arthur Russell, Alva Noto, and Nurse With Wound.


Jon Mueller, "dHrAaNwDn"

cover imageIf there has been a running theme throughout Jon Mueller’s career, it would be his exploration of the intersection between sound and spirituality.  He has tackled both largely in abstract interpretations:  he is a multi-instrumentalist, and has delved into themes and imagery from a multitude of religions and spiritual practices throughout his career as an artist.  dHrAaNwDn (Hand Drawn) is perhaps among the most fully realized examples of his passions, however.  A stunning double record set, the audio is culled from six hours of improvised percussion performances recorded live in the Shaker Meeting House of Albany, New York, exemplifying not only Mueller’s adeptness at performing, but his ear for recording and capturing environments as well.


Lawrence English, "Cruel Optimism"

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In recent years, my expectations of what a new Lawrence English album might sound like have gotten increasingly blurry, as he has an admirable tendency to explore new concepts and collaborations that lure him far away from the classic drone fare that initially put him on the map.  Cruel Optimism is arguably a return to English's more straightforward drone work in some ways, but it feels like quite a corroded and scorched return, which certainly fits nicely with English's somewhat dark conceptual inspiration.  Needless to say, it is a characteristically fine album and quite a distinctive one as well, evoking a kind of bleak orchestral grandeur flourishing amidst crumbling ruin and decay.


Sutcliffe Jugend, "S L A V E S"

cover imageKevin Tomkins and Paul Taylor’s legendary Sutcliffe Jugend project has alternated between periods of being extremely prolific, followed by utter silence ever since its inception.  Their first albums as SJ appeared in 1982, one of which was the legendary 10 tape We Spit On Their Graves, then no new material for 14 years.  The pattern has repeated ever since, though admittedly not to the same extremity.  S L A V E S, a six CD release, capped off a busy 2016, preceded by three other full length albums.  Sprawling is an appropriate term, but it is very well developed, varied, and also makes clear that Tomkins and Taylor have no intent of staying in that narrow box most associate with the project.


Brainwashed Premire: VVV "Talking in the Dark"

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Why El Paso Sky is the upcoming mixtape on Holodeck by Austin, Texas’ own VVV (Shawhin Izaddoost), serving as a way to whet the appetite for his upcoming full length record later this year.  Here we present the premiere of "Talking in the Dark," both in the recent Brainwashed Podcast (Episode 341) and here directly.

Preorder Why El Paso Sky (HD038) by VVV

"Talking in the Dark" is an excellent teaser for what Izaddoost will be delivering on both the tape and his release later in 2017.  From its sweeping opening synths that herald the foundation rattling beats and rapid melodic lead that quickly follow, VVV covers an infinitely complex array of sounds and vibes in the span of a few short minutes.  With a lush, ambient breakdown that quickly jumps right back into the rhythms, both Izaddoost's prowess in building memorable rhythms and his nuanced, complex approach to production and mixing are clearly at the forefront.  Look for the limited mixtape Why El Paso Sky to be released on March 10, 2017 on the Holodeck label, and more new work to follow later this year.


Envenomist, "Bleeding Out"

cover imageDavid Reed's newest album as Envenomist may be a collection of six songs, but the presentation and consistency between them seems more akin to a long from composition broken into distinct pieces.  His bleak analog synthesizer works have been notable as a recent member of Bloodyminded, and as part of the trio Nightmares with Mark Solotroff and Jonathan Canady, but here he is in sole control.  Perhaps due to it being a fully solo excursion or his compositional intent, the arrangement is sparse but strong, and the final product is a bleak synthesizer creep that hints at film score but is an entity entirely unto itself.


Steel Hook Prostheses, "Calm Morbidity"

cover imageTexas duo Steel Hook Prostheses are a decade and a half into their career of blackened electronics and malicious noise, and with each new release they continue to find new spins on their intentionally desolate and unpleasant sound.  Calm Morbidity is a consistent, yet diverse record that does different things and goes in varying directions, but never loses focus, and also never lightens the mood.


Alan Courtis, "Los Galpones"

cover imageAlan Courtis (aka Anla Courtis) is one of those composers that at times is occasionally too prolific, spreading himself thin over numerous collaborations and solo works each year.  Because of that, his work is sometimes less focused than it could be, simply due to the extreme breadth of what he puts out.  However, when one of his releases is obviously a fully realized concept, his work is usually exceptionally compelling.  Los Galpones (The Sheds) is one of his more targeted works, by that standard.  A record built upon mostly just guitar and metallic objects, it is a wonderfully unified suite of four distinct pieces that work together perfectly and creates a nuanced sense of post-industrial decay.


Jim Haynes, "Flammable Materials from Foreign Lands", "Throttle and Calibration"

cover imageFor his two most recent (near simultaneous) releases, Jim Haynes has scaled back his audial representation of decay to something a bit colder and more intentionally off-putting.  Both albums are largely based on field recordings taken from a residency in Estonia, and capturing the detritus of Soviet era electronics (and some still active) via shortwave and then processing the results.  The final products may be somewhat sparser than his other works, but no less fascinating, and with an additional menacing edge.


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Step Into Liquid

It isn't surprising this surfing documentary is in the vein of Endless Summer, given that the director is the son of the director of that surfing classic. This film, however, does not follow two surfers around the globe, but instead features many surfers from around the globe. The surfing of today, however, is moving in directions never even dreamed of in 1966. The introduction of tow surfing (using a jet ski to tow the surfer into waves too big to be paddled into) and hydrofoil surfing (modified surfboards with hydrofoils attached to the bottom allowing the surfer to rise a few feet above the water) are allowing surfers to ride waves that were never before within reach.
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