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Brainwashed Premiere: Scratched Glass, "Two"

cover imageBrainwashed is happy to premiere the first song (and video) from Scratched Glass's new release, Two, due out July 7 on Negative Capability.  The duo of Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf and Jonathan Lukens are both multimedia artists, and this is evident on "Duet".  The video's pulsating, digital/organic hybrid visuals perfectly accompany the sound:  a lush mixture of warm, surging tones and skeletal beats that are hypnotic from beginning to end.  The nine song album will be released on cassette (limited to 100 copies) and digital, and mastered by Lawrence English.

Check out the video here.

An exclusive preview of the album is available to stream here.

Physical and digital pre-orders are available now through Bandcamp.

 

Podcast Episode 359: June 25, 2017

Shelleyan OrphanWe are joined by Jem of Shelleyan Orphan for the latest Brainwashed Radio podcast edition. There's a new boxed set available collecting their first three albums remastered plus a disc of rarities and a DVD. Additional music comes from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Richard H. Kirk, Psychic TV, and ADULT. (with Michael Gira).


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Forced Exposure New Releases for 6/26/2017

New music is due from Porter Ricks, Roots In Heaven, and Terry, while old music is due from Ersen, Split Decision Band, and Voigt/465.

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Richard H. Kirk, "Dasein"

cover imageThe usually prolific Richard H. Kirk has been unsurprisingly quiet as of late.  Playing shows as Cabaret Voltaire again (which I have conflicted feelings about) and a small reissue campaign via Mute and Die Stadt has been about the extent of his recent activity. Which, admittedly, is odd from a man who used to make up projects just to fill out his own solo compilation albums. So when first hearing about the new material that makes up Dasein being released, I was eager but unsure what to expect. Thankfully, the hiatus has done nothing to deter Kirk, who has put together yet another exceptional work of his own take on electronic music, and one that channels moments from his entire career.

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Keiji Haino, "Watashi Dake?"

cover imageThis is the debut release from Peter Kolovos's Black Editions, an imprint embarking upon the ambitious and necessary task of reissuing classic albums from Japan’s legendary and defunct P.S.F. label.  Naturally, Kolovos wanted to start with a bang, making Watashi Dake? an obvious choice: originally released back in 1981, it is the first solo release from the mercurial and iconic Keiji Haino.  Spontaneously composed at night in a completely dark studio (presumably while wearing sunglasses), these hermetic, haunted, and idiosyncratic songs make for quite a challenging and uncomfortable listen, but that is precisely the point: for better or worse, there is nothing else on earth quite like Watashi Dake?

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Can, "The Singles"

cover imageI must admit to still being a bit perplexed by this release.  Can, for all their greatness, were never really a singles band.  Most of those that were issued were edits of album material, so there is little exclusive material to be had here, barring said edits, which usually just remove material rather than presenting it in an appreciably different way, and a handful of non-album material.  However, when viewed as a career overview or sampler (something essentially replacing those Cannibalism compilations), it is a different matter, and the set provides a good opportunity to revisit the latter, often maligned recordings.

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Tor Lundvall, "Nature Laughs as Time Slips By"

cover imageFor his third boxed set on the label since 2011, prolific ambient artist Tor Lundvall collects another four previously released (but limited) albums and a rarities compilation into a diverse sounding, yet thematically unified collection.  Essentially the soundtrack for virtual environments, such as rainy days or visiting a park, Nature Laughs as Time Slips By is another suite of beautiful, if often melancholy instrumental music that covers the vast spectrum of Lundvall’s beautiful work.

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Brainwashed Premiere, Marker "Follow it Down"

cover imageWe at Brainwashed are delighted to pair with Medical Records to debut "Follow It Down" from Marker.  For his first full-length release under that name, New Orleans' own Mike Wilkinson takes the standard guitar/bass/drum sound, mutates it, and then reassembles it brilliantly on this self-titled debut.  "Follow It Down" is an excellent sampler of what will be on next month’s album.  Blissfully demolished guitar sounds are mixed with upfront bass lines to create a hazy fog in which a steady drum machine and Wilkinson's lonely, isolated vocals slowly glide through.  He brilliantly shuffles the mix around, and allows it to dissolve into an ecstatic wall of sound, with shards of melody still shining through the otherwise comfortable, yet impenetrable abyss.  Look for the full album from Marker in mid-July.

Click here to stream "Follow It Down" via SoundCloud

 

Bill Orcutt, "Bill Orcutt"

cover imageLike many, I picked up Bill Orcutt's self-released solo guitar debut (New Ways to Pay Old Debts) back in 2009 and was completely floored by its idiosyncratic primitivism.  There was nothing on earth quite like it, as it captured visionary art in its rawest, purist form: Orcutt was a virtuosic dervish violently attacking a four-string acoustic guitar, howling and moaning along when the mood struck him.  It sounded positively feral.  It also sounded like it was composed spontaneously and recorded into a boom box (it was even periodically disrupted by ringing phones and passing trucks).  In a perverse way, it was almost too perfect–I never got around to picking up any of Orcutt's follow-ups on Editions Mego because it seemed like there was nowhere to go from the demonic possession supernova of his first salvo.  As it turns out, I was wrong about that, as Orcutt has spent the ensuing years moving in a more melodic direction.  This latest release is a culmination of that evolution, as Orcutt picked up an electric guitar, headed to an actual studio, and recorded a suite of originals and standards.  If that sounds tame, it is not: Orcutt's biting and percussive renditions of chestnuts like "When You Wish Upon A Star" are every bit as explosive as I would want them to be, but the (slightly) stronger emphasis on melody goes a long way towards making Orcutt's vision a bit more conducive to repeat listening.

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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, "On the Echoing Green"

cover imageWhen I first heard the absolutely gorgeous lead single ("A Song of Summer") from On The Echoing Green, I started salivating immediately about the prospect of an entire album in that vein, as it seemed like Cantu-Ledesma had finally transformed his experimental guitar shimmer into pure dreampop/shoegaze heaven (a direction he had been headed for a while).  One thing I failed to fully register at the time, however, was that the delirious pop bliss of "A Song of Summer" was stretched out for a very un-pop eleven goddamn minutes.  That curious and arguably self-sabotaging decision more or less summarizes this entire release, as Echoing Green is not so much a dreamy and hook-filled pop masterpiece so much as it is yet another characteristically abstract and experimental guitar album from Jefre (albeit one with a handful of riffs and melodies that plenty of more accessible artists would happily kill for).  That said, the few fully formed songs capture Cantu-Ledesma at the absolute peak of his powers, even if Echoing Green as a whole falls shy of the lushly beautiful pop breakthrough that it could have been.

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Review of the Day

radian, "juxtaposition"
Thrill Jockey
Radian's third full-length album is an unexpected (and excellent) surprise, appearing only months after the releases of Ballroom by Trapist (Martin Brandlmayr with Martin Siewert and Joe Williamson) and Die Instabilität der Symmetrie (the collaboration of Brandlmayr and Siewert with Werner Dafeldecker and Stefan Németh) and mere months before Jealousy and Diamond, the Kranky debut of the band Autistic Daughters (Brandlmayr and Dafeldecker with Dean Roberts). Juxtaposition is a seemingly appropriate name for the album as the recordings were completed in a process which is nearly backwards to what would seem most logical: beginning with the synths and electronics (in Vienna) and completed with the recording of live drums and bass guitar (by John McEntire in Chicago). Unsurprisingly with two drummers (Brandlmayer and McEntire) having so much influence on the album, it's a very rhythmically charged record. "Shift" opens the album with an aggressive tune of driving percussion over chopped up electronics. Even here on the first track, the brushes of cymbals and thud of the real bass guitar combined with the forward melodic motion are sounds I've wanted to hear come out of this scene for years. These are the elements that make the perfect use of the last ten years of laptopery. Sure, those Mego and Raster-Noton acts had good sound patches but the picture was always incomplete without good composition and variety. Juxtaposition is more of a pop record than the other releases in this blossoming scene, as it's comprised of nine approximately five-minute songs instead of four-five 10-20 minute long pieces like some of the aforementioned records. The instrumentation remains a consistent well-balanced interplay between the three musical elements (drums, bass guitar, and electronics) while the variants from song to song are of tempo and structure. While the sounds themselves aren't completely natural, it's not an alien pop concept to have an upbeat tune (like "Transistor") followed by the downbeat song ("Helix") and a subsequent droning bit ("Ontario") before launching into another upbeat jam ("Tester"). I'm now even more eager to hear the upcoming Autistic Daughters release and am increasingly anxious to see some of these people live but whether or not this blossoming scene has caught on well enough to bring them over is yet to be seen. 

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