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Episode 438: October 20, 2019 (guest artist Carla dal Forno)

Carla dal FornoEpisode 438 of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition is live featuring the return of Carla dal Forno

Composer, performer, producer, DJ, and now record label owner Carla dal Forno has returned for a guest spot on the podcast. Her second full-length solo album, Look Up Sharp, is out now on her own Kallista Records. In addition to music from this and the last EP, we also hear music by VVV, The Body, Kreidler, and Dome.

Photo by Samual Davidson

NOW AVAILABLE through SPOTIFY and AMAZON (links below) in addition to the other platforms.

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Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 10/21/2019

New music is due from Pita, Mapstation, and Oiseaux-Tempëte, while old music is due from Psychic TV, The Legendary Pink Dots, and Jeff Mills.

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Bill Orcutt, "Odds Against Tomorrow"

cover imageBill Orcutt's career admittedly had quite an abrasive and chaotic start with Harry Pussy, but it has always been abundantly clear that he is one of the more idiosyncratic and explosive guitar stylists on the planet.  It was not until he started releasing solo albums, however, that I began to feel like he was some kind of outsider genius rather than a room-clearing noise maniac (though I imagine it was impossible to convey any emotion more subtle than "baseball bat to the face" with a human volcano like Adris Hoyos behind the drum kit).  In any case, Orcutt's late-career shift to more intimate, melodic material has been nothing short of a revelation and 2017's self-titled studio album was the brilliant culmination of that evolution.  With this follow-up, Orcutt occasionally hits some similar highs, but Odds Against Tomorrow is more of an intriguing transitional album or lateral move than another instant classic, as he mostly dispenses with playing standards to focus on his own compositions and some very promising experiments with multi-tracking.

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Mára, "Here Behold Your Own"

cover image Following up the limited 2015 release of her solo debut Surfacing, Faith Coloccia’s (also of Mamiffer) latest work is in some ways a continuation of that, but also something new entirely.  With recordings dating back to 2015, Here Behold Your Own captures not only an artist, but a person in transition:  the material was recorded before and mixed after Coloccia gave birth to a son with her Mamiffer/SIGE partner Aaron Turner.  Like revisiting a photo album from many years past, she creates a perfectly somber, yet pleasurably nostalgic mood.

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My Cat is an Alien, "Spiritual Noise, Vol. 2"

cover imageEarlier this year, Maurizio and Roberto Opalio debuted an ambitious new phase of their long-running My Cat is an Alien project with Spiritual Noise. Vol. I.  Appropriately, this sequel is a continuation of that vein, but there is no such thing as a predictable linear progression in the Opalios' universe: each fresh album is like a veil being pulled back to reveal an otherworldly and deeply hallucinatory vista quite unlike anything anyone else has ever recorded.  In fact, this project calls to mind a lonely satellite that just keeps drifting deeper and deeper beyond our solar system, sporadically sending back increasingly haunted and alien images that have no earthly analog.  Naturally, music this unapologetically outré is an acquired taste that can challenge even the most adventurous ears, as there are no recognizable reference points or even nods to Earth-bound modality, but the closing "Silver Glimpses of Infinity" is the closest that the duo have come to comparative accessibility in years…probably.  It is equally likely that listening to so many MCIAA albums has irrevocably rewired my brain at this point and I am now fully desensitized to the more queasy and reality-dissolving elements of their aesthetic.  Either way, it is still quite an amazing piece.

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Todd Anderson-Kunert, "Conjectures"

cover image Compared to the first release I heard from Australian composer Todd Anderson-Kunert, Conjectures is a significantly different piece of work.  A Good Time to Go, from 2018, was an excellent tape of that drew from all different forms of abstract electronic sound art, from elements of rhythm and heavily processed sounds to more conventional synthesizer expanses.  For Conjectures, he takes a more reductive approach.  Using only the massive Moog System 55 modular synthesizer, the result is a very focused, yet dynamic work that showcases both the instrument and the artist.

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John Giorno, 1934-2019

We are devastated by the loss of our brainwashed family member John Giorno.

Giorno was a NYC-based poet, artist, musician, and label owner who founded Giorno Poetry Systems in 1972, initially to release recordings that were served up on the Dial-A-Poem hotline. Over the years, GPS was responsible for issuing numerous collections with words contributed by William S. Burroughs, Anne Waldman, and Jim Carroll and music by Cabaret Voltaire, Coil, Diamanda Galas, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Swans.

Giorno kept active and his current exhibition, Do the Undone, is running through October 26th in NYC.

A wonderful obituary has been published by Art Forum.

We wish his friends and family our deepest sympathies.

 

Carla dal Forno, "Look Up Sharp"

cover imageThe downside to releasing a beloved and perfectly distilled EP like The Garden is that there will eventually have to be a follow-up to it and people will expect it to be every bit as good (if not better) than its predecessor.  That is an unenviable level of creative pressure to be confronted with, but Carla dal Forno seems to have passed through it with grace and aplomb (and even managed to start her own record label along the way).  To her credit, dal Forno was not at all interested in making The Garden II, though her subsequent cover album (Top of the Pops) seems to have provided a rough template, as she has clearly been thinking a lot about what goes into constructing a good and memorable pop song.  Having internalized that, she then wrote a bunch of her own.  In a broad sense, it is very apparent that dal Forno is heavily influenced by the classic minimalist post-punk/indie pop of Young Marble Giants and AC Marias, but the best songs on Look Up Sharp feel like an inspired update rather than a loving homage, as she strikes a truly elegant balance of pared-to-the-bone starkness, muscular bass riffs, casual sensuousness, and understated experimentation.

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Abul Mogard, "Kimberlin"

cover imageThis has been an unusually eclectic and prolific year for Abul Mogard, as he has followed up his first ever remix album (And We Are Passing Through Silently) with his first ever soundtrack album in the form of Kimberlin.  On paper, the transition from Mogard’s usual fare into soundtrack territory makes a lot more intuitive sense than turning him loose on deconstructing Äisha Devi jams, but his innovation in bridging that stylistic gulf was a large part of why Passing was such an absolute left-field delight.  The pleasures of Kimberlin are arguably bit more modest by comparison, as it falls into more expected aesthetic terrain and feels more like an EP than a full-length (by Mogard standards, anyway).  In terms of quality, however, it does not fall at all short of his usual level of sublime mastery, culminating in a final slow-burning epic that can hold its own against any of his previous work.

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Emptyset, "Blossoms"

cover imageNo one can predict which trends or innovations will shape or define the experimental music of the future, but Emptyset's latest bombshell certainly feels like a gloriously bracing vision of one possible path: Blossoms is an album "generated entirely from the output of a neural network-based artificial intelligence system."  While the duo of James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas has always been extremely forward-thinking and experimentally minded, this is the first Emptyset album where it seems like the pair has actually leapt several years ahead of everyone else rather than merely taking existing ideas to unexpected (and sometimes fascinating) extremes.  That said, Blossoms is also a culmination of the same themes that have obsessed Emptyset for years, as the source material comes from recent acoustic improvisations with materials like wood and metal as well as their backlog of more architecturally inspired recordings (though it all ultimately emerges in radically unrecognizable form).  At its best, Blossoms sounds like little else that I have ever heard, evoking a kind of visceral, shape-shifting sci-fi nightmare.

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