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brainwashed

Relay for Death, "Natural Incapacity", "Anxiety of the Eye"

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cover imageRelay for Death, the noise(ish) project of twins Rachal and Roxann Spikula, has a brief but exceptionally bizarre history already.  For their debut release Birth of an Older, Much More Ugly Christ, they used only the materials recorded in their hospital room during a three-month medical study, resulting in an empty, depressing, yet gripping work.  Then, after a five-year hiatus, they released both of these late last year.  The two releases are distinctly different from each other, but both uniquely brilliant and fascinating in their discomfort.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 March 2017 22:33 Read more...
 

Allegory Chapel Ltd., "Without Tears: Noise in Theory & Practice"

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cover imageElden M's recent resurgence as Allegory Chapel Ltd. has nary taken a pause since reappearing three years ago following an 18 year silence.  What might be the most surprising fact, however, is that Without Tears:  Noise in Theory & Practice is actually his first full length vinyl release since the project's inception in 1986, amidst a varied array of tapes and CDs.  This fact obviously has not been lost on him though, because this album is a comprehensive and cohesive work that covers the full gamut of the ACL sound, from the past to the present, presenting a singular and unique artist and his diverse, complex output.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 March 2017 22:33 Read more...
 

Growing, "Disorder"

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cover imageAfter a lengthy six-year hiatus, this long-running bi-coastal duo have unexpectedly resurfaced with a new LP of buzzing, bass-heavy drones.  I am not sure if Disorder necessarily counts as a radical departure given Growing's history of constant re-invention, but it is certainly a remarkably far cry from their last full-length (2010's dance-damaged and sampler-centric PUMPS!).   It also bears little resemblance to the more shimmering and gently psychedelic fare for which Growing is best known.  Instead, the dominant aesthetic seems to be that of Kevin Doria’s recent pure drone work as Total Life, though that vision sounds artfully blurred together with Joe DeNardo's own (noisier) Ornament project, adding some welcome layers of depth and harmonic complexity.  While it does not necessarily recapture the magic of the duo's prime, it makes up for it by opening a promising and surprisingly visceral new chapter.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 March 2017 15:17 Read more...
 

VVV, "Why El Paso Sky"

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cover imageIranian born, Austin raised artist Shawhin Izaddoost’s new release as VVV may, at least superficially, follow the hip-hop derived model of the mix tape as a collection of ideas and unfinished work, but that is not entirely accurate.  Why El Paso Sky feels mostly like a fully polished and realized release.  A combination of rich, complex ambient moments, vintage synth sequences, and strong beats are exceptionally well done on here, with a mix that captures both cerebral production and avant garde sounds with straight ahead physical rhythms and melodies.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 March 2017 22:32 Read more...
 

Oto Hiax

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cover imageAfter first quietly surfacing with a self-released EP back in 2015, this duo of Seefeel's Mark Clifford and Loops Haunt's Scott Gordon make their formal debut with a full-length on Editions Mego.  While hints of both artists' main gigs are evident, this drone-centric and abstract project is very much its own thing.  For the most part, this album is a likeable suite of incidental vignettes built from warm, sustained synth tones, but a handful of pieces transcend that modest aesthetic and delve into admirably novel territory.  If I were being glib, I would describe the highlights as "hauntological drone," but that has misleading dark ambient connotations and does not do Oto Hiax any justice at all.  Instead, I will just say that Clifford and Gordon have found an evocative and subtly haunting way of blurring together dream-like and gently hallucinatory soundscapes with the sharp edges of reality.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 March 2017 15:01 Read more...
 


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