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Forced Exposure New Releases for 7/6/2015

New music is due from Strategy, DAT Politics, and The Fear Ratio (Mark Broom and James Ruskin), while old music is due from Qluster, Nico Fidenco, and Surgeon.

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Thighpaulsandra, "The Golden Communion"

The Golden Communion cover art

September 2015 will see the release of Thighpaulsandra's 7th full length album The Golden Communion, his first since 2006's The Lepore Extrusion. Well over a decade in the making, this is his debut for Editions Mego. It comprises 10 new songs, running well over two hours with individual pieces clocking in between 4 and 28 minutes. Featured musicians on the album include regular collaborators Martin Schellard and Sion Orgon, plus the odd guest/ghost from bands Thighpaulsandra has worked with in the past.

If you have heard any of Thighpaulsandra's previous albums, you will know that you'd best approach this record with no fixed set of expectations, because once again he changes genres and defies easy classification, sometimes more than once within one song. Drawing on his long-time background as a key member in such diverse groups as Coil, Spiritualized and Julian Cope's  band (in each case arguably at the height of their creative prowess) and his work as producer and sound engineer for an even larger variety of customers, you'll find classical passages next to hard rock riffing, krauty experimental work-outs turning into super catchy, almost radio-friendly songs and more.

Many adjectives have been used to describe Thighpaulsandra’s work: epic, challenging, timeless, idiosyncratic, but certainly never predictable or boring.

Possibly his most rewarding album yet and a welcome and unusual entry, in the Mego catalogue, which will entertain and astonish listeners who are fond of having their mind severely altered by sound.

More information can be found here.

 

Junko/Sachiko, "Vasilisa the Beautiful"

cover imageInitially I was not sure what to expect from this pairing.  I know Sachiko's solo work can be a varying mix of beauty and ugly, and Junko via Hijokaidan, which is always intensely, yet brilliantly abrasive.  On Vasilisa the Beautiful, harshness is the clear winner.  Two vocal performances of raw throated dissonance over a bed of electronics, recorded live, makes for anything but an easy album to listen to.

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Luciernaga, "To the Centre of the City in the Night", "Tile II"

cover imageWith these two near-simultaneous releases, Joao Da Silva's Luciernaga takes two different approaches to his not quite noise, not quite musical.  To the Centre of the City in the Night is the more fleshed out release, with its five pieces running the gamut from bowed string drones to harsher electronics.  Tile II, a follow up to the similarly titled release from last year is more immediate, which is fitting a super-limited tape and free digital release.  They are two sides of the same coin, with both being enthralling in their own ways.

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Granite Mask, "Her Venomous Hiss"

cover imageWith only a handful of releases available, Granite Mask is quite an enigma.  Little information about the project can be found online, and the artwork on their output is abstract to stay the least.  The lack of information is fitting their murky, abstract sound, which does a brilliant job of mixing conventional electronic rhythms with dissonant, abstract blasts of noise.

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Tim Robertson, "Outer Planetary Church Music"

cover imageI hate to throw around the woefully overused phrase "great lost album," but Aguirre stumbled onto something quite amazing with this record.  I have no idea if Tim Robertson is still involved in music at all these days, but in his teens he was a church organist who traveled the world with his missionary parents.  After returning to Barcelona following a few years in Africa, he bought a four-track and spent two years obsessed with the idea of creating music "for future temples on Neptune and Saturn."  Eventually, that bizarre phase passed and Tim threw out all of his recordings except for two tapes, which he gave to his (presumably bewildered) parents as a gift.  Roughly 20 years later, those surreal experiments have now publicly surfaced thanks to a chance meeting in a thrift store.  This is "outsider" music for sure, but its guileless simplicity and elegiac beauty nevertheless place it very high in the pantheon of early New Age fringe-dwellers.

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THU20, "Vroeg Werk"

cover imageInitially founded as a side project of Club Rialto, with the line-up expanded over time to include the likes of Roel Meelkop and Frans de Waard (so a veritable who’s-who of Dutch experimental music), THU20 has been sporadically active since their formation almost 30 years ago.  This set collects compilation pieces and unreleased live performances largely from the 1980s and early 1990s, and acts as an excellent overview of this period, while still managing to compliment their studio albums.

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Phil Maggi, "Motherland"

cover imageDuring their prime, Zoviet France pioneered a strain of music variously known as either ethno-ambient or sci-fi tribal, but they quickly moved on and nobody since has quite been able to quite fill the resultant void for me.  Others have certainly tried, but they usually have an "overwrought" or "overproduced" feel that dispels whatever illusion they are trying to evoke.  Consequently, I was absolutely delighted to find out about Phil Maggi and his eerie, mesmerizing, and loop-based sound collages.  Maggi's aesthetic is exactly what I was looking for, particularly on 2011's Ghost Love.  His similarly fine (if not even better) new album is a travelogue of sorts, culled from field recordings and snatches of traditional music accumulated during a 2011 trip through Umbria, Italy.

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BOAN, "Mentiras"

cover imageMentiras may be BOAN's first release, but the duo of vocalist Mariana Saldaña and José Cota (who also record as SSLEEPERHOLD) previously made up two thirds of Medio Mutante, who also mined similar classic synth-centric sounds.  Working exclusively with classic equipment and embracing the limitations of such, the result is a wonderfully vintage feeling album of five songs that capture an era while having their own unique identity at the same time.

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Yen Pox, "Between the Horizon and the Abyss"

cover imageThis sort of dark, atmospheric work has always been a favorite of mine, but too often I find the records hard to discern from one another.  Between the Horizon and the Abyss does not have this problem at all, because while there is a consistency from piece to piece, it is far from monochromatic.  Each individual composition has a distinct sound and mood that makes for a dynamic, ever changing piece of music.  That variation from piece to piece is where this album excels.

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Piano Magic, "Open Cast Heart"

Since their formation in 1996, the only thing that has stayed the same about Piano Magic is how much they've changed. That and Glen Johnson, the only fixture of the group, which includes a revolving door lineup of musicians who come and go like breathing over the course of the project's numerous albums, EPs, soundtracks and compilations.


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