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Podcast Episode 386: July 15, 2018

Jesse, trees, Gainesville, FL Brand New Episode is available featuring new and old music from Datashock, Midwife, Jemh Circs, Nurse With Wound & Faust, Anne Guthrie, Simon Crab, Expo '70, and My Cat Is An Alien.

Special thanks to Jesse for his picture from Gainesville, FL.


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Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 07/16/2018

New music is due from Laurie Tompkins and Oliver Coates, Simon Love, and Syclops, while old music is due from Peter Christopherson, Mika Vainio and Franck Vigroux, and Fennesz.

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Tim Hecker, "Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again"

cover imageNewly reissued on Kranky, Haunt Me, Haunt Me Do It Again was Tim Hecker's remarkably fine debut album under his own name (he had previously been releasing techno as Jetone).  Revisiting it now as a long-time Hecker fan, I find it still stands up as a great album, yet there is surprisingly little about it that presages the visionary career that would follow in its wake.  At the time of their release, both Haunt Me (2001) and its follow-up (Radio Amor) merely felt like a couple of the better albums to emerge from a thriving generation of glitch-inspired, laptop-wielding artists centered roughly around Mille Plateaux.  As such, Haunt Me was very much an album of its time, but that time was truly a golden age of experimental music: this debut was just one of many enduring gems from a period where it seemed like the flood of crucial albums from Fennesz, Colleen, Jim O'Rourke, Oval, Ryoji Ikeda, Alva Noto, and others was never going to end.

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Legendary Pink Dots, "Any Day Now"

cover imageFirst released on Play It Again Sam back in 1987 and newly reissued on Metropolis, Any Day Now is one of the jewels of The Legendary Pink Dots' '80s discography.  Sadly, I was far too busy scouring Circus for Guns N' Roses news to notice it when it first surfaced and only started to delve into the Dots' catalog in the mid-'90s.  As a result, Any Day Now was already 25 years old by the time I eventually heard it as part of the Dots' ambitious remastering campaign a few years back.  In some respects, I suppose Any Day Now felt a bit dated in places when I finally heard it, but I was far more struck by how vibrant and fleshed-out the band sounded as a six-piece (the violin of Patrick Wright is especially delightful).  I am hesitant to say that The Legendary Pink Dots once "rocked," but the full-band aesthetic of that era was certainly quite a different experience than the more distilled and Ka-Spel-centric fare of recent years.  Both eras have their share of highlights, certainly, but Any Day Now captures The Legendary Pink Dots at their most lively, playful, and hook-minded, largely excising all of their most indulgent tendencies to craft an incredibly endearing suite of psych-pop gems.  This is a legitimate classic.

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Marisa Anderson, "Cloud Corner"

cover imageMarisa Anderson has quietly been one of the most reliably excellent solo guitarists around for years, slowly amassing a fine discography of limited releases that occasionally get a well-deserved reissue.  The handful that I have heard, however, do not quite capture the full extent of Anderson's powers, as it has historically been very easy to lump her in with the overcrowded post-Fahey milieu.  On Cloud Corner, her Thrill Jockey debut and most high-profile release to date, she simultaneously celebrates and transcends her folk/blues origins, drawing in Spanish and Taureg influences and fleshing out her sound with a host of effects, added instrumentation, and overdubs.  It is remarkable how much difference making full use of a studio can make: Anderson's virtuosity and gift for strong melodies remain as delightful as ever, but her work has never sounded quite this vibrant, varied, and evocative.  Cloud Corner is definitely Anderson's finest release to date (and occasionally also the best album that Six Organs of Admittance never recorded).

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Abul Mogard, "Above All Dreams"

cover imageIt was quite an unexpected and delightful surprise to get a new Abul Mogard full-length, as the unprolific Serbian composer seems to only record one or two new pieces each year (ones that get released, anyway).  Apparently, Above All Dreams took three years to make though, so I guess that fits with Mogard's extremely considered approach and rigorous quality control.  Characteristically, Dreams is yet another absolutely wonderful release, but it is a bit of a departure from what I expected in some ways and it took me several listens to fully warm to it: Dreams feels more like an immersive, slow-burning epic than a batch of instantly gratifying individual highlights.  As such, this release is probably not the ideal entry point to Mogard's vision for newcomers, but devotees will find a lot to love about these transcendent reveries, as this album packs a lot of quiet intensity once its depths are fully revealed.

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Mark Van Hoen, "Invisible Threads"

cover imageMark Van Hoen's latest album is the result of a series of live performances with other Touch luminaries, such as Simon Scott and Philip Jeck, that he participated in all throughout 2016.  This experience manifests itself in a somewhat different than expected way on Invisible Threads, because this final result is purely a solo work.  However, it was these previous collaborations and performances that lead to Van Hoen approaching the record from different perspectives and with a variety of instrumentation, resulting in a diverse, yet overall uniform sounding album.

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Novi_sad, "International Internal Catastrophes"

cover image The latest work by Thanasis Kaproulias, like 2016's Sirens, is the audio component of a larger, more multimedia focused piece of art.  The other half, a film by Isaac Niemand, is not included this time around, however.  These two distinct audio pieces are unified and based on field recordings in two very different locations, the first being the natural climate of Iceland, and the second from New York City.  Even with the different sources, both pieces fit together wonderfully, with a harsher first half and a more pensive second.

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Alva Noto/Ryuichi Sakamoto, "Glass"

cover imageCarsten Nicolai and Ryuichi Sakamoto have a fairly lengthy history of collaborations, but this is an especially fascinating (if brief) one: an improvised performance in Philip Johnson’s legendary Glass House that coincided with the opening of a Yayoi Kusama installation.  A lot of the appeal unsurprisingly lies in the duo's process, as they used the house itself as an instrument, contact mic’ing the walls and rubbing them with rubber mallets.  However, Glass is also quite beautiful as a pure listening experience, striking an absorbing balance between ghostly ambiance and a crystalline and glittering rain of slow-motion glass fragments.

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Will Long, "Long Trax 2"

cover image Unsurprisingly, Long Trax 2 sounds like a direct continuation of the first album Will Long (Celer) issued in 2016.  Self-described as a "house" album, Long’s interpretation of the classic genre takes some liberties with expectations as far as the style goes.   Sure, the rhythms are there and the primary focus, but Long filters the standard facets of the style through his minimalist approach to sound he established in the ambient space of Celer, resulting in a meditative album that is far more calm than club friendly.

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Review of the Day

Jacob Kirkegaard, "Four Rooms"
A man of extremes, Kirkegaard’s last Touch record was noisescapes recorded in the Earth’s crust. Four Rooms is a record of silent feedback, silence played back into more silence, in four rooms in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
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