DECAYCAST {Track} Reviews – FOURTH WIFE “Attic” (Culture Vacuum Recordings 2021)

Cincinnati Ohio’s Fourth Wife has released an electric high energy mixed genre album on the newly formed Culture Vacuum Recordings, titled “Head Fell Between Two Horses” and for our Decaycast {Track} Reviews section we’re focusing on the second track from the album “Attic”. The track is a high energy, high anxiety explosion of indie rock prowess oscillating between early Radiohead, Drive Like Jehu and Elvis Costello although it doesn’t 100% totally resonate in any of those reference points and carves out it’s own clanky, spastic, and energetic path. The mix is boisterous in a rewarding and almost noise rock way; egging on and amplifying the intensity of the clanging of guitars, synths?, percussion and vocals in a layered and enjoyably chaotic way. Frantic percussion, fuzzed screeching guitars, and layers of shouted vocals provide the backbone of Fourth Wife’s sound, and “Attic” is a great representation of the album overall. Fun and chaotic, and for all of the layers the mix is surprisingly very well executed, tune in and listen today.

DECAYCAST Reviews : PAN DAIJING “TISSUES” (2021)

DECAYCAST Reviews : PAN DAIJING “TISSUES” (2021)

Let’s go ahead and call this ‘noise-opera’, though enthusiasts of both disciplines will no doubt balk at the suggestion. This is not a lazy application of a loose monikor, however. ‘Tissues’ is a rarity in so far as it seems to engage with opera – and specifically the libretto – in a manner that extends far beyond pastiche, with a precise, meticulous vocal engaging with recognisable operatic techniques and extending them. The voice is used here both as a traditional instrument and a versatile sonic tool, not shedding the past but embracing the wealth of avant-garde composers – the likes of Maricio Kagel, or Esa Pekka Salonen – whose work has managed to puncture the future and straddle the past simultaneously. Nor are we treated to a cursory, dumbed-down invokation of noise-aesthetics. Between the driving, angular synthesis, and the muted distortions that underpin them, the listener is left with a pleasingly refined soundworld, and whilst it is by no means ‘noise’ music proper, it certainly calls upon that horizon, forging a hidden intensity from elements that might simply be functional in the mitt of a lesser composer. Theres probably loads going on here that I’m not picking up, and probably loads I’m getting wrong, but I don’t care – this whole album is awesome, inspiring stuff, the sort of thing you don’t want to get, or might never get, such is its fundamental depth and beauty. If it sounds like I’m smitten, I am. ‘Tissues’ walks a very tricky path – a journey littered with sonic devices that are used often and badly in incalculable inferior works, yet rendered here with precision and granduer, succeeding by virtue of an audible dedication to the minutiae of its material. It’s all excellent, but Part 3 in particular soars, with angry, staccato piano chasing a measured howl through a windy terrain, a brewing storm of buzzing distortion rising to euphoric crescendo, broken only by the emergence of the voice, descending into a dense fog, monotonous and playful, theatrical staccatos balancing against the dying ebb of a fractured tone, the artificial labour of a cello or broken radiator. No one description fits any given sound, each part bleeding into the next, a constantly evolving intensity. 

– Daniel Hignell (Difficult Art and Music, Distant Animals, 7000 Trees)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Crank Sturgeon “Archives Anti of the Bad Triangle Wearer Anthropomorph” (Detachment Program) 

Crank Sturgeon: Archives Anti of the Bad Triangle Wearer Anthropomorph (Detachment Program) 

Crank S(t)urgeon of magnetic confusion, people of the universe.  Mr. Sturgeon is in full dissect and microsecond edit collage on this whopper of an oxide document.  I own about 30 or 40 releases by this project (which is still about a third of what’s been released over the years), and this easily ranks in the top five favorite recordings.  Pissing in a toilet bowl of NWW Sylvie and Babs styles, early Smegma, John Cage, vocal gab, and other pop music fragments, I find myself lost in the rapid-fire juxtapositions that only CS can carry off with pure modern dada flavor.  Certain fragmented speed-change edits brought to mind passages from The White Mice Load Records LP that I obsessed over when it was released in the mid 00’s.  This audio salad is topped with sparkling trash textures,howling feedback, and interspersed with contributions from numerous guests on a bygone radio show, A Butte for Huso, that was on WMPG in Portland, Maine from 1997 to 2004.  Later edited and reassembled with found sound, shortwave, and vocal bitties in April 1999, this recording was found in 2020 and released earlier this year on Pennsylvania label Detachment Program.  Nice liner notes and explanation of the process and contributors(a bunch of unknown names, Sickness was the only name I recognized).  People can complain about projects that release copious amounts of material all they want, but Crank Sturgeon ignores all noise trends and laughs at your pretentious noise board comments, offering sonic freedom and (gasp) fun on this short release.   – Jacob DeRaadt

No online presence for this release.

Check out Crank Sturgeon

DECAYCAST Reviews : Marsha Fisher “New Ruins” (Full Spectrum Records, 2021)

Beautiful new sonic offering from Minnesota-based sound artist Marsha Fisher titled “New Ruins” from the wonderful Full Spectrum Records which released Feb 15, 2021. “New Ruins” plunders a bun of discarded thrift store cassettes mined across the midwest to blissful and conceptually and sonically rewarding looping gifts. “New Ruins” shifts between hypnotic loops and drones done in an almost new age breath of exploration. The intro track is beautiful, crumbling voice textures, like ancient hymns broadcast through a ham radio- crackling as the wind. arrests their sounds and buries them under inches of gravel. On “New Ruins” Fisher acts like a sound archaeologist, pulling disparate loops from the earth and presenting them in a larger delicate breath of sound. Beautiful tones float on the surface as time warps and folds on itself, undecided on it’s. future like a plastic bag adrift in the wind. Sonically evocative of Phaedra era Tangerine Dream, but where the Dream dies Fisher digs deeper into an ambient palette of creation and destruction. Transmissions act like slow warnings to a future civilization, echoed from an uncertain present, the last communication beacon drains the last pulse from it’s batteries as it casts out it’s last bleep of a signal, praying to be discovered.

What could be lazily discarded as “radio static” and “chirping electronics” fade in and out, enacting the listener into a blissful hypnotic style, but n ever completely untethered from their reality, just temporarily detached and floating through a very different and unfamiliar world, that Fisher lays forth droplets of information for that makes this unknown world that much more mysteriously welcoming and desired. Fishers sound. sources appear to vary widely, and sampled of forgotten dust collecting christian alt rock tapes are sampled and manipulated seemingly beyond recognition, another conceptual element speaking to the dichotomies present throughout “New Ruins” .

From the label: “One of the tapes sampled here was a jazz fusion record, another featured instrumental soft rock – conceptually dry and inoffensive cultural documents created by Christian record labels for consumption by God-fearing men and women who perhaps did not want to associate with outlets like Windham Hill or Nadara Productions, who might have been slipping blasphemous ideas into their record, what with their eastern religious iconography and casual dips into spiritual mysticism.

“New Ruins” is out now via Full Spectrum Records

DECAYCAST { New Track} Reviews : Wobbly “Lent Foot” (Hausu Mountain, 2021)

WOBBLY Popular Monitress“to be released on cassette, CD, and digitally on 2/5/2021

Brand new high intense edit explosion from Negativland member, longtime radio show plunder-host/criminal, collaborator of hundreds near and far from People Like Us to Matmos to Thurston Moore, to now an army of touchscreen IOS nano bots- Wobbly aka Jon Leidecker. “Lent Foot” from his forthcoming album on Hausu Mountain, out 2/6/2021 titled Popular Monitress . the album’s lead single, is an explosive electronic sandstorm fused together with textbook Wobbly-esque precision maneuverings amidst controlled chaos. Bloop alien-explosion tone poem comes etched into frantic speaker cones channeling an army of puzzling and buzzing IOS midi war-machine events from the future. “Lent Foot” then blasts into hyperdrive 8-Bit Stevie Wonder bass collapsing down the rear stairwell, as arches of folding warped cartoon glitched foley pillars roughly and jitterly try to prevent the full tumble all the way down the mental metal twisted staircase of synth and beat chaos. A perfect express of the Haus Mo sound and ethic-electronic explosion of the highest and densest order. Once again Wobbly does not disappoint for the maximalist sound-horder and psychedelic ear fiend

San Francisco-based multimedia artist, composer, and improviser Jon Leidecker makes music under the pseudonym Wobbly. He is an active member of both the seminal experimental group Negativland, and with the Thurston Moore Ensemble. Over the course of a varied musical practice that began in the mid-1980s, Wobbly has collaborated with artists including Matmos, Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Tania Chen, Fred Frith, Tim Story, David Toop, Zeena Parkins, and People Like Us. 

Highly recommended.

PS. While you’re here check out this GUEST MIX Hausu Mountain busted for us last year. Ripe for a new listen.

Preoder Order Popular Monitress now from the Haus Mo bandcamp page.

DECAYCAST Reviews: Electric Sound Bath “Of This World” (Moon Glyph, 2020)

Electric Sound Bath is the new age / ambient duo of Angela Wilson & Brian Griffith. Their newest, “Of This World” is out now via the mighty Moon Glyph Records. Large, swelling synths, rumbling sub bass undulations slowly bubble up through ambient swells on forgotten tones, a warm but slightly unsettling and unresolved tension. Electric Sound Bath is the perfect conceptual and sonic reference for this work, as the tones eclipse the listening space in a spacious and breath-like eclipse of sound. Channeling early Eno and Godspeed You Black Emperor, ESB’s tones slowly peak and dip with a graceful ease, a constantly shifting tone poem enacted with grace and precision. relaxing, calming, and blissful despite holding a tight intensity at times, never fully resolving to “background sounds” but engaging movements of pressure and movement.

The duo’s sounds have room to undulate within controlled structures, allowed to breathe on their own without much chaotic interference. Like an old ham radio beckoning into an empty sky, with hope of contact returned. Bordering on psychedelic ambient, and new age, the sound switches gears occasionally but slowly and carefully, dark and low string sounds guide the work like a distant light ahead, while warmer and more glassy synth voices continue to pulse – shimmering ever so steadily through the thick fog of the sonic space.

“This long-form creative process mirrored the duo’s own life trajectory and experiences ‘of this world’. The result is a celestial wash of MIDI-driven modular synthesizers crafting slow, unfurling caverns of sound. The type of deep, meditative tones that reward loud and close listening. Allow this music to patiently flow over you, reveling in the crystalline details and heavenly peace.”

Order now via Moon Glyph Records

DECAYCAST Reviews: Laura Luna Castillo “Tuberose” (Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Laura Luna Castillo “Tuberose” ((Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

Ohio’s Whited Sepulchre Records brings us another underground gem with the hauntingly moving and inspirational new album from Laura Luna Castillo exploring themes of time/place, fragrance and experience, and the sound waves a wonderfully complicated line between all of these. The sounds present on “Tuberose” evoke unknown histories as worlds with a dash of familiarity, like a distant world buried deep within the subconscious rhizome. The sound is both ethereal and cinematic, often holding a powerful tension both compositionally and within the sounds themselves. It’s the music for a slow growing tree; it stretches only inches between the time we are born and when we die, yet we can still be transfixed on it’s beauty, power and growth.

The natural world. and it’s sights and sounds, isn’t something foreign to the artist and her practice. Castillo states, ““I was inspired by the book “The art of perfumery, and method of obtaining the odors of plants” by G.W. Septimus Piesse from 1857 in combination with the exploration of the study of time, memory loops, ephemeral and elusive memories.

Oscillating in sonic zones akin to Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, A Silver Mount Zion/GYBE, the ambient sections of Neurosis, and early Wendy Carlos, Castillo blends experimental compositional techniques with stunning epic, over-arching movements in sound and space. These compositions hold great tension in many different moods, which Castillo stitches together flawlessly, as they shift between haunting, and reaffirming, morose, and explosive. Huge moments happen with the space of a few seconds, and yet, we have to dedicate our mind and ear to the entire journey and it’s slower changing moments as well, as they necessitate their own timelines of experience. A vastly complex and interesting album for so many different reasons which are better heard than read about . Castillo’s sounds, like nature, are complex, complex in detail in the most rewarding ways, at times unsettling even, but overall present as an abundance of sonic beauty. Powerful powerful music, hard to classify, and what’s even the point, just go buy it here.

Highly highly recommended.

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 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