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.

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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#033 DECAYCAST Premieres: BEAST NEST “Pluto” Video

BEAST NEST “Pluto” Video Premiere :

(video directed by : malocculsion)

The efforts of  Bay Area  artist, musician, healer, promoter and educator  Sharmi Basu are seemingly endless and  so far reaching  that  before  one has the opportunity  to grasp  and contextualize  one action in the  greater realm of experimental music, they are onto the next.

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production still from “Pluto” video

Between constantly touring, and  releasing last years  “Taste Of India” cassette (Ratskin), a new  Tour  EP  for  her  recently completed  European tour,  running  The Mara Performance Collective,  which self describes as “a performance and improvisation group that is centered on shared politics and identity.  The MPC is focused on radical people of color, that is non-white folks, and is emphasizing those who identify as queer, trans, and/or womyn of color.”, and it’s offshoot, Brown Noise  , have become staples for many new  and  experienced artists to gain and refine their “chops” so to speak outside of the  white male patriarchy which has historically taken up so much space in noise and  underground communities.  Most recently, Basu was  a  part of The Universe Is Lit:  the bay area’s  first ever Black and  Brown Punk Festival with  fellow curators Shawna Shawnte, Jade Ariana and Titania Kumeh, and recently opening for electronic music’s den mother Suzanne Ciani at the  San Francisco Electronic Music Festival,  Through all of this, Basu has both ears, a dog and a mic to the ground in the  forefront of  experimental music, politics, and community building.  She  even contributed a track to the recently released  “Rogue Pulse /  Gravity Collapse” compilation (Ratskin)  which spawns twelve hours of music in direct support of  Black Lives Matter,  St James Infirmary, and The Oakland  Immediate Relief Fund, which  consisted of  Basu and  several other femme organizers who took  and  distributed donations after last year’s Ghostship tragedy which claimed the lives of thirty six souls of the  Oakland and  bay area

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BEAST NEST . Photo:  Gabby Gamboa.

creative community, many of whom were  close to Basu.   Despite all of this  loss, chaos, and  uncertainty with these  violent, chaotic, shaking and bleeding times,  Basu marches forward  and  continues to help  pave the way for the  decolonization of  experimental, underground, music and  art. A  necessary, radical  action, like many aspects of confronting white supremacy,  which is long overdue.

Today, Basu releases a video for  “Pluto”  which is  from the B side of the “Taste of  India”  cassette, released in an edition of  100  cassettes on Ratskin in fall of last year, which can be viewed above.  The video blends analog and  video  synthesis, feedback, found  footage and  digital  video processing. Make sure to  click the  HD option in the  youtube window for  maximum definition, as the  video is  visually dense. Please make sure to    Follow her Bandcamp,  or   Soundcloud  orrrrrrr  main website for more information and  current shows. She also has a Patreon which has some amazing  incentives!

 

 

TONIGHT: NOISE SHOW IN SF w/ DEMONSLEEPER / THOABATH / NEHA SPELLFISH / MALOCCULSION

TONIGHT  4/20 IN THE  CITY OF  SAN FRANPSYCHO

SECOND ACT. 1727 HAIGHT STREET, SF, CA 7:45-10PM SHARP

 

“Four twenny in the Haight Ashbury? Yup. If smoke makes the best sunsets, the banks of Golden Gate Park will be blowin’ up as Neha Spellfish, Malocculsion, play the final show with Demonsleeper and Thoabath before they hang ten off a dank ring blowing out toward San Juan, Puerto Rico where they’ll opena new venue for experimental live sound. Come see them off with…1414959_10153953359597836_4368103547300810001_o

NEHA SPELLFISH (Oakland/Madrid)
With low frequency waves washing up on a beach of dark noise ambience, Spellfish delves into the shared space of interspecies communication and paramnesia, invoking the spectral measure of waking consciousness and noospheric cognition. Neha invokes themes of macro psychology, xeno feminism, dynamically modeled weather enclosures, and instinctual variance, employing audio programming platforms and algorithmic granular synthesis.
https://soundcloud.com/spellfish

Demonsleeper
Deathrattle lullabys and inescapable lucid dreamscapes wrought by somnambulist maestra, Alexandra Bushman. In 1999, she formed the electro-acoustic group, Synethesia, tegether with Angélica Negrón. After scaring the daylights out of everyone at the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico, she matriculated to Mills College before committing to advanced studies with ancient dark forces whose names must never be spoken.
https://soundcloud.com/demonsleeper

Thoabath
There’s a perceptible gravity to Andy Way that somehow vanishes once you draw near, the material world floats adrift. His solo project, Thoabath, might just be that massless Euclidean point where noise, dub, power electronics, horror, and ambient all emanate, an entelechy without clear precedent, of no laws. Prepare your ear, first study his collaborations with luminaries like Bruce Anderson (MX-80) & Petit Mal in the project, French Radio, sink yourself in the occult cacophony of Sutekh Hexen, and then, approach Thoabath, inescapable dark quasar.
https://soundcloud.com/acway/

Malocculsion
Watch concrete turn to quicksand and glass return to sand as this sonic juggernaut storms the Haight Ashbury. His inaugural solo album released last year, “Psychosis Industrial Complex”, melds blown out distorted beats, arpeggiated synths, tape manipulation, voice, field recordings and homemade oscillators to belt forth a dark, unique offering of post industrial, prison music.
https://ratskinrecords.bandcamp.com/album/malocculsion-psychosis-industrial-complex

 

 

EN NIHIL “DEAD FREQUENCY” Cassette (Danvers State Recordings, 2014)

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Here we have a newer release, “Dead Frequency” from the prolific yet deserted and obscure project called En Nihil, released on Danvers State Recordings The  A  side  starts out a slow,  cold,  ambient windchill of  space and  delicate reverberations. En Nihil is known for his  desolate, dark  heavy death/ambient/industrial recordings  but the “Dead Frequency” tape picks  up the pace  pretty heavily right off the bat. The slowly spinning ambient burner quickly but in a well composed manner, morphs  into a heavy, noisy, industrial hash squall from hell.  Dense, sharp, ripping sounds crumble and spatter atop of each other and  create gray pillars of psychedelic, waves of spiked feedback, and noisy  percussive elements. The wall section of the  piece  builds up to a blistering climax, and then gradually gives itself breathing room and a deeper, more restrained   tension is created. En NIhil swiftly and skillfully creates a monumental tension between the cold, ringing, droning ambient sections, and the harsh noise walls and cities of sonic bombardment.

On this particular release, we have a wide and refreshing scope of styles that are skillfully executed. There is actually a plethora of sounds and  ideas making up this  sinister, unclimbable wall of sound. Even though at times, it just sounds like “noise” , rest assured, it would be counter productive to pigeon hole it as such En NIHIL is a master at riding the waves between noise / ambient / death – industrial and straight musicality. Especially the B side of “Dead Frequency” if you blink for a second you might be fooled into thinking that some of these tracks , composition wise , have a structured sensibility to them, which for this type of music is a good thing in my opinion. There are no happy accidents here, or if there is, they are disguised well, each note , tone and action appear intentional and forthright in the composition and idea.

“Dead Frequency” is the logical progression in the En NIhil discography and takes a step forward in terms of dynamics and harshness but remains true to the unique style that the artist has created. MOre to come from this artist! Keep an ear in the cave.
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DECAYCAST REVIEWS : PREGNANT SPORE / VERTONEN Split Cassette (Forever Escaping Boredom Records , 2013)

DECAYCAST REVIEWS : PREGNANT SPORE / VERTONEN Split Cassette (Forever Escaping Boredom Records , 2013)

The Pregnant Spore side opens up with a fuzzed out, distorted thud percussion pulse and  slices of  choking voices aboot. The  blown out crawling bass slam and  garbled voice slices play off of each other quite nicely, and occasionally giving way to blown out sawtooth death note blasts that come from below and pierce through the mix. Albeit them a little hot in the mix, these jagged bass blasts create a rhythmic structure which shapes a dense and articulate bassline for a plethora of stuttering, FullSizeRender(13)flickering , and what sounds like sampled piano notes bounce off of each other in a loose and playful yet, rhythmically interesting way. The first half of the track held a little more tension for me personally, but the dense buildup toward the end created a relieving and necessary contrast. Overall a wide scope of  timbre and dynamics of sound  are utilized in a short amount of time. Will be writing more about this project in the coming reviews for sure, as we have at least one more tape by Pregnant Spore in the  piles of stuff to do. Now let’s get to the second side.

The Vertonen side comes right out of the gate with a warm yet sharp sounding repeating oscillation of unknown origin which goes on seemingly unchanged and tightly hinged to itself. gently beneath the surface, as if a failed distant audial telegraph, a slow tone begins to oscillate deep beneath the surface and causes a subtle yet growing psychedelic phasing of the original pulse. Slowly but with a determined tension, more and more complimentary voices trickle in and out of the mix, and cautiously roll over each other into a Terry Riley/ Steve Reich esque nod to minimalist classical composition. A short, relevant and beautifully articulate offering from Blake Edward’s Vertonen project.

Overall, a nice short release, although both projects could use a little more room on the ol’ magnet as i felt both pieces were cut off a bit abruptly, however sometimes that’s the way she goes , leave them wanting more yes? a solid release overall, with a brightly collaged color xerox cover, and plushly purple tapes which complement the J card’s nicely. Will be reviewing more from this label in the following weeks.

FOREVER ESCAPING BOREDOM

PREGNANT SPORE

VERTONEN

Decaycast REVIEWS: NOLDOR : “In Woods of Elfes” CDr (Mandarangan Recordings 2013 )

Decaycast REVIEWS: NOLDOR : “In Woods of Elfes” CDr (Mandarangan Recordings 2013 )

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This is written from not knowing what exactly was being listened to because I couldn’t really read the title and find any information on the band.

This first track I want to play  when I’m in a hot tub so it seems like I’m in the amazon with a burning typewriter. After being let go of the fire crackle and the insects you get trapped in horror film loop that builds and then perhaps you get murdered when it cuts abruptly to the jungle where we hang out with insects for a bit then we hit a calm pasture of slow reverbed hum, angel arpeggio -is this new age ?-or not- kind of fantasy, hall drift, feeling the LSD, kind of thing: and this is where I feel a strong echo of the cover arts influence on my interpretations of the audio emerging from the aesthetic of fantasy video game art emerging from fantasy novel art. Then we move into a highly produced buzzing  lull with a mega canned water bells sound waltzing to a lounge jazz drum i feel like Im in a grainy gray studio with futuristic mirror sunglasses that should have never happened.  By track six we are in a Disney movie rife with western boredom and I wonder when my fucking crumpets will get to the table and when this Game of Thrones episode will stop seeming like a Soap opera.  Everything turns pretty melodramatic and we’re nose deep into a piano sonata with a nice rolling piano riff that is played and recorded very well I can hear each hand, the bass line and high plinking melody in separate channels and the tapping of the foot as a throb that punctuates the rhythm. A violin sweeps through the piano riff climbing and descending and the recording gets cut off mid phrase.  Then we suddenly feel like we are in a BBC history channel documentary listening to casiotone produced rendition of Arabic Hip hop with big claps and shakers. Now we are back in Europe at a candle light romance with strings. Then we hang with some Angels, humming serenity but under a very subtle crackling distortion. Harps, some ohms and ahhs , I would like to hear only the clippy sounds and nicely delayed pinging bleeps and what sounds like a fingers quieting guitar strings being a subtle rhythmic element stray in the bleep loop. But i guess I have no choice but to hear the harp sound and the canned bells and then we just cut to silence and we will call that a wrap.

In some cases the artwork the album came in is a good indication of the content, we have some new age ambience mixed in with some banging history channel midi jams, some well recorded burning tape noise cooked field recordings of some wilderness, highly romantic soap operatic orchestrations that make me feel like Im shopping for jewelry. Probably good for an afternoon glass of wine if you buy dream catchers at gas stations, or if you play more than 3 hours of Dungeons and dragons-esque fantasy video games a day you can listen to this as you take a break and recharge with your energy drink and potato chips.

Then I figured out the whole thing was based on and inspired by Tolkiens middle Earth and The Noldor meaning “Those with Knowledge” a clan of elves in Middle Earth. I couldn’t read what was on the cover .. is it Molden ? Moldon? Noldon oh its Noldor…. So fanatics of Tolkien may find this of interest.  This “In Wood of Elfes” (yes with Elves spelled incorrectly) shows some skill with programing and competence with musical phrasing, classical structures,and recording techniques. It could get interesting if they develop an interest in designing some individualistic sounds, toss in some danger, and learn how to end a composition.

http://www.mandarangan.com/

written by: Verbjieff