DECAYCAST Reviews : PROUD FATHER “Creations for Electric Guitar” Cassette (Reserve Matinee, 2018)

Proud Father offers up a solid guitar based drone / ambient album on the “Reserve Matinee” imprint, titled “Creations for Electric Guitar” The album opens up softly with distant sonic sine wave synth swells caked in the reverb of an ancient sonic event. Beginning like an unsure creature taking its first steps, the first track, “Kokoro no jiin de no tomin” starts with a slow crawling distant hum which begrudgingly builds with character and intensity until it’s rolling wave of psychedelic noise. Lots of patterns of stretching, loss, reaching and long swells breathe through each other to create a lush, multi timbre stew of chaos. The artist slowly and subtly builds up to a noisy chaotic crescendo via walls of fluttering guitar , ringing drones and crawling warm, decaying synths, however the work never veers too far off course for confusion.; the major drone remains omnipresent and always pulsing as the spine of the entire album.

Dispite the lack of sonic dispute between many of the sounds a rather large scope of styles within drone and minimalistic electronic music are indeed explored. One minute we’re caught in a thick fog and several minutes later the fog lifts to an arping sun of synth patterns paying homage to acts like Heldon /Richard Pinhas (who the second side of the cassette is indeed for according to the artist’s writeup on the performance which this is from) , and early Tangerine Dream / Edgar Forese. With or without that information and point of reference, Proud Father offers up their own unique twist on guitar forward electronic music . Sounds blend and give birth to new events in a ping pong of hazy tones resonating the inner ear cochlear of the listener. These aren’t songs but they are ? Is it one big song?! either way it’s more a plentiful offering for the drone fan than the one looking for a quick fix; the sonic payoff is the crescendo and the reoccurring descent from that back into a distant lost ships last cry for communication to shore or anywhere for that matter.

Two tracks on either side of the cassettes however things blend rather nicely throughout offering a consistent wash of tripped out meditative drone for us to lose the day and the grip in. Fun and unique listen overall.

Proud Father on Bandcamp

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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/

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.

 

 

Dedication to Confusion: Oracle Plus DVD out now on Resipiscent Records

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by Diego Aguilar-Canabal

A sky refracted into prisms floats in abstract space. Indecipherable rituals conjure planets out of balls and quilts. An amphibious news anchor floats over the sea, beckoning humanity to return to the water.  These are the dreams and prophecies of Oracle Plus, the avant-garde audiovisual performance duo of Floridian sisters Steph and Miel Lister.

“It’s a dedication to confusion,” the Lister sisters explain, though Steph qualifies that their video work, now featured on a new DVD from Resipiscent Records, is also a form of “propaganda.” The bewildering thrusts categorical barriers ajar, throwing the arbitrariness of distinctions such as content and form, televangelist infomercials and news, art and commodity, into full relief.

Rooted in an aesthetic of home video and public access television—most footage is shot and edited at Berkeley’s public access TV studios—there’s constantly an undercurrent of warm intimacy broken up by cold, impersonal interruptions. It can be an unsettling animation of Windows 95-esque shapes, a soap-opera green-screen montage, or a spooky, distorted voiceover, but the net effect is making the viewer squirm from start to finish.

If you can make it through, it feels like the sort of squirming humanity deserves today. It’s about as arbitrary and uncomfortable as the false distinction between nature and technology, is it not?

Steph explains that part of their technique is rooted in an effort to undermine modern narratives around environmentalism, driven by a passion for the environment that is nevertheless modern and synthetic in countless ways. “The aesthetic that people normally associate with environmental art is so far removed from people’s daily [experience],” she says.

That’s part of the reason for the surreal infomercial extolling the virtues of returning to the sea, not unlike our distant mammalian cousins, the whales. “You’re going to have to get used to getting wet, because the ocean’s going to rise…We don’t know how fucked up and dire shit is gonna be.”

And among other things, that folksy, twee compartmentalization of the “environmentalist” brand is ripe for undermining.

“It’s weird to think of all these different channels—like now you’re on the news, now it’s the commercial, now it’s the talk show,” Miel explains. “We’re inspired by all these different forms of consumed media that you would come into contact with and not question. We’re sort of trying to parade them around, with these costumes…like now it’s a news anchor, but then it turns out it’s really a clown. Something about a false foundation just seems really pertinent to what’s going on right now in the world.”

”I think it’s because of this impostor syndrome,” Steph adds, “we connect with things that are, maybe, accidentally received as art. We’ve done performances out in public where people weren’t made to receive it as art immediately.”

On First Friday celebrations in Oakland, Telegraph Avenue blooms with commodified art with a hyped tourist-trap tour of local art galleries surrounded by a phalanx of food trucks—a perfect setting for the sisters to confuse and enrage passers-by with a senseless “human statue” performance.

“That was always to me the most magical moment,” Steph says, “where people are confused, it’s just pure reaction.” Behind the veils of artifice, manufactured meaning, and ritual consumption, it may be possible—or so these performances suggest—that the only genuine appreciation we’re capable of in this day and age falls in the realm of confusion or outright disgust.

“One of my favorite reactions that I keep coming back to,” reminisces Miel, was when an onlooker demanding to know if the sisters were members of a cult.It’s ironic, in a sense, that when we see a performance so confusing, we might assume it’s the product of a perfectly regimented, ordered ritual for someone else.

The sisters have to a large extent accepted this as the ultimate fate of their art.

“Once it’s out there in the world, it’s no longer about you,” Steph says. Resipiscent Records founder James Decker also notes, with some frustration, that releasing video work in a physical format has become vexingly impossible in this day and age. After all, who buys DVDs anymore? Do you? (You should get this one, of course.)

The “psychodrama” aspect of the performance, as the Oracles dub it, in a way extends into the artifact itself, potentially baffling audiences the world over, fully without their control. Letting your art guide you can sometimes be a powerful tool for creation: “One thing we did for the DVD was realizing that we had these recurring concepts and themes in our live performances, and trying to recreate them in the studio context,” Miel explains. “There’s often so much going on [in a live setting], we had to distill some of the ideas.”

The disembodiment of the artwork is apparent in the process Steph calls “surgery,” in which recorded footage from performances gets dissected into just one of many movable parts in a studio production. Sometimes there’s even “live surgery,” where a recording is projected onto the studio green screen while other footage is recorded in tandem with it.

Long story short: if you were hoping to be less confused by analyzing their creative techniques, you might be up shit creek without a VHS player.

“We want to tear down this illusion that something like the news is a perfectly constructed thing,” Miel adds. “Or even just existing.”

Oracle Plus will be performing at a release party for the DVD on Sunday, April 1st at The Lab in San Francisco.

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.

DECAYCAST #034 “FARM TO TAPE 03 MIX” by Diego Aguilar-Canabatd

AmdallakokkswalaDECAYCAST #034 “FARM TO TAPE 03 MIX” by Diego Aguilar-Canabal

a little bit of everything

1. Tyler Holmes – I Can’t Forget 2 (excerpt)

2. Fred Bigot – Stereo

3. Jeich Ould Badu & Ahmedou Ahmed Lewla – El Wehcha

4. Hailu Mergia – Lala Belu

5. Ondatropica – Cumbia Bucanero

6. Tower of Power – Knock Yourself Out

7. rRHEXIS – Daily Dabs Acid Jam

8. Jarboe & Father Murphy – Truth or Consequences

9. Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier – Call It A Castle

10. Abdel Aziz El Mubarak – Ya A’Asal