DECAYCAST Reviews: Philipp Bückle “Paintings” (Moving Furniture Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Philipp Bückle “Paintings” (Moving Furniture Records, 2018)

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“Paintings” is the newest work  from Germany’s  ambient/drone maestro Philipp Bückle via Moving Furniture Records on LP, CD, & Digital.  “Paintings”  offers forty plus minutes of minimalistic, thoughtful, introspective drone compositions spread  over  twelve tracks. The album’s intro, titled “Elegant Company In Front Of A Palace” opens with a  soft,  pillowed muffled wash of static and barely audible clicks of voice and potential movement. Slowly, carefully and intentionally the  album’s intro  crescendo’s in volume and intention with lush, sine waves, akin to the decay of a  distant call for  help, or love, or  compassion, or  companionship,  The  track  builds and  swells and  before you know it we are left  with an ancient, beeping, buzzing, nothing.  This theme of  a lost communication, reaching out across a barren empty landscape continue throughout the record, which apparently is the  third in a trilogy of  similar works recorded in the  artists vacationing spot  of Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

Some tracks offer more musical stringed resolve, where as other  occupy a noisier more abstract space, but the  tension holds  well  across the  album as a whole, although the noisier passages  seem to build the tension which is  often released and resolved through the more  string based, musical compositions. This isn’t  100% experimental, but it’s  also somewhat indescribable as it  does oscillate seemingly well  intentioned between what some would call noise, ambient, and drone  while still offering the listener points of  resolve with  fairly standard musical  compositions so to speak. The more ambient tracks  stand out as the  album’s stronger and more interesting experiments though Bückle manages to carry forth  his themes of loss, isolation, and occasionally comfort and  discovery in a continuous and intentional way, which acts as a glue for the  varied structures and  styles of  compositions presented on, the  aptly titled, “Paintings”, as many of the  songs feel like vignettes, posters, experience in of themselves each wearing a slightly augmented form of  sorrow on it’s sleeve.

Of the more traditionally musical tracks, a quaint cinematic effect is achieved, especially on the vocal forward tracks such as Figures On A Road Through The Woods”  and  A Seascape. The Coast Of The Island In Evening Light” which both boast a rather lush, decaying, middle  range voice  drone which blends carefully and intentionally with the slowly evolving, churning string and piano drones which lay delicately and  subtly underneath the more  forward, punctual voice based sections.  These are breaths in the cold air of loss, gain, confusion, and clarity, These are paintings, nothing more and nothing less. Take from that what you may. Overall a strong release from a longstanding, musically diverse, and persistent imprint, who you  will be hearing more about in the future.

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DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

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Spore Spawn is a nearly decade old project based out of Japan, and also happens to be an end level boss in the  popular fan favorite video game, Metroid.

The project name choice is Probably not an accident based on the title and  aesthetics of the artists imprint, 16 Shots Per Second   but this cassette is released by Leah and Matt’s imprint OXEN, based out of LA.  “Ochistuitara”, from Tokyo’s underground legend SPORE SPAWN, boasts a twenty minutes’ sacrifice of masterfully crafted, exciting, kinetic, dynamic harsh noise, and supposedly is made from a myriad of homemade joystick synthesizers and crude noise devices. While essentially existing in the harsh noise realm, “Ochistuitara” actually covers a rather wide and refreshing array of harsher sounds, compositional strategies and dynamics, and even musicality at times, almost a virtuosic approach to harsh noise. Spawn creates dense walls of feedback that violently and aggressively cascade into spacious vignettes of ambient drone, expertly blended field recordings, slow rhythmic pops, and chirps like a glitched- out, off-kiltered, dying alarm clock that fights the plug to stay in the wall when it’s angrily yanked out.   The walls of blistered, busted out, serrated chaotic mayhem crescendo into utter sonic chaos, and just as the ear bleeds for mercy rescind into a cold, alienating, isolating hum.  At times, the ambient sections act as a break from the unrelenting mountains of noise, and other times, function as matrix of brain mutes with respect to the ear fatigue. Loud is only loud when quiet is quiet, and on “Ochistuitara”, the artist is no doubt conscious of this strategy in respect to the timing and composition of this EP.

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Things never stay the same to become predictable or flat, Spore Spawn is constantly shifting though wavetables of disorientation, fear, chaos, tension, and even a few brief moments resolve. The tones themselves have a cold, digital body, while swells of analog chaos modulate themselves and the sharp digital pillars of extreme sonic swells and decays, and the start /stop style of aggressive noise, on more than one occasion even function as a “drop”. What was  dropped  we don’t know,  however it carved a  deep impact into  the  ear canal, even noted on one of CLIPPING‘s year end  best of lists! In short, this is a must have for fans of ASTRO, K2, early MERZBOW and even some of the work of CLIPPING themselves.   OXEN continues to remain at the forefront as one of America’s most aesthetically and conceptually consistent harsh noise labels.   Grip this fantastic tape before it’s too late.  Here’s a few world from OXEN that represent the complexity and brevity of this EP flawlessly,

Ochitsuitara brings any fan of modern harsh noise (nostalgists won’t be disappointed though maybe not specifically catered to) closest to articulating what it is that sets Spore Spawn apart from decades of legendary noise pioneers, his modern myth building utilizing swirling loops of cacophony and squelching stabs, uncompromisingly outpacing any modern competition in his unique patterns of ecstatic jarring drunken fervor and (sometimes) vocal delivers closely woven into and through electronics culled from homemade disused gaming controllers. Just harsh as fuck. All measurements of harsh noise enjoyment of this genuinely gifted noise artist will be vastly rewarded and on abundant display on Ochitsuitara.”

OXEN LABEL 

ORDER THE TAPE HERE 

SPORE SPAWN Soundcloud

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

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With the rise of accessibility for artists and producers to create sound, music, art and the ability for those artists to contextualize, and re contextualize their work in a seemingly often dizzying whirlwind of labels, sub-labels, sub-labels of sub-labels, through, you guessed it, the INTERNET; questioning the role or necessity of a small independent record label in these weird, confusing post-post modern days of malleability of meaning, format and intention, seems like probably a good idea. How many of them are genuine, how many of them truly put the artist first, and in priority, how many of them believe and stand behind their “product”, behind both the “artist” and the “artwork”. Derek Rush‘s New York – based imprint, Chthonic Streams does just that, and they do it with style, focus, and intention, as exemplified by the labels’ most ambitious and potentially most conceptual release to date, at least in its packaging and  form, is the “No Workers  Paradise” boxset. You should keep reading, but what I also recommend is that you  stop what you’re doing and instantly ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

We  are  fans of  boxsets, we are fans of conceptual art, and we are fans of toolboxes and  ridiculously ambitious projects here at Decaycast, and Chthonic Streams exhaustive 8 hour cassette boxset titled, “V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE” covers all of these bases and more, in one, mechanical, maniacal offering. Boxsets are awesome, and they’re even more compelling when they actually contain new material, by, gasp, even living artists. No shade on the myriad of Miles Davis and John Coltrane CD reissue boxsets that we have all seen and probably purchased, but eight hours of new material, from eight heavy hitters in the noise/industrial/power electronics scene enclosed in a matte black tool box, accompanied by a zine and customized time card to boot, is not really something we could (or should ignore). We received a rather large media mail box from New York and upon opening, the “No Workers Paradise” boxset emerged, a sleek matte black toolbox with a shiny chrome latch and basic font that reads “No Workers Paradise” is affixed to the top. Its interior reveals eight 60-minute cassettes and a zine/accompanying booklet for the release, and customized time card emerge as the tools for the job, so to speak. It was time to clock in.

As with all of the labels’ releases, the artwork is done by label head honcho Derek Rush who also books shows, is an active DJ, and works in graphic design and photography, so it comes as no surprise that all of the artwork included looks stunning and professional, accented by the printed booklet and cassette artwork itself. We haven’t even gotten into the sounds and this is already worth the $75 price tag without question, a truly beautifully put together collection. Now into the meat and bones of these disgruntled, bloody and beaten-down workers, we will delve into the sounds in reaction to the  tormented work day!

The boxset starts with the label owner’s project, COMPACTORoffering a strong, mechanically styled “old school” feeling industrial track with clanging rhythms, backed with the tick tock tick tock of the overlord’s clock. The panopticon is omnipresent and the worker must continue. Wake up. Work! Time To Work! Until you DIE, and DIE, until you can clock out at the end of the day and do it all again. Compactor’s sounds generally fall within a more mechanized style of industrial, there is soul, but it’s the soul of a robot programed to destroy itself, through repeated, violent, senseless rhythms, yet Rush’s sound and sample choices are powerful and intentional. The, slow, churning blown out percussion blends perfectly with the  high squelching feedback of industry/insanity and  multi-layered, multi-timbral synth workings. Compactor’s offering is the perfect opening to the project, cold, alienating, mechanized, and dense; the perfect ramp up to the more  fuzzed out, abstracted works of some of the other contributors to the boxset, The Vomit  Arsonist,  Redrot, Gnawed, and Filth, amongst others.

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Another  standout sound work in this massive offering comes from Denton, TX’s FILTHwho offers up his own interpretation of an hour slice of the standard american work day. Rob Buttrum’s FILTH project is known for his menacing cacophony of industrialized noise, power electronics and analog psychedelic compositions. FILTH brings his A game to work for with a dark, brooding, menacing stitching of fuzzed out, psychedelic noise and drenched in feedback power electronics, in what can only be described as the  FILTH sound, which we have covered in the past HERE in an interview with Buttrum and his label OUT OF BODY RECORDS.  Buttrum does offer a rhythmic backing at times, but in a different, slightly more diffused, muffled style than COMPACTOR, but don’t skimp on the manual,  because there is a harsh reality in store if you don’t, and  you’re likely to get gobbled up into the machine and  spat out as puny remains, but FILTH’s sound is  not exclusively harsh, tripped out noise, there are  abstracted broken rhythms, there is intention, it is planned, and panned, it IS the sound of the second hour of the day forcing itself into the  negative space of your brain, that may in fact, prove to be your  last of the day, of your life. FILTH is the sound of a  rusted, dilapidated, unstable, harsh machine taking its unknowing operator with it to an early grave.  Planned obsolescence, like user, like machine.

Michigan’s REDROT (Chondritic Sound, Bloodlust, Slaughter Productions) aka Ryan Oppermann offers another standout track on “No Worker’s Paradise” with one of their tracks titled, “Work Release Program Terminations”. REDROT is blackened, harsh noise/PE, with slices of  blown out  beats, and angular rhythmic structures over a sea of  dense power electronics and industrial. The machine has already regurgitated the  one time worker into a mess of fleshy, red, sacks of rotting remains, and REDROT is the  absolute perfect soundtrack to the coworkers slowly and confusingly sweeping the bloody bits into a bag for disposal. Redrot carries a white noise sword which swiftly and steadily shaves away at the listeners  inner ear  canal, until a drop of blood leaks out, and starts a mechanical frenzy leaving the  workers, along, confused, and  scared as the  drop turns into a red pool where music dies.

Another standout offering on this project is Minneapolis, MN’s  GNAWED, aka  Grant Richardson. We’ve covered one of GNAWED’s previous releases HERE on Decaycast. 

GNAWED‘s track for “No Worker’s Paradise” is similar to  his other industrial, harsh noise, power  electronics hybrid funeral stylings; chaotic, yet restrained, busy yet articulate, harsh but at times even beautiful. Much like  FILTH, GNAWED  uses homemade analog electronics to create a brooding, dark, cavernous sound all of his  own. His “Terminal Epoch” album from Phage Tapes, would be the closest style wise that I’ve heard for the track for this boxset. GNAWED is a master of tension through intentional and articulate dynamics, balancing sharp, harsh sounds with lower, more  brooding under swellings of terror; the track slowly and painfully oscillates between violent shudders, chaotic, dense, noise blasts and distorted, broken voice swells.

THE VOMIT ARSONIST, EXISTENCE IN DECLINEBLSPHM and WORK/DEATH  also punch in with powerful sound works blending industrial, harsh/blackened noise, power/electronics and dark, experimental moods of the harsher, angular  style.

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The boxset as a whole is a lengthy listen clocking in at the 8 hour mark, but when one thinks of the  slow, grudging, unrelenting time clock of the american work day, this tour de force of harsh industrial / PE  serves as a warm, relaxing day on the beach as a vacation, even for a day, from the  alienating, hellscape robotic world that is American capitalism. Rush does right by all of the artists involved with stunningly beautiful and appropriate artwork and  packaging as with all of the labels releases. A must for any noise collector, and/or hater of  capitalism.

ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

Chthonic Streams Online Store 

Label Website 

 

LIMITED TO 50 NUMBERED COPIES
(additional 16 go to artists only)

DECAYCAST#036: NIHAR BHATT : V/A: ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE DJ Mix

DECAYCAST#036: NIHAR BHATT :  V/A: ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE DJ Mix on RATSKIN RECORDS, 2017 

IMA “Meshes”
TERROR APART “Perfectly Nowhere”
BIG DEBBIE “E.P. Hypnosis”
AH MER AH SU “Write This Off”
SNEAX (LaTron + Obsidian Blade) “Till The End 100%”
Piano Rain “Last Year” Remastered
PRIST “Still Movin'”
FORBIDDEN COLORS “Green Smiley Face Sticker”
BONUS BEAST “Direct Dive”
ZEEK SHECK “7777-01-07 Son”
JOSHUA KIT CLAYTON “Morning Rasp”
HIROSHI HASEGAWA “Homeobox”
MALOCCULSION “Walk Of The Dead, Part One”
S.B.S.M. “Godzilla”
POD BLOTZ “The Current”
MOOR MOTHER “CTM Five”
BRIAN TESTER “Chrono People”
GOLDEN DONNA “Wired For The Worst”
THE CREATRIX “D B No Moral Universe”
CIARRA BLACK “Don’t Say It, Volume 1”
RUSSELL E.L. BUTLER “Technofeminism House”
ZANNA NERA “In My Veins”
JASMINE INFINITI “Scratchy A”
ELROND “Hart Start”
DIMENTIA “Specimen Identity”
PARALYCYST “Untitled”
SHARON TATE FETUS EXPLOSION “Personal Brand”
V.E.X. “Ride The Time”
arc “Breathe Couplings Undulation Map”

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On The Origin Of Rogue Pulse / Gravity Collapse: About two weeks to the day before Ghostship, we returned home after days of protests; as always feeling defeated, BEING defeated another day of violence enacted upon the communities’ consciousness; Witnessing the beautiful families of oakland wading through never ending rivers of trauma enacted on all marginalized communities through state sanctioned violence and racism in Oakland, and the Bay Area at large. A compilation will not solve this, a thousand compilations will not solve this, but we have done nothing to combat this and we have to start somewhere. ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE is an uncertain yet thorough attempt to demonstrate to propose a restructuring of how artists, labels, promoters, venues and other “institutions” and INSTITUTIONS use their privilege, time, talents, and resources. But before we could do that, and begin to unpack the complexities around all of these issues, in one single night, the community lost thirty six souls, including founding members of our collective, artists on our label, family members, and so much more in Ghostship and then months after RP/GC was released, almost a dozen more in the San Pablo Fire months later which displaced hundreds of longstanding Black members of the community, and lastly the North Bay fires. There is only so many ways to process or not process this stuff, but we came up with a compilation. We weren’t sure how long it would be, who would be included, how we would present it to the public without exacerbating the commodification of grief, and without taking visibility away from traumas enacted against the Oakland community at large, outside of the “artistic” community. We weren’t really at all sure how we would divide up the money, how we would promote it, but sometimes you don’t have any other fucking choice, even if it raised $100 you never know how far that could go.. Ghostship was, and still is a horrendous blow to our local creative community, many of whom had already been resisting against the structural wrath and chaos of a white supremacist, sexist, capitalist culture, and therefore already just struggling to create and survive, day by day hour by hour minute by minute. In short, many communities were fragmented and tormented long before Ghostship, and Ghostship, for many of us, brought a blade of mass trauma slicing through reality, grief, chaos, distrust and confusion that uprooted the community in so many different ways. The Immediate Fire relief fund literally saved people’s lives by the way and all the love should be given to them and those working on the periphery as well.

What was crucial for us was linking in those deeply affected and lost in Ghostship fire while also keeping the financial and conceptual focus on the organizations we chose to support before the fire, Black Lives Matter and St James Infirmary in San Francisco. Before we knew it, it was out. It was like the best and worst possible distraction, and in MANY ways, postponed a lot of the mental and physical healing that members of the collective needed to do for ourselves but at the same time it was, and still very much is an entry point for beginning the process. For me personally, this has easily been the single most important release I have ever been a part of for numerous reasons, but the single biggest reason is because it saved my life, literally, so many times I cannot even count and it did that by showing me the undeniable ferociousness of our community. Every track on ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE, came as a blessing, a hug, a shoulder to cry on, but also they came as weapons, one hundred and eighty seven weapons, and we couldn’t be happier with the finished offering, as it strives to demonstrate the unrelenting power through all of the trauma and grief that our community and the people of Oakland, through various intersections possess and present with every moment that they exist. Nihar’s essential, heartfelt, and nearly perfect distillation of the thirteen hours of Rogue Pulse / Gravity Collapse, carefully and masterfully sharpens heavy stones of grief into razor blades of warmth, love, creativity, and determination of our community like daggers to the throat of a broken, corrupt system. Every tear shed will eventually freeze to form an icicle to thrust into the socket of a system which has cast away so many amazing, beautiful, creative, people.

This mix is one for everyone who has lost a loved one at the hands of systemic violence. Your tears will not go unnoticed, and this is just the beginning.

This mix is one  for  everyone who has  lost a loved one  at the  hands of  systemic violence. Your  tears will not go unnoticed, and this is just the beginning.  

Follow Nihar’s projects NINE, \ LEFT HAND PATH & SURFACE TENSION

The physical edition of  ROGUE PULSE   / GRAVITY    is SOLD OUT  as of  Today, but the  digital download is  available HERE ON BANDCAMP  via RATSKIN.

 

-MD. Dec 1, 2017