the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V07I29 - 07252004
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domestic c93 and nww releases planned
Beta-Lactam Ring Records has announced the plans to release Angry Eelectric Finger by Nurse With Wound, previously due on World Serpent. This is to be the full collaborational releases with Cyclobe, Jim O'Rourke and and will be initially available as three LPs and be followed by the release on three separate CDs (both editions with the same music). A limited art edition is being planned and prepared by Steven Stapleton for the vinyl release. How I Loved the Moon is a double LP from Current 93 due for a fall/winter release. It features new mixes of the In Menstrual Night album, originally by Current 93 and remixed by Steven Stapleton with one of the mixes surfacing on A Little Menstrual Night Music in 2003. A special edition is planned of 200 numbered copies on colored vinyl with a 7" picture disc and a "single edit" of the tracks. For more details see

important new releases
Important Records announces two new releases: the debut from Barbez and O Si Amos A Essere Duas Umbras? from Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple. From the Important press sheet: "Not too long ago, Barbez and Boston's Dresden Dolls were sister groups treading similar musical waters, but with each group maintaining unique and distinctive sounds. In fact, before Important Records signed the Dresden Dolls for their live album A Is For Accident, the Dolls and Barbez were conspiring to set up their own label called Black Freighter. Well, you may well know how the story went from there. The Dresden Dolls have moved on to a well deserved fame which is growing every moment. The next chapter in this musical story is the this brilliant, eccentric full length from Barbez." As for Makoto, "Kawabata has created O Si Amos A Essere Duas Umbras? in tribute to Sardegna where his creative life recently achieved a highly influential spiritual climax. According to Kawabata, these recordings represent one of the most important moments in his life. While in Sardegna he found his 'cosmos.' At some point on his trip, a new cosmos opened for him and he received 'many wonderful vibrations.' These are the very first of his works created after this transcendental experience."


26 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video While the duo of Growing openly admit to being fans of drone music and artists, their show is far from quiet or ambient. Their second full-length album, produced by Rex Ritter (of Jessamine, Fontanelle, and Sunn 0)))) involvements) is due from Kranky in the fall. Their current tour continues to wind through North America for the next few weeks. If you're planning to catch them on the road, we strongly advise bringing earplugs. This episode of The Eye integrates the visuals the group tours with but we get a little nutty with the cheap transition effects at the end. Thanks to Growing member Joe Denardo for the visuals.

26 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video


  • A current web browser
  • A modern computer
  • The latest quicktime plugin for streaming media (hint: use the latest Netscape if other browsers aren't working)


  • A fast connection
  • A willingness to learn


  • 'tude

If you see a blank window without anything streaming, don't complain to us. You don't have the latest version of Quicktime for streaming media. Go download it. It's free.


Glenn Jones, "This Is The Wind That Blows It Out"
Strange Attractors
To innovate, one must not only stand on the shoulders of giants but recognize that they do so, if only to learn how to provide a solid footing for others. Boston-based Cul De Sac are innovators of the highest caliber, and the members have made astounding music for years, utilizing elements of any number of styles, genres, and movements. On their last few releases, guitarist Glenn Jones has led them into a deep relationship with the output of Takoma records and their troika of acoustic guitar virtuosos John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Leo Kottke. Their adaptations of Takoma sounds and ideas mixed in with often visionary electronic, world music, and post-rock juxtapositions have made for truly wonderful pieces of work. This Is The Wind That Blows It Out marks the first solo release by Glenn Jones, and he revels in the startlingly evocative sound produced by the six and twelve string guitar. Allowed to develop the Takoma fetish to its natural conclusion, Jones is able to create a beautiful work that raises itself above tribute and establishes him as a musician and thinker capable of speaking that language in a thoughtful and articulate way. "Sphinx Unto Curious Men" is an extreme delight to followers of Cul De Sac, as it elaborates on the "Second Victim?" motif from their last release, The Strangler's Wife. Here, Jones draws the thick, oscillating hook out of the unfortunately brief limitations of that soundtrack work and lets it unfurl. His nimble playing conveys a spooky tension that is now even more affecting as it blooms into more developed avenues of melody and rhythm. The new intermediate section of the piece offers a warm respite in looming darkness of the hook, each note stinging through the fog to offer a bit of comfort before ultimately plunging back into the depths. "Sphinx" captures everything that makes Jones an adept aural storyteller, capable of utilizing the strengths of his instrument with clarity and precision. "Friday Nights With" inhabits the same pastoral noir of dark woods and wind swept fields that "Sphinx" introduces, loping across moonlit hills albeit with less curious fear and a tenor of playful chase or dance amidst these elements. The piece is free from the heavy riddle of "Sphinx," a boundless Friday night in the glory of unencumbered abandon. "The Doll Hospital" shimmers as the notes rise and fall with stunning alacrity, flashing briefly and barely fading before the next reveals itself brightly. Jones' fingers cast off sounds in numbers that flood the senses as they try to receive and appreciate every new addition to the impeccable series. "Nora's Leather Jacket" spins about like a carousel, with rapidly repeating strums swirling, augmented by quick plucks that promenade themselves delicately, courting the fancy of those who pass by. For a moment it seems like something out of a Nino Rota score, the carnival wonderment and emotional discourse of La Strada is seeping through Jones' displays of feeling here. Throughout the album, Jones is able to imbue his pieces with a sensitivity and power that instantly communicates the message and input of his music. This Is The Wind That Blows It Out is a noble effort for Glenn Jones and demonstrates that his mastery of his instrument goes well beyond the speed of his fingers and lies in the investment of his mind and soul in his art. - Michael Patrick Brady


Paik, "Satin Black"
Strange Attractors
The destruction is set to maximum and the bullshit is set to minimum on Paik's latest full-length, a continuation of the dreamy soundscapes they most recently displayed on a split with Kinski and Surface of Eceyon. Never have they sounded more pure and raw than this moment, a torrent of distortion and volume that seems at the same time to be coldly calculated and yet to have no plan at all. There is a peace among the ruins, where the band almost seems to accept a fate they have never relished before, nor asked for. But there is ferocity yet, almost as though the fight is with themselves. Not that this ever adversely affects any song, or is explicitly stated, but Paik nevertheless display a struggle that elevates them, gives them purpose, and ultimately conquers all. Repitition sometimes wears, displaying a stasis or lack of ideas that sidetracks but never derails the compositions: it merely extends them perhaps a bit far past the point of relevance. They eventually snap out of it and change course, dropping headlong into the maelstrom of their own creation. For a trio to make rock music that blisters and cracks like this is quite an achievement anyway, but Paik excel at it as a practice. The album's opener, "Jayne Field," is a steady rocker, with almost pots-and-pans drums and guitar noise that shimmers as much as it shreds. Just as it fades, an abrupt guitar riff buts in, and the playful noise that emanates skips right along, like a soundtrack for that kid that never had it figured out but secretly plots the demise of those who undermine him. By the time the swirls and echoes expand the palette, the story has chaned, and the kid gets the girl and all he ever wanted. Here and there Paik grate their collective teeth, muster the energy to go on, and make it seem like it will be painful for everyone involved. It never is, as the band continues to explore and expound, creating the best music of their careers every time. - Rob Devlin


As the current indie scene now falls into lock-step formation rallying under the banner of "new folk," I find it interesting to reflect on the first folk renaissance, the one that took place five years ago. You probably never heard about it because it took place largely in my head. After years spent obsessively listening to and collecting records by Current 93, Death in June and Sol Invictus, there weren't many places for this jaded listener to go other than the strange, misunderstood world of sixties British psych-folk — a loose outcropping of psychedelia that incorporated medievalism, folk and free jazz with esoteric lyrical influences and ethnic instrumentation. This music is the clearest antecedent to the "apocalyptic folk" that resurfaced in the eighties English underground. Most have at least heard of the Incredible String Band or John Renbourn, but for every famous, influential artist from this period, there were scores of ignored obscurities like Comus, The Trees and Jan Dukes de Grey. With the help of an evil book called The Tapestry of Delights, the adventurous (read: compulsive) collector could choose his next Holy Grail and crusade forth to seek it for his collection. For me, the best of these elusive records will always be Pass the Distance by Simon Finn, an obscure 1970 one-off from London's Mushroom label. It was a unique album, not just for its unorthodox musical content, but also for its extreme rarity, legal action having forced its withdrawal from the market not long after is release. Simon Finn's album puzzled me during my original folk renaissance, and five years later — with this new remastering and rerelease on Durtro/Jnana — it still evades easy categorization. Finn's songwriting and vocal style belong to a late-60s tradition of melancholy, doom-laden propheteering, but on tracks like "Jerusalem" and "Big White Car," he displays an unmatched vocal fury, passionately belting out his words with throat-stripping ferocity, building to a pair of frighteningly shattering crescendos. Adding to the album's unique sound are the contributions of the young multi-instrumentalist David Toop, who since the recording of Pass the Distance has distinguished himself as a preeminent musical critic, a frequent contributor to The Wire and the author of several books. Toop and percussionist Paul Burwell were apparently given free reign by producer Vic Keary to use Finn's standard folk material as a blank slate for experimentation and improvisation. This results in a series of loose, chaotic settings for Simon Finn's songs, Toop often climbing up and down the scale of a mandolin or a harmonium with utter disregard for melodic sense. Producer and engineer Keary adds another level of mystification, using heavy echo, stereo panning and excessive phasing to create a sense of dislocation, muddying the waters of Finn's apocalyptic stream of consciousness. This rerelease, overseen by David Tibet and Simon Finn (emerging from more than 30 years of total silence), improves the sound substantially from the Japanese bootleg CDs, and adds four bonus tracks, which don't share the same mysterious qualities as the material on the original LP, but are welcome nonetheless. Also included are informative liner notes from Finn, Toop, Keary and Tibet. This should be a fine replacement for my well-worn vinyl copy. - Jonathan Dean


Current 93's recent concerts in Toronto saw the release of a small treasure trove of limited EPs and 7" singles. One of most unexpected of these was a five-track CDEP of new material from Simon Finn. If any have heard about Finn's activities in the years since he recorded the legendary Pass the Distance, it's been through rumor and innuendo, and generally falls along the lines of: "Recorded one album then disappeared. Now a [psychotic/drug-addled/lobotomized] hermit, living in [a one-room shack/his mother's basement/a sanitarium]." Well, the truth might be stranger than the cliché in Finn's case, who moved to Canada, got married and became a soybean farmer, apparently. After David Tibet became obsessed with Pass the Distance a year or so ago, he tracked down Simon Finn at his Canada home, and arranged not only for the reissue of of that seminal LP, but also this EP of new material and a few live gigs opening up for Current 93 for three nights in Toronto. If anyone had asked me to rate the chances of the elusive Simon Finn resurfacing in 2004 to play a series of live shows, I'd have rated them a low zero. I would have further doubted the sanity of someone who suggested that Finn would ever record new material. Though it could potentially be a big embarrassment, Silent City Creep is actually quite good. It's somewhat surreal to hear Finn's voice unmitigated by the murky echo and bizarre instrumentation to which I'd become accustomed. Instead, Finn's voice and gentle acoustic guitar come through clearly, in five songs that reminded me of Tom Rapp (of Pearls Before Swine), with their Dylanesque melodies and apocalyptic lyrics fraught with symbolism and mythological references. On "Walkie Talkie," Finn bemoans the isolation caused by the mediation of technology into human communication: "And we all go walkie talkie/Then we all go run and hide/Between the cracks of our illusion/From our depredated lives/And we hold on to our cocks/And we hold on to our cunts/To assert we're still alive/And to tell our backs from fronts." Strangely, Silent City Creep does not feel more "mature" than Pass the Distance. In fact, it feels as if Finn hasn't missed a beat, picking up right where he left off over 30 years ago. It makes me wonder if all of those stories about Syd Barrett might be exaggerated. - Jonathan Dean


Another of Durtro's limited edition goodies available at the recent Toronto shows, this is a CDEP of David Tibet singing two of his favorite tracks from Simon Finn's Pass the Distance album, with Finn himself on guitar and Joolie Wood on flute. While Tibet obviously has affection for this material, and he is careful not to trod upon its memory, he is perhaps a little too respectful with these cover versions. Rather than try to match or exceed Finn's soul-shattering vocal climax on "Jerusalem," Tibet instead covers the song in his familiar "speak-sing" style, barely cracking his voice for the penultimate chorus. Also, for some reason known only to him, Tibet has decided to cut "The Courtyard" in half, singing only the first part of the song. The pretty acoustic backing and flourishes of flute are nice enough, but I don't think they work nearly as well for this material as the kitchen-sink production of Finn's classic album. The only advantage of hearing Tibet tackle this material is the fact that it renders the lyrics much clearer and easier to decipher, as they are not covered over by layers of reverb and detuned guitar acrobatics. Still, this EP has the stink of a vanity project all over it, and while it's fun to listen to the first few times, I'm not sure it's of any particular use to Current 93 fans or Simon Finn fans. - Jonathan Dean


This limited edition, blue 7" vinyl single comprises two songs recorded live at the October Gallery in London on October 5, 2003. Both of the songs are done in the intimate "voice and piano" style familiar from Current 93 releases such as Soft Black Stars and Hypnagogue, with Maja Elliott providing the musical accompaniment. Side A has David Tibet tackling the singularly epic "Time of the Last Persecution," the title track from underappreciated singer-songwriter Bill Fay's materful 1971 concept album. Fay's original version had all the dramatic orchestral swells of a sixties Scott Walker production, augmented by mind-blowing fuzz guitar and a truly monumental climax. For all the overblown majesty of the original, however, the song holds up amazingly well with the minimal arrangement by Tibet and Elliott. Tibet's voice is a perfect instrument to portray the resigned dread of Bill Fay's Armageddon scenario: "It is the time of the last persecution/And Caesar shall be raised/He will ask for his feet to be kissed by your sister/And your children will fear at his name." It's as if Tibet and Fay are spiritual songwriting partners, as both share the same affinity for hallucinatory visions of Gnostic Revelation. Side B is a fine but unremarkable rendition of "Black Flowers, Please," a track off Swastikas for Noddy and a perennial live favorite. For the version of "Time of the Last Persecution" alone, however, this single is worth tracking down. - Jonathan Dean


United Durtro/Jnana
Though Steven Stapleton could not be bothered to play at the recent Toronto shows, he did come to the city to lurk about the concert hall, bringing along 500 copies of this 7" red vinyl single. As limited Nurse With Wound items go, this one is fairly inessential to all but the most rabid collectors. Side A is taken up with "Penis Fruit Loop (Deambulation Mix)," a radically reworked version of the track from 1999's An Akward Pause. This track already appeared on The Wire Tapper 6 compilation that was included with the 200th of The Wire magazine, along with exclusive tracks by Current 93 and Coil. A while after the magazine debuted, Stapleton posted an MP3 of the track to the web for free download, complaining that the song had been mastered incorrectly on the Wire Tapper CD. The version on this single does not sound significantly different from either of those previously available tracks, an oompah band playing "Johnny B. Goode" while being sucked down a vacuum hose. What I do find strange is the speed at which the track has been mastered. To hear it correctly, you must play Side A at 33 RPM, even though Side B seems to be mastered at 45 RPM, and the packaging gives no indication of this disparity. "A Perfectly Natural Expectation" is exclusive to this release, as far as I know, a flashback of sorts to the queasy soundscapes of Automating Vol. 1. After a little girl intones the title, we are ushered through bizarre corridors of echoplexed sound, before being dropped off a couple minutes later right where we began. It's inessential to be sure, but also pretty nifty. As of this writing, this release and the other Toronto items were still available through a link at the Durtro website, so there's still a chance for those not lucky enough to have attended the shows. - Jonathan Dean


A.C. Newman, "The Slow Wonder"
A is a definite article, a method of distinguishing an individual from a group, singling out the one particular subject that deserves all the attention. I don't know the true origins of that particular A, the above definition would certainly make Carl Newman's self-amended designation quite the aptonym. The Slow Wonder is an A, a defining article that raises Carl Newman from the crowded house he built for the New Pornographers to his very own center stage. Newman is out this time with a collection of even newer rock and roll pornographers who are every bit as dig-deep tenacious and blissfully sonorous. The Slow Wonder is a further refinement of the ideas swirled across Mass Romantic and honed on The Electric Version. Newman has emerged from behind the curtain with a slab of pop perfection, matching the heights of those previous records while showcasing a more personal stake in the music, as opposed to the communal conceptualism of the Pornographer records. "The Miracle Drug" is an assuring opener, almost alarmingly familiar with vocalist Sarah Wheeler backing up to fill in the Neko Case role (with such quality as to arouse curiosity as to what she might sound like out in front). The sonic similarities only serve to demonstrate Newman's persisting talent in knowing what makes a great song and the ability to do so freshly, at will. The melodious "On The Table" politely drips across the piano keyboard with a dignified reserve before soaring into a kaleidoscopic rush of unbridled enthusiasm in the chorus. Amidst the crowd pleasers is "Come Crash," a gorgeous ballad that slowly probes the inner workings of an obscure relationship. While never revealing too much in direct statements, the song instead pieces the story together through the shadows cast by the firework bursting bridge and shards of conversation that slowly flicker and fade. It is a wonderful centerpiece to the album, and a more introspective side of Newman than most of us have been treated to. "The Town Halo" rockets the album sky high once again, thickly rooted in a repeating loop of strings, surging forward in a thrust of accusatory questioning and boundary marking. Along with the closer, "35 In The Shade," the song surrounds Newman with a throng of background singers, lending their collective voices to the music he has crafted. This aspect of the album seems perfectly natural, as it is hard to resist joining in. Newman is a songwriter of the highest caliber, one who is capable of implanting a song deep within the psyche and coaxing it back out once again through the voices of listeners. The Slow Wonder outputs nothing but unabashed joy through song and demands nothing less back. - Michael Patrick Brady


[sic], "Gorilla Masking Tape"
Having listened to and zoned out on this release at least half a dozen times, it should be obvious what it is that is so compelling about [sic]'s compositions of dusty long drones, deep ambient spaces and bump-in-the-night tension, but it's not. On the one hand, this is difficult listening: all uneasy sounds and dischordant timbres rubbing up against one another to create an ambiguous feeling of dread. On the other hand, for those familiar with the work of like-minded artists like those featured on the quasi-legendary "Isolationism" compilation, [sic] fits perfectly into a already-defined niche of dark, brooding ambient characterized more by its claustrophobia than by its use reflection of space as an expanse. I could tell you that Gorilla Masking Tape is a beautiful, haunting record, or that it's alpha-wave inducing at the right volume, or that it's a perfectly quiet record for people who lead unquiet lives, but none of that really captures the force that these tracks embody. Perhaps the record's most defining characteristic is that it is indeed so malleable that it can be both loud and quiet, both serene and disturbed, both beautiful and terrifying and that it does all of this effortlessly. I often wonder what more can be said about music like this that is both barely there and a force of nature all at once, depending on your volume knob. I always think that it will be impossible for someone to release yet another essential dark ambient disc in a world where artists who do this sort of thing tend to have voluminous discographies of equally affecting work already. I think that, and then I hear a record like Gorilla Masking Tape and it suddenly all sounds fresh and important and essential again and I'm left wanting more. It doesn't get much better than that.- Matthew Jeanes


Mnemosyne, "The Air Grows Small Fingers"
Mnemosyne's debut album builds slowly with a solid if sleepy foundation of guitar, bass, and drums that wouldn't sound out of place in the Kranky or Constellation stables. The Toronto trio is fronted (if that's really the right word) by experimental guitarist Aidan Baker, whose voice on the title track rises just barely above a whisper in a style reminiscent of early Labradford. But from there, Mnemosyne depart from the somnambulant formula of muted minimalism by swelling guitars up with distortion and kicking in drums and crashing cymbals. The result is a bit darker, more psychadelic, and more varied than their post-rock forebares, but it also results in something that probably has a much wider appeal. It wouldn't be far off to imagine my stoner friends from High School who went to Pink Floyd laser light shows getting seriously into Mnemosyne's hypnotic twirls of guitar and dubbed-out percussion, but recovering goths will also appreciate the atmosphere of tracks like "Dark Grove" and "Unreal Space." Thankfully, Mnemosyne seem less concerned with whether they are impressing the weepy Projekt crowd or the Drag City chin strokers, and they carry on making moody, genre-hopping space rock. Occassionally, as on the 12 minute album closer "Aqualisp," the instrumentation gets a bit too dry and literal, causing the psyche-improv to drift uncomfortably close to jam-band territory where it feels like every instrument needs room for a solo. Luckily, Rodin Columb's straightforward bass holds everything together just long enough for the band to get back on track as they rip into the loudest creshendo (saved somewhat predictably for the end). Though they never really achieve all out ROCK, they do manage to crank the volume, distortion, and delay on everything to give the album's trip a final dose of hash-fueled paranoia. Alhough Mnemosyne can easily be seen as a confluence of influences that have done this sort of thing before, their own take on a soundtrack for that bad-acid trip is well worth exploring. It somehow manages to be both familiar and disorienting at the same time which is kind of creepy, but good. - Matthew Jeanes


Murcof, "Utopia"
This gap-filler disc from Murcof is Leaf's way to buy time and keep the name fresh before the release of the next proper Murcof album, but it's no less inspired, all the same. Beginning with a 10 minute epic of film score orchestration and minimal techno thump, Utopia establishes early on that Murcof is dealing with a larger scope and a more developed tone than many of his contemporaries. Jan Jelenik's clicky, jazz-spliced remix of "Maiz" is the perfect groovy counterpoint to the album's creeping, moody opener. Sutekh gives "Memoria" a tweaked techno workout with plenty of glitches and squiggles that pop out over the monotone bassline and piano chord. "Utano" blends dark cello and brass timbres with twinkling electronic percussion for a while, then drops out the techno trappings for a more experimental approach to the cinematic loops and swells that other artists tend to leave in the background. It's refreshing for someone working with beats not to make the beats the primary focus for a change, and Murcof is able to bend and arrange sounds with a composer's rather than dj's ear. The remaining remixes are mostly placid and unremarkable; not an affront to the source material but certainly not as clever as they'd like to be or as necessary. "Una," the second to last of the un-remixed tracks takes symphonic and operatic fragments and glues them to a stuttering dsp-laden beat that is just short of club-friendly, but not so overblown as to draw unneccessary attention to itself. The "Colleen Mix" of "Muim" could easily figure in a Chris Nolen film as its all backwards pianos and heavy string passages that conjure up the grimy noir of "Memento" and the slick isolation of "Insomnia" equally. The remixes are all solid, sometimes taking an ambient detour that's welcome amidst the electrobeats, but Murcof's originals clearly stand out as the best tracks here. If nothing else, Utopia performs its role by making a case for watching for the forthcoming album and possibly for picking up the back catalog. - Matthew Jeanes


Strategy, "Drumsolo's Delight"
Paul Dickow is submerged in the hazy underworld of drugs, secrets, and failing memory. His music is a borderline between narcotic dreams and reality; there is no certainty in the melodies and beats that flow steadily through these seven songs, but rhythms do emerge and gasp recognizably without fail. Strategy's newest release is march towards contradiction. There are dub rhythms bobbing back and forth throughout the watery synthesizers and echoed noises, but they never seem to head anywhere. All the while, without giving notice, they morph and change with the highlighted melodies and uneasy motions of the music. Dickow has played with Fontanelle, Nudge, and Emergency, as well as remixed material for Stars As Eyes, and this material sounds at as unique compared to the rest of his work. Despite the title of the CD, there's nothing Max Roach or Bill Bruford about these songs; they're all a steady flow of not quite intelligible words, sounds, and heartbeats. At times, like on "Drumsolo's Delight," the drums play a more noticable role than on the rest of the record, but they always seem like they're being choked underneath a mass of effects and late night hallucinations. Nothing moves quickly enough to escape my ears, but none of the sounds rest on a firm ground; this gives Drumsolo's Delight an uneasy delivery. At times the slow motion eruptions and natural developments are appealing and at other times they are painfully slow and do nothing for me. Sleeping music this might be, something to be played in the background, but it rarely moves or evolves in a way that makes active listening a joy. There are exceptions to this rule, however, as other parts of the record are compelling in their aquatic sway. "The Jazzy Drumsolo" is an excellent merging or steady rhythms, repetitive melodies, and noise-driven tangents. As various sounds seep out of the background, the rhythms and melodies shift and become something entirely different. When some element of the track wears its welcome away, another piece of the picture slides into view and continues to carry the music away in a floating drift. I'm not usually a fan of something this direct. All the sounds are quite obviously laptop or keyboard-oriented and there's little to no variation in the direction of any of the songs (they all sound like perpetual chill motors made for slowing the heart down), but Drumsolo's Delight kept me strangely interested. I never moved to change the songs half-way through their duration and I never once stopped and thought to myself, "I hope this ends soon." I could deal with a bit more diversity or at least some surprising changes because the nature of this record lends itself towards the obvious and simple. The whole album sounds like the color blue and that color never really changes from track to track. Everything marches steadily on into infinity, until Dickow decides to shut everything down. This record has its good moments, but there's nothing fantastic about it that makes me want to listen to it again and again. - Lucas Schleicher


The Austerity Program, "Terra Nova EP"
Hydra Head
If they are to be believed, Thad Calabrese and Justin Foley met at a camp for wayward young men that was meant to treat feelings of homosexuality and to eliminate them. Rather than use this as the basis for so much melodrama and angst to crash their prom a la Saved!, the two went on to forge anthems of fury and naked aggression, set to the punishing sounds of a full volume drum machine that seems to borrow all its sounds from old Slayer and Heathen records. The two have an almost easy connection, playing bass and guitar over the snare smacks and cymbal crashes in a kind of symbiotic synchronization. Then, Foley sings, or tries to sing, and his voice cracks trying to sustain it all, singing about unfulfilled prophecies, disease, and other unrelated and thrown together nonsense. It surely is not meant to be as funny as it is, and there is a genuine passion to the inflections over the fairly standard guitar buzz and bass-through-weak-amp tomfoolery. Unfortunately, the band lacks direction, letting their epics sprawl out past a nine-minute mark that they should never see, and more phrases that don't connect. The songs use the exact same drum, guitar, and bass sounds, like they were never moved or experimented with during the recording of this EP, and share the exact same tempo. Foley, for all the passion he exudes, merely comes off like Blaise Bailey Finnegan with less taste in plagarizing. There's spaces where there shouldn't be, and long passages of the same notes played for far too long, like the duo are searching for an idea while they play. They find a few, but none of them are really noteworthy or even all that good. Maybe it's the age of the recordings and they've advanced a lot, but I doubt it. They kind of know their limitations, or so the lyrics seem to suggest, as Foley howls "I knew this ride would never last" and other fatalist remarks. They're probably right if they continue on like this, as there's very little in these songs to latch on to for more than a few seconds. - Rob Devlin


Colin Potter and Paul Bradley, "Confluence"
Twenty Hertz
The last time these two got together to make some music, I was thoroughly blown away by the results. Behind Your Very Eyes is an amazing piece of cinematic drone work that set a new mark to measure these kinds of records by. Drone music is notoriously two-faced; either it works or it doesn't. There really isn't any middle ground for the music to tread on so far as enjoy-ability goes. That's now changing with the release of Confluence. Colin Potter and Paul Bradley recorded the first track as a kind of cluster: the sounds are reworked from studio rehearsals and so on until they are made to sound harmonious. The two following tracks are remixes of this first track. This all sounds fine, but Confluence is amazingly uneven as a record. Where Colin Potter and Paul Bradley succeeded before was in their radically transformative flow of sound. I feel a bit uneasy calling their music "drone" because their stream of noise and samples simply never sat still long enough to drone away into the darkness. Potter and Bradley both used, in the past, a wide palette of musical and non-musical sounds to create an emotional and sensational (relating to the senses) experience. The first track on here, however, is a fairly monotone mix of wind tunnels, chimes, and various effects that are far too related. Diversity can often lead to a kind of unity that becomes recognizable upon repeated listens, but no such quality is evident on "Confluence 1." That being said, the track is relaxing and heads and shoulders above other similar songs. I know, however, just how good Potter and Bradley can be and so I am disappointed by the lack of change and difference on this song. "Confluence 2" and "Confluence 3" both suffer from the same problem as "Confluence 1" though in different ways. "Confluence 2" sounds as though it is based on one sound source alone. That source is then pitched, slowed down, and sped up to create different degrees of textural tension and shifting melodies. A few minutes of this sort of thing would be great, but the song is over seventeen minutes long and just drags a bit too much. There are some creepy samples to be found here and there (readily recognizable as slightly morphed versions of sounds that are on "Confluence 1"), but they do little to add to the appeal of the song. "Confluence 3" is the aquatic closer on this record and it is the best of the three tracks. The sounds here are more open, more transformative, and they resonate in a way that creates the sort of ethereal heaviness that always attracts me to Potter's work. The previously silenced noise samples are now front and center and their development works well with the tones that surround them. The churning reminds me of the sound of coffee running through a grinder for some reason (a manual one, not electric) and its wavering quality is very comforting. This record sounds a bit haphazard and unfinished and the very nature of its creation suggests that there could've been more room for development. The album could have certainly used it; it has a lot of potential, but needs to be thought out more carefully. - Lucas Schleicher


Enik, "Without a Bark"
I'm getting quite sick of hearing this familiar thread in music: somone decides to write a melody, throw some neat effects over it, add a splattering of acoustic instrumentation in and call it a great song that borders on the experimental. The truth is, music like Enik's is becoming more and more predictable all of the time. There's nothing courageous or creative about changing the sonic template of rock music by adding cabaret elements and electronic palettes of noise. When the shit hits the fan, the only thing that can save a record like this one is good song-writing. Enik has an obviously enormous range of influences that cover a spectrum from classical and jazz music to the stuttering and sick beat-heavy compositions of electronic music. The problem with this six-song EP is that it never leaves its influences behind and strikes new ground; it never does anything but try to emulate something far too familiar. This fact leaves Without a Bark feeling flashy and without substance. "Chaos the Drug" is a good example of how bad metaphor, melodrama, and overproduction can kill a song. Forget that Enik is actively trying to combine a near-metal vocal tendency with dramatic washes of erratic percussion, typically broken keyboards, and something like a bass guitar stuck on two or three notes and way overplayed; the whole of this song sounds half-assed. It's as though the vocals were meant to be deep and meaningful, but they come away feeling as badly performed as some of Alec Baldwin's early attempts at being an actor. There's passion in Enik's voice, but his delivery doesn't exactly match up with the music. "Tired Heads" suffers from a similar problem. There's a bare piano part being rolled along easily undernearth a toy drum machine sound while Enik croons away like he's talking to a child that's asleep in its baby carriage anyways. I feel like I'm being lied to when I listen to this. Quite frankly I don't believe in whatever whimsical notions Enik might have and that's enough to spoil these 24 minutes of music for me. Without a Bark is most predictable in its attitude and arrangement: Enik wants to be different, so he employs a wide array of musical styles to hide the fact that he doesn't really have any ideas that haven't been used up before. Predictable in its diversity, painfully derivative, and lacking altogether in some appeal that exists beyond its influences, Enik has written an album that will appeal to a lot of people stuck on bad radio, bad television, and bad soundtracks, but there's nothing about it that makes it stand out from the sea of releases already doing the same damn thing. - Lucas Schleicher


We know that our music picks may be somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a community section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on this site.


* The Album Leaf - In A Safe Place CD/LP (City Slang/Labels, Europe)
!!! - Hello? Is This Thing On? 12"/CDEP (Touch & Go, US)
* Adem - Homesongs CD (Domino, US)
Akumu - Fluxes CD (Spider, Canada)
Am-Boy - Clayton's Hideout LP (Wobblyhead, US)
Antigen Shift - Next To Departed CD (Frozen Empire Media, US)
Apoptygma Berzerk - The Harmonizer DVD (Metropolis, US)
Duncan Avoid - Metaphysics CD (Hive, US)
* Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One Is One CD (Astralwerks, US)
Bark Psychosis - Codename:DustSucker CD/LP (Fire, UK)
Bauri - Have No Fear 7" (Expanding, UK)
Broadway Project - Autumn Breaks 12" (Memphis Industries, UK)
Cornershop - Bubbley Kaur 7"/12"/CDEP (Rough Trade, UK)
James T. Cotton - The Dancing Box CD/2xLP (Spectral/Ghostly, US)
DMX Krew - Collapse of the Wave Function LP (Rephlex, UK)
Future Pilot AKA - Love Music Hate Racism 12" (Geographic, UK)
* Diamanda Galąs - La Serpenta Canta 2xCD (Mute, US)
DJ Velasquez/Various - Samba Sunset CD (Nettwerk, Canada)
In The Nursery - A Page of Madness CD (ITN Corporation, UK)
Kings of Convenience - Riot On An Empty Street CD (Astralwerks, US)
Mike Ladd - Nostalgialator CD/LP (Studio !K7, Germany)
Lamia - Dark Angel CD (Metropolis, US)
* M83 - Dead Cities, Read Seas & Lost Ghosts 2xCD/2xLP [2xCD includes bonus material not on original European edition] (Mute, US)
Moby & Public Enemy - Make Love Fuck War 12"/CDEP (Mute, UK)
Myrakaru - Klutic Reso 7" (Expanding, UK)
Osborne - Afrika 12" (Spectral/Ghostly, US)
Pandatone - Lemons and Limes CD (Neo Ouija, UK)
Phoenix - Alphabetical CD/LP (Astralwerks, US)
Prince Po - The Slickness CD/LP (Lex/Warp, US)
* Punto Omega - Punto Omega CD (Metropolis, US)
Radio 4 - Party Crashers 12"/CDEP (Astralwerks, US)
Akira Rabelais - Spellewauerynsherde CD (samadhisound, US)
Paul St. Hilaire - Dr.'s Degree 12" (False Tuned, Germany)
Soft Cell - Non-Stop Exotic Video Show DVD (Sanctuary, UK)
Two Lone Swordsmen - Sex Beat 12"/CDEP (Warp, UK)
Various - Fuck: Hive Records Compilation v.2 CD [with Pneumatic Detach, Converter, Gacky, Exclipsect, Unter Null, Iszoloscope, rec|use, He Would Drown, Lament Configuration, Unitcode:Machine, End, the Synthetic Dream Foundation, Asche, HiV+, Idyl, Railgun, Ou Moins, Synth-Etik and Vectorscope - first 100 copies include bonus CD] (Hive, US)

This is simply this week's highlights from the NEW RELEASES provided by Greg and Feedback Monitor.
For a more detailed schedule stretching into the future, please check out the page,
since release dates can and will often change.

Results from last poll:


this land is your land
Jessica offers her three word review for the week regarding this popular political satire: "sad but cute."


let's not get too personal now

Subject: Hi over there

I need an e-mail contact for contributor Lucas Schleicher, as i'd love to send him some promos for review personally...

Could you please help me...

A lot of thx in advance !

We don't give email addresses out. You may send stuff to our address and request a writer but there's too many bad record labels and bands whose junk e-lists we seem to end up on as is, so no, sorry, that's our policy, end of discussion.

Subject: zounds what sounds?

I love-love-love the Brain, but today“s update is full (I mean really full) of missing MP3s...

Hopefully something can be done about this. Thanks!

Sorry but at the beginning of the week, there's always a chance that there may be a few glitches here and there. We always try and fix them when they're brought to our attention. Always check back later in the week to see if they've been fixed.

Subject: CA

thanks for the nice review of the Charles Atlas stuff!

another great issue of the brain..

always love reading the site. it's super that you go to the trouble of posting clips from the reviewed releases. wish more folks did this.

We were hoping to set some sort of standard but so far it seems only The Wire is copying us as far as their tiny collection of video bits on the web.

Subject: (staff feedback option checked)

Wow, i really like your sounds, really hope i'll get a chance to see you guys live sometime, really excellent!@!!!!!

Yeah, the staff's sounding good these days.

Subject: brainwashed radio

you probably get this alot but why is the bitrate only 32kbps!? i hate it. i love everything played but feel your stream deserves to be heard at a decent quality. do you not agree?

wow. even as i listen now, Nurse With Wound comes on.. they are what brought me to this site.

thank you so much for putting this stuff out there so new interests like me can experience these sounds.

Yeah, sorry, we only get one stream and have to keep it low key so we don't get into trouble.

Subject: hey there

just a quick check to see if the 2 cd's i sent over might receive a review? not rushing, just wondering really, as getting a bit of label interest and setting up the website so chasing a few more comments..

hope all is well, take care and talk soon

We still don't review demos.


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waiting for the fall
Susanna and the Magical Orchestra - "List of Lights and Buoys"
Ilhan Mimaroglu - "Outstanding Warrants"
Legendary Pink Dots - "Crushed Mementos"
Gene Clark - "No Other"
Emmanuel Tuts-Schiemsky - "Rust Voor de Stilte"
Neil Halstead - "Sleeping on Roads"

Jonathan Angler, who claims to be "biding my time in Maryland, waiting (hoping) for the fall of the Bush regime."

feedback and submissions:
Brainwashed Unconventional Conventionalists
P.O. Box 7 / Arlington MA 02476 / USA
electronic mail

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