Enjoy Opus? Become a supporter today.

Remember when IDM was the ​“next big thing” thanks to Warp artists like Aphex Twin and Autechre? If so, then the title track from Steve Hauschildt’s upcoming Nonlin will take you back to those hallowed days with its kaleidoscopic rhythms, twisting and distorted melodic fragments, and bubbling synths. It’s chaotic at first, but the closer you listen, the more you can sense Hauschildt’s method amidst the madness. That, and playfulness with a hint of darkness in the clamoring electronics.

Nonlin is Hauschildt’s third album in four years, following 2018’s Dissolvi (which featured collaborations with Julianna Barwick and GABI) and 2016’s Strands. (For the record, Strands’ title track is one of the loveliest electronic music compositions I’ve ever heard.)

As usual, Andy Whitman says it better than I could:

I love Jesus. This is why I continue as a Christian. But one has to ignore a lot of absurdity from Christians. I can deal with virgin births and resurrections far easier than I can deal with the mental and spiritual gymnastics that have to take place to not only excuse, but to exult Donald Trump.

When the Trump presidency is finally over and the spell is broken, how many Christians will realize just how badly they compromised their faith and integrity for the man, and for what? ​“Owning the libs” isn’t exactly the stuff that legacies are made of.

It’s been 11 years since The Cure’s last album, 2008’s 4:13 Dream, and rumors of a new Cure album have been swirling around ever since, especially as Robert Smith et al. have debuted new material in concerts. Now Smith is saying that there are three new Cure albums in the words, and the first one — tentatively titled Live From the Moon — may be released by Christmas. Smith has described the album, which was influenced by the recent deaths of Smith’s father, mother, and brother, as ​“very much on the darker side of the spectrum” and ​“a little bit more doom and gloom.”

The Infinity Saga Collector's Edition

We all knew it was coming: Marvel has announced ​“The Infinity Saga Collector’s Edition,” which collects all 23 ​“Infinity Saga” films — from 2008’s Iron Man to 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home — in 4K and Blu-ray along with a bonus disc of deleted and extended scenes, a signed lithograph, and a letter from MCU mastermind Kevin Feige.

The set will be released on November 15 and will only be available at Best Buy, where it’ll cost you $549.99 (or $45.84/month if you opt for 12-month financing.) I certainly don’t have that kind of money to drop on a box set, but I will admit, it does look pretty cool.

He may not be as well-known as Hayao Miyazaki or Mamoru Oshii, but Shoji Kawamori is just as influential a figure in animé history, due in large part to being one of the creators of the Macross franchise. But he’s also worked on a number of other series, including Transformers, Patlabor, Eureka Seven, and Ghost in the Shell. Brian Ashcraft recently sat down with Kawamori to discuss his influences, the creation of Macross, and how animé has (and hasn’t) changed over the years.

From Rolling Stones recent profile of Ethan Diamond, co-founder of Bandcamp (aka, my favorite music service):

In the era of plummeting revenue from actual recorded music, Diamond’s service has evolved into the information-age equivalent of your favorite indie record shop, a place where hundreds of thousands of artists and around 6,000 labels sell music and merch directly to fans.

There are things I wish Bandcamp would do differently — like, ahem, offer playlist functionality — but I also agree with the quote that kicks off the profile: I really don’t want them to screw it up.

The latest article by The Atlantics Adam Serwer explains why Republicans won’t turn on Trump in light of impeachment, but rather, will dig in even deeper:

Attempting to use one’s official powers for private gain is the most basic definition of corruption. Yet because the base of the Republican Party believes itself to be the only legitimate expression of popular will, whether or not its members constitute an actual majority of the electorate, it does not matter what Trump’s motives are. Much of the Republican base believes, as Trump does, that loyalty to the country and loyalty to himself are one and the same. Therefore, nothing Trump could do is corrupt, and even using his official powers for personal gain is an act of selfless patriotism. In this warped view, attempting to extort foreign countries into attacking his political rivals is not a betrayal of his responsibilities as president; it is the fullest expression of them.

Unless Republican support for Trump craters, Republican legislators will not turn against him. And Republican support for Trump cannot crater as long as many Republicans view their political rivals as illegitimate political actors rather than fellow citizens.

Serwer also excoriates Democrats for dragging their heals on impeachment: “[W]hen the president attempted to use his authority to extort a foreign leader into implicating one of his political rivals, a former vice president and longtime Democratic senator, in criminal activity, the leadership of the Democratic Party seemed to suddenly recognize what it was facing.”

Originally released in 1989, Ashes in the Brittle Air is one of my favorite Black Tape For a Blue Girl albums. I suppose a lot of that has to do with the fact that it — along with Love Spirals Downwards’ Idylls and Soul Whirling Somewhere’s Eating the Sea — represented my first real foray into darkwave music (think a highly atmospheric, ambient form of goth music).

Heavily influenced by the ​“classic” 4AD sound (e.g., Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil), Ashes in the Brittle Air blends lush soundscapes with deeply romantic and melodramatic lyrics. (Sample lyric: ​“I hold you gently, your eyes so far away/​Searching for your justice/​Searching for your innocence/​Lost as a child adrift on a lonely sea.”) Highlights include the title track (which is arguably my favorite Black Tape For a Blue Girl song), the breezily acoustic ​“Through Sky Blue Rooms,” and the Slowdive-ish instrumental ​“I Ran to You.”

You can currently download a remastered version of Ashes in the Brittle Air for free from Bandcamp as part of a Kickstarter campaign to reissue the album in an expanded format for its 30th anniversary.

Find More Entries in the Archives

Enjoy Opus? Become a supporter today.