DECAYCAST Reviews : Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem, 2018)


Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem)

Washington’s longstanding experimental stalwart William Rage returns with a heavy, cinematic offering for the Mondo Anthem imprint titled “II” or “Mondo Anthem II“. On this release, Rage crafts two slow, churning, heavy, dynamic works blending what sounds like synthesizers, field recordings, and noise sources to an interesting and unique sonic end. Overall, the sound of Happiness Forever is heavy, yet varied, textured yet articulate. A low ominous drone oscillates throughout the first side while seething, weighted atmospheric textures glaze over the drones in a hypnotic nuanced mixing style. The A side quickly builds with intensity as sine wave communications cast themselves far beyond the listener into the inner workings of the brain; something is wrong, I’m feeling uneasy.

The B side, titled “I Left My Electronic Heart In San Francisco (Recreation Of A Live Recording Of A Performance That Never Happened)” begins where the A side left off so to speak, with dense, field recordings and ominous crawling synths, which seem to sputter in and out like a rumbling, thirsty dying motor. Slow arpeggiations sing next to a thick, resonated clicking with background swells which create the perfect texture; the perfect song of alienated confusion. Mutated and garbled voices peak through the murky swamp, enveloping atop themselves and then decaying into the darkness, a different, warped experience every time. Truly beautiful sound composition.

“II” never becomes too much of one feeling, it’s always mutating while maintaining an overall fluency to its sounds and composition that make “II” a dense and refreshing listening experience for fans of many styles of electronic music. From musique concrete, to drone, to more cinematic styles of electronic composition, Happiness Forever is a which heavy fog we all must get lost in for the duration of this tape.

Follow MONDO ANTHEM HERE

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DECAYCAST Presents: Thirty-Seven MORE Genre-Defying & Impactful Releases of 2018: Part Two

DECAYCAST Presents: Thirty-Seven More Genre-Defying & Impactful Releases of 2018: Part Two.

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Presented more or less without comment. Please seek out these records and  support the artist in any way you can. We are NO authority on anything,  and everyone should make their own lists and thanks for reading ours! Without ado. Check out all these records, most are in print at least digitally.

8ulentina “Eucalyptus” (Club Chai)

Anatomy “S/T” (Self Released)

Austin Davis & How I Quit Crack “Far Away” (Noisequanoise)

Avola “Zone”

Bonedust “Fruit of the Ash” (Dirt Palace)

Caspar Brotzmann Massaker ‘Black Axis’

Chuck Johnson “Blood Moon Boulder” (Scissor Tail)

Collections Of Dead Souls “The Vault 12​/​2017 – 10​/​2018” (Self Released)

Daughters “You Won’t Get What You Want” (Ipecac)

Divtech “Spit Blood” (Realicide Youth Records)

Echo Beds “Buried Language” (The Flenser)

E.W. Wainwright “African roots of Jazz” (Private Press)

Fire-Toolz “Skinless X-1” (Hausu Mountain)

Gaylord “The Black Metal Scene Needs To Be Destroyed” (Blackened Death)

Gurrumul  “Djarimirri: Child of the Rainbow” (Skinnyfish)

Hama “Houmeissa” (Sahel Sounds)

Keiji Haino + Sumac “American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On” (Thrill Jockey)

Klara Lewis and Simon Fisher Turner “Care” (Editions Mego)

Licking Wounds “Licking Wounds” (Phage Tapes)

Lingua Ignota “All Bitches Die” (Self Released)

Lizard Bitch “Souvenir”

Lonnie Holley  “MITH” (Jagjaguwar)

Meitei   “Kwaidan” (Self Released)

Mika Vainio + Ryoji Ikeda + Alva Noto “Live 2002{” (Noton)

Neckbeard Deathcamp “White Nationalism Is For Basement Dwelling Losers” (Prosthetic Records)

Nomadic War Machine “Always/Forever”

Nursalim Yadi Anugerah  “Selected Pieces from HNNUNG” (Hasana Editions)

Ragana / Thou “Let Our Names Be Forgotten” (Feast Of  Tentacles)

Ricardo Donoso “In Search of Lost Time” (Inverted Audio)

Senyawa “Tanggalkan Di Dunia” (Sublime Frequencies)

Thou “Magus” (Sacred Bones)

Ulfur, Oren Ambarchi, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Alex Somers

“Arborescence {remixes}” (Figureight)

Various Artists “Ex Abyss I” (Evening Of Light)

This is by no means whatsoever meant to be comprehensive in any way just some records that we played many times throughout the  year that we’re specifically released in 2018!

Read PART ONE HERE

DECAYCAST : Fifty + Impactful Genre- Defying Music Releases of 2018 : Part One

DECAYCAST : Fifty + Impactful Genre Defying Music Releases of 2018 : Part One
*part two to be released Feb 2018

2018 was a wild year for music and the world. Bad politics and worse people coming to positions of power often spark good art. Here’s fifty genre defying releases from 2018 that we at Decaycast found absolutely exceptional.
Please seek these albums out and support the artists as directly as possible!

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700 Bliss “Spa 700” (Halcyon Veil)

Akvan “بلک متال آریایی” (Self Released)

Anna LuisaGreen” (Practical Records)

Attilo Novellino & Collin McKelvey “Métaphysiques cannibales” (Weird Ear)

BbymuthaMD3” (Self Released)

Beast NestA History Of Sexual Violence” (Self Released)

Black Spirituals “Black Access / Black Axes” (SIGE Records)

Bonemagic “Cult Of The Red Vest” (Cult Love!)

The Breathing Light “Light Fast, Black Power!” (Self Released)

Burmese “Privilege” (Fuck Yoga Records)

CBN “Neblastya” (Phage Tapes)

Colin Bragg & Bill Pritchard “Andedyr” (Self Released)

Compactor “Technology Worship” (Oppressive Existence Recordings)

Conscious Summary “Exhaustions” (Skin Trade Recordings

Dental Work “Fog Of Summer Ghosts” (Placenta Recordings)

Dreamcrusher “Grudge2” (C-I-P)

Drew McDowall “The Third Helix” (Dias Records)

Eleh “Wear Patterns” (Self Released)

The Fathers “Sound Advice” (T/ECA)

Fletcher Pratt “Dub Sessions, Volume 4” (Crash Symbols)

Lara Sarkissian “Disruption” (Club Chai)

Girlz N The Hood ‘All 4 Nia’ (Self Released)

Golden Donna “Date Night” (Self Released)

Hiro Kone “Pire Expenditure” (Dias Records)

HIRS “Friends. Lovers. Favorites” (Self Released)

House Of Cake “House Of Cake” (Houdini Mansions)

Jeff Carey “Zero Player Game” (Ehse)

Jasmine Infiniti “Sis” (Club Chai)

Jonathan Snipes “The Nightmare” (Deathbomb Arc)

JPEGMAFIA “Veteran”  (Deathbomb Arc)

K 23 “Blacklight Sessions” (Fantasy 1)

Kepla & DeForrest Brown Jr. “The Wages of Being Black is Death ” (PTP)

King Vision Ultra “Pain Of Mind” (Self Released)

KK NULL “Pulsar X” (Self Released)

Kohinoorgasm “Synthwali and The War Empire” (Self Released)

Lunar Tomb “Tierra de las Brujas” (Distort Discos)

LSDXOXO “Body Mods” (Self Released)

Luke Stewart “Works For Upright Bass And Amplifier” (Self Released)

Lana Del Rabies “Shadow World” (Deathbomb Arc)

Macho Blush “Users Guide” (Tymbal Tapes)

Midmight “Cut Cut Cut Bruise” (Resipiscent)

Moira Scar “Wound World Part 1” (Psychic Eye)

Nightmare Difficulty “Run and Gun” (Self Released)

Open Mike Eagle “What Happens When I Try To Relax”

ONO “Your Future Is Metal” (American Damage)

Portal “Ion” (Profound Lore)

Russell E.L. Butler “The Home I’d Build For Myself And All My Friends”

Ryan King “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love To Bomb” (Serious Hype)

SAN CHA “Capricha Del Diablo” (self released)

Serpentwithfeet “Soil”

S.B.S.M “Leave Your Body” (Thrilling Living)

The Sorcerer Family “Hidden Rooms” (Stay Strange)

TAHNZZ “XILA” (Self Released)

The Bedroom Witch “Triptych” (Self Released)

Turkish Delight “Howcha Magowcha” (I Heart Noise)

Voicehandler “Light From Another Light” (Humbler Records)

White Boy Scream “Remains” (Crystalline Morphologies)

Witches Of Malibu “Fever Dreams” (Self Released)

Yves Tumor “Safe In The Hands Of Love” (Warp)

V/A: “Energies” (Practical Records)

V/A: “Stable Submissions, Vol 2” (Stable)

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: BIG DRUM IN THE SKY RELIGION “Hope In Hell” (Self Released, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: BIG DRUM IN THE SKY RELIGION “Hope In Hell” (Self released, 2018)

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Dozens and dozens and dozens of short audio collage snippets sampling cult preachers, hip hop intros, classical music, dust to digital style folk, guitar strummed outros, zealots, bigots, activists, tv personalities, “sickness in my community”  “suffering is the given” “{why do we suffer” bleeds into the funk arpeggiated bass line. Destroy god, destroy humanity, destroy politics and see what pops out the other end with a sonic audio accident slamming everything together with muscle, yet nuanced ease so to speak.

 

Pulling from John Oswald’s “Plunderphonics” and Negativland’s “Christianity Is Stupid”, “Hope In  Hell” blasts short, dense, collage critique splatter offerings of  religious and capitalistic confusion, alienation, and so much more and less., In  terms of sound art/collage, these  short works are dense, impactful, complex sonic vignettes into a  twisted world of  confusion and alienation, and well,  philosophical blindness. Some of  the  stronger works on this shuffle friendly journey through cut and paste absurdity are “God’s People” > “Transformation Energy” > “Make Me Present”.  This work oscillates between comedy, critique, and absurdist / dada tendencies to create a dense, dark, cut and glued critique of world’s interpretations of the unknown. Dense, fun, well done and sonically interesting collage work.  “The Big Drum In The Sky Religion is a shape-shifting confederacy of dream wanderers, spirit warriors, entheogen casualties and miscreants assembled for the purpose of altering the collective unconsciousness and bringing about the total Ecstatic Awakening of All Sentient Beings and Union of the All and the One through the use of polyrhythms, fuzzboxes and senseless banjo abuse. Dilute! Dilute! OM

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

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SHADOWS “Knight’s End” (photo: Polar Envy / ASR)

Cleveland, OH mainstays SHADOWS is David Russell and Wyatt Howland (and at least for this release are assisted via the sonics of Roman J. Leyva) crafting their  dark, horrific, take on the legacy/story of Batman  through mastered techniques of harsh noise, drone, percussion and dynamic  mixing and editing techniques. The sound of SHADOWS seems go evolve with every release and “Knight’s End” is no different. Beginning with a murky, distorted rhythm we are  quickly whisked away into a harsh symphony of ringing, clanging, scraping; attack on  the ear and the “fearless”? The sound of shadows is physically manifested through the  black clad, pointed eared upside down man of the night. “KnightsEnd” fuses longer drone sections, which contain a rather cinematic arch to their presentation, slowly beginning as a low, slow sine wave and over the course of a few minutes, escalate into a cavernous,  yet detailed sonic explosion of harsh noise, voice, and percussion, a masterfully blended evil sonic stew leaving the listener with a tense, uneasy feeling, which for my ear canal is just perfect.

.The B side “KnightQuest”  follows a similar compositional format, beginning with stark, alienating percussion, resembling the swaying of an old, cursed sinking ship with hundreds of  piezos placed within it’s weakest structural support system and signing a hum of the  druid through mangled cassette tape, as it creaks and rips apart all whilst bombs fall from an unknown sky above.  We hear a parade of  dissonant sounds slowly dragging themselves closer and farther away to the ear canal, like a slow, pulsing infectious disease spreading through an unknown human cavity, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The blending of all of the different sonic elements that compose the sound of SHADOWS is perhaps one of their strongest elements as the  tension seems to build throughout in a subtle, yet  important way, dragging us down and down into the sea of sonic mayhem until the  last air bubble pops at the  surface, the ship has sank, their are no survivors, only the harsh, alienating tortured sounds of Shadows “Knight’s End” As of the time of this review, according to the label’s bandcamp page there’s just, ONE copy left and you should GO HERE AND BUY IT.

POLAR ENVY 

SHADOWS 

DECAYCAST Reviews: The Lickets, “Raise the Red Lamp”

By Diego Aguilar-Canabal

The Lickets are back!

It’s a rare treat to see the Berkeley ambient-folk duo release a new album less than two years before the previous one, but Raise the Red Lamp offers as many new directions for the storied outfit as they do songs. Whereas 2015’s Dolls in Color saw the Lickets venture into dark-ambient and musique-concrete territory, and Offering to Magnetic Mountain saw a return to classical and Americana vibes, Red Lamp splinters into different territories that suggest this is the group’s long-awaited—dare I say it—dance record.

It’s hard to believe this is the same group that made the lush, eternal dream-drone of Song of the Clouds, now churning out succinct, rhythmic folk meditations that I’d be tempted to pair with minimal techno club tracks, but here we are. In late 2010, as a college freshman, I ventured out in pajamas to see the Lickets perform their unique blend of ambient folk in a secluded grassy glade, at a tent that doubled as a promotion for a study abroad program in Germany. (The latter was an abject failure; the Lickets had more of an audience than the free beer and pretzels.) In the waning days of a misfit adolescence that was giving way to a brooding, ruminative and curious young adulthood, the Lickets proved a perfect gateway to an early 20s spent engrossed as much in Schopenhauer and Eliane Radigue as in Tim & Eric and Tinariwen.

The lilting synth and organ overtones on “Driven from Home” harken back to some of the more whimsical moments on the group’s first proper LP, Here (on Earth), but it’s the darker tracks like “Marvels of Modern Science” or “The Country of the Blind” that evince the group’s more exciting experiments with rhythm. On the other hand, “A Season Ending” brings back the, uh, classic Lickets method of a mellow, baroque ostinato swirling over a gradually complicating morass of ambient noise. It feels awkward to suggest a back-to-the-roots approach in any Lickets output, since there’s always progression, but all the same I can’t deny the continuity.

Perhaps the other significant development here, aside from the throbbing rhythmic pulses, is the poignant Terry Riley-esque organ floating through the record. The timbre feels as stately and archaic as a church organ while still mastering the late ‘60s psychedelic vibes that defined early ambient music. Really, though, every instrument seems to be finding new room to breathe through the rhythmic experiments. For once, the delicate nylon-string guitars embark on strummed galloping journeys, while the occasional glockenspiel, too, takes on an added role as ordinary percussion. I can’t think of a better way to describe “Modern Science” than a club remix of “A Rainbow in Curved Air” as envisioned by classical guitar students who skipped class to check out a generator rave.

Perhaps the best way I can understand the Lickets is through a duality of playfulness and gravitas. There’s either the crushing burden of seriousness, funeral dirges and spiritual dread, or the forbidden, frolicking fun of a lighthearted romp. Either way, one permeates the other. So even the haunting harmonica on “Country of the Blind” feels a bit mischievous, as though the sounds were winking at you. And so, too, do the plaintive guitar pluckings throughout the album flicker with just a hint of whimsy.

It’s the first Lickets album to be offered completely for free, but it’s certainly not the first that will free you. As always, it’s a process of freedom, retreat, reexamination, and constant transition.

DECAYCAST Reviews: DAHB “VISIONS FROM AN ASTRAL CORE” (2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: DAHB “VISIONS FROM AN ASTRAL CORE”

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Dahb hails from Philadelphia and plays mid-tempo, angular, rhythmically complex,  thrashing metal/metal core. At times operating more in the black metal style before quickly and swiftly switching the riffs and focus for a more angular, choppy melodic  style. The vocals are typical of the genre, somewhere between yelling and anguished screams, they sit atop the drums and shredding guitar perfectly. A standout aspect of “Visions from an Astral Core” is the complex rhythmic relationships between the drums and guitars, both firing in oppositional machine gun like rhythms, with dissonant, archaic strums atop the chopping riffs and blasting, rapid fire drums.  The track slowly turns into an abstract, atmospheric improvisation but Dahb never loses its poise or complex style. The improvised tail provides a nice crescendo to the track showcasing both their technical prowess as well as their ear to listen. Dahb’s strength lies within this compositionally and rhythmically complicated dynamic, giving them a heavy, unique sound all their own for fans of both technically proficient and chaotically charged heavy metal .

– Maniere Zappone