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
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.
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.
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.”
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
fractals of breath
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 )
A PLACE TO WRITE IF YOU ARE MOVED TO
GLASS OF WATER
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.
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+
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.
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.
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 :
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: email@example.com
Follow Des Vu on Instagram : @mind__mirage
DECAYCAST #026 Guest Mix : DJ MICOSE
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)
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.
Billington says “The 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. .
“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.”
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.
Bay 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:
We have the capability to do remote streams without having our team present.
We will teach you how to stream while providing technical support
We can provide Stream-Kits (limited)
We will feature your set on our archive (Youtube, SoundCloud & website).
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.
As 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”
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.
Kohinoorgasm “Chalo EP”
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”
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.”
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.
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.
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)
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