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

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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.

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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.  .

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“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.”

 

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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.

 

Thirty + More Releases to Buy On Bandcamp Today – Experimental, Beats, Warped Pop & More

cropped-solar_electric_propulsion_0.jpgAs always, the world is in chaos, so last Friday,  Bandcamp  waived it’s revenue share for artists .  Decaycast sounds off thirty MORE releases that are essential from 2018-2020 spanning noise, experimental, rap, neo-soul, black metal, post-punk, and more. Make sure to buy these records and support the artists. In times of chaos, artists, cultural producers, and activists are often left in the dust to fend for themselves. Here’s some of the music  that got us through the last few years. This is by no means a complete list, more so what we’ve been listening to the last few months on heavy rotation. SUPPORT THESE ARTISTS! Please see part one here.

Lara Sarkissian “Disruption”

“DISRUPTION is Lara Sarkissian’s debut EP release via CLUB CHAI. The project is an electronic soundtrack to an imagined fictional film inspired from stories of Armenian mythology, the transition from the worship of nature to the roles of gods and goddesses and tying these narratives to encounters with familial spirits. The soundtrack uses electronic composition, instruments with roots in the Armenian Highlands, sounds shaped from plateaued landscapes and geography, samples from old cartoons, and distorted narrations of rituals. “

Black Quantum Futurism “The Afterlife Of Events”

Luke Stewart “No Tresspassing”

King Vision Ultra “Pain Of Mind”

Nihar  “Chrysalis”

Dense, and  nuanced electronic stylings from Nihar of  TVOD / Left Hand Path /  Surface Tension SF etc. Highly recommeded for  dark and hazy dancefloor nights.

Doc Sleep “Your Ruling Planet”

The Modern Folk & Andrew Weathers “Five Remote Duos”

Ritmos Tropicosmos “Tumba de la Momia / Beso de Muerte”

Cumbia  from hell / or  halloween, or helloween. Heard they’re a ruse live, but this electro-cumbia  banger is a must spin for hallows eve.

8ulentina “Venom”

Kohinoorgasm “Chalo EP”

Otzi “Storm”

Gayphextwin “Spiro”

Deena Abdelwahed “Khonnar”

The Creatrix  “Approaching An Abandoned Helm”

Bran (…) Pos “Cosmic Mushmouth”

Metal Prayers  “Metal Preyers”:

Snake spit defenders , slither drippers , screwed metallic preyers , helicopter drums , pulsing incinerator sounds .’

London producer Jesse Hackett ( Ennanga Vision / Owiny Sigoma band) and Chicago based artist Mariano Chavez team up with Nyege Nyege Tapes for NNT18 music and art collaboration METAL PREYERS . Hackett and Chavez have been working together for two years on their audio visual project Teeth Agency. Together a plan was conceived to invite London underground music veteran Lord Tusk to Nyege Nyege’s head quarters Uganda to work on the project Metal Preyers .

Metal Preyers turned into six weeks of music , art making, directing night shoots, and gin fueled hell rides into the Kampala night world. Hackett had dreamt of making an industrial / ambient film sound track to accompany the collection of Mariano’s striking visuals and pairing it with Lord Tusks tough sound system sensibilities.

Featuring an all start cast of Ugandan musicians including Acholi singing star Otim Alpha, multi instrumentalist Lawrence Okello and drummer Omutaba . Slow chopped screwed slabs of sound, fast paced to oozing sludge the LP moves between syncopation’s with a cut and paste type feel that nods to DIY cassette tape post punk-ism era and machine-esqe drone ambience.

Voicehandler “light from another light”

Cosmic Surveillance “Live At Visions Of A New World”

They Hate Change “Now, and Never Again”

Hiro Kone “A Fossil Begins To Bray”

Lingua Ignota “Above Us Only Sky”

 

Demonsleeper “Dream Sequence I”

Debby Friday & DJ Haram “Searching”

Marlo Eggplant “Loose Footing”

Conscious Summary “Fathers Day In The Park”

Clipping “There existed An Addiction To Blood”

V/A: “Sacred Spells” Compilation

Yugen Blakrok “Anima Mysterium”

“Five years after releasing Return of the Astro-Goth, Yugen Blakrok descends from the vast cosmos and delivers to the world an impressive lesson in style, with her second album Anima Mysterium. Far from the stars but heavy with their radiant wisdom; it’s towards Earth, humanity and the obscurity at its core that the South African rapper directs her incantations.
Accompanied by Kanif the Jhatmaster’s beats, Yugen’s flow sows the frontiers of a world where the subconscious frees itself and confronts man with his most hidden secrets. Yugen’s poetry has something Ovidian, depicting her as an agent of Metamorphosis, a reincarnated goddess in terrestrial form calling humanity to itself.

“Why in the deepest darkness my soul beams like a lantern
Engineered in female form…silent carrier of the force
I’m a sandstorm in desert dunes, a shadow with a torch”
Land of Gray, Yugen Blakrok

The osmosis between Yugen’s words and Kanif’s instrumentals comes across from the first listen. On Return of the Astro-Goth, the astrological ideas covered by the rapper found a perfect canvas in the mix of wind instruments, dub and electronic echoes from the beatmaker. Here, Yugen lays hers flow over instrumentals of rock, jazz and even at times something that sounds close to witch-house. The project, released under French label I.O.T Records, extracts the essential oils from hip-hop as seen by the two artists, whose creative freedom and artistic integrity contrast with the current rigid codes of the genre. At their sides they have rallied to their musical odyssey artists from South Africa and the US, including hip-hop legend Kool Keith himself.

Headboggle “Live At Stasis”

Cel Genesis “Entropy Vain”

Saariselka The Ground Our Sky”

 

Quinton Barnes “AARUPA”

Watkins  / Peacock “Acid Escape 2”

The Caretaker “Everywhere At The End Of Time”

“When work began on this series it was difficult to predict how the music would unravel itself. Dementia is an emotive subject for many and always a subject I have treated with maximum respect.  Stages have all been artistic reflections of specific symptoms which can be common with the progression and advancement of the
different forms of Alzheimer’s.  Thanks always for your support of this series of works
remembered by The Caretaker.

STAGE 1 – (A+B)
Here we experience the first signs of memory loss.
This stage is most like a beautiful daydream.
The glory of old age and recollection.
The last of the great days.

STAGE 2 – (C+D)
The second stage is the self realisation and awareness that something is wrong with a refusal to accept that. More effort is made to remember so memories can be more long form with a little more deterioration in quality. The overall personal mood is generally lower than the first stage and at a point before confusion starts setting in.

STAGE 3 – (E+F)
Here we are presented with some of the last coherent memories before confusion fully rolls in and the grey mists form and fade away. Finest moments have been remembered, the musical flow in places is more confused and tangled. As we progress some singular memories become more disturbed, isolated, broken and distant. These are the last embers of awareness before we enter the post awareness stages.

STAGE 4 – (G+H+I+J)
Post-Awareness Stage 4 is where serenity and the ability to recall singular memories gives way to confusions and horror. It’s the beginning of an eventual process where all memories begin to become more fluid through entanglements, repetition and rupture.

STAGE 5 – (K+L+M+N)
Post-Awareness Stage 5 confusions and horror.
More extreme entanglements, repetition and rupture can give way to
calmer moments. The unfamiliar may sound and feel familiar.
Time is often spent only in the moment leading to isolation.

STAGE 6 – (O+P+Q+R)
Post-Awareness Stage 6 Is without description. ”

Abdu Ali “F.U.F.M.”

Moira Scar “Wound World, Part 1”

Jonathyan Snipes – “Excess Flesh”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DECAYCAST News: Experimental Pop Artist Dani Lee Pearce Shares Her Video Triptych Single; Watch Now

Grimalkin Records  Artist Dani Lee Pearce Shares Her  complex and vibrant  Triple Video Single from new album “For As Briefly As I Live”

Nor a premiere in the traditional sense but we wanted to present these three works from Dani Lee Pearce which range from hi energy experimental pop/rock to lush, serene, symphonic minimalist ballads- released on Grimalkin Records.

The complex first single “I’m Gonna See My Abuser Again”  tackles a character questioning their own experiences,  and how they can possibly free the mental grip of a negative relationship and break free from a cycle of abuse through seemingly upbeat experimental pop strategies, but open the second and third listen, the nuance and complexities of this track come out for all to see.  The  high energy synth, percussion, and vocal production puts the listener in a state of hope, a little anxiety, and wonder, wishing for the protagonist to escape the violent clutches of an abuser

“Deep Red”  is a funky, whimsical, yet dark animation /live-action mashup which captures the breadth of Pearce’s work in an elegant and astonishing way.

“When All Things Are Well”, the third single is the most serene and morose of the three in both visual and aural presentation. Lush symphonic synth lines are encapsulated by Pearce’s stunning vocal delivery.  Pulling from Bjork, Elton John, and Spellling, Pearce has created a lush and dynamic sound all her own.   You can also subscribe to the artists Patreon Page here.

“Commitment has the ability to intertwine such mutually opposite but attracted things like love and death in ways often unexplained or unexplored. The two are either separate or complimentary, never in between. This album is a collection of songs that explores this from the perspective of a frequently shy, nervous, and lonely trans woman; Someone in a period of processing the implications of her own mortality in an unstable time, while at the same time, being absolutely smitten with a devotion that’s made for a timely antidote which makes living worth its rough and complicated while.”

from the label:
Proceeds from cassette purchases of this album, “For As Briefly As I Live” go to Critical Resistance in Portland, OR. “Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope.”
criticalresistance.org

 

Grimalkin Records

“What We Can Create Together”: An Interview With John Daniel and Michael Stumpf of Reserve Matinee Imprint.

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My process of discovery coming across the Reserve Matinee imprint took a similar tale of many great discoveries within underground music and art. I first met John Daniel, co-founder of the Chicago-based imprint Reserve Matinee while he was playing in another legendary Chicago act – Avant-Gospel Black Power electronics act ONO at the legendary Empty Bottle. I was familiar with John’s work as Forest Management, who’s new double LP record “After Dark” (American Dreams) is a tour de force reimagination/reworking on Debussy’s “Le Mer” a complex and deep work in itself. John’s presence is very much like his new LP, nuanced, deep, and passionate and from the heart. It is without a doubt the strongest work I have heard under the Forest Management moniker, although it does almost without saying that everything I’ve heard has been stellar, to say the least.  “After Dark” is morose, haunting, but also serene and beautiful, and is ripe with the complexity and honesty that mirrors almost everything Daniel does, including his new imprint,  founded with friend and frequent collaborator Michael Stumpf. Here’s a distillation of what we spoke about and what is in store for  RM for 2020 and beyond.

“We of like minds need to unite now by working together to fight against the known ailments of global capitalism on any local level—whether slavery, segregation, racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, toxic masculinity, police brutality, etc., the disease cannot be fought alone.”Michael Stumpf

 

 

Welcome to Decaycast interviews, thank you, John and Michael, for sitting down with us. First off please introduce yourselves and talk a little bit of what you’re excited about lately;

JD: Thanks so much for having us! Been lookin’ forward to it. We have some tapes coming out soon in 2020, excited to share them with folks. We also started doing gigs at a Vietnamese restaurant (Nha Trang) in Uptown Chicago, back in December 2019.

MS: Looking forward to Nha Trang this Friday, and more gigs 2020.

 John, you run three different labels/imprints, is that correct? Can you talk a little bit about Reserve Matinee, and also what makes the imprints different. Have you ever thought about combining them into one massive label, or does it make sense to keep them separated?

JD: Yeah. Sequel will be coming to a close this year, with just a few more releases planned. Afterhours Ltd is kinda just chillin’ right now, I honestly got pretty behind on assembly and shipping for that label, so I wanted to slow it down and re-evaluate some things. I don’t feel great about making people wait for stuff. Reserve Matinee came to life out of a friendship, so it’s about that collaboration and like-minded vision. I see that as separate from any other imprint I would run.

 

“I believe music can be a healing force that can be regenerative for those engaged in capitalist struggle.”

At what point did you realize your label was taking up more time that you all had anticipated, has it grown to become something more than when you started? And if so, how has your relationship to it, and it’s processes changed?

JD: Definitely. We released 20 tapes in our first year so we were very busy. We’re actually focusing a little less on releases this year, and more on events. But our process has evolved, for sure- Michael and I will now naturally split tasks when producing and selling the tapes.

MS: Feels like the same processes to me from the beginning just a shifting focus away from so many tapes and on to event planning and the first vinyl for the label this year.

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What is your process of discovery / curation? Do you focus more on the sound, aesthetics, or philosophy/ethos of the artists you choose to work with?

MS: The label was definitely meant to be a platform for us to explore other sides to the sounds we had been traditionally working with and initiating more collaboration and improvised live take recordings with local artists. We strive to release unheard and/or neglected sounds from our friends in Chicago, the Midwest, and abroad. That is what first and foremost drives our curation.

JD: We definitely listen to everything that comes our way, and we have a bunch of talented friends making interesting music right now in Chicago. It has only felt right to support the Midwest through the imprint, we’ve both grown up in and have gained inspiration from this region.

What do you see as the biggest problems within contemporary experimental music that you would like to see change (either political, philosophical, or aesthetic) and how if at all do you try to mitigate through this through your label and various projects?

MS: The biggest problems within music now are the exact same as the biggest problems caused by late capitalism. We strive towards an anti-capitalist ethic in what we can create together.

JD: Lack of openness, exclusivity, and boxed in. We tend to stick with what we know. There can be a great joy and healing feeling when you jam with someone you don’t know.

Can you elaborate a bit more from a standpoint of collaboration? In a time period that seems focused on the individual,  do you see music as a building block of resistance to capitalism?

MS: I believe music can be a healing force that can be regenerative for those engaged in capitalist struggle.

JD: In the words of Jack Johnson, we’re better together.

If you could explain the concept of your label to a person who has never and will never hear your releases – how would you describe it?

MS: We exist only in the hopes of describing it.

JD: Here.

MS: Connive is a new alias, tape coming 2/18, my political response to the Aurora, IL mass shooting. Most memorable might be Sara Zalek and Norman W Long‘s “Steel Workers’ Drone” dropping on RM 2/11…
JD: After a Summer of solo tapes we finished 2019 with a few different split releases, which is a fun format. They’re all up on our Bandcamp now. Yeah, I’d also say the Sara + Norman tape is one we’re super excited about at the moment. It really sets the tone for this year, being the first release of 2020.
What do you have upcoming both personal and for the label that you’re both excited about that we might not know about yet?
MS: New Faithful album coming this year on Anomia (material been ready for a while now) otherwise staying busy locally w Nha Trang nights, some live performances and deejaying
JD: Finishing a few recording projects including the debut release of 8990, which is Michael and I. I’ll be booking solo dates in the US/Canada very soon after a brief break, and buying a film camera. We’re also dropping the label’s first vinyl LP this year for our friend Door. He lives in Baltimore.
What are things that inspire you outside of your normal practice? is there a separation from art and life? Personal and political?
JD: Looking back, some things that have inspired in the past..the sky, glimpses of light, people, loss, film. Is there a separation between art and life? I guess it just depends on how you define life. For me, not really. It’s not like I’m going “Ok, it’s art time now”. Most of the time you don’t know what’s happening until it manifests itself in front of you.
MS: The existence of the impossible (or of the strange, or the weird, the ether), which I find omnipresent, constantly and unrelentingly inspires me. I believe and have faith that things can and will happen that we cannot imagine in any present, faith in the unthinkability of the infinity of future possibilities. That combined with the wisdom that life is unintelligible to life itself, a reality which in and of itself allows the irrational imagination to wander every slope of the summits of desire (or, time). But I see absolutely (and necessarily so!) no separation between art/life nor the personal and the political. All are one in the same from my vantage, and must be, as the passage of time and how we choose to risk ourselves to chance is all we have. Chance IS life IS art IS what we do with time itself (desire). In this way, I find the element of chance to be for me a strived-for basis of all my recorded works, as they strive for an element of stream-of-consciousness by design; breaking away from quantization, from conformity, from status quos of sound. As for politics, I try very hard to not believe in gods, idols, leadership, ideologies, in authority, in political platforms/parties, but vehemently believe all aspects of human life under late capitalism are political, music included. Music—the practice/craft but also who gets heard, who gets gigs, who gets streams, who gets festivals, who gets to play the best venues/clubs—is always political. Just follow the $ and prepare to be endlessly disappointed with your supposed ‘favorites’/‘heroes’/‘idols’. My politics are anti-capitalist and anarchic and bend towards communistic ends; they affirm inherent imperfection in all human political tasks as a result of our contradictory/flawed nature (a nature of violence, of hierarchy/power), as their very starting point. We of like minds need to unite now by working together to fight against the known ailments of global capitalism on any local level—whether slavery, segregation, racism, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, toxic masculinity, police brutality, etc., the disease cannot be fought alone. In these times of disunity and discontent, we must seek the opposite, which means cultivating, sharing and connecting, believing in the impossible, believing in the possibility of an end to capitalism in our lifetimes.
 Final words:
MS: Listen to more Skin Graft.
“Faith is not belief in whether or not God exists but rather knowing that love without reward is of value.”           – Emmanuel Levinas
JD: I highly recommend Coast Sushi on Damen Ave and Margie’s on Armitage & Western. Also, shop Uptown! Jk there’s nothing to shop around here. Only bars and theatrics. But there is the Green Mill Jazz Club, off Broadway and Lawrence. Al Capone used to get faded there. It’s pretty sick to take acid and go sit in a booth. I also recommend listening to as much Gene Pick as you possibly can. Also this rec:

Future:

2/28 – @ Nha Trang Fourth Fridays – Peak Descent b2b Faithful w/ r.ss & Space Dog Jaxx

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Marlo Eggplant “Loose Footing” (Dubbed Tapes, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Marlo Eggplant “Loose Footing” (Dubbed Tapes, 2019)

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For her newest cassette “Loose Footing”, underground experimental sound artist,  curator, and all-around master of her craft, Marlo Eggplant further refines her minimalist sound discovery practice for a frightening and dynamic sonic offering. “Loose Footing” is a haunting, dark and powerful delve into the deeper trenches of experimental sound and composition. The tape opens up with a twisted and mangled voice piece that turns into flowing water, a distant wind, a failed communication; we’re not really sure, except that it’s a new part of the journey. This work functions sort of as a “mixtape” style release in the sense that it contains lots of short compositions that all gel into an overall vibe, while maintaining their own individuality of experimentation, free from the flow of an “album” but structurally just as completed, and in some ways perhaps more profound and detailed than many noise “albums” where everything is presented as one long track. After the twisted, demonic voices subside,  A more melodic, undulating sine-wave drone piece eclipses from the crumbling fog, like an intense pulsing light escaping from the distant mountain peak at sunrise, warming the inner ear with a comforting din. Eggplant has always worked with a diverse palette of sounds, however this cassette composites so many different styles of composition and techniques that almost no two minute section is the same as the last- we are always led to a new sonic discovery with Eggplant at the controls.

Her sounds hold power and often a cinematic vision, I often found myself closing my eyes and dozing off into an unknown and slightly frightening world of unknown origin. If there’s one person who can transform sound and take us to another place, it’s Marlo Eggplant. The  B side contains more of the same, dark, heavy drone-based works which morph strings, turntablism, voice, and mixed electronics for a highly dynamic, tense,  and complex effect-my favorite listening experience. Eggplant is one of the best in the game and you should follow whatever she’s doing, including her label and distro and LADYZ IN NOIZE series. Also check out an older review we did of Marlo’s last tape  “Head/Rushed”  (Vaux Flores) here 

DUBBED TAPES 

MARLO EGGPLANT

DECAYCAST Reviews : SKY “Lullabies” CS (Pop Nihil, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews : SKY “Lullabies” CS (Pop Nihil, 2019)

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Hauntingly lonely, booming caverns seem to be the backdrop for SKY’s “Lullabies”  cassette EP on the refreshingly diverse Pop Nihil imprint. First off, the  stark design caught my eye, and I enjoy the minimalist design theme that runs across of these releases, it really helps to gel them together in a special and unified way. The voice, synth, and drums all blend perfectly on this EP, creating a morose, and lush cloud for the  uncertain change of the future to be birthed upon. Cavernous reverb on the drums, and strings (synths?) cast a hollow but intentioned place for the voice to dance upon into the night.  Favorite track of the A side is “ILIKELIES” though, they all really present a focused and uniformed sound. Like the  voice and  rhythm section of early Cocteau Twins, mixed with the delicacy and nuance of contemporary avant -garde  megastars like FKA Twigs nodding to the softer side of Witchhouse.  popnihilSKY paints a blissful portrait of an unknown place where the next step is to be taken, the  only thing that’s certain in uncertainty.  The B side is a little  more  driving with a ear forward bass and  drum rhythm that escalates the pacing and tension from the soft and intricate spells cast by the first side. Closer to tara Cross or a chopped and  screwed TuxedoMoon the big percussion and thudding bass create a nice, angular tension for the voice and delicate droning synths to skate off lightly but boldly into the distance, a truly beautiful and nuanced listen.

 

DECAYCAST Guest List: Bran (…) Pos “EOY TOTALE 2019” Bay Area Multimedia Artist Chooses His Favorite Mind Bending Media of 2019

DECAYCAST Guest List: Bran (…) Pos “EOY TOTALE 2019” Bay Area Multimedia Artist Chooses His Favorite Mind Bending Media of 2019

 

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EOY TOTALE 2019

some of things that flicked my tick this year by bran(…)pos

Headboggle “Polyphonic Demo”  – Ratskin Records

40+ one-minute diddies catchy as fuck, and always weirdy. Then the dude practiced the pieces and toured them and they got better and deeper. Each live show I saw of Derek this year topped the last. Bubble machine finale at the Dildo gave me the creepy-happy chills.

 

Patrick Cowley “Mechanical Fantasy Box”  – Dark Entries Records

https://www.darkentriesrecords.com/store/vinyl/lp/patrick-cowley-mechanical-fantasy-box/

This got a lot of spins from me and combined with the release of the same-titled “Homoerotic Journal” creates an amazing document of a period of San Francisco that is increasingly becoming as lost as one of those self-driving cars stalled in a SOMA intersection.

 

Sahra Halgan Trio “Waa Dardaaran”  – self-released

Sahra has an incredible voice and energy and this trio combining her song stylings from her native Somaliland with a tight rockish energy brought by French musicians Aymeric Krol and Mael Saletes puts big smiles on my face every listen. I wore out their 2016 EP “Faransiskiyo Somaliland”, and was super excited to see they had a new release on Bandcamp this year.

 

XUXA SANTAMARIA “Chancletas D’Oro”  – Ratskin Records

Haven’t stopped playing this record. Sits right in the 2019 groove for me. Poppy, hard, sexy, smart as hell, and just a really fucking well-produced record. Won’t be surprised when this band blows way the fuck up. I promise I won’t be a hater when that happens.

 

Ed Balloon “The Dubs”  – Deathbomb Arc

Like nothing else I wore out this year. “Dreamworld” may be my favorite pop song in many years, and this tape was certainly my summer soundtrack of 2019. I’ve yet to see him perform live, and I’ve heard he brings it. Excited to see/hear more in 2020.

 

Dos Monos “Dos City”  – Deathbomb Arc

Another tape I played to death and memorized. I love these fools’ energy and sharp vocals riff on each other like the jazz samples they so well-employ in the production. Fun as hell and got me through some bike rides I have no business putting my knees through.

 

WAXYTOMB “Imminent Fold”  – Gilgongo Records

https://gilgongorecords.wordpress.com/tag/waxy-tomb/

Strange and gorgeous futurewrong electronic rhythms and vocals LP packaged alongside a 10-inch glossy “visual lyrics book” with amazing computer art by JulesLC, this is hands-down one of my favorite new weirds of 2019.

**** You can also read our review of the album here 

Sir Artful Cornhole Doily “Sings the All-Time Greats”  – Planetary Magnetics Corporation

http://www.planetarymagnetics.com/music-1

Imagine The Frogs slapping a baby around with a rubber fish covering the best/worst songs of your ok-boomer life. Yeah, this fella has more musical ability in his damp palms than any of us deserve, and we should be so lucky that he is putting music out in 2019 and beyond. Good luck finding this tape, but try contacting Planetary Magnetics hq in New Orleans direct.

 

The Residents “Mole Box”  – Cherry Red Records

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/the-residents-mole-box-the-complete-mole-trilogy-preserved/

A longtime favorite set of music from a longtime favorite band came out this year collected, remastered, and filled with tons of extra material and documentation. The Residents alongside Cherry Red Records have been firing out reissues of all their classic material lately, but none of the pREServed editions have been as exciting and revealing to me as this set. A runner-up would have to be the Record Store Day BS reissue, filled with ancient Rezzy material I had never heard. Residents 4ever.

 

Chromatics live at Mezzanine SF June 12, 2019

Chromatics

I’ve been a casual fan of Chromatics, but this live show put me over the edge. So great to see this unit form the music live and fill a club. This being the last show of their first tour in many years, there was real emotion on stage and in the audience. Their new record “Closer to Gray” has been on repeat play for me, but nothing recorded from this band has quite captured the energy of the live show in my opinion.

 

Evil Moisture/Thomas Dimuzio/Demonface/Ava Mendoza/Hobo Sonn live at Peacock Lounge December 18, 2019

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https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1360084

James Decker/Resipiscent Records has been putting on monthly experimental shows for a few years now at venues around SF, but the much-needed SF series has really found a home at Lower Haight’s Peacock Lounge. I had the pleasure of working sound and sitting front row for this particular gig, which really brought a fantastic close to 2019 with solid to spectacular sets from every act, including maybe my favorite solo Ava Mendozaset ever.

 

RaffyTaphyASMR “ASMR raffy’s 3 hour video”

The king of tingles is back! After a lengthy break from any new material, Raffy came back strong in 2019, and his 3-hour video of all new good sounds quietly blows out the competition. Other ASMRtists have trouble coming up with a continuous 20-minute session without looping, and here Raffy remains strong and relaxing with unique content all the way through a full 3 hours. At least, I think that’s the case. I’ve never made it through the whole thing awake.

 

Biggest Crock of Shit 2019

“Cambodian Rock Band” by Lauren Yee with (some) music by Dengue Fever at OSF

Remember those Cambodian Rocks comps from the 90s? How about that 2014 documentary “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten? Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘N’ Roll”? Playwright Lauren Yee and band Dengue Fever hope that maybe you have forgotten about artists like Yol Aularong, Ros Serey Sothea, and Sinn Sisamouth as they front this disingenuous music play about the Cambodian genocide. “With music and songs by Dengue Fever” blasted all over the promotion and program with little to no information explaining that about half the songs are cover songs from this classic and tragic period of music and history. Dengue Fever has made a career of this kind of charlatanry and unfortunately theater folk are as susceptible to this kind of shortchanging of history as anyone I know. This play is a HUGE hit and will be produced everywhere in 2020. Almost every theater person I’ve talked to about it loves it. Every music person I talk to about it gags. I have way too many thoughts but suffice to say nothing in the arts irked me more in 2019.

 

Late entry (direct into my veins): Follow Your Heart “Siracha Vegenaise”

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The Belgian concept of mayonnaise on fries has always disgusted me. After trying this incredibly addictive vegan spicy sauce during the recent holidays at Follow Your Heart’s longtime Canoga Park home, I have to revise all former thoughts on the matter. In 2020 you will find me dead of heart failure with an empty bottle of this shoved direct in my throat. I will have died happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bran(…)pos is the ongoing audio-visual-performance-noise-musique-brain-bend of Jxxx Rxxz from San Francisco, CARodriguez has been performing and recording under this moniker since 1996 with releases on C.I.P., Resipiscent, Ratskin Records, Animal Disguise, and Chitah! Chitah! Soundcrack

You can follow Bran (…) Pos at:

www.soundcrack.net

https://branpos.bandcamp.com/