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Forced Exposure New Releases for 10/5/2015

New music is due from Ms. John Soda, Barbara Morgenstern, and Colin Potter, while old music is due from Bruce Haack, Death In June, and Faust.


Drew McDowall, "Collapse"

cover imageSomehow Drew McDowall has managed to be involved with the most interesting fringes of electronic and experimental music for over three decades without ever stepping into the spotlight himself, most notably working with Psychic TV during their ‘80s heyday and teaming up with Coil throughout the '90s.  Lately, he has mostly been quietly focusing on occasional remixes and soundtrack work, though he intermittently records as half of modular synth duo Compound Eye.  Collapse is a bit of modular synth album too, but it sounds almost nothing like Compound Eye.  Instead, it intermittently sounds like a great unfinished Coil album (when it does not instead sound like a collage experiment or a modular synth improv session).


Rambutan, "Remember Me Now", "Surface Language"

cover imageAs two of the more recent works from the prolific Eric Hardiman (who also performs and records as a member of Century Plants, Twilight of the Century, and a slew of other projects), Remember Me Now and Surface Language are distinctly different facets to the Rambutan project.  The former is a diverse collection of instrumentation and sound, from found processed recordings, improvised percussion and guitar.  The latter, however, has a more consistent focus, built from repeating motifs and loops fitting a more tautly structured composition.  Both, however, capture Hardiman’s penchant for bending objects and instruments into often unexplainable sounds, yet result in nuanced compositions of melody and abstraction.


Robert Piotrowicz, "Stara Szkoła Ze Złota"

cover imagePiotrowicz's newest release is a relatively concise 12" single that hearkens back to his early days in a multitude of ways.  The title itself translates as "Old School Made of Gold" in English, and the two songs included were originally recorded in 2010 and 2011 (but remixed this year).  But even more indicative of its throwback nature is the fact that these two pieces were completely composed on modular synthesizers in a more immediate method of composition, rather than the varying techniques he has used in recent years.  The final product is a single that is reminiscent to some of the earliest work I have heard from him, yet feels entirely fresh and contemporary within his discography.


Carter Tutti Void, "f(x)"

cover imageFour long years after their seismic performance at London’s Short Circuit Festival, Carter Tutti Void have finally returned with their first proper studio album.  Equally noteworthy is that fact that f(x) is the first new music to be released by Industrial Records since 2012's Throbbing Gristle/X-TG swan song Desertshore/The Final Report.  Given those circumstances, it would be hard for any record to live up to the resultant expectations, so it is not especially surprising that f(x) falls a bit short of the mark.  The problem is not that the trio were lacking ideas or inspiration, however: they have just backed themselves into a very constrained stylistic niche that cannot realistically yield multiple albums of compelling material.  That said, f(x) is still quite an enjoyable album, even if it is essentially Transverse Redux (albeit with some of the sharper edges sanded down a bit).


John Chantler, "Still Light, Outside"

cover image St. John at Hackney, the parish on Lower Clapton Road in the London Borough of Hackney, was consecrated in 1798. Nineteen years earlier, surveyor Richard Jupp proposed expanding the capacity of the original structure, which was situated to the southwest, where the tower of St. Augustine still stands. The need for more seats, spurred by the church’s convenient location, was supposed to have guaranteed a larger space, but architect James Spiller convinced its trustees that fewer seats and a smaller space would better serve the church’s acoustics. The organ now inside St. John’s, a gorgeous three manual Mander, was installed much later, after May 18th, 1955, when a fire started in the church’s roof, ate through its galleries and pews, and finally consumed the original organ built by George Pike England. Stockholm’s Elektronmusikstudion EMS, where John Chantler assembled and recorded a portion of Still Light, Outside, was constructed nine years later, in 1964. The other portion of his album was recorded at St. John’s, on the three manual Mander. Chantler’s music is loud, physically powerful, and spacious, as evocative of material, location, and history as it is of composition. It is, in an obvious way, a combination of the new and old, but also a model for the passing of time and the endurance of sound.


Natural Snow Buildings, "Terror's Horns"

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After an unusually lengthy period of relative silence, Natural Snow Buildings have returned with a significant departure from much of their previous work.  Well, a departure in some ways, at least–both the songs and the entire album are unexpectedly brief and concise.  Also, the most memorable pieces eschew the duo's usual drone and "haunted folk" tendencies in favor of something resembling a lysergic, nightmarish Ennio Morricone score or an imaginary soundtrack to a Jodorowsky film.  Otherwise, everything great about the duo thankfully remains, as comparative accessibility has done nothing to lessen Mehdi Ameziane and Solange Gularte’s characteristic spell of haunting and timeless otherworldliness.  This is definitely one of the more essential Natural Snow Buildings albums.


Pinkcourtesyphone, "Sentimental Something"

cover imageSurprisingly Sentimental Something is the first vinyl album release from Richard Chartier’s less aesthetically academic, but brilliantly ambiguous Pinkcourtesyphone project.  The music, with all its 1950s and '60s kitsch trappings and imagery, is no less complex and just as rich and beautiful as his self-titled work.  Regardless of the format, these three compositions continue PCP’s penchant for generating hazy landscapes of frigid tones and obtuse worlds of sound.


Dean McPhee, "Fatima's Hand"

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Dean McPhee has been eerily quiet for the last few years, releasing nothing since his 2011 debut LP (Son of the Black Peace) on Blast First Petite.  With Fatima's Hand, he resurfaces in the familiar environs of Hood Faire, the label he co-runs with Sam McLaughlin and Folklore Tapes' David Orphan.  Musically, however, little has changed: McPhee basically picks up right where he left off, quietly and languorously crafting sublime solo electric guitar reveries that sound like absolutely no one else.  Fatima's Hand is not exactly more of the same though.  While McPhee's evolution is unquestionably a slow and nuanced one, his latest work burrows deeper into untraveled terrain as his assimilation of disparate influences such as dub and Moroccan Trance becomes increasingly fluid and seamless.


Marreck, "Yuda"

cover imageMichael Hann’s work as Marreck has always kept one foot on the dance floor, and the other in uglier, noisier realms.  Computerized beats and programmed synthesizer leads abound, but always under a distinctly dissonant, corroded cloud of production that makes his work stand out distinctly.  For his new vinyl EP, Yuda, he shifts that balance more towards the aforementioned ugly side of his work, but never fully abandons his techno inclinations on these five increasingly chaotic compositions.

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