DECAYCAST Reviews: PBK & John Wiggins “Where Pathways Meet” CDr (Acousmatique, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: PBK & John Wiggins “Where Pathways Meet” CDr (Acousmatique, 2018)

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PBK & John Wiggins take a  far  out ride to the  depths of  sound  design collaboration. “Where  Pathways Meet” on newly formed San Francisco label Acousmatique Recordings,  is two top notch sound artists/designers smashing into  one and other basement studio style for a warm, complex journey through a myriad of minimalist, orchestral, and cinematic takes on experimental music.

DONE #2 (4-01) is blends lush strings, new age droned chirping caked with gently fluttering synthesizers, ringing shimmers of decaying sine ways, and subtle string groans into a soothing, pulsing ambient/drone work. Other tracks such as UNTITLED #1 (9-98) are much more diverse in their approach and sonic characters. This longform collage blends crunchy digital noise sources, churning, bubbling square wave synth grumblings atop psychedelic swashes of lo fi static for a disorienting, dense, and compelling ride through the designers mind. Bubbling distortions of  memory fizzle, pop, decay and a new sound is born. Uniquely indescribable sounds, a chattering humming bell, a sqwaking, choking robotic bird belches out a sonic buzz of disorientation ringing in the inner ear. Field recordings cough ancient  stories of a forgotten room where an ancient sonic experiment has died.  

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The John Wiggins track JW BED #7 (2-98) creates a highly tense situation with it’s long-form, nearly silent, digital  waves decaying upon a shore which is  sure to slice and dice the  throat of  any and all in the  wake of the crescendo, early sun distortions bleed the ear  until the  quietest big becomes amplified into a cacophony of  uncertainty and virus, while the  PBK solo track PBK UNTITLED SOURCE (10-98)  closing out the download leaves us  with a stringed morose background for a nightmare of loss and a question never to be asked, cause the  ear and brain has  faded away with the very last note.

from the  artists…

“John Wiggins is best known as an Emmy winning film and television sound designer, working for HBO and his own production company, Wonderland Sound. Wiggins is a master of the techniques of musique concrete, his experimental work often consists of painstakingly arranged synthetic and natural sounds that create extraordinary “living” audio environments. In 2017 Wiggins was one of the distinguished winners of “PRESQUE RIEN” Luc Ferrari Prize.

Phillip B. Klingler is considered a pioneer of noise in the U.S., but has also been recognized for his work in the areas of ambient, drone and glitch music. He uses samples, turntable, analog and digital synthesizers to create dense structures of bizarre sonic origin. He has had numerous albums released and collaborated with the likes of Jim O’Rourke, Wolf Eyes, Dirk Serries, etc.

Acousmatique is a record label from San Francisco, California that is focused on publishing and promoting the best contemporary music by artists from around the world. Follow the label for new publications in the Acousmatic, Electroacoustic, Immersive Audio, Musique Concrete, and West Coast music genres. Check out the full catalog at
acousmatique.bandcamp.com

 

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DECAYCAST Reviews : TODD ANDERSON – KUNERT “A Good Time To Go” (This Is Non Linear,2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : TODD ANDERSON – KUNERT “A Good Time To Go” (This Is Non Linear,2018)

This little unassuming tape arrived in our mailbox all the way from NZ, where the artist Todd Anderson – Kunert is based. This work titled “A Good Time To Go” boasts the sonic equivalent of finding that perfect moment to ditch out on the show or event or interaction that you’re probably enjoying (or maybe not ) but are suddenly met with that harsh and disorienting wave of uncertain feelings, emotions and sense of space or lack thereof. This album is very much that. the albums opener “No” starts with a slow quiet drone which ascends into a loud, shuttering thud, and steadily breaks up into a more distorted, disorienting, confusing version of itself until the listener is left with their own feelings of confusion about confusion. Dark, crumbling noise swashes give way to more rhythmic patterns which oscillate moments between disappearance and uncertainty while bathing the listener in a sharp bath of loud and overwhelming sounds all to build to a climax and erase themselves to the point where only the distant hum of a sharp bell remains, a single alienating tone tuning and ringing inside the brain of the unsuspecting listener. The overall vibe is dark , disorienting , haunting with spurts of beautiful articulate decay.

The albums strongest track “It’s Taking Forever” is an honest, heavy take on what could be best described as digital power drone. Lots of dark and articulate textures exist throughout, crawling and wringing out dark, alienating slime into the ear, especially on this second stand out track which really carves out a lonely and confusing sonic space, oscillating between traditional takes on drone, ambient noise, “power ambient” some might say.  Overall a solid release with a wide interpretation on what could be considered psychoacoustic drone music.

TODD ANDERSON-KUNERT

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: 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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