DECAYCAST: MATMOS INTERVIEW (Nerfbau Interviews Matmos, remastered)

DECATCAST_MATMOS

This interview was conducted as the first official interview by Decaycast aka NERFBAU jsun Adrian McCarty and Michael Daddona interview experimental music underground stalworts M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniels of Matmos, in their then SF Mission District Studio/apartment.

We did this a long time ago, but i think many of the questions and content holds up really well and also it’s nice to hear Jsun’s voice as a distant snarky beckoning to the past and future Matmos was a rather big influence and Jsun and my early work as Nerfbau and later as Styrofoam Sanchxz and Coral Remains and were without a doubt monumental in the formation of Ratskin so I thought it would be nice and fitting to re present this. We stayed up all night the night before, myself on speed and dope and Jsun chain smoking cigarettes to prepare for this, arguing over
questions, prepping cassette decks withpre recorded hidden questions on time travel and the sound of dreams, we ended up hiding several cassette recorders throughout Martin and Drew’s studio oinged with questions which interrupted the normal interview. In our early morning franticness and nervousness (we approached the interview more like a performance / collaboration than a traditional interview ) we even managed to spill coffee into a tape machine which housed some really important master audio tapes containing interviews with Drew’s mother before she had passed We told that story for years, how if it was our studio and some high kids came in to interview us and nearly ruined a priceless historical document we would’ve kicked them out and dragged to no end, but they didn’t do that, we were welcomed, as peers, collaborators and family. One of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done. Enjoy.
-MD for Nerfbau, 2018

follow matmos at :
http://vague-terrain.com/

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DECAYCAST Reviews: Philipp Bückle “Paintings” (Moving Furniture Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Philipp Bückle “Paintings” (Moving Furniture Records, 2018)

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“Paintings” is the newest work  from Germany’s  ambient/drone maestro Philipp Bückle via Moving Furniture Records on LP, CD, & Digital.  “Paintings”  offers forty plus minutes of minimalistic, thoughtful, introspective drone compositions spread  over  twelve tracks. The album’s intro, titled “Elegant Company In Front Of A Palace” opens with a  soft,  pillowed muffled wash of static and barely audible clicks of voice and potential movement. Slowly, carefully and intentionally the  album’s intro  crescendo’s in volume and intention with lush, sine waves, akin to the decay of a  distant call for  help, or love, or  compassion, or  companionship,  The  track  builds and  swells and  before you know it we are left  with an ancient, beeping, buzzing, nothing.  This theme of  a lost communication, reaching out across a barren empty landscape continue throughout the record, which apparently is the  third in a trilogy of  similar works recorded in the  artists vacationing spot  of Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

Some tracks offer more musical stringed resolve, where as other  occupy a noisier more abstract space, but the  tension holds  well  across the  album as a whole, although the noisier passages  seem to build the tension which is  often released and resolved through the more  string based, musical compositions. This isn’t  100% experimental, but it’s  also somewhat indescribable as it  does oscillate seemingly well  intentioned between what some would call noise, ambient, and drone  while still offering the listener points of  resolve with  fairly standard musical  compositions so to speak. The more ambient tracks  stand out as the  album’s stronger and more interesting experiments though Bückle manages to carry forth  his themes of loss, isolation, and occasionally comfort and  discovery in a continuous and intentional way, which acts as a glue for the  varied structures and  styles of  compositions presented on, the  aptly titled, “Paintings”, as many of the  songs feel like vignettes, posters, experience in of themselves each wearing a slightly augmented form of  sorrow on it’s sleeve.

Of the more traditionally musical tracks, a quaint cinematic effect is achieved, especially on the vocal forward tracks such as Figures On A Road Through The Woods”  and  A Seascape. The Coast Of The Island In Evening Light” which both boast a rather lush, decaying, middle  range voice  drone which blends carefully and intentionally with the slowly evolving, churning string and piano drones which lay delicately and  subtly underneath the more  forward, punctual voice based sections.  These are breaths in the cold air of loss, gain, confusion, and clarity, These are paintings, nothing more and nothing less. Take from that what you may. Overall a strong release from a longstanding, musically diverse, and persistent imprint, who you  will be hearing more about in the future.

Decaycast Reviews: MARLO EGGPLANT “head​/​rush​(​ed)” (Vaux Flores, 2018)

Decaycast Reviews: MARLO EGGPLANT “head​/​rush​(​ed)” (Vaux Flores, 2018)

by Dr. Decaycast

 

Momentus sound artist, label head of  Corpus Callosum Distro, longtime noise queen, and curator and  founder of the  legendary Ladyz In Noyz compilation series,  UK based  Marlo Eggplant offers her  newest work via Travis Johns VAUX FLORES imprint (who also happen to make some  fantastic pedals and homemade  electronic instruments). Eggplant’s newest offering, titled  “head​/​rush​(​ed)”  enacts a wide array of  sonic offerings through short but powerful tracks.

From minimalistic, low keyed crawlings of static plumes, plucks  and voice breaths, such as highlighted  in tracks such as  “one1one“,to  spacious, prickly, washed out hills of dark reverb swells of  distorted, orchestral style string drones to  harsher, more rhythmic and  industrial leaning works such as my personal favorite on this release, “Premeditated”; Eggplant covers a wide but cohesive range of  experimental styles.

The album’s standout, “Premeditated” blends  droning sawtooth synthesizers,  high frequency, high tension noise walls of static fuzz, and  screaching, crawling voice  stabs spike out  from out of the darkness of confusion.  This track could easily hold a torch to early Kevin Drumm, Chelsea Wolfe, or even Diamanda Galas without even a  sonic flinch of  disorientation, but offers yet again so much more for contemplation through it’s own aural and compositional strategies.  Nothing on “head​/​rush​(​ed)” come off as flat or static works however, they are short intentioned sonic offerings of  sacrifice of self, weight, brevity, and sonic deconstruction. Eggplant has never  strayed too far away from the  harsh side of noise, however these pieces, while harsh, hold a cinematic and even musical  character to them without  losing a single percentage of intensity, and abstraction; a line that is  rarely toted this  successfully  by any contemporary artist, and this album is no exception. Eggplant has clearly mastered the high tension model of  dynamic composition and uses this to her favor  with no end in sight. These tracks could easily be scenes to a yet imagined film and yet hold so much narrative within themselves that the listener is almost forced to imaging the physical and etherial  spaces that Eggplant sonically articulates throughout “head​/​rush​(​ed)”.  The record crescendos with an equally intense, albeit more musically and slightly less noisy and possibly deeper and more personal offering titled onmyown ” which features a vocal and  chord forward morose and sad ballad in the vein of Tara Cross or an early more subdued Daniel Johnson,  which focuses on the erasure and heartbreak of  not being seen. A beautiful and humble ending to a strong, sharp and intentional offering from Eggplant, always honest, present and esoteric, Eggplant remains one of the most  interesting and unique unsung  heroes of contemporary noise.

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

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This collaboration shifts  honestly between many many different  sonic spaces; in the least contrived blending of  beat oriented synthesis and, well plants.  Riffing off a  theme of the releasing label, Biodiversità Records, Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë create a dense, special world of  sonic possibilities in a structurally rhythmic call and response ping pong of tense, delicate, and complicated sonic events.  Oscillating between dissonant beat oriented electronic music which the  artists admit could be  considered “techno” but the  four to the floor mindless speed comedown hooks are  left  by the wayside for a more atonal, arrhythmic, deconstruction of traditional “techno”, “dubstep” or whatever step” you take away from these quaint but pungent sonic exercises.  “Pteris Variata” unduates  between slower, cold, tense pulsing rhythms, occasionally backed by more straightforward  percussive  voices, however the  ambient  swells and  tense array of  noises never  allows this to become too much of  a  unique sound; the tracks and  sections move  swiftly and  articulate their space and move on, nothing forces the listener into a corner relentlessly, rather  creates a dark and interesting space for the listener to crawl into if they choose and explore a lush, dark, cinematic sound.

Background  swells of anciently articulated sawtooth waves  swell and wobble under a filter noose and offer an ambience which the percussion rhythms can dance around without dominating the mix.  Overall the  vibe is minimalist, tense, cinematic, ambient. Clickity, tapping, bass drums drive the  rhythm exercises through a  full workout of  sonic possibilities ending with perhaps the  EP’s strongest track, ” Oromë – Athyrium cantem” which speaks to  early Phaedra era Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos and  even references current producers such as Cloudland Canyon or Peaking Lights.

Will be  digging more through this  Italian based label’s catalog and seeing what other dark, pulsing treats we can find hiding in the brush.

What is Darkness? A Triptych of 2017 Gothic Noise

by Diego Aguilar-Canabal

When I was but a wee lad raised in the cloistered, baby-proofed suburbs of America’s car paradise, I was raised to believe that “goth” culture was something sinister, but also crude. Verboten, yet readily available at the mall. It was Slipkot shirts at Hot Topic and Nine Inch Nails wristbands the hair and the cigarettes and, in short, more about buying stuff (namely drugs and ugly clothes) than feeling any sort of way. And it certainly wasn’t about good tunes.

So here are three goth-ish records of 2017 that I wish had been around in 2007. While I may have been born too late for Ministry or Suicide, I’m just in time to enjoy these.

Ötzi – Ghosts

Oakand’s Ötzi is the rare sort of band that seems to genuinely enjoy being dark and dreary. These lush, wintry post-punk songs sparkle with a sheen of sincere, plaintive pathos. And it’s just plain fun.

It’s a good reminder, too, that before even “death-rock” was a whisper from a music critic’s lips, all the anti-authoritarian rock music we enjoy today was just fermenting in a morass of undefined sounds. It wasn’t quite punk, definitely not metal, not glam or power pop but not-not those things either. Just try not to break things in your bedroom while cranking the anthemic banger “Ghosts,” which evokes everything from Siouxsie to the Raincoats to—dare I say, even a bit of Van Halen?

There’s a touch of that driving, relentless pulse that made the Wipers’ “Youth of America” such an unusually psychedelic hit in the 80s punk canon. It’s a brazen stew of rock ‘n’ roll tempered not so much by sophistication as just sheer, authentic emotional depth. It’s what an acquaintance once dubbed—and I promise never to utter this again—“Depeche Motorhead.”

Another personal favorite of mine is “Sunlight,” a shimmery, bass-driven adventure that is restrained by a contemplative 80s-style grimness of a 2am blend of blood, xanax, and eyeliner. You’re likely to find your own highlights that won’t align with mine, though; Ghosts is a sort of Rorschach test for the dark rock fan who, to varying degrees, may allow themselves a bit of fun now and then.

Jarboe & Father Murphy – EP

This single haunted me since autumn, but for the longest time, I couldn’t muster any words about it. Then the local San Francisco news cycle picked up into a frenzied pace, and I scarcely had time to even exchange words with my own family. But Father Murphy’s mystique is just like that: a mercurial undertow of ritualistic power that will take its sweet time to bore into your soul.

There could hardly be a better pairing for the Italian horror-doom outfit than Jarboe, an accomplished vocalist in her own right who emerged as a driving force in the industrial-rock band Swans.

“The Ferryman” is a deeply disturbing spoken-word nightmare, backed by a harmonium drone and lonely acoustic guitar that foregrounds Jarboe’s faded, distant-sounding poetry. It doesn’t stick in your head right away, but upon repeated listens, it’s not the sort of thing you can easily forget.

The B-side track, “Truth or Consequences,” is really where the collaborators seem to let loose and have some fun. Jarboe is joined by a spooky organ line, melancholy bells, and a hissing tape screech that evokes Father Murphy’s heavier moments.

It’s not the sort of collaboration that fans of each artist would have eagerly anticipated, but rather one that shows the most thoughtful merging of artistic visions. While Jarboe’s esoteric and anti-operatic style is obviously well-suited to pair with Father Murphy’s dramatic style, but the result isn’t just a simple juxtaposition of their styles. Better comparisons would include the collaborative album Altar by Sunn O))) and Boris, two drone-metal bands who deliberately put thir heads together to conjure up something far more profound than just a joint jam session.

When I started challenging genre-based stereotypes of my own initiative I happened to dig out an old Bauhaus record from my father’s record collection. After several nights of letting its unforgettable atmosphere wash over me, I demanded that my parents explain just how they could have thought to raise me without this critical artifact in my music education. The response was typical: “What, are we supposed to remember to show you everything we once enjoyed? That would take forever.”

It would—and I could never hope to do the same for my hypothetical progeny—but for my readers, all I can hope is that later really is better than never. In case you missed this stellar record, I hope I’ve more than made amends.

Pan Daijing – Lack

There was no better mindfuck in 2017 than listening to this album in complete darkness, with a rare California rainfall gushing outside my window, with no other stimulation but some fading Palo Santo embers. The visionary Chinese performance artist Pan Daijing delivered what may have been the finest record I had heard all year, but it wouldn’t have left such an impact on me if these two previous works hadn’t paved the way.

A collage of gasping, howling vocal sceances, scattered stabs of piano, and blistering noise builds up a non-linear narrative of truly spiritual proportions. There’s no other album like it out there, and there are no feelings in the realm of human emotion quite like the ones you’ll feel during Lack’s brief cycle through your eardrums.

Frankly, a point worth addressing is this: male hegemony marginalizes the work of female, queer, and nonbinary artists by coding all “dark” or “heavy” intentional sounds as “masculine” by default. And, even more frankly, until those assumptions are irrevocably torn down, it’s important to highlight those voices that might not otherwise fit in these cultural norms, even at the risk of “tokenizing” what some artists may prefer to simply “normalize.”

Until the children of the future discover records by the likes of Otzi, Jarboe, or Pan Daijing, we can’t take it for granted that we, as their parents, will have the foresight to pass these artifacts on to them. We must make a conscious effort to build a world worth inheriting.

There are many other notable women who sing and make avant-garde noise—take Puce Mary, Pharmakon, an Oakland’s Tainted Pussy, for example—but Pan Daijing has a wholly incomparable, phantasmagoric style that is far more brutal than those aforementioned chanteuses. Fans of Puce Mary may particularly enjoy the hardcore techno bass-throbs on “Act of the Empress,” for example, but there’s just nothing else like it. Pharmakon uses field recordings and distortion, sure, but that would hardly prepare you for the disorienting soundscapes on “Eat” or “A Situation of Meat.”

Closing track “Lucid Morto” serves as a stately theme for the new world you could build with your listening habits. An eerie, singular drone slowly builds into a multi-vocal, microtonal organ theme, which winds and dissolves throw a blizzard of tape hiss and crackle. Its emotional ambiguity is at once arresting and inspiring, full of hope and dread.

“Here’s what I have to offer,” it seems to say—“what you do with it is up to you.”

DECYCAST Premieres: Kinetic Attack “Watch Out” Official Music Video

DECYCAST Premieres: Kinetic Attack “Watch Out” Official Music Video

Check this  world premiere of  Kinetic Attack‘s “Watch Out” video for  Miami based Crass Lips Records  “Watch Out” is directed, designed & edited by Ingrid Mouth (@ingridmouth) and features the band riffing through various  brightly colored scenes, opening passageways to psychedelic portals, glowing, strobing lighting effects give an other-worldly effect, which still maintaining a DIY charm not  too far off from an early Shana Moulton influenced works. Smoke, steam, goblets, antlers, walls of ripped and  tattered fabric play off  each other with skillful, stylized on beat, fast paced editing, gel the  seemingly endless scenes  together.  Kinetic Attack plays a raw, angular, aggressive version of  percussion heavy  synth-punk, with sharp, frantically yelled vocals which play off of the loopy, dizzying synth riffs and  thick, driving bass parts and this video is the perfect counterpart to “Watch Out”. All together, a cohesive, driving interpretation of synth forward punk music with a take all it’s own! The video component is no slouch either, that of a  dizzying array of glitter-bombed, surrealist, brightly painted  props obscure glistening bodies and playfully nihilistic dadaesque actions create a fun, confusing, yet tense and INTENSE visual for the  song, a perfect pairing. Fantastic collaboration.

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: STRAIGHT CRIMES “Jams, With Microphone, 2017” (Fine Concepts, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: STRAIGHT CRIMES “Jams, With Microphone, 2017” (Fine Concepts, 2017)

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“Jams, With Microphone, 2017”   is the newest sonic offering from bay area punks Straight Crimes.  This cassette is toted under the “punk” category on band camp and other agents of the internet however stretches pretty far past that on this album delving between slow, heavy sludgy cuts where could easily faintly resemble an early Big Black or Butthole Surfers, which thick fuzzed out guitars, monotone style yelped vocals, heavy drum machined percussion, and thick, dense, cavernous spaces of spearing electronics.  The duo doesn’t stick to a particular style on this release bur one of their own, which is refreshing to the ear and psyche.  While it does have  many “punk” qualities to it, composition  wise, things really get stretched and scratched  to the max, such as on the ten minute anthem, “Is This Hell Or Is This Dumb” the vocals  and  meat and potatoes of the  track don’t make an appearance for nearly six minutes as the listener is  left in a murky, dark, disorientation of  jabbed and beaten  guitars, harsh alienating feedback,  high tension  style sound the  alarm  ringing and buzzing as the  listener marches towards a  future of confusion and uncertainty. 0011065181_10

 

As the song pulses on the listener is even LESS SURE of themselves than they were in the beginning and we all must hope to answer the question by the end of the bass swells that check the situation in the innards and slowly build to a crescendo of chaos.   “Jams With Microphone, 2017”  is absolutely as much of a heavy abstract, even “noise” record than it is a “punk” record as can be much more easily stated for  previous S C releases, though the heavy, pummeling track “In a Free Pile”  is perhaps the album’s most accessible and  straight forward song, while still boasting  thick percussion, a tonal heavy  dirge out guitar, sludgy bass lines and walls of noise  which add sharpness to the overall throbbing beat, perhaps the strongest cut on the album.  Tracks such as “The World Does Not Care About My Art Like Every DAY” show a more abstract and experimental side to the act, with this nearly eleven-minute feedback and vocal based offering, which peaks and swells through various sonic landscapes with the continuity of well executed guitar feedback leading the listener through this dark, murky, sweaty tunnel out to the dejected other side. This is a really refreshing release overall, and look forward to hearing more of this band, and everything else via their imprint, FINE CONCEPTS, longtime Oakland stalwarts.