DECAYCAST Reviews : GRST “Container​+​=​object EP” (2021)

DECAYCAST Reviews : GRST “Container​+​=​object EP” (2021)

GRST ‘container​+​=​object EP’’s pleasingly adjunct description states only that it relies upon  ‘a variety of electro-acoustic techniques and physical modelling’, eschewing any form of wild conceptual structure in favour of a more detailed sonic study. Connoisseurs of physical modelling synthesis will no doubt recognise its presence – we’re not dealing with bold new territories here, but rather some extremely pensive, rhythmically free wanderings that travel from additive washes to organic plucks and rattles. The absence of any measurable pulse is perhaps ‘Maracaibo’s’ strongest feature – its textures are allowed to ebb and flow between various synthetic states without ever feeling pressured to reveal a defined compositional logic.

In contrast, the second track, ‘aruba’, invokes a distinctly modular tact, tying bursts of reverb to the gestating clangs and urgent bounces across glass and metal. We get some nieve stabs at melody, too, meandering repetitions that dance back and forth like the song of a sinister, cartoon music-box. Theres no development proper, nor does there need to be – ‘container​+​=​object’ works precisely because it sets up a limited palette and then proceeds to meekly explore its affordance, the listener invited to observe as GRST tests the sonic properties of each corner in turn. 

Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully

Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully is a composer, video and performance artist from the UK. He produces work under the Distant Animals moniker (www.distantanimals.com), and runs both the production company 7000 Trees (www.7000trees.com) and the Difficult Art and Music label (difficultartandmusic.bandcamp.com). He holds an actual proper grown-up PhD in contemporary music, and currently lectures at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 

DECAYCAST { New Track} Reviews : Wobbly “Lent Foot” (Hausu Mountain, 2021)

WOBBLY Popular Monitress“to be released on cassette, CD, and digitally on 2/5/2021

Brand new high intense edit explosion from Negativland member, longtime radio show plunder-host/criminal, collaborator of hundreds near and far from People Like Us to Matmos to Thurston Moore, to now an army of touchscreen IOS nano bots- Wobbly aka Jon Leidecker. “Lent Foot” from his forthcoming album on Hausu Mountain, out 2/6/2021 titled Popular Monitress . the album’s lead single, is an explosive electronic sandstorm fused together with textbook Wobbly-esque precision maneuverings amidst controlled chaos. Bloop alien-explosion tone poem comes etched into frantic speaker cones channeling an army of puzzling and buzzing IOS midi war-machine events from the future. “Lent Foot” then blasts into hyperdrive 8-Bit Stevie Wonder bass collapsing down the rear stairwell, as arches of folding warped cartoon glitched foley pillars roughly and jitterly try to prevent the full tumble all the way down the mental metal twisted staircase of synth and beat chaos. A perfect express of the Haus Mo sound and ethic-electronic explosion of the highest and densest order. Once again Wobbly does not disappoint for the maximalist sound-horder and psychedelic ear fiend

San Francisco-based multimedia artist, composer, and improviser Jon Leidecker makes music under the pseudonym Wobbly. He is an active member of both the seminal experimental group Negativland, and with the Thurston Moore Ensemble. Over the course of a varied musical practice that began in the mid-1980s, Wobbly has collaborated with artists including Matmos, Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Tania Chen, Fred Frith, Tim Story, David Toop, Zeena Parkins, and People Like Us. 

Highly recommended.

PS. While you’re here check out this GUEST MIX Hausu Mountain busted for us last year. Ripe for a new listen.

Preoder Order Popular Monitress now from the Haus Mo bandcamp page.

DECAYCAST Reviews: VYLTER Industries “I” (Holojamz, 2o2o)

a1680683296_16

 

 

Vylter Industries ( VYLTER, Serotonin Jackalope et al )  creates at a seemingly unimaginable pace, so much so that it’s often hard to get a full grasp of the previous work before the next one drops, though with “I” the project now known as Vylter Industries) is back with one of the heaviest and darkest offerings from the project to date;  smoggy, dense sonic explorations to take us into a narrowed hallway encapsulated with the spilling blood-purple haze of an unknown space in reverse.

 

“I” is cavernous riffs bleeding into each other like a sonic hurricane. Slow motion controlled chaos.  Blending chopped and screwed, doom, vaporwave, and ambient styles “I”  never strays too far away from a defined sound, while at the same time weaponizing a wide range of sonic modes to wage a psychedelic trap against monotony. “I’  casts thick doom-ridden clouds into a crowded space where the listener spirals into a psychedelic frenzy. Heavy, distorted waves crash in like a digital sea, enveloping sight, and screen before a grasp of reality occurs, just for a second. Distant strums become closer and more menacing as “I” pulls you into an uncontrolled acceleration, spinning against the walls of time, a life and death sonic vortex. Powerful powerful sounds.   Highly recommended.

BUY “I” HERE!

DECAYCAST Guest Mix: Farm To Tape July Mix by D.A.C.

DECAYCAST MIXES : Farm To Tape : Episode 10 – July Mix

Next mix from the Farm To Tape  guest mix series combining experimental, jazz, metal, noise, avant garde, neo-soul, hip hop and other interpretations  of experimental sonic musings.

Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 1.13.20 AM

 

Chapter 319. by clipping.

Black Sheep by Backxwash

NIGHTSHADE by Moor Mother and Olof Melander

Nothing by Tyler Holmes

Black Kaveera by Nihiloxica

ZU FAUL by 93SOVAGE

HOTHOTHOT by Alienood

SUMMER OF LOVE ON ACID by SHA SHA KIMBO

Newtype Track by Yakui

Days of Hate V2 by Dark Machine Nation

Accelerant by Azar Swan

[side B] by Uraño

Under The Stall Door by evicshen

Sermon by Bison Squad

Short Bow by Kcin and Brendan Clark

Negu by Luka Productions & Kandiafa

NORDINE STAIFI by  Goultili Bye Bye

Expanding Electricity by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Decaycast Essential Listening : Grimalkin Records Statement Of Solidarity + Resources + Micro Reviews

backxwash-lathe-cut-pic
Grimalkin Records or GR has released a collective statement of solidarity with the global uprising in support of All Black Lives and ways folks can contribute to fighting anti Black racism, transphobia, and xenophobia and all forms of oppression through music, art, poetry, fundraising projects, transparency, compilations and performance. GR boasts an impressive roster of artists working at the forefront of everything from rap to bedroom folk, with social justice projects and grassroots fundraising campaigns rooted in anti oppression at the core of their beliefs and conceptual underpinnings. Check out a few releases we’ve selected below from their Bandcamp page  as well as some infographics provided by the label’s collective members.
A few of our favorite releases:
.
ABSOLUTE LEGEND IN THE MAKING. Backxwash is one of the most forefront artists of our time, do not sleep on her, this album goes into so many different places, a true tour de force of modern Rap, industrial,  and experimental.
.
.
Fantastic sampler spanning all of the unique genre bending hits of the GR family, another essential release in the catalog which you should not miss, a little something for everyone on here, plus many exclusives as well.  From the somber, blissful  acoustics of Elizabeth Owens , to the funky, Prince inspired, experimental R&B from Quinton Barnes, this is a beautifully curated eclectic mix and showing of the sonic diversity of the collective.
Here’s a few infographics provided by the collective to elaborate on ways folks can practice anti racism in music and art communities and grassroots organizing efforts, something that is much needed, and long overdue,
Gr Statement 1Gr Statement 2Gr Statement 3Gr Statement 4Gr Statement 5
“Grimalkin  is music & zine collective & record label comprised of artists from all over the world to raise money and support social justice & civil rights organizations locally in Richmond, Virginia, USA & worldwide”

Preview YouTube video Cardinality – At the Dinner Table

DECAYCAST #027 Guest Mix: Diego Aguilar-Canabal “Farm To Tape 9”

 
decaycast27-DIEGO

Last Friday, Bandcamp dropped their fees and let artists keep 100% of revenues, generating $4.3 million for artists in a single day. Having just cashed my last unemployment check, I joined in the celebration and went on a bit of a shopping spree. Here are some highlights from the occasion, sprinkled with some favorite earworms that have accompanied me on long bike rides through empty Berkeley streets. Enjoy!

Sheik of Araby – Hillboggle


I’m Gonna Stand Still – Rev. Mack McCollum with Combined Choirs


Set That Baggage Down – David Crosby
I Dream Of Sodomy ONO


Play For Today – Frankie Rose


Bouli – Alkibar Junior


Fuck Here – Exit Hippies


All The Way Down  – Couch Slut


Only Climate Change Is Real – Seas Of Winter


Labyrinthine – S H R I E K I N G


2.04052018 (1) – Obozdur


I Love You So Much – Ragk


Triste Pt.1 remake – Oren Ambarchi


I – Monochromacy


Wind/Plastic – Andrew Weathers


Lefebixar – Alejandro Palacios


A Pool Deeply Gouged out by Water – Dylan Henner

DECAYCAST : ESSENTIAL ListEning: Albums to Buy On Bandcamp Today -Part 1

Every #BandcampFriday, we’re here, picking releases for you to buy. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and art must survive. See our list for last month here.

Please, dig and do your  own research as well there is so much amazing art, music, and activism just below the surface, we just have to dig a little, feel free to email us with recommendations also or to submit your own list.

Club Chai co founders and  dynamic sonic duo 8ULENTINA and Lara Sarkissian are at it again with another  stellar release from their Club Chai Imprint, this one a split between the two producers, and it does NOT  dissapoint, as it brings together their  complex rhythmic arrangements, dense whirring pads and dynamic and tense programming and masterful production for heavy and danceable electronic offerings.

Dreamcrusher “Panopticon”

Newest release from one of the most innovative contemporary producers working right now. Intense, present, nuanced, like no other. Dreamcrusher  once again surpasses their own legacy with another pinnacle of contemporary heavy electronics from PTP, one of the most innovative labels going right now, solidarity to NYC.

Pu22L3 “Virus In The Sky”

Pu22L3 plays in The Edomites, Secret Sidewalk as well as a slew of other projects and is always  crafting nuanced deep modular synth and  beat textures with soul and tension, and “Virus In The Sky” is no different, pick it up for  name your price today, apparently Puzzle was  given a sound pack from the legendary Mr. Dibbs and they will be donating any money raised from this single.
“mrdibbs.com/product/a-p-s-o-plandemic-pack/

ITS FREE, he’s a cool cat and if you need an introduction to his work, there is this oracle named “google” that could totally help you out with explaining his body of work. So here, DL the pack, WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS and make some cool music with it. Its a really cool sound pack.

Also, if you end up donating money for this album, I’m trying to figure out along with Mr. DIbbs if there is some sort of non profit or organization that helps feed front line workers in Cincinnati because in times like these we gotta take care of each other and his base of operations is in Cincinnati.”

Yatta “Wahala”

Absolute essential listening from one of  NYC’s best  imprints PTP, curated by GENG aka King Vision Ultra.

“/this year, they released their sophomore album, WAHALA, via PTP ++ a theatrical production (An Episode: Ricky’s Room) commissioned by the The Shed.

//YATTA has shared the stage with musicians like Cardi B, William Basinski, and The Sun Ra Arkestra, creating multimedia performances that tour nationally and globally. ”

Moor Mother “CLEPSYDRA”

from the  text from the release on bandcamp”

soundscapes to another other
painting eternity
fractals of breath
unknown
archival genesis

A COLLECTION OF SOUNDS FOR WRITERS ( my intended experimental audience but it may be helpful to other creators ) AND CREATORS EXPERIENCING BLOCKAGES
FOR THOSE TRYING TO BREAKTHROUGH CREATIVE BLOCKS AND FOR THOSE HAVING TROUBLE DREAMING
WHAT DO YOU NEED:

PENCIL AND PAPER ( NO SCREENS )

HEADPHONES

A PLACE TO WRITE IF YOU ARE MOVED TO

GLASS OF WATER
INSTRUCTIONS:

MUST LISTEN WITH HEADPHONES

FIND A QUIET AND SOMEWHAT COMFORTABLE SPACE

ALLOW YOUR MIND TO WANDER

VISIT AS MANY PLACES AS POSSIBLE

THANK YOU FOR EXPERIMENTING
Limited Release for the Month of May
Honor Mothers Every Day”

The Noriegas “Trans Noriega Express”

Bay Area  Startup bleeds avant-noise rock unit and general agitators of splendor and  tech gone  away, wrong side of the ballad  fusion between harsh noise, kraut, with a spoof of a  cover that will wrap the brain in circles, pick this up for  name your price today.

ONO “Red Summer”

ESSENTIAL new album “Red Summer” from Chicago Avant-Gospel , Industrial legends ONO, forty years of politically charged radical Black conceptual art, one of the most important acts alive today and one of the most important albums of the decade period, expect a feature soon here on this album. ONO can do no wrong.

Donald Anderson “Holed In One”

Tripped out and  twisted mellow mood elixer, ambient wash from this Oakland producer. Sprinkled keys and  false start funk intro.

Solarized “Thermo dynamics of Life”

Philly-based psychedelic acid punk like no other, one of my favorite discoveries this year, seems like would be even heavier and more intense live, pick this up today. True outsider cosmic sounds for other worlds, the stunning cover art represents the sound perfectly.

Headboggle “Polyphonic Rehearsals”

Rehearsal extrapolations from Bay Area synth mangler from two recently cancelled bay area performances, similar to Polyphonic Demo, but  expanded with even heavier synth washes, blips of time expand beyond the horizon.  Grab it now, essential artist, mucking trough through the unknown for too long, Mort Garson on acid and  study for  our generation, all praise to Boggle!

Z.O. Voider “Perdendicular Groove”

Classic sounds from another living legend of outsider sounds and art. Z.O. Voider / Turman never lets us down, be it, blown out industrialized rhythms, or deep meditative explorations, the sounds are always powerful and other-worldly. Mechanical, dark, menacing, omnipresent intensity.

Aaron Dilloway “USS Orgo”

Droning locked key synth organ extended from one of the masters of all time. Recently released from his archives for the first time on Bandcamp. Dense, shuttering, thick and panic -stricken amazingness, classic Dilloway deep dive.

Compactor “Temporary State”

NYC’s Compactor returns again with more long-form industrial -based rhythms and soundscapes; textural, heavy, dissonant, pressing, Derek Rush’s projects never fall short on both concept an execution. Temporary insanity for labor left uncertain of a future. Pressing release, pick it up today and check his Social Distancing Shirt Fundraiser on the CS page.

DJ Rashad “Double Cup”

You know  what to do. RIP Always.

Bob Bellerue “Essential Work”

Another deep, leveled work from Bellerue, just released. Haunting, big, and small; wide scope of techniques and sonic worlds.

Moor Jewelry “True Opera”

Heavy/improv madness from Moor Mother x Mental Jewelry channeling psychedelic punk infused sonic walls of  chaos, but it’s so tight and locked and chaotic and just perfect for the moment really, the  record we all need right now to  fight this madness of  isolation, anxiety, fight, and dread.

Otzi “Storm”

New album from Oakland Goth/Post Punk legends Otzi, out mid May, channeling The Cure from the  future and other worlds beyond known lands. Masters of the genre,  hands down.

 

Experimental Housewife “DigitalBeach”

Maddening and beautiful assortment of tone poem electronic madness from this Bay Area project whi8ch has been making waves for a minute now. Deep deep electronic, explorations, beat extractions for every mood, beautiful beautiful discovery.  Now i know why this  project has built up such a cult following in the underground Bay Area experimental  dance  community

Monochromacy “What Has Been Will Be Again, There is Nothing New Under The Sun”

Heavy, dense, thick psychedelic guitar explorations from one of  Southern CA’s most innovative guitar/heavy drone/ experimentalists. Exceptionally beautiful and nuanced take on the style, follow this project without doubt.

J. Soliday “Music For  Speech Synthesis”

New one from one of the harsh.cut up masters, this new one delves into some more  digital crunch with an undeniable human control feedback system, nuanced and complex, fractured yet soulful, outsider sound undeniable.

Chaki “The Water”

Proto Prince inspired funk worship from Bay Area troublemaker Chaki, check a lifestream to see this in “person” – he does it all folks, and with respect and humor to the originators, Chaki blends his  own stew of funk and humor. A+

braingoat/jK/>XTINGUISHER> – “ESSTENTIAL”

Three way split from new  Oakland Label/Collective Every Living Thing Is Weird. harsh, varied, refreshing, pick up for pay what you want. Satisfy that harsh itch of innovative tongue in cheek harshest!

Spellling “Mazy Fly”

Another essential from Oakland’s psychedelic, enchanting, haunting, post-disco king, SPELLLING. Patrick Cowley and Donna Summer haunt the  twisted  airwaves of her  transmissions from another place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DECAYCAST Interviews: Anna Cuevas of Dès Vu “This Will Become A Memory”

94030604_1108340206197831_1919723370539122688_n
Dès Vu. photo:  Liesa Cole

Even before i met Anna Cuevas, her project Dès Vu was  enshrined with a sort of mythical presence. My partner first turned me onto her work when we were sourcing bands and projects for a benefit show to combat the  racist and xenophobic US border crisis, which has denied safe entry for thousands of asylum seekers to the US, we reached out to several acts and the first one to respond with a resounding yes, almost instantly,  was Dès Vu.  Benefit shows can be tough, as underground music shows usually have a razor thin margin financially for paying artists/performers as it is,  without even taking into consideration money for the space/promoters, never mind extra money to donate to a cause. The financial logistics of running a small to mid sized DIY show and coming out in the black are often next to impossible without a big crowd, sponsors, and a hefty amount of press backing the event.

“Dès Vu means the the awareness that this will become a memory,”

For many micro scenes benefit shows often require the artists and space to donate their time, money and resources to be able to raise enough money to make a big enough financial  impact, with the artists donating their time, talent, and resources for free. Putting together (last minute) or any benefit shows often cuts down the choices of  performers, as many simply cannot donate their labor for free or  discounted artist fees, so the fact that Dès Vu not  only agreed to  play our show, and immediately stated that she didn’t need payment, and we’re excited to participate was just the boost we needed to get the benefit show rolling, only later, and still at the time of this interview am I figuring out that activism is a big part of the work of Des Vu, so it was no surprise that she were our first ally in bringing together a solid lineup. We sat down and spoke with  Anna about her creative process, education, and future creative endeavors.

Welcome to Decaycast Interviews, please  talk a little bit about the origin of your current recording and performance project Dés Vu?

Dès Vu (day voo) quickly manifested early 2018 in Birmingham, AL, my hometown. After a long writer’s block, one day I played one of the synths of my now-producer, and what became the EP’s “cycling affect” flowed out. That breakthrough compelled me to transform sketches I’d been writing on my synth into full songs. Dès Vu means “the awareness that this will become a memory,” and that all feels like a dream now that my musical path pulled me to the Bay.

How is the Bay Area different from Birmingham based on your experience within music artists and activist circles?

I’m really grateful for my Birmingham roots helping me bloom into who I’m becoming, but I see and hear myself far more in the Bay Area creative communities. Here there’s a lot more music in the spirit of what I make, and I don’t get questioned about being racially ambiguous, which has been really refreshing. In many ways I feel more comfortable performing here despite not knowing nearly as many people as where I grew up. Birmingham has a strong DIY community and network of grassroots movements, but those circles were pretty separate. Here there’s much more overlap which really resonates with my music. There’s also more people and resources for more radical organizing and direct actions, but the movement in Birmingham works as hard, just in a different way. They are such different places and I’m still adjusting to what initially felt like culture shock but in a good way for me. One’s preference just depends on what one is seeking and wanting.

Can you talk a little bit more about radical Organizing and the connection to your work if any?

Though not an inherently political project, my music instinctively weaves some radical anthems among more prominent ballads centering mental health. I consider those themes deeply connected; one way being how racism and capitalism shape the climate of modern society.

94050096_566119867646378_6866162863753396224_n
photo :  Jaysen Michael

In Alabama I did a lot of grassroots work with workers’ rights, immigrant justice, prison abolition, reproductive and gender equity, and police brutality. Despite no longer having the stamina to continue frontline organizing, solidarity will always be a part of my work as I feel compelled to embrace the movement In my platform. However, while the EP’s “decolonize” and the single “for Rojava” highlight anti-imperialism and anti-fascism, my music primarily strives to create a world beyond this one.

 

So more of a vision of a different future than responding to the current one?

I like how you put that – it does respond to the current one but is also pushing for something more in a healing way.

Also knowing you’re a teacher In Oakland, had this affected your work at all in any way ? Have you ever we shown your students your music?

Actually yes, I recently had a music idea come to me about when public schools close for good and all the dynamics that entails.  It’s not something those outside of education probably hear much about and discuss even less but through music,  I can highlight that disparity that branches beyond schools and seeps into our communities, and yes I have shown my students my music.

 

Do you think social distancing has had an impact on your practice so far? Have you been in the mood to make music / art or not so much?]

Social distancing has had a big impact on my practice so far the first nearly three weeks (at the time of this interview) of quarantine, I really struggled with maintaining a creative focus. At first,  I started feeling imposter syndrome, like why was I not using this extra time to churn out new material. . Then I realized that the change to working remotely in education was not only not allowing as much free time as many who sadly lost their jobs, but was also taking an extra emotional toll with the urgency to prioritize mutual aid for our school’s families. Parent conferences by phone prefaced academic updates with asking what basic needs, if any, the families lacked.  Some weren’t sure how they were even going to get more diapers diving in to a bit of mutual aid outside of my job, looking to social media more to stay connected, and feeling the need to stay updated with news deeply affected my headspace for a while before I noticed how much it had negatively impacted my basic self-care. I felt kind of selfish for wanting to work on my music more than usual during these times, but now i’m reminded how crucial our own healthy wellbeing is before helping others so much embracing that notion now, i’ve started naturally practicing, writing, and recording fluidly again. As a solo artist with a bedroom recording setup.  my imposter syndrome was exaggerated  since i wasn’t even having to adjust to virtual group practices like many I know. Creating feels more like medicine than it ever has as it’s helping me process our new collective reality. My practice feels even more purposed now; though still very much digging inward, i’m projecting outward a lot more, like sending energy instead of staying in my own head so much. This will likely be a permanent shift as it will be impossible to ever completely forget these times we’re currently navigating.

Any future projects you’d like to discuss or general things to let our readers know about anything?

My producer is nearly done mastering the re-release of my EP, though unsure when I’ll be able to tour on it. My music video locations are also currently on pause, but I’ve been working on new songs for about a year and am learning to produce it myself
I do have another music project I’ve started but haven’t announced more details of yet and am not rushing it.
Generally, I encourage those who are financially able to donate to Bay Area mutual aid efforts: some that come to mind are houseless aid through :

East Oakland Collective

The Village,

West Oakland Punks With Lunch;

Bay Area Workers Support (sex workers),

Oakland Food Workers’ Fund, and We Are The Ones Mutual Care Fund — * for the unhoused, East Oakland Collective is taking donations for hand-washing stations ($162 / month) and portable toilets ($142 / month) PayPal:  kandace.e@gmail.com

Follow Des Vu on Instagram : @mind__mirage

DECAYCAST #026 Guest Mix : DJ MICOSE

DECAYCAST #026 Guest Mix : DJ MICOSE

decaycast26-micose

“It was in the vein of my Expatriate Transmissions KUSF days where I just mixed some stuff into others and played excerpts of longer tracks at times. “

Broadcast – The Game’s Up

Anakrid – Exiting The Yealm Of Legitimacy

JASSS – We Solve This By Talking

Borful Tang – Herd and Unheard

Haxan Cloak – Excavation (Part 2)

Grischa Lichtenberger – 0811_09_Re_0211_08

Arca – Entrañas (Excerpt)

Andrew Douglas Rothbard – Theta Cloud

Andrew Liles – Dissolved (Te Whare Ao Aitu)

Demdike Stare – Violetta

Joseph Taylor – Sprig O’Thyme

Potions – Woozy Night

oOoOO – Crossed Wires

Bromp Treb – Self Sacrifice

Muep Etmo – ]__changeable__[

Bruckmann/Diaz-Infante/Shiurba/Stackpole – Nervous Tick

Duplexx – Fios

M83/Anthony Gonzalez/Joseph Trapanese – Temples Of Our Gods

Gesaffelstein – Piece Of Future

Buddhist Monks Of Maitri Vihar Monastery – Three Monks With Bowls And Cymbals

Bromp Treb – Self Sacrifice (Reprise)

 

In The Midst Of Upheaval, Artists Are Curating Online Festivals To Keep The Music and Art Flowing

91327393_773555699837492_8091262595144613888_n

One thing is clear, the news is changing everyday surrounding, COVID-19, the newest and deadliest manifestation of a set of viruses known as Coronavirus, Although many were, and are still slow to adapt to the strategy of social distancing, a strategy recommended by many simply to flatten the curve of transmission in the US and across the world, to save lives but more importantly to ease the massive burden put in place within a “healthcare system” which was already on the brink of collapse. In a world already in social and political upheaval with racism and capitalism driving profits over people, artists and other marginalized members of society such as service industry,  social and hospitality workers not to mention the inhumane and rapid growth of  house less populations across the country and especially here in the Bay Area, visibility, resources and support systems  for art, music and social practice were already practically non-existent, and for underground experimenatalists and activists alike, even less so. But in the true spirit of underground art and culture, artists and creators  are adapting quicker than any of us expected, out of a necessity of  survival. In a time when the day to day changes our  reality in a way perhaps never experienced by this mass scope of the population at once, uncertainty is the only certainty. We talked to a  few artists who are beginning to  adapt new models to  support artists almost immediately.

Chicago, IL musician and curator Ben Billington, who is one of the founders of the The Quarantine Concerts series based out of Chicago spoke with us briefly about the newfound series and how they are adapting to this unexpected shift in the arts and performance.

Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 4.39.30 PM

Billington saysThe Quarantine Concerts are a collaborative multi-city endeavor meant to provide artists in our community a space to share their work and continue to earn a living during this time when most live performance opportunities have been cancelled due to COVID-19. By centralizing streaming efforts, we hope to drive larger audiences to the artists performing, with the aim of helping them earn more money in the process. The idea was formed by the collective minds of Experimental Sound Studio, Daniel Wyche, me, and Carrie Cooper — Daniel had planned an online concert himself since his tour was cancelled, and we all saw his post and sort of jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on something bigger.”

As a curator myself one of the inherent obstacles I can see with  suddenly switching the majority of live performances and events to streaming/online is an over-saturation / lack of organization/scheduling which can lead to the audience or viewer  simply being overwhelmed with content, without any actual direction. One friend is streaming here, another over here at the same time and we almost don’t know where to look. Through collaboration and selected curation, The Quarantine  Concerts seems to begin to address this issue through mutual aid and collaboration in  a way that individual artist streams or presentations fall short. Since Billington doesn’t solely rely on music/curating as a sole  source of income, he is able to dedicate more time and resources to promoting the work of others. The series solicits donations for each event and 100% of the proceeds are split between the artists at the end of each night. A truly generous and radical act.

Luckily I don’t rely on my art or event curation to make a living, so my time has mostly been spent trying to support others to get their art out there (and make some scratch) for as long as I can remember. That’s still very much my mentality while we’re on lock down”

Dr. Decaycast: What has been the biggest obstacle of the series and what are some valid critiques people have expressed thus far?

“So far, the biggest obstacle has been YouTube — our live stream was repeatedly being flagged for “inappropriate content”. So, the first hour of our first concert was us troubleshooting, and then making a last minute decision to switch over to Twitch. Luckily, it worked out and the whole concert happened, albeit 1.5 hours later than planned”

“I think the main critique is that not every art medium can translate well to the streaming format, and also, as soon as we announced the project, everyone wanted to be involved. Unfortunately there’s only so much time and bandwidth as a lot of us have day jobs on top of this fun project, so it’s day-by-day progress.”

Can you talk about what the series have coming up, performance wise, and how the curation works and how people can support?

“Tonight ESS is curating, Friday there’s a Chicago series called ACORN that had a bunch of shows cancelled, Saturday we have electronic music label Hausu Mountain curating a night. Next week we have Ithaca Underground curating a gig, Homeroom doing one, some others and many more to confirm. We’ve had curators approach us and we’re reaching out to some as well — curation of curation, for sure. Definitely not a free-for-all. Once a curator is confirmed, they pick an open date and we start the process of getting them the tech how-tos and other suggestions/guidelines”

Make sure to check out TQC  website and schedule  here and scope a performance.

Denver, CO based  artist Kevin Richards, who  performs under the moniker Equine is hosting PLAGUE FEST out of their underground Denver, CO based venue  Glitter City, but as many as the events over the last week, it will be without attendees. From the  Plague Fest event page:

“Since we (and many other venues) have shuttered their doors, I have decided to attempt some online actions such as this to help pass the time. In addition I am hoping this will be a way for me to offset the costs of keeping glitter city going. Any funds you want to donate to this end, please send via venmo to @glitter-city Please be sure to donate to the artists performing via the means they provide, and of course, buy merch!”

Plague Fest begins today and runs through March 27th. Artists interested in getting involved should follow the link above for  submission instructions.

Nima Dehghani,  an interdisciplinary artist based in San Francisco and Tehran has relaunched his Netformance series as a way of connecting artists across various disciplines and continents shortly after COVID-19 began to rapidly spread. We got the chance to talk with Nima briefly about the Reconnect Festival.  .

91169674_2836889059731929_2891907012038230016_n

“Well, I had a project called: Netformance which was dedicated to internet-based performances, I stopped this project 3 years ago, but after the strange coronavirus crisis, and seeing all my artists and non-artists friends stuck at their homes in quarantine, I thought that I can restart that idea, so contacted two of my friends in Iran (Fariborz and Sepehr) to see how we can come up with a creative idea to, first: entertain the people while they are bored at their homes!  Second: engage our artist friends whom their shows or artistic projects are canceled or postponed.

Also how we can unite artists from all around the world, who for the first time are facing the same problem and experiencing the same critical situation at the same time? The idea of online performances is not something super novel, but we thought at this point providing a solid platform for this kind of art, would be helpful to re-connect people and increase the empathy and human connection and to help people go through these tough days with the help of art, together.”

 

89404950_10218862718750412_1763318266689748992_n90473449_10218862719070420_749203185897308160_n

Here’s a Google Doc to Submit to the festival, which begins April 5-12th (FIRST EDITION)  and will be held on instagram live An Austin, TX collective, seemingly inspired by the monumental cancellation of SXSW, started The Social Distancing Festival.

The festival like others above, has an open submission policy but is focusing on works that we’re specifically cancelled or drastically altered due to Covid-19. from the festivals website,  “Check out the LIVE-STREAMS page, or click through the calendar to find out about streamed events from all over the world! Have an event coming up? Let me know about it through the SUBMISSIONS page!” One thing that;s quite unique and  exciting about these festivals is their seemingly open submission policy, which is often a hurdle for underground or undiscovered artists. Here’s hoping these festivals will birth new collaborations and projects which may have not even been possible, or have an audience previously.

40203202_10156204124071693_7594413970820169728_oBay Area artist and curator Karl Evangelista (and one half of the duo Grex is producing the Lockdown Festival happening April 4th,  and features performances from heavy hitters Marshall Trammell, Oakland Art-Rock emsemble Grex, and the  dark whirring sonic spirals of Oakland’s own Voicehandler, Submissions are  currently open. Evangelista states The purpose of the festival was to consolidate some of the effort I saw going into both community advocacy and music making in the face of quarantine. I just thought it might be nice to see that collective action is possible (and in some ways easier) via all these technological innovations that we’ve been forced to interface with these past few weeks.”

Aside from open submission festivals,  many underground and small indie labels are doing online versions of their festivals and artist showcases. Erstwhile Records is planning an online version of their AMPLIFY Festival, you can join the Facebook group here. Also  Southern, CA  stalwarts Deathbomb Arc are  supposedly planning an online version of their showcase as well.  They recently had showcases booked in Oakland and in LA featuring Cooling Prongs, SARN, DIS Fantasy and They Hate Change, a queer rap duo from the swamps of FL taking the underground by storm.

While some are booking online festivals , others are sharing their own resources and encouraging to learn new tools and methods of sharing and promoting their work in times of extreme isolation. Bay Area collective Fault Radio, who already had a dizzying stream of online DJ performances ala Boiler Room has released an article on how to expand your practice in the time of quarantine.

Fault Radio’s Broadcast from Home . Details below:

Are you an artist or DJ who is self-isolating at home? Do you want to know how to stream your sets? Fault Radio is looking to host DJs who want to live stream from their house!

We will be providing the following:

  1. We have the capability to do remote streams without having our team present.

  2. We will teach you how to stream while providing technical support

  3. We can provide Stream-Kits (limited)

  4. We will feature your set on our archive (Youtube, SoundCloud & website).

  5. We will open an online event where people can donate. Revenues from the event will be divided between participating artists and Fault Radio/

Lastly, we figured we’d announce a new project related to all of this melee, a YouTube  Playlist Series of themed mixes titled #StayTheFuckHome Mix Series with themes ranging from bay Area Experimental Music to Underground Electro, to In Home Workout Mixes, Cooking Mixes, and more. Here;’s the first one, and please support all of the artists in this mix by going to their respective bandcamp pages and buying directly.