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 Announces Preorder For HAURAS 4/9/21  “Chant For A Broken Chalice” OUT 5/7/21

DECAYCAST Announces Preorder For HAURAS 4/9/21  “Chant For A Broken Chalice” OUT  5/7/21

HAURAS has crafted a lush and foreboding sonic landscape with “Chant For A Broken Chalice”, their first release for Oakland based imprint DECAYCAST. On “Chant For A Broken Chalice” intentional and otherworldly sounds envelop into a whirlwind of a slow churning concoction of beauty and anxiety. Dense choral envocations pulse over a sea of strings, keys, percussion and voice. HAURAS crafts tense and delicate music concerned with the rapid decline of empathy as intensified through the violent throes of capitalism. Both meditative and a warning, like a distant pulse of a lighthouse gently peaking over the fog as a distant warning of impending doom and collapse, scary and at this point completely unavoidable, but wow the beauty and elegance of the message is not something to soon be forgotten. 

“My work is concerned with the psychology of society at the end of Civilization.” HAURAS

 The first single “Hold My Hand” takes a psychedelic dubbed out industrial approach to transport the mood and psyche of the listener to a blissful yet slightly unnerving underworld. The vocals glide through the mix like a robotic worm infecting an unknown host. Like most of Hauras’s work; “Chant For A Broken Chalice” holds the listener in an hourglass where time is rapidly and chaotically slipping away.  Intentional, heartfelt, and intense. 

You’ve heard of the Music of Tomorrow? This is the Music of the Day After

Tomorrow.” – Chris Ryan (Composer, Cerddorion Ensemble,, Tzadik)

The sonic equivalent of expired film in my Holga.” – Richard Youngs

RIYL: COIL, Psychic TV, The Residents, Snickers 

“Hold My Hand” Public Stream

Tracklisting:

1.  Somnia

2.  On The Morning

3.  Rotagivan

4.  Hold My Hand

5,   Chant For A Broken Chalice

6.   Standing At The Entrance

HAURAS has shared bills with:

Sarah Davachi, Laaraji, Father Murphy, Low, Tom Carter, Common Eider King Eider, Mary Lattimore, Tom Weeks, Lee Noble, Louise Bock, Clarice Jensen, Jonas Reinhardt, Carl Hultgren, John King, Lea Bertucci,

Saariselka, Nels Cline, Jessica Moss

ARTIST PHOTO:

More info / questions / press requests: decaycast@gmail.com

http://decaycastoakland.bandcamp.com

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 Premieres: Home Learning Shares New Video “Let Us Know You Are Here” – Watch Now!

Home Learning has shared their newest video and song “Let Us Know You Are Here” from their new album released this past December, “The Case for Final” via Healing Sound Propagandist. “Let Us Know You Are Here”– is a beautiful ambient, soothing A/V tone poem exploring slow undulating shifting spaces within a beautiful marriage between image and sound. The track is evocative of sadness, unknowing, maybe even discovery, but within a paused and pregnant framework and the slow moving psychedelic visual eruptions are constantly birthing something new to be contemplated.

“This video for the first track off of Home Learning’s album “the case for final” was put together during the COVID 19 pandemic. It combines footage of suburban mall-sprawl, crowded with shoppers in spite of the health risks, with abstract visuals that evoke chemicals, fire, and a gradual build up of distortion/disintegration. Not everything is bleak…the colors and sounds also bring metamorphosis, slow but significant change, and eventually, light sifts in. “

Ethereal washes of sound and shape blend together like flickering bacteria under a microscope excited by a newfound chemical reaction. Gentle explosions are what come to mind visually, and the track itself brings thoughts of time collapsing between unknown worlds. Sounds delicately drone slightly in the red which gives the recording a slight bit of intensity without compromising the vibe or intent of the morose, and often times blissful offering that is “Let Us Know You Are Here”. Smoke dances across the failed architecture of a forgotten society and we dream and try to dream of a land almost totally forgotten. Very beautiful marriage of parallel moods to create an evocative and intriguing visual representation of the track bringing to the table both uncertainty and emotional resolution. WATCH BELOW NOW!

Home Learning is a long distance collaboration between Tom Schmidlin (Pagination) located in Bentonville, Arkansas. and Edmund Osterman (Screener) in Covington, KY

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 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

DECAYCAST Reviews: Tristan Welch “Asset / Defect” (Self Released, 2020)

 

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On his newest EP, “Asset / Defect”  Tristan Welch explores a timeless dichotomy  of positive and negative expansions and contractions through space, silence, time and sound. Through glassy, shifting drones and tone poem movements ringing present, like a warm blanket after a cold night adrift on the nights moon last beam.  The album opens up with beautifully articulated  mid tempo oscillating synth pulses,  a faint buzzing underscored with a warm bath of tones; a calm yet slightly unnerving  respite; a rest for the restless, for the anxious, and for the forgotten.  This is slow patient, music, for one in a process of uncertainty, as well as one of discovery knows  that things can change, and every once in a great while, for the better, and maybe this time they will, that is the question this music asks, what is  change,  and when will it be cast upon us?

‘Given the inherently political nature of most of his music, “Asset / Defect” is a rare turn inward for Welch. As a person in recovery, “Asset / Defect” is an audio/visual accounting of sorts, a result from tallying up the ledger of negative character defects and positive assets. An accounting feat that is musically reflected in the clear balance between beautiful, ebullient tones and grainy distortion held at tension within the work.”

The A side  “Asset / Defect” seems a bit brighter in sound presentation overall but across the twenty minute EP, Welsh offers two movements which compliment each other in a dichotomy of undulation.  Wet delays and thick intertwined braids of reverberated strings cast doubt to those casting doubt, give hope to those giving hope, and push us all to look inward to a change of fresh air and relief.  The B side offers a similar, more contemplative, introspective place where the listener can identify with these living breathing wave manipulations, like a warm bath, tingling the skin, but never fully encapsulating the full dynamic of touch and pressure. Beautiful music for complicated times.

 

Highly recommended.

 

-Dr. Decaycast

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Corsica Annex “Doors Outside” (Ingrown Records, 2020)

Corsica Annex from Brooklyn creates delicate washes of ambient hum that will aide to calm even the most nervous and pent up listener.  Beginning  with wishing, weeping waves of  encapsulated warmth; a homely and resounding analog synthesizer din. The  psychedelic sound of “Doors Outside” slowly envelops and drifts away to a different place. Fuzzy, dream like tones gently lift light into the barren, lost eyes like the morning sun’s cast across a frozen, unsuspecting rose from the night before.

The mossy vibe slowly shifts into a repetitive string piece, undulation coupled with a morose progression that leaves the listener in the unknown. Warm organ like tones pulse uncertainty like a shifting leaf lost in the wind. Steve Reich style  string arpreggiations gloss over even more dense patterns of organic sounding  water-grown, nano bots, sonically somewhere connecting  Cloudland Canyon , Tim Hecker “Radio Amor” and later era Tangerine Dream, Corsica Annex have concocted a heartfelt electronic mood  bound to resonate with even the most passive listener.

Buy ‘Doors Outside”from the Ingrown Records bandcamp page, and check out the rest of the tapes from the batch here

 

-Dr. Decacast

DECAYCAST Reviews : Jordan Reyes “Closer” (American Dreams, 2020)

On “Closer” Chicago artist Jordan Reyes taps into the unconscious of sound.

 

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Chicago’s Jordan Reyes is no stranger to sound, or stage, or production, or fitness, or  running a distro, or running. In fact , there doesn’t seem to be much he doesn’t have a passion for, except maybe standing idle. Between documenting music through writing for Bandcamp and his own blog,  as well as a slew of other outlets, running a label (American Dreams) , and a myriad of other projects, including performing in Afro-Futurist Avant Gospel ensemble ONO, whose  brand new record “Red Summer”  Reyes released on his own imprint.  Reyes seemingly lives and breathes sound . and his newest record “Closer” released on  American Dreams, is nothing short of a  stellar dive into atmospheric, minimalist synth compositions that are as mysterious as they are present for the listener. Reyes songs are deep explorations into the unconscious, sub layers of warbling droning howls topped with crisp and  crumbly textures. Sometimes rhythmic, sometimes sparse and stripped down, Reyes blazes his  own path of experimentation without using more than the sounds require.  A study in presence, something this music just bleeds is it’s presence and honesty.

On “Closer” Reyes sounds aren’t over produced or layered into confusion, but rather delicate, conscientious., and open; traits perhaps more needed in the often stale, contrived,  meanderings of huge modular systems, often devoid of their own identity or soul, dare we say. “Closer” sings to the listener in a way that is simultaneously  refreshing , and yet somehow nostalgic, it could even be said that his sounds reference certain “folk-like”  qualities to both their presentation,  and relationship to each other. Even the cover art reads like an old idiosyncratic map, inscribed with traditions of past and glimpses into  unknown futures.

 

“Closer” uses a variety of sonic strategies and compositional tools to tell it’s story, a personal story, a unique story, a familiar yet original story, and we can’t wait to read the next chapter.  The titles give us a clue into the  discovery that Reyes seeks with these compositions “Lost Man” ,  “Slow Walk” , “Stumbling Home”  could all be cues for dramatic turns in a film yet to be produced, or cues for self reflection, a strategy to decipher meaning our of the void we all know is there.  Are we closer to death, closer to a new  discovery? Odds are, it’s both, and Reyes music seems to  embrace  at once both the complexities and simplicities of life. The vibe is present, deep and nuanced as  get closer inside the mind of someone on an uncharted path using sound as the flashlight. Relevant and real music for  very unreal  times.

DECAYCAST Reviews : MATT ROBIDOUX “Brief Candies” CS (NULL ZONE, 2020)

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MATT ROBIDOUX “Brief Candies”  is at  first a confusing listen, as it oscillates between several seemingly unrelated strategies but as the cassette spins on, the listener begins to gain an understanding of the nuanced and complex compositional worlds that Robidoux and his band are constructing across “Brief Candies”. Shifting between reed-based post-folk ballads, what can almost at times be described as minimalist-americana,  Robidoux connects the compositional and sonic dots to highly enjoyable effects. The humming, morose minimalism of tracks such as “Little Wall” harkin to early A Silver Mount Zion  with it’s  lush strings planted atop morose and distant  drones.

 

Lush string and piano arrangements compliment the minimalist background events which  give these recordings sort of a timeless aura. Without the press release, one can’t quite place the date and context for these recordings, which personally makes them that  much more exciting.0018786976_10

The tension and breath of the dynamic between the  different voices really brings these recordings to another level for me, at times, hitting on a Merideth Monk “Turtle Dreams” vibe, which we all universally understand as a masterwork in minimalism, correct?  Horns beckon an ancient message  which can not  be decoded, without being slowly and subtly submerged into the crashing waves of an unknown loss, a subtle but omnipresent uneasiness  in the background keeps you relaxed, warm, but slightly on edge,  like the perfect rainy Sunday cassette. The B side offers a more high energy, Kraut-fueled ripper which kicks things up but still keeps the morose and experimental vibe rolling. Highly recommended.