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Podcast Episode 397: November 11, 2018

Nathalie, Street Lights, Lausanne, Switzerland We proudly present episode #397 of Brainwashed Radio: The Podcast Edition for your listening pleasure.

It's a focus on music of 1998 that should be considered while we're taking the time to vote in the Brainwashed Readers Poll 1998 Re-count. Music in this episode includes Cosey Fanni Tutti, Jessica Bailiff, Little Annie, Monade, Françoiz Breut, Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke, Malka Spigel, Neotropic, Lisa Germano, Solex, Kristin Hersh, Ms. John Soda, Sally Doherty and the Sumacs, and Diamanda Galás

This episode's picture of street lights in Lausanne, Switzerland comes to us from Nathalie.

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1998 Re-count: Voting Round is Open

Dust off those CDs and fanzines, the Brainwashed Annual Readers Poll 1998 Re-count is taking place right now.

Voting Round Is Open until November 20

Look for the results will be posted shortly thereafter, and then get ready for 1997 nomination and voting rounds!

Thanks to everyone who has already voted.




Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 11/12/2018

New music is due from Current 93, Demdike Stare, and Jon Spencer, while old music is due from The Fall, Frank Zappa, and Takehisa Kosugi.


Beast, "Ens"

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Beast is the latest guise of Mountains' Koen Holtkamp, initially created as a solo project that was performance-based and centered around his experiments with 3D laser projections.   For Beast's Thrill Jockey debut, however, Holtkamp was very much NOT in performance mode, as Ens was recorded around the birth of his first child and is far more shaped by that event and the resultant lack of sleep than it is by his fascination with light.  Unsurprisingly, the resulting album is a strange and fragmented one, shifting from tender, pastoral reveries to eruptions of euphoria to dazzling and sublime displays of compositional prowess on a song-by-song basis. While a few pieces are a bit too straightforwardly pretty for my curmudgeonly ears, Holtkamp has long been one of the most intriguing synth composers in the game and that has not changed.  His revelatory flashes of inspiration may be intermittent here, but there are definitely impressive when they happen.  The opening "Paprika Shorts" is easily one of the best pieces Holtcamp has recorded to date.


Ian William Craig, "Thresholder"

cover imageThis latest slice of heaven from Ian William Craig has quite a curious provenance, as it was assembled from orphaned pieces dating all the way back to 2014's landmark A Turn of Breath.  As such, it is not exactly the proper follow-up to Centres, yet it is every bit as great as I would expect such an album to be.  Notably, Thresholder is far from a collection of disconnected outtakes and middling material, as the pieces are all roughly tied to a commission work relating to quantum physics and space.  As befits such an inspiration, Thresholder very much focuses on Craig's more experimental and abstract side, unfolding as a hallucinatory and dreamlike collage of woozily swooning angelic vocals in a crackling sea of distressed tape loops and hiss.  If Centres is the album where Craig's gift for songcraft came into full bloom, this is the companion piece that illustrates the full depth of his textural and production brilliance.


Dead Can Dance, "Dionysus"

cover imageThis second release from the recently reawakened Dead Can Dance is quite a delightful surprise, radically departing from its uneven predecessor and displaying a striking degree of creative reinvigoration.  Rather than another stab at recreating classic DCD fare like Aion, Dionysus is a conceptually rich and structurally inventive plunge deep into the folklore and spirit of Dionysian rituals and festivals.  An intriguing concept does not necessarily lead to an intriguing album, of course, but Dionysus finds Dead Can Dance at the peak of their instrumental powers, unfolding as feast of wonderfully vibrant rhythms, esoteric instrumentation, and inspired arrangements.  It is quite a remarkable and improbable achievement, as it sounds very little like prime Dead Can Dance, yet absolutely feels like prime Dead Can Dance.  If Dionysus had come out in the band’s golden age of the late '80s and early '90s, there would most certainly be a small but devoted contingent of fans that viewed it as dark horse contender for the duo's finest album.


Francisco López, "Untitled #360"

cover imageThe three movements of Untitled #360 stand out distinctly in Francisco López’s recent body of work, largely due to their sheer sense of force and chaos.  With scant information as far as source material goes, my best guess is that he plundered sound effects libraries, especially those aimed at action and horror film productions, to construct this lengthy composition.  Rather than radically processing these sources, he instead focuses on layering and arranging them (with tasteful amounts of treatment) to create a tense, audio-only pseudo-narrative that is among the most aggressive and harsh that I have heard from him.


Hardy Fox (1945-2018)

We are saddened by the loss of Hardy Fox of The Residents.

Our hearts go out to all of Hardy's friends and family and thank him for his years of the weird and absurd.

From The Residents Web site:

It is with with great sorrow and regret that The Cryptic Corporation announces the passing of longtime associate, Hardy Fox. As president of the corporation from 1982-2016, the company benefited from Hardy's instinct for leadership and direction, but his true value came from his longtime association with The Residents. As the group's producer, engineer, as well as collaborator on much of their material, Fox's influence on The Residents was indelible; despite any formal training, his musicality was nevertheless unique, highly refined and prolific. Blessed with a vital sense of aesthetics, a keen ear, and an exquisite love of the absurd, Hardy's smiling face was a constant source of joy to those around him. He will be missed.

After a series of recent health problems, Hardy succumbed to a brief illness. He is survived by his husband, Steven Kloman.


Current 93, "The Light Is Leaving Us All"

cover imageThis long-gestating new release from David Tibet and his shifting orbit of collaborators is an unexpected late-career throwback to the dazzling and immersive epics of Current 93's golden age.  In Tibet's parlance, it is common for recordings and performances to be described as "channelings" and that seems especially appropriate for The Light Is Leaving Us All, which at times feels like it effortlessly transcends time and space and dissolves reality to open a fleeting portal into an alternate world swirling with unknowable mystery, unearthly beauty, and ineffable sadness.  At its best, this album feels like a motley and wild-eyed caravan of minstrels, actors, and puppeteers unexpectedly appeared in a medieval town to share a vividly haunting, hallucinatory, and deeply eschatological fairy tale that will be the last thing that any of the villagers ever hear.


Puce Mary, "The Drought"

cover imageFrederikke Hoffmeier has been a prominent and distinctive voice in the harsh noise scene for the last several years, releasing a steady stream of viscerally throbbing nightmares primarily on Denmark's Posh Isolation label.  With this latest release, however, Hoffmeier makes her debut for PAN.  More significantly, The Drought also marks a significant leap forward in Hoffmeier's artistry, as a recent residency at MONOM in Berlin completely transformed the way she thought about both space and evoking a strong sense of place.  The result of those revelations is something that transcends Puce Mary's noise roots to arrive at a place that is considerably more unique, sensuous, and intimate, though no less disturbing.  Hoffmeier is still an absolutely brilliant purveyor of violent, jagged squalls of noise, but she is now quite a bit better at focusing those eruptions for maximum impact.

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