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The Inward Circles, "And Right Lines Limit And Close All Bodies"

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cover imageAs a longtime Richard Skelton fan, I have been watching his recent trajectory with quite a bit of fascination, as he has been restlessly diving into increasingly varied and arcane territory while distancing himself further and further from his brilliant earlier work with each new release.  While there are still some lingering vestiges of that vibrantly harmonic-strewn string work in his *AR project with Autumn Richardson, Skelton's solo work as The Inward Circles is explicitly (and increasingly) intent on exploring an aesthetic of "burial, obfuscation and mythologization."  In fact, The Inward Circles often seems like a rather perverse name, as Skelton has seemingly ceased burrowing inwards and thrown himself into the epic, timeless, and vast.   At times, that newly cosmic scope falls uncomfortably close to dark ambient (a genre that I am generally quite happy to avoid), but it can sometimes yield absolutely crushing and awe-inspiring results as well (Nimrod is Lost).  This latest opus does not quite sustain the lofty heights of some previous Inward Circles classics, but it compensates with a slow-burning majesty that builds to a sustained and wonderful crescendo.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 May 2017 05:45

Brainwashed Is No Longer Accepting Unsolicited Packages

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Due to time and financial constraints Brainwashed is no longer accepting unsolicited packages at the PO Box. (This means if we didn't ask for it, please don't send it.) Unwanted packages will be subject to refusal/return, recycling, or sale. For labels and artists who are interested in having their music covered, there are more details in the Contact Us page.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2011 00:33

Andrew Chalk, "A Light At The Edge Of The World"

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cover imageI was initially planning to write something like "somehow this wonderfully sublime 2015 release managed to slip by me completely unnoticed," but immediately realized that there was no mystery at all: the only effective way to keep abreast of Andrew Chalk's quietly expanding oeuvre is to actively keep an eye on the Faraway Press website and hope that anything I gamble on is up to Chalk's usual high standards.  While a few of his recent releases have admittedly been a bit too pastoral to fully connect with me, the glistening and gently hallucinatory reverie of this single extended piece for electric piano completely hits the mark.  In some ways it reminds me of William Basinski's eroding tape loops or Steve Roach's classic Structures From Silence album, but not in any sort of direct way.  Rather, A Light At The End of The World just feels like a mesmerizing soundscape of almost liquid textures that I could happily listen to an infinite loop for hours.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 May 2017 21:38

Félicia Atkinson, "Hand in Hand"

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cover imageFélicia Atkinson's radical artistic transformation over the last several years has been quite an interesting one, as each new release seems to distance her further and further from her excellent work as Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier and into much stranger and more challenging territory.  With her last major statement, 2015's A Readymade Ceremony, Atkinson shifted the focus away from music towards a strong emphasis on whispered spoken-word performance of repurposed found texts mingled with George Bataille and her own poetry.  Hand in Hand goes still further in that direction, often reducing the accompanying music to an absolute minimum to focus almost entirely on an eclectic and evocative array of hushed readings from old plant books, magazines, JG Ballard, Philip K. Dick, and her own writings.  The overall effect is often wonderfully surreal and intimate, but Atkinson’s hyper constrained and minimal palette does not offer enough melodicism or dynamic variety to quite carry a full album.  A few of the individual pieces, however, are quite mesmerizing (particularly the closing "No Fear But Anticipation").

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 May 2017 21:37

Kara-Lis Coverdale, "Grafts"

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cover imageThis Montreal-based composer/producer/church organist has been quite hard to miss over the last several years, collaborating on Tim Hecker's Virgins album, releasing a cassette on one of my favorite tape labels (Sacred Phrases), and garnering much critical praise with her 2015 collaboration with LXV (Sirens).  For her latest release, she joins the Boomkat Editions series with this brief one-sided vinyl EP.  I am not normally a fan of gimmicky vinyl formats, but that condensed format works wonders for Coverdale, as her earlier releases were a bit too uneven, fitfully pastoral, and diffuse to fully connect with me (even though they all admittedly featured some occasional flashes of brilliance).  With Grafts, however, she distills all of the best aspects of her work into roughly 20 minutes of lushly melodic and dreamily multilayered sustained beauty.  In fact, in some ways, Grafts feels like an inspired negative image of Virgins, reimagining that nerve-jangling opus as a languorous, sensuously flowing, and gently hallucinatory reverie of hazy drones and rippling pianos.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 May 2017 06:42

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