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

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DECAYCAST Reviews: BUCK YOUNG “Proud Trash Sound” LP (No Rent Records / Rent Hike, 2018)

BUCK YOUNG “Proud Trash Sound” LP (No Rent Records / Rent Hike , 2018)

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BUCK YOUNG “Proud Trash Sound” is one of the most unique, albeit one of the only fusions of contemporary harsh experimental music and western fever dream Americana that I have come across, and what a discovery this has been. From the twisted. hand drawn, scrawly, but beautifully executed artwork to it’s strange, and twisted blending of seemingly unrelated styles and techniques,  “Proud Trash Sound”  subverts much of what we have come to expect from “harsh noise” or experimental music in general, and turns it’s on it’s ten gallon hat as our brains leak out in a red mess on the floor trying to articulate what this “Proud Trash Sound” is just all about, ya hear?!

Fuzzed out,  westernized twangy acoustic guitars and nasily, heartbroken, yodeling  vocals skate and twirl along, rising atop the bent capo as Whisky drips down the neck of the guitar, often and angrily interrupted by dense, belches of harsh cut up noise that Crumer has articulated as his own over the years, but “Proud Trash Sound” doesn’t stop there; it escapes the one trick pony of ironic “comedy” record and belts forth an honest and complicated, yet aurally and conceptually pleasing synthesis of styles that are traditionally considered “unrelated”.  In the cacophonous slab of post modern beauty that is “Proud Trash Sound”,  there is truly something for everyone on this record, from morose, sad, heartfelt paino works such as “Murdoch” which blends heavy, heartfelt piano arpeggiations with a lonely buzzing from the farm’s distance to minimalistic, muffled blendings of bending guitars, field recordings of explosions, horses, farm animals, and just about everything else left after the show down, BUCK YOUNG slickly avoids categorization throughout this LP. Are these some sort of twisted cover songs, or is Buck Young simply pulling on nostalgia strings through this deep and unnerving sonic tale of a time where the cobblestone streets ran red which archaic blood of those on the wrong side of the gun and the bottom of the barrel. Other tracks like the more upbeat “Harper Valley PTSD” offer a higher pitched twang, blended with cut up tape loop destruction and a thick warm analog haze of sonic confusion; this is a good thing btw.

The  album’s standout track for me “Hey Linda!” is a chaotic, multi layered, fumbling, bumbling, beer soaked love ballad sped up, bled dry sounding like Can 1968 loops accelerated through a mangled, ash-covered  tape machine feeding back through CB radio. Blending 60’s psychedelia with futuristic sounding harsh noise, a cowboy belt buckle stash spot of mind bending, leather hide rank sounds into a hooch barrel of = truly unique and all encompassing American experimental music, BUCK YOUNG offers us nothing short of a dark take on a murky past. Buck Young is a truly indescribable sound, you must only hear it for yourself to believe.  Pick this up from No Rent Records before it’s sold out, or it might already be?!

“Until now… 

It has been 74 long years, so steal a few tall cans of beer, pull up an old crate or a worn out tire and start a bonfire with your roommates’ crap. Add a reasonably functional cassette player and this is the new American concert hall. “

 

Decaycast Reviews: CONSCIOUS SUMMARY “EXHAUSTIONS” (SKIN TRADE RECORDINGS, 2O18)

Decaycast Reviews: CONSCIOUS SUMMARY “EXHAUSTIONS” (SKIN TRADE  RECORDINGS, 2O18)

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The newest work from LA’s CONSCIOUS SUMMARY carves a sharp and distinct  lineage from their previous works to this newest release from California based SKIN TRADE RECORDINGS. “Exhaustions”  encapsulates the delicacy and intimacy in which Samur  Khouja, the person behind Conscious Summary handles his sounds.  The first side, “Commitment To An Extinction” begins with a low, bubbly rumble just below a present volume and continues to undulate at a stasis-like pacing of a slow churning dark, gurgling sounds interjected with sharp and poignant shards of violent sorcery. The aggressively present scraping eventually gives way to a more subtle, peaceful tone poem of pulsating drones. We  are left in a contemplative, peaceful place, but not for long, a new dawn is on the horizon, one we did not plan for. The peaceful poem turns into a dynamic battle for space and form; shivering blades of sonic chaos, accented through monstrous  spurts of distorted, harsh, frequency battles, which slowly and effortlessly take control as background synthesizers pulse, hum, and vibrate with ascending tones while the chaos ensues.  After a brief but present harsh section the listener is once again placed into a new identity, which gently, calming efforts of swelling sine waves, which are so delicate and nuanced they almost weep to the listener in a morose, subtle, nuanced phrase.

The B side offers more voice forward pieces with stretched voices and textured, articulated synth happenings  work in a high tension psychedelic harmony similar to the oncomings of a long, desert experienced LSD trip, but this psychedelia is sonic, and not  chemical based. Through masterfully mixed and layered synth and voice sections, Khouja creates  high tension electronic happenings,  with choked and  eviscerated voice offerings thumped by a sub bass drone/beat that will take the listener unto the next plane of  existence, an unknown place  with spatial distortions unknown to our  current mind.

The sounds of “Exhaustions” pull from harsh noise, drone, ambient, and new age strategies in the best way possible, referencing these historic practices while simultaneously shattering the expectations of what any of these could and should be. Khouja masterfully blends these styles in a hypnotic, meditative tour de  force of minimalist contemporary electronic music. “Exhaustions” is not worlds away from the work of say Pauline Olaveros or Terry Riley however it offers its own dynamic breath of sonic interpretation. “Exhaustions” is poised, patent, and all around a profound minimalist interpretation of space, form, tension, and experience. Highly recommended, there is also a special edition encased in a  wooden box which looks beautifully crafted, and a perfect enclosure for this cavernous work of  experimental electronics and voice.

DECAYCAST Reviews: Jeff Carey “Zero Player Game” (Ehse Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Jeff Carey “Zero Player Game” (Ehse Records, 2018)

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Jeff Carey‘s  2018 “Zero Player Game” which is actually out today synthesizes noise, cyberpunk concepts, and  abstract composition and  chance into a dark, heavy stew of experimental music. Carey’s sound on “Zero Player Game” is raw, fast moving, and uncompromising, at  times, sounding like a glitch-heavy classically inspired contemporary experimental music composition and other times bypassing the  dynamic and sharp ebbs and troughs for the all out sonic approach of mayhem. Carey’s sound oscillates between distinct and sonically intentional strategies. The sheer amount of  sonic spaces occupied throughout “Zero Player Game” is astonishing to say the least; sounds vary from thickly wet, pulsing pillars of square wave madness, short, quick, bubbly flesh being torn from bone accentuated by a cavernous thud, longstanding ambient background drones which create the architecture for Carey’s joystick of chaos to oscillate between endless synth and sample parameters in mere seconds. Whatever the compositional idea throughout, Carey has clearly mastered it. Carey’s sounds are deep, alive, and present, and despite their customized instrument/presentation being grounded in the  digital realm, sounds so life-like and present one can feel a slithery long arm reaching out of the speaker and  gently stroking your spine with a poisoned feather tip is the overall vibe of the sound. VISCERAL and R E A L, containing all what so many lack, ‘Zero Player Game” pulls no punches that operate outside of it’s own chaotic, but idiosyncratic structure and form and is in solid control of its own sonic destiny.

“Zero Player Game” is comprised mostly of intense, sharp and dangerous, cut-up music with an organic, live and honest feel, something not easily achieved. The press release states,  “Jeff Carey’s fourth CD release is is electro-instrumental music performed with custom software controlled by a joystick and gamer keypad. Zero Player Game is an intensely artificial sound world where beats and bass lines are replaced with an elastic structure of synthetic texture, feedback and bit crushed noise blasts” which offers a deeper explanation into how exactly this  style was developed and we wonder for this release specifically? However “Zero Player Game” was created compositionally, it at no point leaves the listener in a static, boring place, for every sonic action is a new adventurous wormhole for the ear to slither down into as the brain begins to break attempting to decipher these cosmically deep and  adventurous soundscapes.  Highly recommended for fans of noise, harsh noise, and electro-acoustic cut-up. Angrily blistering yet peacefully blissful music for the curious ear. Jeff is also on tour  supporting this release so check the dates and his website below!

NOVEMBER 6, Bushwick, NY @ H010 Gallery

7, Providence, RI @ Machines with Magnets

8, Ithaca, NY @ The Chanticleer

9, Columbus, OH @ Fuse Factory

10, Louisville, KY @ Kaiju

11, St Louis, MO @ The Juice

12, Dayton, OH @ Skeleton Dust Records

13, Chicago, IL @ TriTriangle

15, Pittsburgh, PA @ 3577 Studios

16, Nyack, NY @ Nyack Village Theatre Boutique

17, Philadelphia, PA @ Vox Populi

DECEMBER 2, DC @ Rhizome

3, Johnson City, TN @ The Hideaway

4, Gainesville, FL @ The Limin Room

5, Miami, FL @ Churchills

6, Orlando, FL @ Wills Pub

7, St Petersburg, FL @ Paper Crane

8, New Orleans, LA @ Mudlark

9, Birmingham, AL @ Firehouse

10, Asheville, NC @ Static Age

DECAYCAST Track Reviews: SIGNOR BENEDICK THE MOOR “Srsly” (Deathbomb Arc, 2018) + Tour Dates!

DECAYCAST Track Reviews: SIGNOR BENEDICK THE MOOR “Srsly” (Deathbomb Arc, 2018)

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Deathbomb Arc recording artist, and genre mutilator SIGNOR BENEDICK THE MOOR holds nothing back emotionally or stylistically with their reverent track “srsly” from the “Toybox” release on the esteemed longstanding imprint, who has helped spawn such artists as Death Grips, clipping. JPEGMAFIA and many more. On “srsly”  Moor begins with an honest, present, fuzzed out vocal presentation “bout to lose my body and soul” as an equally fuzzed out bass drum thuds in the backroom over the  artists melodic and vehement vocal presentation. The voice then mutates to a cleaner version, back to an ancient telephone fuzz, and then again to layered, almost “auto-tune” style vocals as the bass drum and claps refrain and break down, allowing the artists voice to dictate the pacing and  emotional expressions that is SB THE MOOR.

 

Un-categorized, yet defined, concise yet expansive, the sound of “srsly” is unmistakable, yet nothing quite like I’ve heard in contemporary hip hop.  Moor’s vocals oscillate between sung, spoken, and stuck in sonic sorcery as the track floats into a beautifully melodic breakdown where Moor’s voice shines atop the throbbing, warm, pulsating beat underneath. Warm synth pads creep underneath the beat to give a tingling sonic  topping to the already flushed out  beat, and ends as beautifully as it begins.  Moor creates music that defies rigid genre configurations and limitations and instead offers a futuristic, radical, idiosyncratic take on experimental  hip hop and r&b. Catch them on a  west coast tour right now,  stopping  in Oakland this Friday at at Pro Arts  gallery with  openers  Golden Champagne Flavored Sweatshirt and WOE. Check the tour poster below for remaining dates!

 

 

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– Maniere Zappone

DECAYCAST Reviews: AMANDA R HOWLAND “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” (No Rent, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: AMANDA R HOWLAND “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” (No Rent, 2018)

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Cleveland, OH recording artist Amanda R.  Howland comes with refreshing array of sonic possibilities and strategies with, “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” her first tape for the NO RENT imprint, with two sides of mixed-bag, dense, electronics spanning from harsh noise, to musique concrete,  to sections accentuating voice, to more abstracted rhythm sections which blend in and out of a gentle, yet very present, bowed, hum.  Static, voice, melody, clattering broken rhythms, radio chatter of  ancient transmissions and a harsh sense of absence are all present in this short but important release.  Tension is another constant theme to the ear as  one section may contain a harsh, alienating scraping; a  sound nasty pissed and angrily broken, inching across the floor toward its prey as the  amplitude and aggression increase and climax into an alarm style buzzing; alerting the listener that, yes, now is your time. Another sound, if even for a moment, m0014255476_10ay offer a brief, ambient respite to the harsh reality that has encapsulated us all, “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” is, indeed the sound of that. A chaotic, dangerous and aurally thick and swift climax appears and then vanishes leaving only a distant hum of  abstracted silence, a slow, subtle, thumping as if the decaying heart has pushed red for its final beat.  The silence at the end of side one almost doesn’t seem real as the listener is left with wanting more of this uncertain future the ears and brain have yet to test, yet to experience.  If any sonic territories are left unexplored under the “experimental”  or “out-sound” tags on side one, we soon learn they will be shredded and eviscerated on side two with as much skill, tension, and carefully articulated abstraction as they were on side one.

The second side, “Batshit, Silence” picks up  right where the  A side dropped us off, with a high-pitched, distorted and warped melody.  Intense shrieks, angry swells, and ancient hymns of bouncing, pulsing sine-wave frequencies gel together like a microbiological  fungus slowly transforming into something much greater and dangerous, the thick scraping, shooting radio0 transmissions into the brain grow together, seamlessly providing a ridged and ugly backbone for abstracted  layers of thunderous pounding, the a tonal scraping of a ferociously thick winds ripping across the gruesome and confusing scene, pulling tiny, flesh-ridden shards of the listeners inner ear with it,  to cascade upon, as Howlands’ dark, grinning, noisy, churning  machine glides through the wires and slowly leaks out of the pores offering a new dark reality, endlessly searching for a cave to whip around in, an enormous sound. This scene is eventually evacuated to barren, alien radio transmissions have crept their way in and angst-like shake and sputter long lost messages over the dense, thick walls of  bleeding electronics, this like life eventually fades away and we are  left with an alienating, deafening silence.  Highly dynamic and enjoyable tape for a wide variety of experimental delvers. Pick u the digital HERE and the cassette HERE

DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)

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Witowmaker is the project of Bay Area electronic producer and internet cult personality Christopher Danko, also of Stable imprint/collective, and Religious Girls fame. On “Feather”, Danko crafts ten lush, dynamic,  emotionally present, fun and heavy electronic “dance” tracks which float the listener to an oscillating plane of lush tone poem arpeggiations, thick walls of decaying synthesizers, heavy, dynamic drum programming, atmospheric flutterings, and concisely layered, and intricately mapped vocal samples. The overall sound of Witowmaker is, at times,  surprisingly warm and ‘positive’, with a tinge of sarcasm, and at other times, darker, more dissonant, and even emotionally confusing in an interesting and uncontrived manner. Tension is sonically available throughout the wide range of aural moods on “Feather”, one track is accentuating the bent light sunshine across crashing waves, while the next track descends into another layer of cosmic hell, unsure of the outcome. Refreshing; this is a fun and important release in the arch of bay area electronic musings.

“Feather” offers complex, lush, delicate sonic textures while still retaining a pounding, thick, four to the floor heaviness which pulls from Acid, Dub, IDM and a dense warped version of straight-up dance music. Remnants of influence from Aphex Twin, FKA Twigs,  DJ Spooky, Art Of Noise, and later Carl Cox can be heard in the glistening, bright, affront production, yet Witowmaker offers a unique style of dance based electronic music all their own! The B side begins with a fast tempo, funky bass arp track titled “Trick Me Twice” which rings back to 90’s NRG/bass music with an experimental flare all it’s own. A classically trained arp machine spits out climbing cascading  rhythms while lush pads provide a warm backbone for chopped and glued vocal slices, offering a dense, warm, funky dance floor banger. Plug my ears with a drill to extract the earplugs that have been stuck for centuries at the club, ‘cause this is the high tempo, low bullshit dance music I’ve been waiting for.

This little tone machine gets funkier and more dynamic with each spin!  Other tracks like the B side’s “Contamination” offer a darker, more evil-grin means of electronic stylings, which perhaps might be the  darkest and most warped track on the album, pleasing the listener as the acid kicks in and everything changes. Witowmaker is refreshingly honest, dark and delicately crafted dance music for the jokester in all of us laughing to the trap door of life  until the doors spin open and we’re left wandering through a world of confusion not knowing what we’ve seen nor heard. Look for more from this project, we will be. Side note: this is one of the best sounding and best LOOKING tapes we have received in some time, and it’s refreshing when the visual look and sound unite to create a beautiful package of lush electronic presentation.  Order this tape, now!

 

Here’s also some free bandcamp download codes for the album:  redeem at http://www.bandcamp.com/yum

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