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Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 4/22/24

New music is due from Einstürzende Neubauten, Catherine Graindorge, and Six Organs of Admittance, while older music is due from Klaus Schulze, Pauline Oliveros, and Ghost.

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51 Hits

HTRK Europe
May. 17, 2024
Berlin, Germany
remind me
May. 18, 2024
Praha, Czech Republic
remind me
May. 19, 2024
Warszawa, Poland
remind me
May. 22, 2024
Paris, France
May. 23, 2024
Gent, Belgium
remind me
May. 24, 2024
Bristol, United Kingdom
remind me
May. 25, 2024
Brixton, United Kingdom
remind me
May. 26, 2024
London, United Kingdom
remind me
May. 30, 2024
Barcelona, Spain
remind me
Jun. 1, 2024
Marseille, France
remind me
Jun. 2, 2024
Bruxelles, Belgium
remind me
Jun. 8, 2024
Melbourne, Australia
remind me
363 Hits

Soft Kill Escape Forever Tour North America / Central America


Happy to announce our first shows for next year. New album on the table at the gigs.

4/11 - Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club w/ Lost Legion - BUY TICKETS
4/12 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club w/ Lost Legion - BUY TICKETS
4/13 - Madison, WI - High Noon w/ Lost Legion - BUY TICKETS
4/14 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway w/ No Guard - BUY TICKETS
4/16 - Austin, TX - Parish w/ Faulty Cognitions - BUY TICKETS
4/17 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger w/ Faulty Cognitions - BUY TICKETS
4/18 - Dallas, TX - Cheap Steaks w/ Liberty & Justice, Bullshit Detector - BUY TICKETS
4/19 - Houston, TX - The End w/ Liberty & Justice, Bullshit Detector - BUY TICKETS
4/20 - New Orleans, LA - Santos w/ Liberty & Justice - BUY TICKETS
4/21 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn w/ Liberty & Justice - BUY TICKETS
4/22 - Nashville, TN - Basement East w/ Liberty & Justice - BUY TICKETS
4/23 - Indianapolis, IN - Black Circle w/ Lost Legion - BUY TICKETS
4/24 - Cleveland, OH - Mahall's w/ Adam Klopp, Lost Legion - BUY TICKETS
4/25 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme - BUY TICKETS



We will keep adding links to tickets as they come in. Check back or hit up the venue directly.

6/12 - Mexicali, MX - Malgro Tap Room - TICKETS

6/13 - Tijuana, MX - Black Box - TICKETS

6/14 - Mexico City, MX - Foro Indie Rocks - TICKETS

6/15 - Monterrey, MX - Cafe Iguana - TICKETS

6/16 - Guadalajara, MX - Foro Independencia - TICKETS

6/17 - Queretaro, MX - Museo De La Ciudad - TICKETS

6/18 - Cancun, MX - Santa Cruda - TICKETS

6/19 - Guatemala City, GT - Gorillaz Theatre - TICKETS

6/22 - San Jose, CR - Amon Solar - TICKETS



All dates with BETON ARME!

9/3 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom w/ The Fauxs - BUY TICKETS

9/5 - Reno, NV - Holland Project w/ Still Ruins - BUY TICKETS

9/6 - SF, CA - Great American Music Hall w/ Concrete Elite, Still Ruins - BUY TICKETS

9/7 - Los Angeles, CA - The Regent w/ Concrete Elite, Still Ruins - BUY TICKETS

9/8 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory w/ Cold Gawd, Concrete Elite - BUY TICKETS

9/9 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom w/ Concrete Elite, Nocturnal Prose - BUY TICKETS

9/10 - ABQ, NM - Sunshine Theater w/ Concrete Elite, Nocturnal Prose - BUY TICKETS

9/11 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theater w/ Concrete Elite, Nocturnal Prose - BUY TICKETS

9/12 - Omaha, NE - The Slowdown w/ Concrete Elite, Nocturnal Prose - BUY TICKETS

9/13 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater w/ Concrete Elite, Nocturnal Prose - BUY TICKETS

9/14 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge w/ Violent Way, Deluxxe - BUY TICKETS

9/15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Spirit w/ No Time, Deluxxe - BUY TICKETS

9/16 - Philadelphia, PA - The Foundry w/ No Time, Deluxxe - BUY TICKETS

9/17 - Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere w/ No Time, Deluxxe - BUY TICKETS


203 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 4/15/2024

Newer music is due from Tiga & Hudson, Claire Rousay, and KAU, while older music is due from Fred Frith, Panbers, and Cranes.

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1360 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 4/8/24

Newer music is due from Water Damage, Data Plan, and Pinkcourtesyphone, while older music is due from The Stalin, Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto, and The Ethiopians.

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345 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 4/1/2024

Newer music is due from M.RUX, Michael Vincent Waller, and Meatbodies, while older music is due from The Wedding Present, Pussy, and Dinosaur Jr.

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318 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 3/25/2024

New music is due from Joseph Allred, High Llamas, and Jim White, while older music is due from Paternoster, Tujiko Noriko, and Conrad Schnitzler.

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260 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 3/18/2024

New music is due from Saicobab (YoshimiO from OOIOO), Variat & Merzbow, and NPVR (Peter Rehberg and Nik Void), while older music is due from Laibach, Phill Niblock, and Martin Rev.

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305 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 3/11/2024

New music is due from Zbigniew Preisner, Camilla Sparksss, and Kreidler, while older music is due from Brion Gysin, Simon Fisher Turner, and Ash Ra Tempel.

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667 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 2/26/2024

New music is due from Mohama Saz, Rico Friebe, and J. Robbins, while older music is due from Snakefinger, Jon Hassell, and Misery.

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418 Hits

Grails Europe & North America

European Tour Dates

Apr 19 Athens GR @ The Temple
Apr 21 Tilburg NL @ Roadburn Festival
Apr 22 London UK @ Downstairs at The Dome
Apr 23 Manchester UK @ Band On The Wall
Apr 24 Bristol UK @ The Exchange
Apr 25 Hastings UK @ The Pig
Apr 26 Liege BE @ La Zone
Apr 27 Ludwigshafen DE @ Kulturzentrum Das Haus

North American Tour Dates

Jun 26 Chapel Hill NC @ Local 506
Jun 27 Asheville NC @ Eulogy
Jun 28 Richmond VA @ Richmond Music Hall
Jun 29 Baltimore MD @ Ottobar
Jun 30 Philadelphia PA @ PhilaMOCA
Jul 02 New York NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
Jul 03 Boston MA @ Crystal Ballroom
Jul 05 Montreal QC @ Bar Le Ritz
Jul 06 Toronto ON @ The Monarch
Jul 10 Chicago IL @ Empty Bottle

712 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 2/19/2024

New music is due from Topographies, Laetitia Sadier, and Kevin Drumm, while older music is due from Boris, Pauline Oliveros & Reynols, and Celer.

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329 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 2/12/2024

New music is due from Chillemi, Ex Wiish, and Maya Q, while older music is due from Shack, Anadol, and A Bad Diana (Diana Rogerson).

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898 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 1/29/2024

New music is due from Panghalina, Old Tower, and Ryan Power, while older music is due from Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Linda Di Franco, and Lambda Sond.

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420 Hits

Forced Exposure New Releases for the Week of 1/22/2024

New music is due from Elena Setien, Brunhild Ferrari, and Philip Glass, while older music is due from Microstoria, The Residents, and Ennio Morricone.

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888 Hits

2023 Annual Readers Poll: The Results

After over two and a half decades, we're miraculously still here and still conducting the longest running online interactive music poll where readers both nominate and vote. The lists aren't perfect, we'll probably be constantly adding more comments, possibly correcting errors, but until then, here we are.

This year we had a record number of entries (over 1500) and the following are what made the top lists.

Thanks again to everyone for their support, participation, and patience.

No Highs

Album of the Year

  1. Tim Hecker, "No Highs" (Kranky)
    "Each new Tim Hecker album these days is a bold and compelling reinvention of his aesthetic and the execution is always flawless. I genuinely did not expect to like Morse code-inspired minimalism this much." —Anthony D'Amico

  2. loscil // lawrence english, "Colours Of Air" (Kranky)
    "Usually mashing together two things that I like does not yield a new third thing that I like, but this album is a rare exception. Gorgeous pieces like 'Cyan' easily stand with either artist's strongest solo work." —Anthony D'Amico

  3. Mary Lattimore, "Goodbye, Hotel Arkada" (Ghostly International)
    "Mary continues to expand her sound and evolve as a composer and arranger, allowing more guests but never distracting from her core sound." —Jon Whitney
    "'Horses, Glossy on the Hill' is one of the most movingly beautiful pieces that Lattimore has ever recorded." —Anthony D'Amico

  4. Caterina Barbieri, "Myuthafoo" (Light-Years)
    "A compelling sister release to Ecstatic Computation devoted to pieces that evolved and transformed as Barbieri tried out new ideas on tour." —Anthony D'Amico

  5. Swans, "The Beggar" (Young God)
    "Demanding the attention of a listener for over two hours is bold, and Swans continue to do this and continue to have success with it."—Jon Whitney

  6. Radian, "Distorted Rooms" (Thrill Jockey)
    "Probably the most inventive and forward-thinking project in the post-rock milieu right now. I truly do not understand why Radian is not as revered and universally beloved as Tortoise." —Anthony D'Amico

  7. Slowdive, "Everything Is Alive" (Dead Oceans)
    "Shoegaze is having a moment this decade, isn't it? This is a worthy winner, and one of the tightest records of their career." — Eve McGivern
  8. KMRU, "Dissolution Grip" (OFNOT)
  9. Colleen, "Le jour et la nuit du réel" (Thrill Jockey)
  10. Colin Stetson, "When we were that what wept for the sea" (52Hz)
    "This album made it abundantly clear that I have not been listening to nearly enough Colin Stetson. 'Infliction' is absolutely sublime." —Anthony D'Amico

  11. Vanishing Twin, "Afternoon X" (Fire)
    "Every Vanishing Twin album boasts at least one perfect weird pop song and this one has the title track. Also "Marbles" has a wonderfully wonky groove." —Anthony D'Amico

  12. O Yuki Conjugate, "A Tension Of Opposites Vols 3 & 4" (OYC Limited)
    "I'm always glad to see OYC get some love! Always carefully crafted, and a fine entry into their catalog." — Eve McGivern

  13. Lea Bertucci, "Of Shadow and Substance" (Cibachrome Editions)
    "Two commissioned compositions that nudged Bertucci out of her comfort zone and into some of the finest work that she's ever recorded." —Anthony D'Amico

  14. Black To Comm, "At Zeenath Parallel Heavens" (Thrill Jockey)
    "I always find Marc Richter's work interesting and unique, but his run of Thrill Jockey albums has been especially strong. Yet another wonderful and hallucinatory headphone album, but now with added antiquarian erotic innuendo." —Anthony D'Amico

  15. Forest Swords, "Bolted" (Ninja Tune)
  16. Yo la Tengo, "This Stupid World" (Matador)
    "I've gone through so many musical phases in my life and Yo La Tengo has continued to release cool albums throughout all of them. 'Miles Away' is pure slow-motion bliss." —Anthony D'Amico

  17. PJ Harvey, "I Inside the Old Year Dying" (Partisan)
  18. William Ryan Fritch, "Cohesion" (Lost Tribe Sound)
  19. Oval, "Romantiq" (Thrill Jockey)
  20. Klara Lewis & Nik Colk Void, "Full-On" (Alter)
    "Playful and spontaneous-sounding miniatures from two artists who are very much on the same wavelength. I especially enjoyed the duo's more 'fun' side characterized by pieces like 'Junk Funk.'" —Anthony D'Amico

  21. FACS, "Still Life In Decay" (Trouble In Mind)
  22. The Necks, "Travel" (Northen Spy)
  23. Godflesh, "Purge" (Avalanche)
    "With the heavy use of loops and samples, Purge sits nicely between Songs of Love and Hate and Us and Them without sounding as dated." - Creaig Dunton

  24. Nonconnah, "Unicorn Family" (Was Ist Das?)
    "Nonconnah has been steadily releasing one shoegaze-damaged collage masterpiece after another lately and this is the latest one. One of my absolute favorite projects around. Characteristically transcendent." —Anthony D'Amico

  25. CV & JAB, "Κλίμα (Klima)" (Editions Basilic)
    "For a second I thought this was CV Vision's monumental 2023 release. Then I woke up."—Duncan Edwards

  26. Liturgy, "93696" (Thrill Jockey)
    "I don't know why they keep tagging the term black metal to Haela Hunt-Hendrix's Liturgy project when listening feels like a blast of blinding brightness not unlike footage of the atom bomb being detonated."—Jon Whitney
  27. Blonde Redhead, "Sit Down for Dinner" (Section1)
  28. emptyset, "ash" (Subtext)
    "James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas bring Bristol sound system culture right to your living room to appropriately seismic effect." —Anthony D'Amico

  29. Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya, "Orbweaving" (The Flenser)
    "An excellent matching of the minds. NMP could possibly be my favorite song of the year."—Jon Whitney

  30. Craven Faults, "Standers" (The Leaf Label)
    "A(nother) wonderful release from Craven Faults, showcasing what it means to be some the best kosmische available in the 21st Century." — Eve McGivern

  31. Film School, "Field" (Felte)
    "This entry should have been much higher; what an incredible blend of dream pop, shoegaze, psychedelia and pop bliss. Still, I'll take it." — Eve McGivern

  32. Loraine James, "Gentle Confrontation" (Hyperdub)
    "Lush, kaleidoscopically multifaceted, and emotionally resonant. Yet another gem from Loraine James." —Anthony D'Amico

  33. Big Blood, "First Aid Kit" (Ba Da Bing!/Feeding Tube/dontrustheruin)
    "The hooks. This is what makes even the most gritty home recordings become some of the most loved music in our collections. They may never make it to pop radio but they bring the hooks like so few are able to do."—Jon Whitney

  34. Mandy, Indiana, "i've seen a way" (Fire Talk)
    "A Manchester-based post-punk band with clattering industrial percussion, plenty of gnarled noise, and a French woman who occasionally raps? Check! And the album was partially recorded in a cave and a crypt? Check! Count me in." —Anthony D'Amico

  35. ANOHNI and the Johnsons, "My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross" (Secretly Canadian)
  36. bdrmm, "I Don't Know" (Rock Action)
  37. Nation of Language, "Strange Disciple" (Play It Again Sam)
    "This one instantly hooked me! I think they just get better and better. Again, would have loved to see this a lot higher on the list, but I'm glad readers liked it enough to get it within the Top 50." — Eve McGivern

  38. Lea Bertucci & Lawrence English, "Chthonic" (American Dreams)
  39. Laurel Halo, "Atlas" (Awe)
    "I enjoyed this understated album just fine, but I'm still perplexed by how many people were instantly hailing it as The Album of The Year when it was released." —Anthony D'Amico

  40. Tristan Allen, "Tin Iso and the Dawn" (RVNG Intl.)
    "All of the beauty, melancholy, and wonder of an epic puppet romance, minus the puppets (for now). One of the year's most pleasant surprises for me." —Anthony D'Amico

  41. thisquietarmy, "Hiatus" ([self-released])
  42. Aidan Baker, Jana Sotzko, Melissa Guion, "Trio Not Trio - Letzte" (Gizeh)
  43. Death and Vanilla, "Flicker" (Fire)
  44. Zaumne, "Parfum" (sferic)
  45. Kassel Jaeger, "Shifted in Dreams" (Shelter Press)
    "My first exposure to Jaeger's work stunned me." —Duncan Edwards

  46. Paul St. Hilaire, "Tikiman Vol. 1" (Kynant)
    "I greatly appreciate that Paul St. Hilaire is out there valiantly trying to fill the Rhythm & Sound-sized hole in my heart single-handedly." —Anthony D'Amico

  47. African Head Charge, "A Trip To Bolgatanga" (On-U Sound)
    "My vote for most addictive release this year."—Jon Whitney
  48. Elodie, "Clarté Déserte" (La Scie Dorée)
  49. Edward Ka-Spel, "A Carrington Event" ([self-released])
    "It is so easy to get overwhelmed with EKS and LPD releases but there's always a track that stands out as a future classic and my pick is "Taming the Tiger," which has been on heavy rotation since this release."—Jon Whitney
  50. Rrose, "Please Touch" (Eaux)
  51. Divide and Dissolve, "Systemic" (Invada)
  52. The American Analog Set, "For Forever" ([self-released])
    "A surprise and warmly welcomed comeback, looking forward to the archive box coming soon."—Jon Whitney
  53. Kali Malone, "Does Spring Hide Its Joy" (Ideologic Organ)
    "A two- or three-hour magnum opus of heady deep listening recorded in empty concert halls by three like-minded friends in the early days of the pandemic." —Anthony D'Amico

  54. Anthony Naples, "orbs" (ANS)
  55. Edward Ka-Spel, "Tease Seize....Apply" ([self-released])
  56. Jonnine, "Maritz" (Idle Press)
  57. 58918012, "Blue" (Syntes)
  58. Bill Orcutt, "Jump On It" (Palilalia)
    "Bite-sized, reverb-marinated, chunks of high-quality, guitar lyriicism. Memorable."—Duncan Edwards

  59. Water From Your Eyes, "Everyone's Crushed" (Matador)
  60. Joseph Allred, "What Strange Flowers in the Shade" (Feeding Tube)
  61. Cloudland Canyon, "Cloudland Canyon" (Medical)
  62. Saloli, "Canyon" (Kranky)
  63. Wanderwelle, "All Hands Bury The Cliffs At Sea Release" (Important)
    "A deeply upsetting subject renderred into a great lamentation. Sad as hell, though."—Duncan Edwards

  64. The Drin, "Today My Friend You Drunk the Venom" (Feel It)
    "An impressively unhinged and ill-intentioned rock n' roll vision. These guys would have been a solid opening act for The Cramps' legendary mental hospital gig." —Anthony D'Amico

  65. Guided By Voices, "Nowhere to Go But Up" (GBV Inc.)
  66. Eluvium, "(Whirring Marvels In) Consensus Reality" (Temporary Residence)
  67. Kammerflimmer Kollektief, "Schemen" (Karl)
    "This album immediately sent me down a Kammerflimmer Kollektief rabbit hole and I was quite pleased with my findings. I feel like I owe this band a heartfelt apology for sleeping on the previous two decades of their oft-killer discography." —Anthony D'Amico

  68. Angel Bat Dawid, "Requiem for Jazz" (International Anthem)
    "Diamada Galás fans should be taking notice of Angel Bat Dawid. No, she doesn't sound like her one bit. However, as a composer, performer, and sound artist she has the ability to create longform epics such as this one, incorporating her incredible talents, knowledge, and ability, her experiences with spirituality, religion, and oppression, and constructing something beyond the ability to classify and conform into a single genre."—Jon Whitney

  69. Niecy Blues, "Exit Simulation" (Kranky)
    "it's like everything and nothing you would expect from Kranky. The context of a deep, compelling, atmospheric otherworldly listen is nothing new to the label, but the strong roots in southern gospel, soul, and R&B is nearly uncharted territory and it comes together beautifully for my favorite debut album of the year."—Jon Whitney 

  70. La Sécurité, "Stay Safe!" (Mothland)
    "Late 2023 release may have been lost in some of the shuffle, but a very engaging rock album from this Montreal quintet, full of earworms."—Jon Whitney

  71. Mint Field, "Aprender a Ser" (Felte)
  72. Troller, "Drain" (Relapse)
    "A lot has happened in seven years but Troller have returned with an album that didn't grab me like Grapic but has been a slow burn that has grown on me quite a bit."—Jon Whitney
  73. Benoît Pioulard, "Eidetic" (Morr)
  74. Surgeon, "Crash Recoil" (Tresor)
  75. Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, "Remezcla" (Sonic Cathedral)
  76. Alva noto, "HYbr:ID II" (Noton)
  77. Earth House Hold, "How Deep Is Your Devotion" (A Strangely Isolated Place)
    "Not just a new album, but a remastered overview of the entire lifespan of Brock Van Wey's long-running house-inspired side project. Admittedly a bit overwhelming and relentlessly soft-focus, but I absolutely loved some of these pieces." —Anthony D'Amico

  78. Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf, "Internal Return" (Negative Capability Editions)
  79. Tirzah, "trip9love...???" (Domino)
  80. Grand River, "All Above" (Editions Mego)
  81. Merzbow, "CATalysis" (Elevator Bath)
  82. BIG|BRAVE, "nature morte" (Thrill Jockey)
  83. TALsounds, "Shift" (NNA Tapes)
  84. A Certain Ratio, "1982" (Mute)
  85. V/Z, "Suono Assente" (AD93)
  86. Drop Nineteens, "Hard Light" (Wharf Cat)
    "Probably wins this year's award for Most Time Between Albums. I am very happy for their return."—Jon Whitney

  87. Martyna Basta, "Slowly Forgetting, Barely Remembering" (Warm Winters)
    "I am very much a Martyna Basta fan. I preferred the more spare Diaries Beneath Fragile Glass EP to this full-length, but her hot streak remains unbroken." —Anthony D'Amico

  88. Matmos, "Return to Archive" (Smithsonian Folkways)
  89. Raphael Rogiń​ski, "Tal​à​n" (Instant Classic)
  90. Frédéric D. Oberland, "Solstices" (Zamzamrec)
  91. Shit And Shine, "2222 And Airport" (The state51 Conspiracy)
  92. Ale Hop & Laura Robles, "Agua Dulce" (Buh)
    "I am always eager to hear whatever idiosyncratic mindfuckery Alejandra Cárdenas records, but teaming up with a talented Peruvian percussionist was a welcome and inspired evolution." —Anthony D'Amico

  93. Piotr Kurek, "Peach Blossom" (Mondoj)
  94. Nonconnah, "Shadows From The Walls Of Death" (Cruel Nature)
  95. Tengger, "Tengger" (Beyond is Beyond is Beyond)
  96. Ben Chasny & Rick Tomlinson, "Waves" (Voix)
  97. Helen Money / Will Thomas, "Trace" (Thrill Jockey)
  98. Justin Walter, "Destroyer" (Kranky)
  99. JK Flesh, "π11" (Pi Electronics)
  100. A Place To Bury Strangers, "See Through You Rerealized" (Dedstrange)

Single of the Year

Legendary Pink Dots Halloween 2023

  1. The Legendary Pink Dots, "The Legendary Pink Dots' Hallowe'en Special 2023" ([self-released])
    "The Legendary Pink Dots' Christmas and Halloween singles invariably delight me every single year. A beloved underground institution that almost always captures Ka-Spel at the height of his powers." —Anthony D'Amico

  2. Caterina Barbieri, "Perennial Fantas" (Light-Years)
    "I definitely did not expect 'Fantas' to keep expanding and evolving for four more years after Ecstatic Computation was released. It's the gift that keeps giving! Possibly forever!" —Anthony D'Amico

  3. The Legendary Pink Dots, "The Legendary Pink Dots' Christmas Special 2023" ([self-released])
    "It is very amusing that my LPD fandom has gradually and imperceptibly evolved from 'these guys collaborated with Skinny Puppy-I should check them out!' to "Edward Ka-Spel is basically my Santa Claus now.'" —Anthony D'Amico

  4. Mary Lattimore, "A Lock of His Hair Under Glass" ([self-released])
  5. The Bug, "Machine I" (Pressure)
  6. Bark Psychosis, "Scum" (Rolling Heads)
  7. Edward Ka-Spel, "All Flags Are False" (Witch Cat)
  8. Aphex twin, "Blackbox Life Recorder 21f In A Room7 F760" (Warp)
    "Enjoyable, but not nearly audacious enough to make a memorable impression." —Anthony D'Amico

  9. Four Tet, "Three Drums" ([self-released])
  10. Sam Prekop and John McEntire / The Soft Pink Truth, "A Yellow Robe Remixes" (Thrill Jockey)
  11. A Winged Victory for the Sullen, "All Our Friends Are Vampires" (Ninja Tune)
  12. The Bug, "Machine II" (Pressure)
  13. Meat Beat Manifesto & DHS, "Man From Mantis" (Love Love)
  14. Om, "Gebel Barkal" (Drag City)
  15. James Blackshaw, "Why Keep Still?" ([self-released])
    "It is wonderful to see Blackshaw releasing new music again, even if it is only one song (for now)." —Anthony D'Amico

  16. Godflesh, "Nero" (Avalanche)
  17. Sun's Signature, "Sun's Signature Extended" (Partisan)
  18. Eric Random & Stephen Mallinder, "Deadeye Remixed" (Emergency Hearts)
  19. Strategy, "Graffiti In Space" (Community Library)
  20. Letting Up Despite Great Faults, "Crumble EP" ([self-released])
  21. Death and Vanilla, "Reimagined by Civilistjävel!" (Fire)
  22. Drab Majesty, "An Object in Motion" (Dais)
  23. Kieran Hebden & William Tyler, "Darkness, Darkness / No Services" (Psychic Hotline)
  24. Mouse on Mars, "3D-LS" (Sonig)
  25. Loraine James, "5 a Day" ([self-released])

Compilation of the Year


  1. "Gespensterland" (Bureau B)
    "I am 100% the target demographic for a collection of supernaturally inspired German artists 'operating in the margins and intersections of folklore, experimental electronics, dreams and nightmares.' A murderers' row of fringe-dwelling visionaries like Brannten Schn​ü​re." —Anthony D'Amico

  2. "When the Frog from the Well Sees the Ocean (Reports from English UFOlklore)" (Folklore Tapes)
    "Folklore Tapes steps a bit outside of their comfort zone with an eclectic and freewheeling celebration of UFO sightings, alien visitations, and their forever-altered witnesses. A characteristically wonderful and singular collection." —Anthony D'Amico

  3. "Cease & Resist - Sonic Subversion & Anarcho Punk In The UK 1979-1986" (Optimo Music)
    "I really wish this had come out during my lengthy Crass phase." —Anthony D'Amico

  4. "Searchlight Moonbeam" (Efficient Space)
    "Astonishing to hear 'Never Anyone Around To Hear It' by Bo Harwood and John Cassavetes."—Duncan Edwards
    "Both Time is Away and Efficient Space have proven themselves to be pretty damn infallible at digging up cool and eclectic obscurities." —Anthony D'Amico

  5. "Subliminal Skull Palace II" (Utech)
    "Utech is really doing god's work with this series celebrating tripped-out Japanese guitar music. The Tatsuya Goto and Kawabata Makoto pieces on this one were especially revelatory." —Anthony D'Amico

  6. "Imaginational Anthem vol. XII : I Thought I Told You - A Yorkshire Tribute to Michael Chapman" (Tompkins Square)
  7. "Future Sounds of Kraut Vol. 1" (Compost)
  8. "Space Funk: Afro Futurist Electro Funk in Space 1976-84 2" (Soul Jazz)
  9. "XKatedral Anthology Series II" (XKatedral)
    "Sweden's XKatedral consistently releases some of the most compelling drone/'slowly evolving harmonic and timbral music' around. If you're a connoisseur, this is the vanguard." —Anthony D'Amico

  10. "Kotti Island Disc – An Auditive Snapshot" (Tresor)
  11. "7A19" (Sähkö Recordings)
    "I am reliably drawn to '80s cassette underground compilations like a moth to a flame. I think that probably counts more as a neurosis than a recommendation though." —Anthony D'Amico

  12. "Antipodean Anomalies 2" (Left Ear)
  13. "Ariwa Sounds: The Early Sessions" (Melodies International)
  14. "Channel One Soundsystem: Down in the Dub Vaults" (VP)
    "Unusually quiet year for Jamaican dub compilations (presumably because Soul Jazz is busy being funky in space), but I really enjoyed this one." —Anthony D'Amico

  15. "Denshi Ongaku No Bigaku (The Aesthetics of Japanese Electronic Music Vol 1 & 2)" (Cosmocities)
  16. "American Dreams Diner Open 24 Hours" (American Dreams)
  17. "Radigue: Dedalus / Akama" (Montagne Noire)
  18. "Eccentric Boogie" (Numero Group)
  19. "Pacific Breeze 3: Japanese City Pop, AOR and Boogie 1975–1987" (Light in the Attic)
  20. "Ballads Of Seduction, Fertility And Ritual Slaughter" (Was Ist Das?)
  21. "Contaminazioni No Wave Italiane (1980-1985)" (Spittle)
  22. "The NID Tapes: Electronic Music From India 1969-1972" (The State51 Conspiracy)
  23. "If You Want to Make a Lover: Palm Wine, Akan Blues & Early Guitar Highlife, Pt. I" (Death Is Not The End)
    "The singing and playing here transcends locale or genre and ends up as a mystical bottling of the square-root of charm."—Duncan Edwards

  24. "Mondo Industrial: A Selection Of Rare Tape Music From The '80s & '90s" (Mafarka)
  25. "ElectroDub Vol. 3 & 4" [tie] (Emergency Hearts)

Vault/Reissue of the Year

Commercial Album

  1. The Residents, "Commercial Album" (Cherry Red)
  2. Bowery Electric, "Bowery Electric" (Kranky)
    "An absolutely flawless release, restored to the full tracklist plus given a bonus side of the first EP, sounding just as massive as ever."—Jon Whitney

  3. Drew McDowell, "Lamina" (Dais)
  4. Techno Animal, "Re-Entry (2023 Remaster)" (Relapse)
    "I was really expecting this to take first place, but I may just be biased. Beautiful job reissuing the duo's absolute masterpiece."—Creaig Dunton

  5. Emeralds, "Does It Look Like I'm Here? expanded remaster" (Ghostly)
    "It was cool to get an expanded reissue of this album, but it was already pretty damn canonical." —Anthony D'Amico

  6. Earth, "Earth 2 Special Low Frequency Mix" (Sub Pop)
  7. Andrew Chalk, "Dreams: Scenes I - XV" (Faraway Press)
  8. Moonshake, "Eva Luna" (Beggars Arkive)
    "Some aspects of Moonshake's audacious and influential debut album have not aged particularly well, but 'Little Thing' and 'Sweetheart' are still perennial favorites for me." —Anthony D'Amico

  9. The Legendary Pink Dots, "Only Dreaming" ([self-released])
  10. Sonic Youth, "Live in Brooklyn 2011" (Silver Current)
  11. In The Nursery, "L'Esprit" (ITN Corp)
  12. The Chameleons, "Script of the Bridge" (Blue Apple)
  13. Arthur Russell, "Picture of Bunny Rabbit" (Audika)
    "I hope the vault of Arthur Russell continues to produce more fantastic collections like this. It's okay to vary between styles and maintain a bit of a theme for time and location of recordings. My addiction grows stronger."—Jon Whitney

  14. The Legendary Pink Dots, "Come Out From The Shadows Volume 3: The 80s" ([self-released])
  15. Bardo Pond, "Peel Sessions" (Fire)
  16. Air Miami, "Me. Me. Me." (4AD)
  17. Pan American, "In Daylight Dub" (Foam On A Wave)
  18. Nurse With Wound, "The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion" (United Dirter)
  19. Fridge, "Happiness" (Temporary Residence)
  20. Edward Ka-Spel, "Caste O' Graye Skreeëns" ([self-released])
  21. Edward Ka-Spel, "Ghost Logik 2" ([self-released])
  22. Mouse on Mars, "Bilk" (Sonig)
  23. Nurse With Wound, "Brained By Falling Masonry/Cooloorta Moon" (United Dirter)
  24. Nurse With Wound, "Alice The Goon (Funeral Music For Perez Prado)" (B.F.I.)
  25. Big Blood & The Bleedin' Hearts, "Big Blood & The Bleedin' Hearts" (Feeding Tube)
    "One of the finest albums in Big Blood's entire discography finally got a non-CDr physical release! Pretty exciting day at the mailbox." —Anthony D'Amico

Boxed Set of the Year

Collected Works of NMH

  1. Neutral Milk Hotel, "The Collected Works of..." (Merge)
    "Essentially just a vinyl reissue of 2011's career retrospective with some additional live material added, which is probably somewhat revelatory for more obsessive NMH fans than me. Everyone else can safely just keep listening to In The Aeroplane Over The Sea forever, as there is nothing in the vaults that rivals it." —Anthony D'Amico
    "I'm probably the only person in the world who prefers On Avery Island more, Anthony, but what do I know?"—Jon Whitney

  2. The Residents, "Eskimo" (Psychofon)
  3. Hawkwind, "Space Ritual: 50th Anniversary Edition" (Atomhenge)
  4. Pharoah Sanders, "Pharoah" (Luaka Bop)
  5. Magnolia Electric Co., "Sojourner" (Secretly Canadian)
  6. A.R.Kane, "A.R.Kive" (Rocket Girl)
  7. Pere Ubu, "Elitism for the People 1975 - 1978" (Fire)
  8. Laraaji, "Segue To Infinity" (Numero Group)
  9. [V/A], "Remix Anthology Vol. 1​-​4 2002​-​2022" (Smalltown Supersound)
    "This was my personal favorite boxed set of the year, as it was quite a treasure trove of killer songs that I had never heard before." —Anthony D'Amico

  10. Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO, "Acid Motherly Love" (Riot Season)
  11. Jack Dangers, "Lucky Bag" (Flexidisc)
  12. [V/A], "Steven Wilson Presents: Intrigue - Progressive Sounds In UK Alternative Music 1979–89" (Burning Shed)
  13. King Crimson, "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (The Complete Recording Sessions)" (Panegyric)
    "Surprisingly very little overlap between this and the 15 disc set from a decade ago, and I appreciate that it doesn't take up too much shelf space." -- Creaig Dunton

  14. Laibach, "Nova Akropola / Live In Europe 1997-2020 / Live in London 1985-1987" (Cherry Red)
  15. Pere Ubu, "Architecture of Language 1979 - 1982" (Fire)
  16. Killing Joke, "Honor the Fire Live" (Live Here Now, Live Here Now)
  17. Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO, "Vinyl Archives Volume 1" (Riot Season)
  18. Duster, "Moods, Modes" (Numero Group)
  19. Einstürzende Neubauten, "Phase IV - The Singles" (Potomak)
  20. Celer, "Selected Self-Releases 2006-2007" (Two Acorns)
  21. [V/A], "The Complete Obscure Records" (Dialogo)
    "I did not expect a retrospective of Brian Eno's hugely influential imprint to be this low in the rankings. It has admittedly been a long time since I was personally excited about anything Eno-related, but Gavin Bryars' The Sinking of the Titanic is an all-timer for me.'" —Anthony D'Amico
    "Mine didn't arrive until the new year, Anthony."—Jon Whitney

  22. King Crimson, "Absent Lovers (Live in Montreal 1984)" (Discipline Global Mobile)
  23. Karate, "Complete Studio Recordings" (Numero Group)
  24. Luc Ferrari, "L'Œuvre Électronique" (INA GRM)
  25. The New Blockaders, "Etudes de Rien" (Coherent States)

Artist of the Year

  1. The Legendary Pink Dots
  2. Caterina Barbieri
  3. Mary Lattimore
  4. Tim Hecker
  5. The Bug
  6. KMRU
  7. Loraine James
  8. Swans
  9. Godflesh
  10. Benoît Pioulard

Label of the Year

  1. Thrill Jockey
  2. Kranky
    "It comes as no surprise these two labels continue to dominate the Brainwashed Readers Poll. It is a testament to their tireless dedication to quality."—Jon Whitney
  3. Fire
  4. Drag City
  5. Psychofon
  6. International Anthem
  7. Important
  8. Room40
  9. Light-Years
  10. 4AD

New Artist of the Year

Derecho Rhythm Section

"It is important, for me at least, to hear Alan Sparhawk's voice on new music again, and he is not afraid to let us know exactly how he feels. Joined by his children with Mimi Parker, something special is definitely evolving. Hard to say what will become of this project in particular, but I hope to continue to hear all of them together."—Jon Whitney

Lifetime Achievement Recognition

Phill Niblock

Phill Niblock

"As a drone fan, Phill Niblock was always a bit of a living legend for me, as he and contemporaries like Éliane Radigue were instrumental in elevating the form into the realm of high art. Also, he was definitely a guy who understood and appreciated the elemental power of immersive, room-shaking vibrations. Beyond that, however, he played quite an outsized role in building and maintaining NYC's legendary avant-garde scene as the long-time director of Experimental Intermedia. I cannot think of many other people who were hip enough to book artists like Arthur Russell, Rhys Chatham, and Charlemagne Palestine as early as 1973/1974 and the list of other artists who played Niblock-curated shows in the 1970s is basically a who's who of nearly everyone who shaped the late 20th century avant-garde (Annea Lockwood, Suzanne Ciani, Catherine Christer Hennix, Laurie Spiegel, etc.). The musical landscape of 2024 would be a much bleaker place without Niblock's lifelong passion for championing groundbreaking and iconoclastic artists." —Anthony D'Amico


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Swans USA

SWANS have today announced a United States tour for April and May 2024, following European dates. The band SOLD OUT all but two of their 2023 North American tour. The tour details, which are shared on the heels of a triumphant tour across Europe, N America, and the UK, will see the current incarnation of Swans perform– starting from April 12 through to mid-May. Full details below.



4/12/2024    Washington  DC    Howard Theatre

4/13/2024    Philadelphia PA     Union Transfer

4/14/2024    Richmond    VA     The Broadberry               

4/16/2024    Nashville      TN     Blue Room at Third Man

4/18/2024    Atlanta         GA    Variety Playhouse

4/20/2024    Birmingham AL The Saturn

4/21/2024    New Orleans LA The Civic Theatre       

4/23/2024    Houston       TX     White Oak Music Hall

4/24/2024    San Antonio TX     Paper Tiger

4/25/2024    Albuquerque NM    Sunshine Theater   

4/27/2024    Las Vegas   NV     Sick New World Festival

4/29/2024    Los Angeles CA     Lodge Room

5/2/2024      San Francisco        CA     Great American Music Hall

5/5/2024      Salt Lake City         UT     Soundwell    

5/7/2024      Denver        CO    Gothic Theatre       

5/9/2024      Kansas City MO    Record Bar

5/10/2024    St. Louis               MO    Delmar Hall

5/11/2024    Chicago,               IL      Cabaret Metro       

5/14/2024    Boston                  MA    Paradise               

5/16/2024    New York              NY     Racket 

5/17/2024    Brooklyn               NY     Music Hall of Williamsburg 


Praise for SWANS' 2023 live shows


“A religious experience” – Everett True, live review for Classic Rock


“In my 16 or so years of watching live music, I’ve probably averaged over 50 acts each year. During that time I’ve seen jazz quartets, singer songwriters, metal bands, Afro-beat acts, superstar DJs, UK rap’s finest and some of the biggest artists in the world. However, I’ve never seen anything during that time that remotely compares to the experience of seeing Swans… Witnessing the famed avant-garde, experimental noise-manipulating band was as close to a cathartic experience from watching live music as one can get.” – Yorkshire Evening Post live review

 “At their best, Swans live shows are about as close to a religious experience as it gets outside of actual religious experiences, and I’m not even sure they’re not the same thing anyway. And this is definitely Swans at their best.” – live review


“Needless to say, the entire audience was transfixed” – Bust magazine live review


The tour follows the release of Swans’ sixteenth studio album, The Beggar, out now on Mute / Young God Records (N America) on double vinyl in a brown chipboard sleeve (with a download card for accessing an additional 44 minutes of music, also included on the album's CD version), as a double CD in a brown chipboard digi-pack, and digitally.


The Beggar was recorded and mixed at Candy Bomber Studio, Berlin, engineered by Ingo Krauss and mastered by Doug Henderson at Micro-Moose, Berlin. The album was written and produced by Michael Gira and features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels of Light, as well as Guest Swan Ben Frost.


“After numerous pandemic-induced cancellations of tours for the previous Swans album leaving meaning, and an apparent bottomless pit of waiting, waiting, waiting, and the strange disorientation that came with this sudden but interminable forced isolation I decided it was time to write songs for a new Swans album and forget about everything else. They came relatively easily, always informed by the suspicion that these could be my last. When I finally was able to travel, songs in hand, to Berlin to work with my friends recording this record, the feeling was akin to the moment in The Wizard of Oz when the film changes from Black and White to Color. Now I’m feeling quite optimistic. My favourite color is pink. I hope you enjoy the album.”Michael Gira


Primary contributors to The Beggar:


Michael Gira – Vocals, words, acoustic guitar, production. Gira started Swans in NYC in 1982 and has been the primary songwriter, singer and producer throughout the years. During the Swans hiatus (1999 – 2010), he released several albums by and toured with a group called Angels of Light. Gira recently published a book of his short stories, journals, and words for music, called The Knot. He lives in New Mexico.


Kristof Hahn – Lap steel, various guitars, vocals. Kristof first joined Swans in 1989 and was a principal contributor to Angels of Light, and a core Swans member 2010 – 2017. Kristof’s other musical ventures have included the Rock ‘n’ Roll Noir band Les Hommes Sauvages and Kool Kings (with Alex Chilton). When not making music Kristof translates books. He lives in Berlin, Germany.


Larry Mullins - Drums, vibes, orchestral percussion, Mellotron, various keyboards, backing vocals. Larry is a trained symphonic percussionist. He played through the ‘90s with Iggy Pop and later with The Stooges. He played with Swans in the late ‘90s and was a main contributor to Angels of Light. His current main job is playing drums with The Bad Seeds. Larry lives in Berlin, Germany.


Dana Schechter – Bass guitar, lap steel, keyboards, vocals, piano. Dana played bass in and was a core member of Angels of Light. She subsequently released music and toured as Bee and Flower. Her current band is the power-duo, Insect Ark. Dana is an animator and designer in the film industry and currently lives in Berlin, Germany.


Christopher Pravdica - Bass guitar, sounds, keyboards, vocals. Chris played bass as a core Swans member in 2010 – 2017. Chris has played with the bands, The Gunga Din, Flux Information Sciences, Xiu Xiu, Yonatan Gat, Medicine Singers and has a project of his own called We Owe. Chris is a sound designer and lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Phil Puleo – Drums, percussion, vocals, piano, exotic wind instruments. Phil played drums with Swans in the late ‘90s and was a core member in Swans 2010 – 2017 and contributed to Angels of Light. Phil’s early NYC musical venture was Cop Shoot Cop and has since played with Human Impact, among others. Phil is an extremely talented illustrator and lives in Chicago, IL. 


Ben Frost - Guitar, synthesizers, sound manipulations. In his own work, Ben’s adventurous sound-craftings are sometimes harrowing and sometimes delicate and quite musical. His numerous albums and his powerful live shows have afforded him much recognition. He is also an accomplished composer and arranger of music for film and television. Ben lives in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Backing vocals are provided by Jennifer Gira, Lucy Kruger and Laura Carbone.


Michael Gira founded the groundbreaking NYC band Swans in 1982. Initially notorious for their relentless, brutal, high-volume onslaughts of sound, the extreme, abject imagery of Gira’s lyrics and his thundering vocals, Swans would undergo a series of startling transformation over the next 15 years. Following the punishing Filth and Cop albums, the ensemble would venture into harshly mechanical proto-industrial rock of their Greed period, then both haunted atmospheric idylls and martial stomps on 1987’s landmark Children of God double album. They’d conjure gentler acoustic-based meditations on The Burning World (1989), then after relocating to Atlanta grand, melody-dense sonic whirlwinds of the White Light from the Mouth of Infinity (1991) and Love of Life (1993) era, becoming more dissonant and sharp-edged with The Great Annihilator (1994). Finally, the ultimate statement of that epoch of Swans, Soundtracks For The Blind (1996), incorporated all of these elements across well over two hours of music. At this point, Gira called it quits after 15 years of non-stop recording and touring, disbanding the group. For the next 13 years, he’d make a long series of acclaimed albums and perform live extensively with a revolving roster of musicians under the name Angels Of Light. Gira also discovered, produced and released albums by other musicians through his label Young God Records. He cultivated such talents as Devendra Banhart and Akron/Family among others, the original figures of the late 00’s Avant-folk movement.


In 2010, he reactivated Swans, releasing the studio album My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky to ecstatic critical response and touring the world for the better part of a year. The Seer, a triple album studio set, came out in 2012 and was celebrated by another lengthy world tour eliciting more media praise and album sales that landed The Seer on Billboard’s Top 200. Swans’ next release, To Be Kind (another triple vinyl) debuted at #36 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart and #5 on their Independent Sales Chart. The group sold out 47 concert dates in their subsequent touring including selling out two-night stands in cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Paris, as well as single shows in London, Berlin and Rome. The album garnered enormous praise from the press, and the two-hour long album stream was premiered by NPR. The Glowing Man (2017) (also triple vinyl) was the last studio release by this incarnation of Swans. With 2019’s Leaving Meaning, the 15th studio album, Gira returned to working with a fluid supporting cast of musicians once again.


The Beggar tracklisting

1. The Parasite

2. Paradise is Mine

3. Los Angeles: City of Death

4. Michael is Done

5. Unforming

6. The Beggar

7. No More of This

8. Ebbing

9. Why Can't I Have What I Want Any Time That I Want?

10. The Beggar Lover (Three)

11. The Memorious


Listen to The Beggar:


Praise for The Beggar


“…dark and unsettling, purifying and beautiful” - The Guardian 4/5* review of The Beggar


“…delivers a ritualistic euphoria” - Uncut 8/10*


“…uncompromising and brilliant” - MOJO 4/5*


“…beautifully heavy” - The Guardian Saturday Magazine


“a gargantuan demonstration of just how far Swans have come and how huge they’ve become” - Classic Rock 8/10*


“This keenness not to stand still artistically has remained a constant throughout Swans’ history, and so it is no surprise that there is plenty that is new and interesting on The Beggar.” - The Arts Desk Disc of the Day

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