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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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Thrill Jockey

Radian is the second Vienna-based band signed to Thrill Jockey to feature the talents of percussionist Martin Brandlmayr. Brandlmayr's other band is the improvisational combo Trapist, but while Radian share a certain openness of outlook with Trapist, they're less about exploratory excursions, and more concerned with a skewed version of staying on the one. This band focuses its energies onto a kind of sleek, modernist funk that pulsates with the tension of internal conflicts being played out, culminating in a series of dynamic conclusions. Recorded by John McEntire in Chicago and by the band in Vienna, Juxtaposition presents a series of taut workouts that nevertheless maintain an open-ended quality. Just as the music appears to settle into a rhythmic pattern, it suffers a series of ruptures: random invasions of electronic tics, purrs, and hisses, and sometimes severe interruptions as gaping holes are torn in the fabric of the band's sound.

Radian's music is very physical — the vibrations of the snare drum, the feedback sounds of guitar and electronics, the dry, upfront bass — yet also caustically cerebral, a soundtrack to some abstracted, sodium-lit, dystopian urban narrative. This is not street-level romanticism reconfigured to be endlessly recycled, but rather a displaced sound combining grime with grace, future shock colliding with tech-noir in a tangle of existential confusion. Here questing improv gives way to a more directional form, where the glacial coolness of the rhythmic flow rubs up against the willful disharmony of grimy electronica. Within this broad schematic, there is plenty of variation. Radian can be both sinuous ("Vertigo," "Transistor") and jaggedly, erratically insistent ("Rapid Eye Movement," "Helix"), with occasional nods to denser abstraction — as demonstrated with the piercing tones and seismic rumbling of "Ontario." With "Tester" the music coheres into a loose, jazzy logic, and "Nord" skirts the closest to melody, its dream-state punctured by harnessed feedback sounds and noise edits. The music keeps crossing, and re-crossing, the boundary between noise and rhythm, with the spatial neatness of its momentum forced to coexist with the relentless, piston-pulse of machine logic and the erratic, violent interruptions of white noise. Utterly modern and utterly compelling.

by Tom Ridge

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