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Podcast Episode 377: November 19, 2017 (guest artist Carla Dal Forno)

RadianMartin Siewert of Radian and Trapist joins us for this week's episode. Radian's latest album, On Dark Silent Off, is out now on Thrill Jockey and their brief US tour begins this week in Chicago. In addition to music from Radian and Trapist, we hear music from Anahita, Lee Noble, Af Ursin, and Dub Syndicate.


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Forced Exposure New Releases for 11/20/2017

New music is due from Mamiffer, Eleh, Darlene Shrugg, Ian William Craig, and Anja Schneider, while old music is due from Jun Fukamachi, Bernard Parmegiani, and Tony, Caro, and John.

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Godflesh, "Post Self"

cover imageThe second full length album since Godflesh's 2010 reformation, Post Self seemingly came out of nowhere, with little of the anticipation or hype that surrounded 2014's A World Lit Only By Fire.  As someone who follows Justin Broadrick on all forms of social media, I personally only heard of it due to a preorder email from an online store.  My first listen to it ended up defying the expectations which I had, based on the post-reform work I have heard from the duo. I suppose that that is exactly what a great Godflesh album should do, and Post Self manages to defy very, very well.

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Anahita, "Tourmaline"

cover imageCuriously, this visionary and otherwordly collaboration between Fursaxa's Tara Burke and Espers' Helena Espvall was only released this year despite being recorded roughly seven years ago.  That is quite a shame, as Tourmaline might have had an enthusiastic reception if it had come out during freak folk's brief day in the sun.  Then again, maybe not, as this album goes even farther out than Burke's already deeply outré solo records.  In any case, Tourmaline is a wonderful album, as it feels a lot like like experiencing a series of unsettling supernatural events in the darkest depths of a thick forest at night.  If I did not know anything about the album's provenance, I would have guessed that it was a lost private press obscurity by an artist that either went mad, wandered into the desert, or vanished under mysterious circumstances soon after the recording was complete (i.e. exactly the sort of thing that I am drawn to like a moth).

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VVV, "Shadow World"

cover imageShawhin Izaddoost, the man behind VVV, put out a mixtape entitled Why El Paso Sky earlier this year, and it was quite a teaser.  Murky, ambient rhythms and catchy melodies appeared throughout, all wrapped in unique production that gave the cassette an identity all its own.  He has followed it with Shadow World, a full-length record that is drawn from the same palette as the previous work, but with a stronger sense of cohesion and consistency to make for an engaging album from beginning to end.

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Ian Watson & Rob Hayler, “Metronome”

https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a3425812529_16.jpgIt's perhaps coincidence that Rob Hayler’s most recent tape release has coincided with the recent disassembly, and retiring, of his legendarily No Audience Underground Midwich alias. A single piece, assembled from source material from fellow UK Noise / drone player Ian Watson, Metronome is a blurred cut and mix of smudged digital / analogue tin and tape wreckage.

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Af Ursin, "Murrille"

cover imageGiven how much I have been enjoying Timo von Luijk's recent collaborations with Andrew Chalk, it seemed like a perfect time to dig into some of his strange and underheard solo albums, most of which were released on his own Le Scie Dorée imprint.  Murrille, von Luijk’s debut as Af Ursin, was originally released back in 2002, but was later remastered and reissued by Robot Records.  While the album’s description references some fairly apt touchstones like "early krautrock" and the more experimental side of France’s Futura label, Murrille is mostly an uncategorizably unique and idiosyncratic affair, resembling field recordings of a remote cargo cult trying to mimic jazz using rusted found instruments.

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Blaine L. Reininger, "Night Air"

cover imageNewly reissued in a much-expanded edition, Night Air was recorded in 1983, not long after Reininger left Tuxedomoon to try his hand at a solo career as an expat in Belgium.  Described by Les Disques du Crepuscule as a classic (which it may very well be in some circles), Night Air is certainly a curiously moody and idiosyncratic bit of art-damaged pop music that is very much of its time: Reininger borrowed a bit of the gloom from post-punk and a bit of the larger-than-life pomp from big glossy pop to carve out his own strange niche of cosmopolitan, theatrical pop and noirish atmospheres.  Night Air feels like Reininger attempted to forcibly distill late-night existential crises, hip European art scenes, and chain-smoking in coffee shops into something resembling a macabre, brooding, and vampiric Duran Duran.  As such, a lot of Night Air’s appeal is of the nostalgic variety, but it is unquestionably a unique release and there are quite a few intriguing gems and rarities included in the extras.  In fact, the bonus material is frequently better than the actual album.

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Six Organs of Admittance, "Burning The Threshold"

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Ben Chasny’s latest release takes a quietly melodic detour from the more challenging fare unleashed by his recent hexadic composing experiments, a gentle path that seems to have been willfully chosen as a modest counterbalance to the pervading darkness of the last year.  I have some mixed feelings about that plan, as championing love and forgiveness sounds just fine to me, but Chasny occasionally errs a bit too much on the side of mellow, bucolic '60s/'70s folk rock for my taste.  If that side had always been the Six Organs aesthetic, it is doubtful that I ever would have become a fan, as I am most drawn to Chasny's psych side, as well as his unconventional guitar heroics.  As a one-off event, however, Burning The Threshold is quite a pleasant and disarming sincere album, offsetting occasional shades of classic Six Organs with a generous supply of surprisingly accessible hooks and melodies (as well as a bevy of talented guests).

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Colleen, "A Flame My Love, A Frequency"

cover imageCécile Schott has long been my absolute favorite kind of artist: the kind who thoughtfully and quietly pieces together wonderfully distinctive albums and tends to only surface when she has something new and intriguing to say.  As a result, being a Colleen fan has been a deliciously unpredictable slow-motion rollercoaster that has taken some expectation-subverting turns over the years: most artists who come right out of the gate with a sublime and timeless masterpiece like Everyone Alive Wants Answers would just keep revisiting that success with diminishing returns, but Schott has tirelessly kept moving forward with each new album.  That evolution reached a crescendo of sorts with 2015 vocal-centric Captain of None, shedding a lot of artifice to reveal a more intimate and direct incarnation of Colleen.  In some ways, this latest album continues that trajectory, but it also finds Schott setting her viola da gamba aside for a synthesizer.  Admittedly, I tend to shake my head sadly whenever someone makes a synth album these days, but Schott has managed to bend those electronics to her will rather than falling under their spell like so many others.

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