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brainwashed

Phil Western, 1971-2019

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Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Phil Western. Western was a member of Download (along with Cevin Key, Mark Spybey, and Dwayne Goettel), Frozen Rabbit, and recorded solo as Philth and under his own name. His family has issued the following statement:

"It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we, Phil's family, want to make this official announcement of his death this past week. The family are awaiting the Coroner's investigation into an official time and cause of death but we believe it was an accidental overdose. We will update when we receive further information. Phil was loved by so many of us. He was funny, intelligent, deep, creative and so many other wonderful things. We will miss him more than we could ever accurately convey. Much love to all those who are grieving with us. Phil's family xo"

 

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 4/8/2019

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New music is due from Snowdrops, Rosalind Hall, and Psyk, while old music is due from Claire Singer, Gary Davis, and Agitation Free.

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The Gamelan of the Walking Warriors

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cover imageMy fascination with the Sublime Frequencies and Nonesuch Explorer labels goes back many years, but it has been quite a long time since I have been properly floored by a revelatory feat of ethnological scavenging or scholarship.  I was starting to worry that my ears had lost their capacity for wonder until this 2017 gem from France’s eclectic Akuphone label belatedly crossed my path.  Unsurprisingly, the compiler (Vincenzo Della Ratta) previously surfaced on SF with 2016’s Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo and this album returns to a similar theme, swapping out the funeral music of Borneo for that of Bali.  Only part of this album covers field recordings of Balinese funerals, however, as the other half is culled from some truly visceral and mesmerizing rehearsal space recordings of the more contemporary and visionary Dharma Shanti Orchestra.  Both sides have certainly their appeal, but it is exclusively the Dharma Shanti material that makes the leap from "this is interesting and unique traditional music" to "this is what I desperately want the music of the future to sound like."

Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2019 07:22 Read more...
 

Celer, "Xièxie"

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cover imageIt would be great if there was some simple way for casual Celer fans like myself to easily distinguish Will Long's major statements from the ceaseless flow of minor releases, but there seem to be glaring exceptions to every system that I have attempted to devise.  In the case of Xièxie, however, Long helpfully took the guesswork out of the matter, as this might be the most heavily promoted album that he has ever released.  Happily, his instincts have proven to be well-founded, as Xièxie definitely ranks among the upper tier of his overwhelming oeuvre.  I would probably stop short of calling it a start-to-finish masterpiece or my personal favorite Celer album, but I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone else churning out ambient/drone music as enveloping and sublimely lovely as Xièxie's bookends.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2019 07:16 Read more...
 

Sarah Davachi, "Pale Bloom"

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cover imageSarah Davachi’s tireless campaign to subvert expectations with each fresh release shows no signs of slowing down, as the label-hopping composer's latest opus partially revisits her formative years as an aspiring pianist.  While it would be fair to characterize Pale Bloom as “neo-classical” and a logical progression from 2018's Gave in Rest, Davachi has never been content with pastiche, reverent homage, or returning to previously covered territory.  Instead, she seems like an artist increasingly unfixed in time, drawing from the past to give her forward-thinking experiments in harmonies and overtones a foundation that feels temporally ambiguous and self-assuredly independent of contemporary music trends.  While there is not any particular piece on Pale Bloom that makes it tower above any of its predecessors, it is unquestionably a uniformly strong collection of new work that studiously avoids the familiar and hints at intriguing new directions to come.

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 April 2019 18:25 Read more...
 


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