DECAYCAST Reviews: B L A C K I E “Face The Darkness” (2020)

B L A C K I E: Face the Darkness reviewed by mynameisblueskye

“What is freedom to the average person?”

How ever you answer that question, the one thing you should know is that it probably doesn’t mean the same thing as does to art-punk auteur Michael LaCoeur aka B L A C K I E. To those who have ever listened to B L A C K I E, you will release that his album represents a natural freedom. The freedom to just be the man he was made to be without the world seeking to destroy him or cage him in. Nomadic by nature, nonconformist by choice and perhaps even by nature and unafraid to encourage it for others in his position. The opening lines of “While They Try to Kill Each Other” outlines one of his overall thesis of being B L A C K I E over electric drums better than any of us could ever try.

“Children laugh while they try to kill each other/at least the blood returns to the earth where it belongs, and out of the hands of in power”, bellows Michael in his dry and world-weary town crier scream. With danger everywhere in his wake, it would make sense that he finds silver linings here…if that is what you want to call it. On “There Is No Light”, he reports the history of laid waste in front of and committed towards the people. “There was no food, there were fists/there were no light, there were fists” all to come back to the devastating line. “We use to eat each other!” Entrails wrapped in crimson blood line the periphery of wherever B L A C K I E looks, even amongst those who towards those who call themselves allies and heroes. His second overall thesis “I am not you’r nigger!” is delivered in an angry tone only punctuated by a deep sense of pain and sorrow.

B L A C K I E’s mind may be a mass of continuously spinning wheels, but he will be damned if it ever spins for you. Even as he tackles topics such as suffering from a crippling addiction (“How to Let It Control You”), toxic “patriotism” (“Wave Your Flag”) and fascism/fake empathy (“Uncounted”), Michael knows that even HE is not above occupying the hot seat. Painting a picture of anxiety through a descriptive lens, “Meet the Demons” is claustrophobic in its description of not being able to think and feel freely.

Not being able to just be without judgment. So, after all of this, hearing him emerge free and ready to escape on “It Can’t Define Me” feels not only heartening, but like an anthem written to those looking for their own escape. B L A C K I E’s Face the Darkness may start off as B L A C K I E in the slaughter line witnessing victims meeting their end in HD and plotting his escape from such slaughter, but it sees to it that he isn’t his own cause of danger to himself. In the midst of this, B L A C K I E emerges with one last message (clue, rather) that overall defines not only the entire album, but the world and the philosophy of B L A C K I E: “Look around/Don’t look down”.

– Mynameisblueskye

Mynameisblueskye is a singer, songwriter, poet, and occasional blogger. An American-born Renaissance man who loves music so much, he has too many videos in his Watch Look after list. His bandcamp can be found here:

DECAYCAST Reviews: Woven In “”Profess” (Grimalkin Records, 2020)

Decaycast is back from the catacombs just before halloween to share this special release day review of the newest release from one of our favorite labels, Grimalkin Records who are always bringing important, under-represented artists into the forefront. One of their newest releases is “Profess” from GR-artist Woven In, which continues the strong presence of GR releases that bridge genres in really interesting and innovative ways in 2020, and since they have started really, and Woven In is no exception.

Woven In “Profess” is the 9th album from Woven In, the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Mariah Fortune-Johnson (she/her). Twenty-nine year old Mariah has been releasing music under the name Woven In since 2013.

On her newest offering, Woven In builds a sonic bridge across multiple styles to create a cloak of warmth, discovery, humanity and information through minimal electronics, voice, and movement. Fortune’s voice glides across the honest, minimal , rhythmic glassy synthesizers which create a perfect back bone for her to enrich the meaning of these relatable, warm compositions through the speakers and into our waiting consciousness. Pulling from early Kraftwerk with the intimacy of Wizard Apprentice or Arca, Fortune has created both a sound a a space all her own, while referencing a relatable and inviting composition style.

Tracks such as “Spoken From The Heart” offer an honest and intimate look into the album’s mantra perhaps “No it’s not very nice, but it’s spoken from the heart”. The phrase repeats as a dark heavy buzzing synth backed with looping synth arpeggios create a beautiful and heartfelt nod to 90’s Euro dance and late 80’s minimal electronics, all while accented through her lush, in the pocket, hauntingly elegant vocals; absolutely my favorite track on the record.

This record isn’t just for feeling good at the club or inside you perfect personal space however, this is a record connecting her own struggle as a Black Women in America as a central theme throughout the record;

“It’s social commentary on being a Black woman in America,” says Fortune. There are other themes within the album, including love, kink, and a couple of contemplative instrumentals. Digital only proceeds will be split evenly between Black Land Ownership and the Black Creatives Redistribution Fund founded by Mariah Fortune. The Black Creatives Redistribution Fund’s website is here

Through a powerful combination of voice electronics and percussion, Fortune has created a minimal pop masterpiece which will grow on the listener as it did me, beginning as a minimal pop record and blossoming into a contemporary minimalist electronic masterpiece. This record is honest in that it keeps on giving, it keeps letting you in with each listen, opening up new portals of meaning and new orientations to sound and meaning, and that is not an easy thing to do. “Profess” is out today and you can buy it here

DECAYCAST Guest Mix : HausMo Mix

Hausu Mountain is a record label founded in 2012 by Doug Kaplan and Max Allison. They release music on vinyl, cassette, CD, and on Bandcamp. Haus Mo was kind. enough to. drop us a mix of inspirations and a few HM tracks snuck in for good measuere. We’ve covered their releases fairly extensively here, so without much further delay, dive into this deep “zone” as it were, gems galore, or and be sure to pick up the new Quicksails LP which you can order now!

1) Osamu Sato – “City Lights” – Collected Ambient Grooves 1993-2001 – (Mental Groove – 2020)

2) Ka Baird – “Symanimagenic” – Respires – (RVNG Intl. – 2019)

3) Loraine James “So Much Time” – Bangers and Mash – (Self-released – 2020)

4) DJ Screw / 20-2 Life – “Inside Looking Out” – Bigtyme Vol II All Screwed Up – (Bigtyme Recordz – 1995)

5) Brett Naucke & Ryley Walker – “Clay Scored in Dizzy” – I Am Aware We Do Not Save One Another Very Often – (Self-released – 2020)

6) Matchess – “For Lise” – For Lise – (Mexican Summer – 2020)

7) Xinlisupreme – “Seaside Voice Guitar” – I Am Not Shinzo Abe – (Self-released – 2017)

8) Arnold Dreyblatt – “Point Rotation” – Animal Magnetism – (Tzadik – 1995)

9) Armando – “Land of Confusion” – Trax Classix – (Trax Classix – 1995 [og. 1987])

10) Euglossine – “Balloon 1995” – Psaronius – (Orange Milk – 2020)

11) Rhythm & Noise – “Lapse” – Contents Under Notice – (Ralph Records – 1984)

12) Endon – “Love Amnesia” – Boy Meets Girl – (Thrill Jockey – 2019)

13) Sunwatchers – “Brave Rats” – Brave Rats – (Amish Records – 2020)

14) Killd By – “Leave Pompeii” – Neotropical – (Noumenal Loom – 2020)

15) Nídia – “Nunun” – S/T – (Principe Discos – 2020)

16) Maggi Payne – “Gamelan” – Ahh-Ahh (Music For Ed Tannenbaum’s Technological Feets 1984-1987) – (Root Strata – 2012)

17) Greg Fox – “From the Cessation of What” – Contact – (RVNG – 2020)

18) Le Révélateur – “Followers” – Extreme Events – (Root Strata – 2014)

19) Tidiane Thiam – “Yeery-Mayo” – Siftorde – (Sahel Sounds – 2020)

20) LEYA – “INTP” – Flood Dream – (NNA Tapes – 2020)

DECAYCAST Premieres: Bryce Hample’s Hedia – untitled 3 {VIDEO PREMIERE}

Morose and warm new visual from Hedia – “Untitled 3” from the Quartets cassette that came out in July. 

A beautiful union of enveloped, undulation machine of reverberated moods; a warm refreshing breath in cinematic neo-classical minimalism.  Pinched tones, crawling,  yearning for a new breath, a new beginning, Hedia works the space  of decaying sound in a beautiful and nuanced treatment of the sounds themselves bringing the space to live in a tremendously rich pattern.

With hedia, I hope to create a blank space for the listener to enter and find stillness for a moment, unfocus your eye, escape from the desert heat.” – Bryce Hample

Microscopic sonic events washing ashore fade into arpeggiated synths, but only for a few seconds as envelopes of sound and vision open and close on the viewer to create a somber distortion in both time, place, and vision.  A blurry fade into an unknown place, loss, grief, strings, sadness, hope all sputter past each other like blurred pedestrians buzzing through a rush-hour rain station. For a few moments, we have some peace.

 

video, by Bryce Hample

Hedia is the music of multi-instrumentalist Bryce Hample. Hedia is spacial music, creating a place to inhabit, if only temporarily. Musical spaces to encompass the listener, unfolding organically and spaciously, in a blanket of drifting piano chords, viola da gamba, brass, subdued guitar, and tape manipulations.

 

DECAYCAST Premieres: Ezra Feinberg “Castle and Sand” & John Kolodij “Beyond the Fragile” streaming now! (Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

Ezra Feinberg & John Kolodij share the first two tracks off of new LP on Whited Sepulchre Records. , 

The preorder is live now and the LP comes out August 28, 2020.

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Ezra Feinberg shares “Castle and Sand”A beautiful, warm, introduction to a slowly shifting, bending, humming soundscape, unfolding inside the ear, setting off a trigger of washed out humming strings, a caucophanous silence, a briightly lit star millions of miles away, these. tones escape the source and paint a distant hum that grows brighter, and quieter. John Kolodij’s “Beyond the Fragile” escalates the listener to fever pitch psychedelic hums of bending light across a plush, dimly lit, mist cloaked forest.

On his side Feinberg compliments Kolodij perfectly with warm strings resonating and shaking across a barren sea. drenched in reverb, archaic strums pluck broightly across a sea of glass. Friction like a creaking ice tray about to crack Feinberg’s music is relaxing bt holds an intensity that could erupt at any moment but never quite does, leaving us on the edge of bliss and loneliness.

from the label:

“Bless whatever cosmic winds brought together this split between NYC guitarist and composer Ezra Feinberg and multi-instrumentalist John Kolodij. Traveling deep blue highways of the mind, their split LP opens up the stunning vistas that link these two artists in sound and texture.”

Preorder the LP HERE,  scope out W S R  vast and eclectic discography  HERE

DECAYCAST Reviews: VYLTER Industries “I” (Holojamz, 2o2o)

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Vylter Industries ( VYLTER, Serotonin Jackalope et al )  creates at a seemingly unimaginable pace, so much so that it’s often hard to get a full grasp of the previous work before the next one drops, though with “I” the project now known as Vylter Industries) is back with one of the heaviest and darkest offerings from the project to date;  smoggy, dense sonic explorations to take us into a narrowed hallway encapsulated with the spilling blood-purple haze of an unknown space in reverse.

 

“I” is cavernous riffs bleeding into each other like a sonic hurricane. Slow motion controlled chaos.  Blending chopped and screwed, doom, vaporwave, and ambient styles “I”  never strays too far away from a defined sound, while at the same time weaponizing a wide range of sonic modes to wage a psychedelic trap against monotony. “I’  casts thick doom-ridden clouds into a crowded space where the listener spirals into a psychedelic frenzy. Heavy, distorted waves crash in like a digital sea, enveloping sight, and screen before a grasp of reality occurs, just for a second. Distant strums become closer and more menacing as “I” pulls you into an uncontrolled acceleration, spinning against the walls of time, a life and death sonic vortex. Powerful powerful sounds.   Highly recommended.

BUY “I” HERE!

DECAYCAST Guest Mix: Farm To Tape July Mix by D.A.C.

DECAYCAST MIXES : Farm To Tape : Episode 10 – July Mix

Next mix from the Farm To Tape  guest mix series combining experimental, jazz, metal, noise, avant garde, neo-soul, hip hop and other interpretations  of experimental sonic musings.

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Chapter 319. by clipping.

Black Sheep by Backxwash

NIGHTSHADE by Moor Mother and Olof Melander

Nothing by Tyler Holmes

Black Kaveera by Nihiloxica

ZU FAUL by 93SOVAGE

HOTHOTHOT by Alienood

SUMMER OF LOVE ON ACID by SHA SHA KIMBO

Newtype Track by Yakui

Days of Hate V2 by Dark Machine Nation

Accelerant by Azar Swan

[side B] by Uraño

Under The Stall Door by evicshen

Sermon by Bison Squad

Short Bow by Kcin and Brendan Clark

Negu by Luka Productions & Kandiafa

NORDINE STAIFI by  Goultili Bye Bye

Expanding Electricity by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

DECAYCAST Reviews : Graham Dunning “Panopticon” (Every Contact Leaves A Trace, 2020)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experimental music stalwart Graham Dunning‘s newest release via the  Every Contact Leaves a Trace imprint   Panopticon  is conceptually interesting as it is sonically, and this is a tough crosshairs to hit, but once again, Dunning does this effortlessly. Dunning reverse engineered and then replaced video game sounds with his own sounds and used the gameplay triggers as a compositional tool as we understand it, with some really interesting and rhythmic results. Panopticon starts off with mid to mid-fast tempo jarring, hammering beats, ala Pan Sonic reel to reel demos 300% sped up and progresses into more delightful sonic madness from there. Dunning’s beats and rhythmic structures are complex; alienating, cold, and yet delicate and nuanced. Oscillating between glitched out, hammering beats, to more distorted, churning,  slower-moving sections, the sound and structure of Panopticon is always changing, and always refreshing and building upon it’s previous iterations.

“The research consists of four main phases: The first phase involves extraction of the silhouette of an individual. Calculating the gait period or gait cycle of the individual follows this. Finding the sum of silhouettes is the next step. Finally, similarity score computation and matching process is performed for recognition. Any two images when compared using root mean square value are said to be similar if the value falls under the given threshold.”

Like the eye in the sky it can see you but it can also control you from all sides, slowly reeling you into a violent, repetitive system that slowly encapsulates you and rapidly shoots your flailing body down the robotic assembly line into the center of sound itself. Complicated and dense, Panopticon is one for the sonic adventurer delving into the sonics of cybernetics cast across a futuristic, barren, wasteland.

Recommended listening!

Purchase HERE

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Tristan Welch “Asset / Defect” (Self Released, 2020)

 

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On his newest EP, “Asset / Defect”  Tristan Welch explores a timeless dichotomy  of positive and negative expansions and contractions through space, silence, time and sound. Through glassy, shifting drones and tone poem movements ringing present, like a warm blanket after a cold night adrift on the nights moon last beam.  The album opens up with beautifully articulated  mid tempo oscillating synth pulses,  a faint buzzing underscored with a warm bath of tones; a calm yet slightly unnerving  respite; a rest for the restless, for the anxious, and for the forgotten.  This is slow patient, music, for one in a process of uncertainty, as well as one of discovery knows  that things can change, and every once in a great while, for the better, and maybe this time they will, that is the question this music asks, what is  change,  and when will it be cast upon us?

‘Given the inherently political nature of most of his music, “Asset / Defect” is a rare turn inward for Welch. As a person in recovery, “Asset / Defect” is an audio/visual accounting of sorts, a result from tallying up the ledger of negative character defects and positive assets. An accounting feat that is musically reflected in the clear balance between beautiful, ebullient tones and grainy distortion held at tension within the work.”

The A side  “Asset / Defect” seems a bit brighter in sound presentation overall but across the twenty minute EP, Welsh offers two movements which compliment each other in a dichotomy of undulation.  Wet delays and thick intertwined braids of reverberated strings cast doubt to those casting doubt, give hope to those giving hope, and push us all to look inward to a change of fresh air and relief.  The B side offers a similar, more contemplative, introspective place where the listener can identify with these living breathing wave manipulations, like a warm bath, tingling the skin, but never fully encapsulating the full dynamic of touch and pressure. Beautiful music for complicated times.

 

Highly recommended.

 

-Dr. Decaycast

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Corsica Annex “Doors Outside” (Ingrown Records, 2020)

Corsica Annex from Brooklyn creates delicate washes of ambient hum that will aide to calm even the most nervous and pent up listener.  Beginning  with wishing, weeping waves of  encapsulated warmth; a homely and resounding analog synthesizer din. The  psychedelic sound of “Doors Outside” slowly envelops and drifts away to a different place. Fuzzy, dream like tones gently lift light into the barren, lost eyes like the morning sun’s cast across a frozen, unsuspecting rose from the night before.

The mossy vibe slowly shifts into a repetitive string piece, undulation coupled with a morose progression that leaves the listener in the unknown. Warm organ like tones pulse uncertainty like a shifting leaf lost in the wind. Steve Reich style  string arpreggiations gloss over even more dense patterns of organic sounding  water-grown, nano bots, sonically somewhere connecting  Cloudland Canyon , Tim Hecker “Radio Amor” and later era Tangerine Dream, Corsica Annex have concocted a heartfelt electronic mood  bound to resonate with even the most passive listener.

Buy ‘Doors Outside”from the Ingrown Records bandcamp page, and check out the rest of the tapes from the batch here

 

-Dr. Decacast