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Razen, "The Xvoto Reels"

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cover imageAs a devout fan of drone's weirder fringes, I was casually aware of Razen before this album, but I had never taken the time to dive particularly deeply into their bizarre sonic sorcery: Brecht Ameel & Kim Delcour have historically erred a bit too much on the side of shrillness for my taste.  I certainly admired their frayed, idiosyncratic, and somewhat unhinged approach to the genre, but it still made for a somewhat rough listen.  This latest release, their first for Three:Four, falls quite squarely in my comfort zone though.  For one, there are no bagpipes or modular synths to be found, just an organ and a curious array of traditional acoustic instruments spanning several cultures.  More importantly, the band believes that "a presence" surfaced in the church where they recorded these improvisations and that the resulting tapes were supernaturally altered in some way.  I am not a big believer in the spirit world, but whatever transpired certainly led to a uniquely compelling album, as the best pieces on The Xvoto Reels take ritualistic acoustic drone to a wonderfully hallucinatory and haunting place.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 December 2017 14:34 Read more...
 

Terry Riley, "Persian Surgery Dervishes"

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cover imageFew people have played as crucial a role in shaping the experimental music landscape as Terry Riley, yet his impact and historical significance have not necessarily translated into a discography of timeless classics ("Poppy Nogood" excepted).  This particular reissue, originally released on Shandar back in 1972, still sounds remarkably fresh and contemporary though.  Part of that is pure luck, as we are currently in the midst of an aesthetically similar analog synthesizer renaissance, yet these two improvised performances would probably seem immortal and transcendently consciousness-altering in almost any cultural context.  Though the two pieces take somewhat different paths and evoke different moods, the overall experience is like being present at an organ mass that slowly transforms into a mass hallucination where all the notes bleed and swirl together in a lysergic haze of otherworldly harmony.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 December 2017 14:24 Read more...
 

Gregg Kowalsky, "L'Orange, L'Orange"

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cover imageDate Palms’ Gregg Kowalsky has been atypically quiet over the last several years, as his last solo full-length was 2009's inspired and fitfully mesmerizing Tape Chants.  I am a huge fan of tape loops, so it would have absolutely delighted me if Kowalsky had spent most of the last decade secretly deepening and perfecting that side of his art.  It is certainly possible that he has been, but L'Orange, L'Orange is not Tape Chants II.  Instead, Kowalsky consciously set out to make an album that "felt like a human made it."  He certainly succeeded at that, as L'Orange, L'Orange is a warm, drone-based twist on Date Palms' sun-dappled psychedelia.  Aesthetically, it also shares some common ground with a lot of the Cluster-loving analog synth fare so much in vogue these days, yet the best moments achieve a lushly enveloping, meditative bliss that is uniquely Kowalsky-ian.

Last Updated on Monday, 04 December 2017 14:27 Read more...
 

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
 

High Aura'd, " No River Long Enough Doesn't Contain a Bend"

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cover imageFollowing up an excellent collaboration with Mike Shiflet in 2015, John Kolodij’s latest release as High Aura'd is a further expansion and refinement for his niche carved out in the realm of doomy ambience and electronic experimentation tinged with a hint of folk Americana.  Presented as beautifully as it sounds, No River Long Enough Doesn't Contain a Bend is the right balance of familiar and innovative sounds that are combined expertly.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 November 2017 20:08 Read more...
 


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