DECAYCAST Reviews: Somnambulists “From the Field To The Factory” CS/DL (Zum, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Somnambulists “From the Field To The Factory” CS/DL (Zum, 2019)

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Slow, morose guitars begin  to  dust the cobwebs off George  Chen’s  ZUM imprint with a fresh new  ambient guitar release from  Somnambulists  “From the Field To The Factory” begins with lurking  guitar drones casting subtle, unsettling modulations, that run across the  ear like a bead of  sweat escaping down the face, onto the ground which sprouts a tree.

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Thick washes of reverb and delay turn strings into echoes of malfunctioning machines, churning, turning and  eventually sputtering out.  The track ‘Circular Ruins ” harkins early washes of MONO, Godspeed You Black Emperor etc, but the climax never comes in the same way, leaving the listener on the edge for more.  Somnambulists leaves us (me) yearning a more chaotic sphere that never materializes, instead it  sinks back into itself, like the  worker in the field who has since run themselves devoid of motion and fluids.  Perhaps the perfect sonic representation, we do not get what we want, we simply balance on the edge until the last sound can no longer be heard. Capitalism destroys the spirit and the body and this is the perfect morose soundtrack to it’s unnerving,  guaranteed decay.  Other tracks offer more looped spring movements , reversing, folding and collapsing on themselves, but never really moving too far from the structural or sonic reference of a guitar. Background layers of chirping drones create a ambient wash which the guitar elevates over  just long and wide enough to create a lush, dynamic space to lose time in.

– Meniere Zappone

From the label.

“From the Field to the Factory is a conceptual cycle of instrumental works that reflect on labor and struggle, repression and revolt, history and forgetting, abstraction and meaning. They are meant as memorials to the invisible, the unwritten, and the unvoiced; to an inner experience existing out of time. They are hymns to an idea of the ahistorical as the lost voice of anonymous resistance echoing like stains across the battered walls of memory.”

Warren Ng is an experimental musician based in Brooklyn, NY and originally from San Francisco who has performed and released numerous recordings under the names Somnambulists and This Invitation, all linked by an interest in minimalism, string drone, and the hidden internal hum of the electric guitar. 

 

 

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DECAYCAST Track Reviews: GOLDEN CHAMPAGNE FLAVORED SWEATSHIRT “Human Animal Chimera”

GOLDEN CHAMPAGNE FLAVORED SWEATSHIRT “Human Animal Chimera”

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With “Human Animal Chimera” GOLDEN CHAMPAGNE FLAVORED SWEATSHIRT offers a blistering, slow-building rhythmic forward synth and drum track with various unheard and unique textures churning heavily in the background to create a thick, warm, but  slightly unsettling blanket to cloak your ears in as the track progresses into a darker, more sinister climax.  The drums are sharp and steady, militant, and pummeling, sitting perfectly in the mix to create a high tension blend of industrial, dubbed-out industrial forward banger. The bombastic drums create a stabbing and calculated backbone for the synth and other sonic parts to rattle this heavy and brooding sonic machine just as it’s ready to attack. Pummeling bass drums and toms   hammer away as a symphony of buzzing synthesizers creating a refreshing concoction of dissonant, yet unified and very well gelled sound. The sound of GCFS is both dark, and complex, while retaining a unique cinematic edge, which is often missing in more traditional forms of dance and industrial music. Sputtering and groaning synthesizers,  chirping sharp noise blasts and mangled voice samples create the sounds of animals and humans being glued and stapled together in a twisted, primitive lab, which sounds morbid, and yet, I can’t turn it off, I just want to hear more, and this is the fifth go around for this track for me in writing the review. This sounds great in headphones, but I can only yearn for this  track to be blaring in a club akin to the blood rave scene from Blade. I wasn’t able to find much on this project but follow their bandcamp and pick up the tracks that are there, you WILL NOT be disappointed. Heavy electronic music tracks are a dime a dozen, these days, but  Golden Champagne Flavored Sweatshirt bring hope for those of us who want our dance music, dark, heavy and uniquely heavy. A really refreshing listen, will be back for everything this project releases.

-Monier Watson For DECAYCAST

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews : Sgt. Elyas “Tubular Moanings Of A Galactic Refrigerator” (Aphelion Editions, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Sgt. Elyas “Tubular Moanings Of A Galactic Refrigerator” (Aphelion Editions, 2019)

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Sgt. Elyas presents slow oscillations of  fuzzed,  decaying  churning guitar works belting out cold isolations for the listener to freeze in  confusion. The sound is heavy, thick, and powerful, without overusing distortions and effects, the tones reference the guitar but the sonic range is quite nuanced with distant  throbbing percussion like rhythms fading in the background, slow symphonic pulses, washing ashore like a wave crashing upon the  unsuspecting sand.  Cresendos come with thick, and washed  out drums hammering the surface of a still, frozen lake, and we are once again cast into a cold forgotten tundra of confusion and longing.  “Tubular Moanings Of A Galactic Refrigerator” falls somewhere between power drone, drone and imaginary film soundtrack. Overall sonically unique and refreshing.

 

 

Check  out more releases from Aphelion Editions here.

DECAYCAST Reviews: “Layers” by BÜCKLE / VOGT (Editions Furioso, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews: “Layers” by BÜCKLE / VOGT (Editions Furioso, 2019)

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From French label  Editions Furioso comes a debut mixed electronics EP from BÜCKLE / VOGT, blending lush, morose vocal melodies, shifting, fluttering beats. “Layers” is nostalgic and new at the same time, without compromising it’s sonic palette or compositional strategy. Swift, shuffled percussion skates underneath a swath of warm sine wave tone poems, while a voice will  ascend  into the mix akin to a barrem , shivering, wind  tunnel across your back and up your neck,  in a stark contrast to the warm, humming harmonic synthesizers and strings which uniquely gel into undulating, shifting loops of  ambient, sonic bliss, without losing the rhythm or  pacing of the track overall.

 

On  “Layers” the swing of the drums and slowly escalating synth pads create a lush, but dark forest of  fuzzy confusion, alienation, and sadness, all while not falling into any of the tropes those could represent.  BÜCKLE / VOGT offers a fresh take on mixed style electronica, refreshing, honest, and nuanced in a universally appealing way. Can’t wait to dive into the whole EP and will without a doubt be searching out future releases from the artist.

LISTEN / BUY The  Entire Album Here

– Meniere Zappone

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Sabriel’s Orb / John Atkinson “Split” Cassette (Whited Sepulchre Records)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Sabriel’s Orb / John Atkinson “Split” Cassette (Whited Sepulchre Records)

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Sabriel’s Orb,’s side on this tonally deep and sonically diverse split brought to us by Whited Sepulchre Records’s split series begins with powerful, cinematic synth breaths of arpeggiations harkening back to early Susanne Ciani and Phedora-era Tangerine  Dream, but her deep exploration into meditative synthesis doesn’t stop there, Willow Skye-Biggs who has been making experimental music for over a decade pushes the  sounds and phrases past the confines of their own limit into a beautiful, tone poem of meditation and ritual. Distant pulses, blend with warm lush synthetic  adventures through the air, into the ear, through the brain, into the heart and out through the feet like a nostalgic chill that is  gone before we can even pinpoint it’s origin. Willow Skye-Biggs music has always seemed  fixated on ritual, and the tones of her side of the  split act like a guiding light through a cinematic, landscape unknown to previous inhabitants.

From the label: “For the fourth in WSR’s split cassette series, John Atkinson is paired with SLC-based artist Sabriel’s orb. Willow Skye-Biggs has spent the last decade exploring the intersections of identity and ritual through her ambient, experimental and techno projects. Most notably, she created soaring, beat-oriented experimental-pop under the name Stag Hare and bedroom techhouse under the moniker ariel. “

For his side, experimentalist John Atkinson offers two ambient meditations which compliment the other side beautifully and offer a similar but unique on minimal ambient / dronescape music. Atkinson slowly and meticulously crafts slow moving pulses like the  first rays of  sun  coming over the  walls of  fog on an early morning barren landscape, unwitnessed and un-manipulated by humanity. Atkinson, through his various soundtrack work and  work with NY group  Aa  (Big A Little A) has clearly come rather close to enacting complete control over what are ultimately  natural and organic sounding drones.  We never hear the human hand, and it’s quite beautiful.  On the second track, “First Rain of the New Year ” Atkinsons’ cresendo peaks with a noisy, fuzzed out climax which is the perfect ending to this minimal yet powerful release.

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews : LUER “Cartridge” (Fluxus Montana, 2018)

 

DECAYCAST Reviews : LUER “Cartridge” (Fluxus Montana, 2018)

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Here we step back over to a short but power and sonically diverse from Matt Taggarts’ LUER project. “Cartridge” comprised of two short sides of mixed style electronic compositions spanning harsh noise, post industrial, musique-concrete and expanded ambient/drone techniques; a hearty stylistic swath for such a short release indeed, but this cassette doesn’t feel contrived in it’s uniqueness and non-commitment to a specific sound or style. Like his solo work under his own name and P.C.R.V., Taggart has always oscillated between the  sonically dense and the hauntingly minimal, letting the concept dictate both the intensity and the presentation

0013940643_10, and that could be happening here as well, though the focus seems to be more onto nuanced sound with LUER than previous works with refreshing and interesting results. LUER blends sputtery, chaotic synthesizer patterns and textures, backed with heavy, industrial percussion working in tandem with mutating synths and unrecognized manipulated sources. Both sides offer varying peaks and troughs of intensity, but as the listener, we are never left with a boring moment, a unique sonic happening is always right around the corner ready to unfold inside our  cochlea. Harsh, synthetic noise blasts swiftly and determined  cut through the mix like stab wounds to our own perceived reality.

The B side offers more warmer synth manipulations on the forward coupled with digitized harsh noise blasts, analog machines crumbling atop each others dying circuit pulses, and space. The use of sparseness on the second side especially offers a tense and cinematic feel to the overall composition, never knowing when the next cacophony is going to rumble up through the speaker and slice your skin to fill up the case. This is the sound of blood corroding a body into the inner most part of the ear- perfect. Stunning artwork to boot, pick up the cassette today here.

DECAYCAST Reviews: Proud/Father “Symbolic Exchange & Emptiness” (Orb Tapes, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Proud/Father “Symbolic Exchange & Emptiness” (Orb Tapes, 2018)

Proud/Father creates a tense, murky unsettling of ambient din on the A side of their newest album, “Symbolic Exchange & Emptiness”  on PA’s ORB TAPES. The side begins with a slow, gentle pulsing ambient tone which slowly evolves over time into washed out, thick waves of  sonic fog.  “The first side is a reflection of isolation, both physical and emotional, from depression and similar mental health disorders. ” quotes the releases bandcamp page, and the  subtle, harmonic shifts seem to oscillate moods  ever  so slightly without ever  jarring the  listener out of a meditative, hypnotic state. Several layers of drone eventually give birth to lush, washed out, undulating vocal tones, or are they even? Proud/Father seamlessly blends multiple sources into a singular harmonious, but still unsettling buzzing, like the buzzing inside your body when anxiously awaiting a phone call where every second seems like an eternity and every far away sound oscillates as a precursor to something your unsure about and  you can’t place  your brain on why. P/F has mastered keeping us in a sonic stasis, whilst their  shifting tones  dance around an aura of confusion, with even a dab of resolve.

The B side Al alejarme de casa recuerdos débiles se apagan” , according to the bandcamp page ” is an exploration of the fading Boricua culture and the history of Puerto Rican independence movements.”, and it begins with a choppy tense transmission, the sound of a message in a bottle being dragged through an underground cement  tunnel ever so swiftly and softly as to not detect the unknowing above.  The  choppy radio static like noise transmissions quickly fold into more undulating, thick walls of  ambient drone, a thick fog casts itself inside the ear and modulates our mere understanding of the sound’s orgin, we are left with an increasingly angrier and more aggressively articulated drone of unknown origin.  What was once a singing  drone has  turned into an angry, whipping, radicalized wind, devoid of mission and  geographical direction, just a thickness of tension and intention. Proud/Father continuously oscillates between drone, ambient, and soundscapes with swiftness, however compositionally things never seem rushed, always blending into each other  with care and precision, P/F has  crafted an ambient soundscape  strategy to call all their own. For fans of The Shadow Ring, Tim Hecker, Beast Nest etc. Tapes are apparently sold out, though you can get the digital here, highly recommended.