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Podcast Episode 420: June 16, 2019 (guest artist Rafael Anton Irisarri)

Episode #420 of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition is live featuring guest artist Rafael Anton IrisarriGabriel in Ireland

Our guest this episode is musician, producer, mastering engineer, festival curator Rafael Anton Irisarri. His latest album, Solastalgia, is out this week through Room40. He will embark on a tour of Australia with Loscil (Scott Morgan) and Steven O'Malley (Sunn O)))). Other music this episode comes from Major Stars, Leo Svirsky, Grün Wasser, and Martin Brandlmayr.

Photo of Rafael taken in Iceland.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for week of 6/17/2019

New music is due from Elva, Biosphere, and Charles Hayward, while old music is due from Suzanne Ciani, Klaus Nomi, and Pussy.


Benjamin Finger, "Into the Light" and "Pleasure-Voltage"

cover imageKeeping up with Benjamin Finger’s tireless work ethic in recent years has been an increasing challenge for me, but it has been worthwhile one, as he manages to maintain a consistently high level of quality and sometimes surprises me with an especially inspired detour or two.  Also, his trail of recent releases is not unlike a fun scavenger hunt, leading me from one cool small-press label to another.  In the case of Into Light, that small-press label is Berlin’s Forwind and the album is solid example of Finger's warmly hallucinatory dronescape aesthetic.  Pleasure-Voltage, on the other hand, falls into the "inspired detour" category, as Finger debuts an unexpectedly muscular trio with avant-garde violinist Mia Zabelka and extreme music super-producer James Plotkin.  The latter album, released on another Berlin label (the eclectic and adventurous Karlrecords), is the more significant by virtue of being unlike anything else in Finger’s discography, but both releases have their share of bright moments.


Junkie Flamingos, "Lemegeton Party"

cover imageConsisting of three distinct artists whose other projects are all rather different, Junkie Flamingos is not quite what I would call a supergroup, but instead a three part collaboration that reflects the artists' distinct styles, but in a singular presentation.  Featuring Alice Kundalini's electronics and vocals (of death industrial project She Spread Sorrow) and music from electronic artist Luca Sigurtá and Daniele Delogu from the folk tinged Barbarian Pipe Band.  The sound of Lemegeton Party makes sense, with layered, noisy synths, processed vocals, and dramatic bombast, and it all comes together as a challenging and fragmented record, but with a catchy, pleasant sounding undercurrent.


Chop Shop, "Primer"

cover imageActive for over 30 years but with a relatively small discography, Scott Konzelmann's Chop Shop has made a career of releasing only the utmost quality works, although they have largely been in unconventional formats and extremely limited editions.  Primer collects two of his earliest works, 1987's Power Pieces Positive Force and 1989's Scraps, albeit in slightly modified forms, and gives them the deluxe treatment, not only resulting in a higher profile for the releases (since vinyl is the most important format these days it would seem), but also giving wider exposure to these important, extremely difficult to find early works.


Jérôme Noetinger/Robert Piotrowicz/Anna Zaradny, "Crackfinder"

cover imageRecorded live in 2016 under the name Sono Genera, the trio of Jérôme Noetinger (tape, electronics), Robert Piotrowicz (synth), and Anna Zaradny (saxophone, computer) are all prolific artists on their own, but each work in distinctly different styles under that nebulous umbrella of experimental music.  Piotrowicz has mostly focused on modular synths during his career; Noetinger’s body of work is multidisciplinary and heavily rooted in tape manipulation, and Zaradny is a composer whose primary instrument is the computer and occasionally horns.  With that in mind, it is unsurprising that the core elements of Crackfinder sound as if they are drawn from all over the place from an instrumental standpoint, but these distinct styles end up sitting alongside each other very nicely as a cohesive piece of music.


Jean C. Roché, "Birds of Venezuela"

cover imageThis unusual reissue quietly entered the world last December when everyone was frantically obsessing over the year-end lists and features, so it did not get nearly the attention it deserved.  It is certainly an odd release for a couple of reasons, but the most obvious one is that a 35-year-old album of bird songs was resurrected by a record label best known for avant-garde and experimental music.  The other is that Birds of Venezuela was just one of over one hundred albums recorded and released by French ornithologist Jean-Claude Roché.  That naturally begged the questions "What makes this album the special one?" and "Who exactly is this for?".  As it turns out, the liner notes by David Toop answer the former and the album itself decisively answered the latter: this album is for me because it is amazing.  In fact, Toop actually started planning a trip to the Amazon soon after hearing this Birds of Venezuela and I probably would have done the same, as a strong case could be made that the most texturally and melodically compelling music scene of the mid-‘70s was the Venezuelan rain forests.


Mort Garson, "Mother Earth's Plantasia" has become a well-known record despite a limited initial 1976 release to anyone buying a houseplant from the Mother Earth store in Los Angeles. This was music for plant owners to create an environment of optimal growth - simple haunting melodies composed on a moog.


Fossil Aerosol Mining Project, "The Recounting of Night Time" and "Archeological Testing..."

cover imageThis inscrutable cabal of post-industrial scavengers continues to burrow into our murky cultural subconscious with a pair of minor new releases.  Characteristically, both albums are heavily conceptual and mystery-shrouded, but The Recounting of Night Time at least volunteers that it "focuses principally on a certain piece of German gothic cinema made during the late 1970s."  That certainly seems to suggest that a badly worn VHS of Werner Herzog's Nosferatu is at the heart of the sounds, but Fossil Aerosol Mining Project are (as always) far more interested in what time has done to the physical media than than whatever that media's original intended content was.  About the superior Archeological Testing in the Land of Monkeys, even less is revealed ("A fatigued response to reminders of a cyclical past, surprisingly exaggerated in the years of the rooster and the dog").  Both releases offer their flashes of inspiration, but it is the digital-only and conceptually vague Archeological Testing that unexpectedly feels like some of the collective's finest work to date.


Kink Gong, "Voices"

cover imageLaurent Jeanneau's work as Kink Gong has been one of the most compellingly quixotic and unique projects in underground music for almost two decades, but I have only recently begun to scratch the surface of his mountain of work.  He is probably best known as a prolific ethnomusicologist, occasionally surfacing on Sublime Frequencies.  He has also self-released over 150 collections of ethnic minority music recorded during his many travels throughout Africa, China, and Southeast Asia.  Naturally, that restless curiosity has made a deep impact on Jeanneau's own sensibility as an artist, resulting in a series fairly uncategorizable collage-based soundscape albums like this landmark 2013 release.  At the root of Voices are a host of recordings of indigenous vocalists made in China, Vietnam, and Laos, but Jeanneau ingeniously transforms them into a haunting, otherworldly, and timeless vision that blurs the boundaries of tradition, experimentation, art, and reality.

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