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Episode 475: July 12, 2020

Toad in the toad house by Stephanie Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition Episode 475 is live

It's a brand new episode featuring new (and new to you) tunes from Gnod & João Pais Filipe, Current 93, Magik Markers, MJ Guider, Cucina Povera & ELS, Marina Rosenfeld & Ben Vida, Lucrecia Dalt, Microwolf, Michael C. Sharp, and Sarah Davachi.

Picture of a toad in the toad house sent to us from Stephanie in New Hampshire.

NOW AVAILABLE through SPOTIFY and AMAZON (links below) in addition to the other platforms.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for Week of 7/13/2020

New music is due from School of X, Alva Noto, and Easy, while old music is due from Ron Geesin, Albert Ayler, and Steve Piccolo.

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Brainwashed Premiere: Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf, "Big Other"

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Brainwashed and Negative Capability Editions are proud to exclusively premiere the new album by Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf, Big Other, and the video for "New Heart."  The entire album can be streamed via Bandcamp by clicking here before its release on August 21.  "New Heart," (video available here) featuring guest vocals by Jarboe, showcases her expansive voice, adding a human element to the menacing, swirling electronics and guest performer James Joyce’s powerful drums.  As Rosendorf began to construct the piece, he says he could hear the ghost of Jarboe's voice throughout as he was composing and mixing, persuading him to ask her to participate.  Also an accomplished visual artist working with the likes of Axebreaker, Locrian, and Retribution Body, the accompanying video directed by Rosendorf was filmed during COVID-19 quarantine.   Traveling through a forest, he captures both the isolation and terrible gravity of our current shared experience, but also the potential of hope and new life.  Big Other will be released on limited vinyl and digital via Negative Capability Editions on August 21.

 

Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf, "Big Other"

cover image As Scratched Glass, Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf (alongside Jon Lukens) has released two stripped down tapes riddled with obscure sounds and intricate, nuanced production.  Minimal, yet rich; dark, yet inviting, they were a study in contrasts and contradictions.  For Big Other, he not only has opted for the vinyl format, but also working under his own name.  Indicative of change, the record is certainly a different sounding one based on his previous work.  With the integration of rhythms and the vocal contributions of Jarboe, but still featuring just the right amount of abstraction, the final product feels like the natural evolution of a composer/producer who had already set a high water mark before, but continues to push ahead.

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GNOD and João Pais Filipe, “Faca de Fogo”

Cover of Faca De FogoGNOD has made a career—a lifestyle—as a creative collective of musicians that weave together rhythmic, trance-inducing psychedelia and cacophonous pandemonium, unafraid of experimentation across genres. For this release, they connected with Portuguese experimental percussionist Joăo Pais Filipe after meeting up at the Milhões de Festa event in Barcelos, Portugal. This resulting experiment, improvised over 3 days and recorded in four at Joăo’s metal shop, was originally intended to premiere at the (now-socially distanced) 2020 Supersonic Festival in Birmingham, England. Overflowing with meditative tribal percussion and ritual, shamanic musical mantras, these four lengthy tracks ride a rollercoaster of moody atmospherics, Kraut-driven psychedelia and industrial mechanization, and will take an already widened musical mind for a ride.

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Esplendor Geométrico, "Cinética"

cover imageI am not sure which is more remarkable: the fact that these iconic industrialists are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary or the fact that they somehow seem to be getting even better in recent years.  Aside from Legendary Pink Dots or Swans, I am hard-pressed to think of any other band that has had such an impressive renaissance after their supposed heyday and this particular case is all the more remarkable since Arturo Lanz has remained so single-mindedly focused on pursuing the same narrow stylistic niche all along.  Given that consistency, it is no surprise that Cinética is yet another feast of pummeling industrial strength percussion loops featuring a yet another handful of alternately propulsive and crushing highlights.  However, I was surprised at how this latest batch of rhythmic assaults occasionally transcends the duo's "industrial dance" aesthetic to approach a sort of trance-inducing strain of heavy psych.

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Tom James Scott, "Mine is the Heron"

cover imageI wish I was more familiar with Tom James Scott's work, as he is an artist that has an uncanny knack for unexpectedly turning up in my life again and again.  I believe I first encountered him during Bo'Weavil's heyday and then again as an erstwhile member of Liberez, but I know him best as a semi-regular Andrew Chalk collaborator.  And—much like Chalk—Scott tends to keep a very low profile, quietly releasing his last several solo albums on his own Skire imprint.  Consequently, this latest release is a noteworthy event, as it marks his stateside debut on Students of Decay.  Given both SOD's aesthetic and Scott's past, it is no surprise that Mine is the Heron hews very close to Chalk's own understated minimalism (they do have a shared vision, after all).  Nevertheless, Scott's solo aesthetic is still quite a distinctive one, as Heron is a gorgeous and melodic suite of elegant piano miniatures and blurrily sublime meditations.  It is also a very intimate and diaristic-sounding album, as it feels like a collection of spontaneously improvised flashes of inspiration edited by someone with absolutely unerring instincts for capturing simple, fleeting moments of beauty.

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Severed Heads, "Clean"

cover imageI have been a Severed Heads fan for more than twenty years now, yet I somehow never got around to investigating this early album until it was reissued earlier this year.  I would like to blame poor distribution, as this album has essentially only been self-released up until now, but I definitely snapped up several other rare albums when Tom Ellard started reissuing them as self-released CD-Rs in the early 2000s.  I suspect I was just insufficiently skeptical of the widespread belief that Ellard's golden age began with 1983's Since the Accident.  I should have known better, as Clean was the last album to involve founding member Richard Fielding at all (Fielding later went on to found the similarly wonderful The Loop Orchestra).  For the most part, however, Clean was almost entirely Ellard's show and it illustrates that he was already in his prime as a gleefully mischievous and eccentric loop-mangler as far back as 1980 or 1981.  Admittedly, Ellard did not start indulging his poppier instincts in earnest for a few more years, but Clean is playful, fun, and idiosyncratic enough to hold up just fine without them.

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Tengger, "Nomad"

Cover of Tengger - NomadMartial artist, philosopher and actor Bruce Lee famously stated “Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” Lee’s words were not merely pretty poetry, he lived them. Tengger are pan-Asian duo Itta and Marqido with their young son RAAI, and like Lee, Tengger craft their music in the same way they live their lives: with intention. They have built their principals—and fan following—after many years touring and living on the road, recording their music surrounded by unfamiliar cultures and environments. Self-described as EPT (Electronic Psychedelic Traveller) music, their name translates to “borderless sky beyond description” in Mongolian, and their music paints landscapes in the mind. Nomad is no exception to this rule, and their latest brings their philosophy, their music, and their moniker to a majestic head, offering an album of journey and movement that encourages flowing around the claustrophobia and confinement of 2020.

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Pauline Oliveros and Alan Courtis, "Telematic Concert"

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Luminary Pauline Oliveros passed away in 2016, her career spanned fifty years of boundary-dissolving music making. This previously unreleased concert recorded in 2009 has been unearthed for release on Spleencoffin in 2020. Here she plays her accordion and her expanded instrument system along with collaborator Alan Courtis on unstringed guitar and fx.

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The Eye: Video of the Day

The Juan Maclean

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

papas fritas, "pop has freed us"
Minty Fresh
I am somewhat ashamed to admit I have been struck with a feeling of nostalgia for something that I never quite experienced before with the release of this collection. What's even worse is the sticker on the front cover advertises as song as featured in a Dentyne Ice commercial. Regardgless, I'm pretty certain that there was a time in the 1990s that commercial alternative radio was occasionally adventurous and sometimes supported a local group who had a great song. The two most notable stations here in the USA were probably NY's WDRE and LA's KROQ. Boston's WFNX wasn't far behind, and here in Boston, we had our share of local hits that never quite made much of a difference outside of the Bay State, no matter how hard Kay Hanley tried. Papas Fritas wasn't a band who I felt much affinity for, but whenever "Lame to Be" or "Hey Hey You Say" came on the radio I soaked it in. I wasn't terribly impressed with pop songs back in the mid-1990s, and Papas Fritas were clearly obsessed with Beach Boys, Fleetwood Mac and the Replacements. To their credit, they made the most impressive dense pop records they could with the budget they had. Often recording on their own 8-track recorder, the core trio of Tim Goddess (guitar), Keith Gendel (bass), and Shivika Asthana (drums) each shared vocal duties, often singing together like a 1970s Hanna-Barbara cartoon band. Despite their confined conditions, the group were joined by string players, horns, and percussionists and achieved some sparkling clear results. Yet there's a reason why these songs rarely stretch much longer than three minutes: they've given away all the songs' secrets within the first minute. It's the beauty of simple pop and what attracts so many people to the bloody Beach Boys. They didn't cloud their music with effects and distortion, nor did they ever wander from the verse-chorus-verse structure, but listening now, there isn't a dull moment and everything seems honestly direct. Named after their self-publishing company (and a play on their name) this collects 17 musical tracks on one disc and three music videos on a DVD. Most of the tracks are from bonus cuts off international releases, compilation tracks, and singles, but eight of their biggest radio album cuts from their three records also appear to make it more of a hits package as well. It's nice for people like me who would have honestly probably let their full-length records collect dust as well as fans who wanted fully digital versions of songs that were only available on cheaply made flimsy 7" records or expensive imports. The video DVD is entertaining to watch, and the band's just too cute in "Hey Hey You Say" not to fall in love with them. It's a perfect visual accompaniment and I strongly encourage all labels to start doing this. If there's anything the rest of the industry can learn from this is that including multimedia extras as a bonus (ie: not making so many separate DVD releases, but tossing in a second disc like they should) can only be a good thing.

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