DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

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Spore Spawn is a nearly decade old project based out of Japan, and also happens to be an end level boss in the  popular fan favorite video game, Metroid.

The project name choice is Probably not an accident based on the title and  aesthetics of the artists imprint, 16 Shots Per Second   but this cassette is released by Leah and Matt’s imprint OXEN, based out of LA.  “Ochistuitara”, from Tokyo’s underground legend SPORE SPAWN, boasts a twenty minutes’ sacrifice of masterfully crafted, exciting, kinetic, dynamic harsh noise, and supposedly is made from a myriad of homemade joystick synthesizers and crude noise devices. While essentially existing in the harsh noise realm, “Ochistuitara” actually covers a rather wide and refreshing array of harsher sounds, compositional strategies and dynamics, and even musicality at times, almost a virtuosic approach to harsh noise. Spawn creates dense walls of feedback that violently and aggressively cascade into spacious vignettes of ambient drone, expertly blended field recordings, slow rhythmic pops, and chirps like a glitched- out, off-kiltered, dying alarm clock that fights the plug to stay in the wall when it’s angrily yanked out.   The walls of blistered, busted out, serrated chaotic mayhem crescendo into utter sonic chaos, and just as the ear bleeds for mercy rescind into a cold, alienating, isolating hum.  At times, the ambient sections act as a break from the unrelenting mountains of noise, and other times, function as matrix of brain mutes with respect to the ear fatigue. Loud is only loud when quiet is quiet, and on “Ochistuitara”, the artist is no doubt conscious of this strategy in respect to the timing and composition of this EP.

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Things never stay the same to become predictable or flat, Spore Spawn is constantly shifting though wavetables of disorientation, fear, chaos, tension, and even a few brief moments resolve. The tones themselves have a cold, digital body, while swells of analog chaos modulate themselves and the sharp digital pillars of extreme sonic swells and decays, and the start /stop style of aggressive noise, on more than one occasion even function as a “drop”. What was  dropped  we don’t know,  however it carved a  deep impact into  the  ear canal, even noted on one of CLIPPING‘s year end  best of lists! In short, this is a must have for fans of ASTRO, K2, early MERZBOW and even some of the work of CLIPPING themselves.   OXEN continues to remain at the forefront as one of America’s most aesthetically and conceptually consistent harsh noise labels.   Grip this fantastic tape before it’s too late.  Here’s a few world from OXEN that represent the complexity and brevity of this EP flawlessly,

Ochitsuitara brings any fan of modern harsh noise (nostalgists won’t be disappointed though maybe not specifically catered to) closest to articulating what it is that sets Spore Spawn apart from decades of legendary noise pioneers, his modern myth building utilizing swirling loops of cacophony and squelching stabs, uncompromisingly outpacing any modern competition in his unique patterns of ecstatic jarring drunken fervor and (sometimes) vocal delivers closely woven into and through electronics culled from homemade disused gaming controllers. Just harsh as fuck. All measurements of harsh noise enjoyment of this genuinely gifted noise artist will be vastly rewarded and on abundant display on Ochitsuitara.”

OXEN LABEL 

ORDER THE TAPE HERE 

SPORE SPAWN Soundcloud

 

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DECAYCAST Reviews : SEA MOSS “BREAD BORED” CS/Digital (Crash Symbols, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SEA MOSS “BREAD BORED” CS/Digital (Crash Symbols, 2017)

a0364792524_10SEA MOSS is a perfect example of  why duos are sometimes the most engaging for heavy and experimental music. SEA MOSS, splice all of the specific aspects that make duo’s so special; tension, dynamics, a call and response/push pull type of  dynamic, (that often gets lost or muddled once a third or forth voice is added),  into a fever  dream ritual of distorted noise rock, and rhythmic, percussion heavy noise. When contrasting  voices push and pull, interesting and chaotic things can happen, and that’s exactly what this Seattle duo does, on their freshman album “Bread Bored”. For one, the sound is a perfect blend of Noa Ver  homemade, noisy, chaotic, dynamic home-brewed synthesizers, which she popularized in her solo project Mulva Myasis  and Zach D’Agostino percussion and live sequencing which meld together perfectly to create a raw, cacophonous blend of abstracted, cut up, angular noise / rock. Noa Ver create walls of glitched-out, sputtering, chirping, regurgitating bent and mangled waveforms blending together to create rhythmic walls of unique, raw synthesized noise over D’Agostino, who belts forth a seemingly endless array of broken rhythms, fusing both analog and digital sources to create a chaotic, chopped up, backbone of heavy, flipped out perscussion. Also we  couldn’t really talk about this release  without mentioning the intricate, dense, psychedelic collaged cover art/Layout done by Liz Pavlovic, offering the perfect visual counterpart to the dense, tripped out, broken sounds of SEA MOSS.

Having seen SEA MOSS live in 2017 (and BTW this project is barely a year old, and has already toured, released this album on CRASH SYMBOLS and self-released several live recordings) I had a rough idea of what to expect from this tape, and it really represents their live sound well. The aptly titled “Bread Bored” oscillates between more noise, even free jazz styled works, using more  chopped, off timed rhythm tracks, and the  synths are  sputtering more like a trumped or saxophone than a synthesizer,  such on the  second track “Infernal Stutter”, whereas the very next song, “Wanna See A Trick?”, perhaps my personal favorite on the album falls much more into an early Load Records style of noise rock where the synths and walls of noise act as a heavy low end for the pummeling 4/4 breakdowns which dominate the song, or  similarly styled and  varied is the finale “Sea Sickness”, which blends thudding  drums, more  buzzing, screaming oscillators and time/tempo changes that will leave your  head  spinning,  There’s also a whole lot varied vocal styles which range from long swelled, yelling to short, antagonistic bursts of  sound, yelling, fighting , screaming, screaming, threatening, impactful, and sharp in unique ways even though the lyrics are  rather indistinguishable from each other. Despite this, the vocals provide an additional layer of tension and chaos, especially when complimenting the heavy, smashed out percussion riffs in a sort of call in response type of way. At times, it’s as if all the instruments are being played as their opposites; or something they’re totally unreleased to; synths are played as horns, drums are played as basses, vocals are an additional layer of percussion, but also so much more.

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SEA MOSS stands above and beyond a lot of other offerings in noise rock camp so far for 2017 that have pummeled my ears. SEA MOSS has a seemingly uncanny ability to pack three or four different styles and feelings, even within a single track (and mind you most of the tracks are under four minutes, some even in the one to two-minute range). This music could be from 1999 or it could be from 2199, we haven’t totally figured that out yet, and that’s part of why it’s intriguing. The cassette is sold out; however, you can grip the digital album for five dollars from the Crash Symbols  band camp page. Be sure to check out a myriad of other releases from the West Virginia based imprint, while you’re on the band camp and make sure to follow SEA MOSS here!

DECAYCAST Reviews: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

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With the rise of accessibility for artists and producers to create sound, music, art and the ability for those artists to contextualize, and re contextualize their work in a seemingly often dizzying whirlwind of labels, sub-labels, sub-labels of sub-labels, through, you guessed it, the INTERNET; questioning the role or necessity of a small independent record label in these weird, confusing post-post modern days of malleability of meaning, format and intention, seems like probably a good idea. How many of them are genuine, how many of them truly put the artist first, and in priority, how many of them believe and stand behind their “product”, behind both the “artist” and the “artwork”. Derek Rush‘s New York – based imprint, Chthonic Streams does just that, and they do it with style, focus, and intention, as exemplified by the labels’ most ambitious and potentially most conceptual release to date, at least in its packaging and  form, is the “No Workers  Paradise” boxset. You should keep reading, but what I also recommend is that you  stop what you’re doing and instantly ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

We  are  fans of  boxsets, we are fans of conceptual art, and we are fans of toolboxes and  ridiculously ambitious projects here at Decaycast, and Chthonic Streams exhaustive 8 hour cassette boxset titled, “V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE” covers all of these bases and more, in one, mechanical, maniacal offering. Boxsets are awesome, and they’re even more compelling when they actually contain new material, by, gasp, even living artists. No shade on the myriad of Miles Davis and John Coltrane CD reissue boxsets that we have all seen and probably purchased, but eight hours of new material, from eight heavy hitters in the noise/industrial/power electronics scene enclosed in a matte black tool box, accompanied by a zine and customized time card to boot, is not really something we could (or should ignore). We received a rather large media mail box from New York and upon opening, the “No Workers Paradise” boxset emerged, a sleek matte black toolbox with a shiny chrome latch and basic font that reads “No Workers Paradise” is affixed to the top. Its interior reveals eight 60-minute cassettes and a zine/accompanying booklet for the release, and customized time card emerge as the tools for the job, so to speak. It was time to clock in.

As with all of the labels’ releases, the artwork is done by label head honcho Derek Rush who also books shows, is an active DJ, and works in graphic design and photography, so it comes as no surprise that all of the artwork included looks stunning and professional, accented by the printed booklet and cassette artwork itself. We haven’t even gotten into the sounds and this is already worth the $75 price tag without question, a truly beautifully put together collection. Now into the meat and bones of these disgruntled, bloody and beaten-down workers, we will delve into the sounds in reaction to the  tormented work day!

The boxset starts with the label owner’s project, COMPACTORoffering a strong, mechanically styled “old school” feeling industrial track with clanging rhythms, backed with the tick tock tick tock of the overlord’s clock. The panopticon is omnipresent and the worker must continue. Wake up. Work! Time To Work! Until you DIE, and DIE, until you can clock out at the end of the day and do it all again. Compactor’s sounds generally fall within a more mechanized style of industrial, there is soul, but it’s the soul of a robot programed to destroy itself, through repeated, violent, senseless rhythms, yet Rush’s sound and sample choices are powerful and intentional. The, slow, churning blown out percussion blends perfectly with the  high squelching feedback of industry/insanity and  multi-layered, multi-timbral synth workings. Compactor’s offering is the perfect opening to the project, cold, alienating, mechanized, and dense; the perfect ramp up to the more  fuzzed out, abstracted works of some of the other contributors to the boxset, The Vomit  Arsonist,  Redrot, Gnawed, and Filth, amongst others.

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Another  standout sound work in this massive offering comes from Denton, TX’s FILTHwho offers up his own interpretation of an hour slice of the standard american work day. Rob Buttrum’s FILTH project is known for his menacing cacophony of industrialized noise, power electronics and analog psychedelic compositions. FILTH brings his A game to work for with a dark, brooding, menacing stitching of fuzzed out, psychedelic noise and drenched in feedback power electronics, in what can only be described as the  FILTH sound, which we have covered in the past HERE in an interview with Buttrum and his label OUT OF BODY RECORDS.  Buttrum does offer a rhythmic backing at times, but in a different, slightly more diffused, muffled style than COMPACTOR, but don’t skimp on the manual,  because there is a harsh reality in store if you don’t, and  you’re likely to get gobbled up into the machine and  spat out as puny remains, but FILTH’s sound is  not exclusively harsh, tripped out noise, there are  abstracted broken rhythms, there is intention, it is planned, and panned, it IS the sound of the second hour of the day forcing itself into the  negative space of your brain, that may in fact, prove to be your  last of the day, of your life. FILTH is the sound of a  rusted, dilapidated, unstable, harsh machine taking its unknowing operator with it to an early grave.  Planned obsolescence, like user, like machine.

Michigan’s REDROT (Chondritic Sound, Bloodlust, Slaughter Productions) aka Ryan Oppermann offers another standout track on “No Worker’s Paradise” with one of their tracks titled, “Work Release Program Terminations”. REDROT is blackened, harsh noise/PE, with slices of  blown out  beats, and angular rhythmic structures over a sea of  dense power electronics and industrial. The machine has already regurgitated the  one time worker into a mess of fleshy, red, sacks of rotting remains, and REDROT is the  absolute perfect soundtrack to the coworkers slowly and confusingly sweeping the bloody bits into a bag for disposal. Redrot carries a white noise sword which swiftly and steadily shaves away at the listeners  inner ear  canal, until a drop of blood leaks out, and starts a mechanical frenzy leaving the  workers, along, confused, and  scared as the  drop turns into a red pool where music dies.

Another standout offering on this project is Minneapolis, MN’s  GNAWED, aka  Grant Richardson. We’ve covered one of GNAWED’s previous releases HERE on Decaycast. 

GNAWED‘s track for “No Worker’s Paradise” is similar to  his other industrial, harsh noise, power  electronics hybrid funeral stylings; chaotic, yet restrained, busy yet articulate, harsh but at times even beautiful. Much like  FILTH, GNAWED  uses homemade analog electronics to create a brooding, dark, cavernous sound all of his  own. His “Terminal Epoch” album from Phage Tapes, would be the closest style wise that I’ve heard for the track for this boxset. GNAWED is a master of tension through intentional and articulate dynamics, balancing sharp, harsh sounds with lower, more  brooding under swellings of terror; the track slowly and painfully oscillates between violent shudders, chaotic, dense, noise blasts and distorted, broken voice swells.

THE VOMIT ARSONIST, EXISTENCE IN DECLINEBLSPHM and WORK/DEATH  also punch in with powerful sound works blending industrial, harsh/blackened noise, power/electronics and dark, experimental moods of the harsher, angular  style.

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The boxset as a whole is a lengthy listen clocking in at the 8 hour mark, but when one thinks of the  slow, grudging, unrelenting time clock of the american work day, this tour de force of harsh industrial / PE  serves as a warm, relaxing day on the beach as a vacation, even for a day, from the  alienating, hellscape robotic world that is American capitalism. Rush does right by all of the artists involved with stunningly beautiful and appropriate artwork and  packaging as with all of the labels releases. A must for any noise collector, and/or hater of  capitalism.

ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

Chthonic Streams Online Store 

Label Website 

 

LIMITED TO 50 NUMBERED COPIES
(additional 16 go to artists only)

DECAY CAST Reviews: John Rasmussen “DModes” Digital EP (Not On Label, 2017)

 

DECAY CAST Reviews: John Rasmussen “DModes” Digital EP (Not On Label, 2017)

Rasmussen is the solo project of John Rasmussen.  He is based out of Denver Colorado, USA. His styles range from harsh noise to IDM / experimental / minimal. John began performing in 1999 after many years of recording. Originally John started Page 27 with John Gross in 1994 and for years around that time he played cello for 6 years.  John Rasmussen and John Gross work on putting on the Denver Noise Fest, http://denvernoisefest.com/ (started in 2010) and performs with Michael Nowak/John Gross as Page 27 regularly”

For this  release, “DModes” Rasmussen blends harsh noise, ambient loop sections, field recordings,  found sounds, augmented voice, lo fi transmissions blasted, blown out  rhythm sections, data bending  sonic sculptures; kind of but  not so similar to  the  sounds of  machines and  programs  dying, failing, flailing, and  fucking exploding in the  face of the user; with no  where to  run and nowhere to hide.  Belching, fizzing digital  gargling  spews out of the  speakers in long harsh seeing  breaths of  aural decimation. The first two tracks “Xenu” and  “DModes”  start similar with a minimal, crunchy digital  sounding  tone  burst, but both slowly eclipse into walls of harsh feedback, malfunctioning, or  properly function  triggers, and  sequencers. The Midi Cable has  come alive to strangle its user, and  the  user  repents.  The  B Side boasts live  versions of both of the  tracks  on  side  A. Although the  fidelity is a  bit lacking on the live recordings, the damage, confusion and discomfort is all still there.  Despite the  abstracted composition both of the  love  tracks don’t  stray too far from the  originals  presented on Side A,  which is  both impressive and  exciting  considering the noisy and chaotic nature of the project.

Often times with harsh noise it can be  extremely difficult to  tell the  source of the  sound, albeit  conceptual maybe it’s not important  what the  source is but with  Rasmussen ‘s work  it  screams a  healthy dose of  both digital and  analog  electronics and  processing.  Just as the  listener is being washed away in a sea of  white  noise trauma, the  chaos  fades and the listener is  left  with  bleep, dot,  error information?  A  single  dial tone to the  brain that has  already escaped.  What happens the  moment before meltdown?  Check the  band camp and  find out  HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

CBN – “BE THERE WHEN I DIE, ALL I WANT IS UR SADNESS” (MOONWORSHIPPER RECORDS, 2017)

CBN – “BE THERE WHEN I DIE, ALL I WANT IS UR SADNESS” (MOONWORSHIPPER RECORDS, 2017)

REVIEW BY Rob Buttrum (FILTH, OUT OF BODY RECORDS)

CBN IS THE MASTER OF OPPRESSIVE AS FUCK, DARK, BROODING AND DANK POWER
ELECTRONICS. MENACING DRONES & UNCOMFORTABLY BURIED VOCALS INTO NASTY SYNTH PROGRESSIONS. A MASTER OF BUILDING A
HEAVY EMOTIONAL SETTING. CBN CONTINUES THIS TREND BUT WITH MUCH MORE DYNAMICS AND A SLIGHTLY MORE INDUSTRIAL
SOUNDS THAN BEFORE. IF POSSIBLE ITS EVEN HEAVIER AND MORE FOREBODING THAN EVER. TWO LONG TRACKS MAKE UP THIS TWISTED AND CRUSHING RECORD.

TRACK 1.
I JUST WANNA WATCH PIGS DROWN – PURE HATE AND DISGUST FOR THE SCUM OF THE EARTH WE CALL PIGS. TREATED CB RADIO COLLAGE FADES INTO A RHYTHMIC METALLIC POUNDING.A TRANCE INDUCING DIRGE THAT GROWS WITH EACH MINUTE. BRUTAL AND HARSH AS HELL YET HYPNOTIC. BEAUTIFUL, DISGUSTING AND UNRELENTING ARE WAVES OF NOXIOUS SYNTH
PROGRESSIONS AND THUNDEROUS PULSES WITH MASSIVE, OOZING BASS TONES THAT HIT YOU OVER AND OVER. NO REMORSE, CRUSHING. AGONIZING & RAW BELTS OF VOCALS OVERLAY
THIS THICK AND MELTING SLAB OF SOUND. HUGE AND THICK AS IT CRUMBLES, SHARP AND PIERCING AS IT MELTS INTO A POOL OF SHIMMERING SLIME. ONLY SMOKE AND REVENGE
REMAIN IN THE AIR AS ALL ELSE DISSIPATES.

TRACK 2
PERISH AWAY – NAUSEATING SYNTH LEADS CUT DEEP AS YOUR SIMULTANEOUSLY CRUSHED EVER SO SLOWLY BY WAVES OF PUTRID BASS AND UNCOMFORTABLE SQUEALS & SCREAMS.
A NIGHTMARISH HELL IS CONJURED. EERIE FREQUENCIES SLOWLY GRINDING ON YOUR BONES TILL THEY TURN TO DUST. A MASSIVE PRESENCE WITHERING YOU AWAY TO NOTHING.
SLOWLY GATHERING UP A RHYTHM FOR YOU TO GRASP. MIGHT BE THE ONLY THING LEFT TO HANG ON TO BEFORE YOU PERISH.”

Check out Miguel Rocha’s CBN project in an article from the DENVER WESTWORD HERE !

DECAYCAST REVIEWS: HEY EXIT “Else” Cassette/Digital (2015)

“Else”  was  recorded by HEY  EXIT, in Brooklyn NY in 2015, but  you’d  never  really be able to tell as  it comes off  as this  sort of  timeless  drone recording.  “Else”  starts with a low, slow, cloudy  drone and  slowly builds and  destroys  subtlety across the  entire album. The  first sounds that  emerge  are  delicate.  spacious, tone  poems of  humming synths? guitars? who knows?  but the  source a1533371763_16isn’t  really that important and the sounds  create a sonic  space  that exists  somewhat outside of  codified instrumentation, structure,  rhythm. The  sonic palette of HEY EXIT is  largely of a similar toolset, at least on Else, and the cassette is broken up into five tracks, however they all function as  one  breadth, decaying and  gently bleeding into each other. “What Role, If  Any”  is  probably the track that feels   most complete on its  own in terms of a moving composition within itself and  offers arguably the most  sonic  density and  variety on this EP.

The sounds themselves  are a  plush mesh of drones,  blissed  out  and  stretched  out  orchestral swells, slow attack  guitar  swells,  strategically placed crunches of  rumbling  distortion, and  wind. The  tempo of  Else is  made up of slow, delicately offered  pulses, as  if  someone was  breathing  out the notes, blowing ou

t the  tempo on a single  flickering candle,  but  not  through a wind  instrument, the  attack is gone, the breath has  transformed into a slow,  churning, crawling, beautiful sound.  The slow, crawling , glossy pillars of  sounds ,  at times  almost seemed to  sync up with my breath as i was  sitting in the dark listen

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ing to the  cassette on repeat. This is  excellent  “meditation” music, or at least music that  begs of  slow action, slow  thought,  slow body movements, and slow listening. There  are moments  that  get “noisy” in the traditional sense, but they never  obliterate or  destroy the  more  quiet, subtle  tones  that dance and  breathe  as he main life  source of the  piece.  “Else”  is  a delicately crafted ambient  drone offering for  fans of  slow, delicate, breathing music to  listen to  on a foggy, crawling  confusing day. Highly enjoyable.

 

You can   check this release and more  from HEY  EXIT,  here

DECAYCAST REVIEWS: SHROUDED RECORDINGS ZINE #1-3

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Whenever  one  goes out to the mailbox  and   is  granted with music its a great  day, zines and  books are no exception, especially collaged zines which  throw my brain back into  being  15 and   thumbing through pages and pages and pages of   crudely  xeroxed interviews  with friends, bands i looked up to and  bands i  had yet to discover, Shrouded Recordings Zine is  pretty much this:  centered around the label with the same name.   Issue 1  has an interview with Sam from the Rita, which is  funny, informative and to the point, which is surrounded by high contrast images of cassette  tapes, industrial style  textures and abstracted artworks, and  ads  and  upcoming releases for the label. Volume 1  is more fanzine style, however,  Vol 2 and 3  give considerably more  to the  reader  in terms of length, quality, artwork, and information. Shrouded Zine boasts cut up style interviews, NOISE, NOISE, NOISE and more noise are jam packed  within this modest zine. All of the content  blends together in an interesting and almost dadaesque  way. Interviews   blend with reviews, ads, non sensical, albeit beautifully crude collaged images, and blank space – the MOST important  space in noise and  art, imho.

 

#3  is  perhaps my favorite so far, as  each page of content  is  intelligently paired with a blank page  to act as a  journal, sketch pad, notepad, blank space  for  contemplation. What at first seems maybe like a  printing  error later  reveals itself to be an intelligent and generous  offering from the  writer  to the reader – in fact mine is INDEED  scrawled with random notes and drawings  that i made on the  bus ride into the city  whilst  thumbing through volume three.     Fun and informative interview with Kevin Yuen from  Sutekh Hexan,  lots of  reviews covering  harsh noise, death industrial, power electronics, noise, electronic, ambient and  even some hardcore/metal  stuff! PLUSS   adds and upcoming releases  from noise, industrial, electronics, and harsh noise  labels, distros, and other  zines/webzines with some  minimal artwork  scrawled across the pages as backdrops.   I’ll be  looking forward to  stumbling across  more  from this  zine/label in the  future!

SHROUDED  RECORDINGS

DECAYCAST REVIEWS : K2/ CONSTRAIN / FENIAN CD (Oxen label, 2015)

DECAYCAST REVIEWS : K2/ CONSTRAIN / FENIAN CD (Oxen label, 2015)

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Here we have another  harsh, tasty treat from the always  harsh, loud  and  on fire label OXEN RECORDS  from LA  run by Matt and  Leah Purse. This album comes in beautifully artworked jewel  case, and the  sounds live up to the  artwork./ The  disc opens up with a harsh, but  fun offering from noise legend, K2 (Kimihide Kusafuka)  who  swiftly and masterfully carves through fifteen minutes of classic,  chaotic, phased out  harsh noise blasts. Oscillators and  opportunities shudder open and closed as Kusafuka melts, blends, breaks, and blasts his  way to a masterfully brutal harsh noise assault. k2 has been terrorizing both sides of the  brain/globe  with his  harsh noise  presentations of  aural hell for years and this brand  new offering is no exception. Dynamic, loud, abrasive, and unapologetic  doesn’t even begin to sum up the  work of  K2  on this release, or any of his extensive and  sought after  back catalog, though it’s a brave and noble start.

 

Kevin M. is up next with an equally brutal and  chopped up track from his elusive  yet prolific Constrain project (who also offers up  the album  artwork to boot) The Constrain track has a few  more  rhythmic elements that tease and  tug on the listener somewhere  in  the  background, but  they never remain for more  than a  few  seconds before they  are  swept  away with choppy, arrhythmic feedback blasts, chaotic, unstable  circuits and belching, smelly walls  of  distortion and speaker popping.  Constrain’s style is a bit  more choppy overall than K2, but it’s  no doubt working in the  same  schematic of  compositionally aware, yet angry and  disjointed noise music.  The Constrain track has  some nice  stereo  effects  and is  fairly dynamic, in terms of some of the other projects from this artist, though it  slowly builds to a  chaotic climax  somewhere about halfway through the  track and begins subtracting from itself  and  erasing  its own heads and tails.

 

Last and not least of the  three  artists,  we have the Fenian track, which is perhaps my favorite and the most dynamic and movement based  piece on the  disk. Also a bit  shorter than the k2 offering, fenian carves, warped, warbley  blown out  harsh noise which seems to have more  of an analog tape machine feel (even though i know thats not  whats  being  used – or  maybe i don’t, or maybe nobody  does, and nothing does,  including the machines ) Fenian navigates the  harsh to minimal transitions rather smoothly and  always riding the line between blown out and microtonal harsh noise, in a  swift and compelling way. Some  faint  field recordings of  voice/ old  song can be heard, however  before the listener can claw at a point of reference, the  sound is GONE, SQUASHED, MANIPULATED, into a harsh hellhole of  auditory terror.

 

The fourth track is a collaboration, by mail it  seems between the  three  artists  and is mixed and compiled by K2 according to the liner notes. This track offers  some really fun manipulation of  source material from Constrain and possibly Fenian as well but  it’s  undoubtably  processed through the K2  sound  engine!  Overall a great  offering for all the  harsh heads out there  who want something with a bit more sonic density  and  with more  variance than most contemporary harsh noise, these  three are  keeping the bar  high and  dangerous.

 

OXEN LABEL 

Decaycast Reviews : DIAGRAM :A “Confusion Rituals” Cassette (Fluxus Montana, 2015)

Decaycast Reviews : DIAGRAM A “Confusion Rituals” Cassette (Fluxus Montana, 2015)
Another stellar release from the blossoming Montana noise/experimental label , FLUXUS MONTANA. This one from the elusive Diagram A project, consisting of . Dan Greenwood and Alicia Renadette of. Holyoke, MA. Greenwood has been concocting home brewed instruments and oscillators out of their reclusive studios for years and here’s a sold document of some of these explorations, “Confusion Rituals”  opens up with some raw, humming oscillator tones  reminiscent of Nick Collins homemade oscillator instruments but quickly builds up in amplitude, intensity and chaotic ness. What started as some single oscillator drones working in harmony quickly escalates into an all out tone war zone, with twisting, binding, cutting sonic warfare against the listener. Waveforms cut, bite, gnaw, curve around and manipulate  each other  in and out  of the aural mix and before long we have lost our orientation and are thrown into an oscillator free fall of Sign waves, square waves, white noise and about  everything else in between.

All of the sounds are compressed into a super thick, sludgy wall of sharp tones, raking against the ear and eyeball, vibrating the teeth slowly but steadily out of the listeners skull piece.  There’s a lot of folks making similarly styled noise music, especially with the recent rise in the popularity of the endless explorative array  that is modular synthesis , but Diagram A seems to get a certain organic sound to the machines they are using, there could easily be field recordings buried deep in the mix, or there could very easily not be but we would never know. This cassette is a tone poem to the maximum! Many of the tones grow their own sound branches, extend, crack and fall to the ground, and give nutrition to a new aspect of the composition.  Diagram : A is simultaneously all over the place and compositionally sound and consice at the same time, with the artist always paying a close ear to the mix, and layering of what could easily build up into a monotonous, unrelenting wall of uninteresting noise, but this never happens as the players are LISTENING and we can hear this in the final product.

Keep an ear to the ground, or through the ground rather for Diagram A, as we will be. Definitely some of the more interesting homegrown noise we’ve heard India minute.

DIAGRAM :A

FOUXUS MONTANA

Decaycast REVIEWS : UNEXAMINE “Carnal Opponent No Brothers” 7″ (OXEN RECORDS, 2015) 

UNEXAMINE “Carnal Opponent No Brothers” 7″ (OXEN RECORDS, 2015)


(Photo courtesy of OXEN RECORDS )

UNEXAMINE is Charlie Mumma of Sissy Spacek, Knelt Rote and about a million other rather amazing bands and projects collaborating with the  also prolific Danny Costa., but where do we begin with this 7″. this little blaster seems to bring all of the best elements of many of Mumma’s projects and roll them all into a ball and proceed to roll it down a mountainside in which it crushes the village below, and then next thing you know you are pushing this sharp, jagged, metallic ball of hate back up the same old hill only to be crushed by it once again. Mumma and Costa masterfully and effortlessly combine sharp edged, angular and  jittery,  wrung out and dragged through rust laden sonic  pillars of harsh noise. Unexamine is a sonic cacophony, melting  industrial style mutated percussion sounds, screeching, feedback ridden and blood gargling vocals, layers and layers of low end  rumbles, whilst keeping the listener moving and stunted at a rapid fire pacing. . Mumma and Costa peel back the skin of the listener to create a precision cut up would, by blasting the ear with a tone cannon of visceral, dark, cut up, chugging alienating sounds. There’s so much harsh noise that i listen to, but this is really blowing the  doors off my prison cell.
This 7″ is the sound of rusted garbage coming back to life and slicing the throats of its manufacturer. Mumma’s cuts on this newly released 7″ are unique ideas in harsh noise; fast paced, brooding, even occasionally rhythmic walls  and towers of hell; spliced with junk, field recordings and enough nihilism to make you smash the record player as soon as this thing ends. TOP NOTCH HARSHNESS from a veteran act  in the game. This  7” might already be sold out at the source, check in with the label or artist.

Written by : MALO

OXEN RECORDS

CHARLIE MUMMA