DECAYCAST: MATMOS INTERVIEW (Nerfbau Interviews Matmos, remastered)

DECATCAST_MATMOS

This interview was conducted as the first official interview by Decaycast aka NERFBAU jsun Adrian McCarty and Michael Daddona interview experimental music underground stalworts M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniels of Matmos, in their then SF Mission District Studio/apartment.

We did this a long time ago, but i think many of the questions and content holds up really well and also it’s nice to hear Jsun’s voice as a distant snarky beckoning to the past and future Matmos was a rather big influence and Jsun and my early work as Nerfbau and later as Styrofoam Sanchxz and Coral Remains and were without a doubt monumental in the formation of Ratskin so I thought it would be nice and fitting to re present this. We stayed up all night the night before, myself on speed and dope and Jsun chain smoking cigarettes to prepare for this, arguing over
questions, prepping cassette decks withpre recorded hidden questions on time travel and the sound of dreams, we ended up hiding several cassette recorders throughout Martin and Drew’s studio oinged with questions which interrupted the normal interview. In our early morning franticness and nervousness (we approached the interview more like a performance / collaboration than a traditional interview ) we even managed to spill coffee into a tape machine which housed some really important master audio tapes containing interviews with Drew’s mother before she had passed We told that story for years, how if it was our studio and some high kids came in to interview us and nearly ruined a priceless historical document we would’ve kicked them out and dragged to no end, but they didn’t do that, we were welcomed, as peers, collaborators and family. One of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done. Enjoy.
-MD for Nerfbau, 2018

follow matmos at :
http://vague-terrain.com/

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Decaycast Reviews: MARLO EGGPLANT “head​/​rush​(​ed)” (Vaux Flores, 2018)

Decaycast Reviews: MARLO EGGPLANT “head​/​rush​(​ed)” (Vaux Flores, 2018)

by Dr. Decaycast

 

Momentus sound artist, label head of  Corpus Callosum Distro, longtime noise queen, and curator and  founder of the  legendary Ladyz In Noyz compilation series,  UK based  Marlo Eggplant offers her  newest work via Travis Johns VAUX FLORES imprint (who also happen to make some  fantastic pedals and homemade  electronic instruments). Eggplant’s newest offering, titled  “head​/​rush​(​ed)”  enacts a wide array of  sonic offerings through short but powerful tracks.

From minimalistic, low keyed crawlings of static plumes, plucks  and voice breaths, such as highlighted  in tracks such as  “one1one“,to  spacious, prickly, washed out hills of dark reverb swells of  distorted, orchestral style string drones to  harsher, more rhythmic and  industrial leaning works such as my personal favorite on this release, “Premeditated”; Eggplant covers a wide but cohesive range of  experimental styles.

The album’s standout, “Premeditated” blends  droning sawtooth synthesizers,  high frequency, high tension noise walls of static fuzz, and  screaching, crawling voice  stabs spike out  from out of the darkness of confusion.  This track could easily hold a torch to early Kevin Drumm, Chelsea Wolfe, or even Diamanda Galas without even a  sonic flinch of  disorientation, but offers yet again so much more for contemplation through it’s own aural and compositional strategies.  Nothing on “head​/​rush​(​ed)” come off as flat or static works however, they are short intentioned sonic offerings of  sacrifice of self, weight, brevity, and sonic deconstruction. Eggplant has never  strayed too far away from the  harsh side of noise, however these pieces, while harsh, hold a cinematic and even musical  character to them without  losing a single percentage of intensity, and abstraction; a line that is  rarely toted this  successfully  by any contemporary artist, and this album is no exception. Eggplant has clearly mastered the high tension model of  dynamic composition and uses this to her favor  with no end in sight. These tracks could easily be scenes to a yet imagined film and yet hold so much narrative within themselves that the listener is almost forced to imaging the physical and etherial  spaces that Eggplant sonically articulates throughout “head​/​rush​(​ed)”.  The record crescendos with an equally intense, albeit more musically and slightly less noisy and possibly deeper and more personal offering titled onmyown ” which features a vocal and  chord forward morose and sad ballad in the vein of Tara Cross or an early more subdued Daniel Johnson,  which focuses on the erasure and heartbreak of  not being seen. A beautiful and humble ending to a strong, sharp and intentional offering from Eggplant, always honest, present and esoteric, Eggplant remains one of the most  interesting and unique unsung  heroes of contemporary noise.

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

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This collaboration shifts  honestly between many many different  sonic spaces; in the least contrived blending of  beat oriented synthesis and, well plants.  Riffing off a  theme of the releasing label, Biodiversità Records, Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë create a dense, special world of  sonic possibilities in a structurally rhythmic call and response ping pong of tense, delicate, and complicated sonic events.  Oscillating between dissonant beat oriented electronic music which the  artists admit could be  considered “techno” but the  four to the floor mindless speed comedown hooks are  left  by the wayside for a more atonal, arrhythmic, deconstruction of traditional “techno”, “dubstep” or whatever step” you take away from these quaint but pungent sonic exercises.  “Pteris Variata” unduates  between slower, cold, tense pulsing rhythms, occasionally backed by more straightforward  percussive  voices, however the  ambient  swells and  tense array of  noises never  allows this to become too much of  a  unique sound; the tracks and  sections move  swiftly and  articulate their space and move on, nothing forces the listener into a corner relentlessly, rather  creates a dark and interesting space for the listener to crawl into if they choose and explore a lush, dark, cinematic sound.

Background  swells of anciently articulated sawtooth waves  swell and wobble under a filter noose and offer an ambience which the percussion rhythms can dance around without dominating the mix.  Overall the  vibe is minimalist, tense, cinematic, ambient. Clickity, tapping, bass drums drive the  rhythm exercises through a  full workout of  sonic possibilities ending with perhaps the  EP’s strongest track, ” Oromë – Athyrium cantem” which speaks to  early Phaedra era Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos and  even references current producers such as Cloudland Canyon or Peaking Lights.

Will be  digging more through this  Italian based label’s catalog and seeing what other dark, pulsing treats we can find hiding in the brush.

DECYCAST Premieres: Kinetic Attack “Watch Out” Official Music Video

DECYCAST Premieres: Kinetic Attack “Watch Out” Official Music Video

Check this  world premiere of  Kinetic Attack‘s “Watch Out” video for  Miami based Crass Lips Records  “Watch Out” is directed, designed & edited by Ingrid Mouth (@ingridmouth) and features the band riffing through various  brightly colored scenes, opening passageways to psychedelic portals, glowing, strobing lighting effects give an other-worldly effect, which still maintaining a DIY charm not  too far off from an early Shana Moulton influenced works. Smoke, steam, goblets, antlers, walls of ripped and  tattered fabric play off  each other with skillful, stylized on beat, fast paced editing, gel the  seemingly endless scenes  together.  Kinetic Attack plays a raw, angular, aggressive version of  percussion heavy  synth-punk, with sharp, frantically yelled vocals which play off of the loopy, dizzying synth riffs and  thick, driving bass parts and this video is the perfect counterpart to “Watch Out”. All together, a cohesive, driving interpretation of synth forward punk music with a take all it’s own! The video component is no slouch either, that of a  dizzying array of glitter-bombed, surrealist, brightly painted  props obscure glistening bodies and playfully nihilistic dadaesque actions create a fun, confusing, yet tense and INTENSE visual for the  song, a perfect pairing. Fantastic collaboration.

 

 

DECAYCAST REVIEWS : PREGNANT SPORE / VERTONEN Split Cassette (Forever Escaping Boredom Records , 2013)

DECAYCAST REVIEWS : PREGNANT SPORE / VERTONEN Split Cassette (Forever Escaping Boredom Records , 2013)

The Pregnant Spore side opens up with a fuzzed out, distorted thud percussion pulse and  slices of  choking voices aboot. The  blown out crawling bass slam and  garbled voice slices play off of each other quite nicely, and occasionally giving way to blown out sawtooth death note blasts that come from below and pierce through the mix. Albeit them a little hot in the mix, these jagged bass blasts create a rhythmic structure which shapes a dense and articulate bassline for a plethora of stuttering, FullSizeRender(13)flickering , and what sounds like sampled piano notes bounce off of each other in a loose and playful yet, rhythmically interesting way. The first half of the track held a little more tension for me personally, but the dense buildup toward the end created a relieving and necessary contrast. Overall a wide scope of  timbre and dynamics of sound  are utilized in a short amount of time. Will be writing more about this project in the coming reviews for sure, as we have at least one more tape by Pregnant Spore in the  piles of stuff to do. Now let’s get to the second side.

The Vertonen side comes right out of the gate with a warm yet sharp sounding repeating oscillation of unknown origin which goes on seemingly unchanged and tightly hinged to itself. gently beneath the surface, as if a failed distant audial telegraph, a slow tone begins to oscillate deep beneath the surface and causes a subtle yet growing psychedelic phasing of the original pulse. Slowly but with a determined tension, more and more complimentary voices trickle in and out of the mix, and cautiously roll over each other into a Terry Riley/ Steve Reich esque nod to minimalist classical composition. A short, relevant and beautifully articulate offering from Blake Edward’s Vertonen project.

Overall, a nice short release, although both projects could use a little more room on the ol’ magnet as i felt both pieces were cut off a bit abruptly, however sometimes that’s the way she goes , leave them wanting more yes? a solid release overall, with a brightly collaged color xerox cover, and plushly purple tapes which complement the J card’s nicely. Will be reviewing more from this label in the following weeks.

FOREVER ESCAPING BOREDOM

PREGNANT SPORE

VERTONEN

“ORIGINALS” : DECAYCAST INTERVIEWS OAKLAND’S WEIRD EAR RECORDS

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These days,  record labels seem to be popping up all over the place in the independent /underground music world, and we  think that’s a good thing. Each independent music outlet that can get music to the right people without  all the unnecessary industry bullshit chain of  command isolationism that is perpetuated by the “record industry” the better, and Oakland’s Weird Ear Records is doing just that. Releasing top quality recordings in multiple formats to anyone who has an odd ear to the underground experimental music pulse. We sat down with Weird Ear Records dual head honcho’s Raub Roy and Dianne Lynn of oakland….
Dr.. DECAYCAST:  : Hello…. I heard of this strange new record label called WEIRD EAR RECORDS  Why don’t you spill the beans …. Let’s start off with Who, what, when, where…..
RAUB ROY: We started WER in 2011, after relocating from San Francisco to Oakland, Ca, and finding that the inexpensive cost of living here afforded us the opportunity to do something a little bigger than we could have managed in SF. I think the name ‘Weird Ear’ popped into my head one day and it seemed like a name one would either give a Recording label or a scroungey-but-loveable chinchilla…. Having no desire to harbour rodents, we went with putting out pieces of music that fit our aesthetic for the label.
DD : What do you all have against rodents? Why are cats so popular these days , especially in “noise”
DIANNE LYNN: We think rodents are cool too! Personally, our cats chose us and we couldn’t turn them away. In fact before the cats were around we had more rodents in the building. We don’t see much of them these days. Maybe the “noise” was too much for them?
DD:  That’s cool . I happen to like rodents as well, so much so that I named my label after a popular one from the 1980s….

At what point did y’all decide to start a record label, and why? Do you think it’s important that artists start their own labels, and in the digital age what is the “point” of releasing physical objects when one can just purchase a download ?

DL : We’ll say first that if you don’t get the “point” of releasing physical objects, then we’re sorry, you just don’t get it! We love the physical package. Some of the DIY stuff will blow your mind! Not to knock a download, but some works you gotta just “have.” To another point, playing files off a computer can be annoying as hell.

The label was manifested around February 2012. We sort of went crazy setting goals for ourselves and decided to put our words in motion. I think the tipping point was when Raub came home with the name Weird Ear. Honestly, we just wanted to have a label so that we could put music that we liked into a physical format that we personally appreciated; at the time this was vinyl, but we have come to appreciate the convenience of cassettes. As far as artists starting their own labels, we say go for it. The more the merrier.

DD: That’s an interesting take! Do you think there’s a point of over saturation in the experimental music community ? Is there such thing as too many projects, too many releases , too many “side projects” ? Is there an importance to trying to define the changing trends in experimental music? Or just let it run around like a chicken with its head cut off ?

RR: Well, one trend that I think keeps over-saturation from happening is that of keeping such things limited to smaller production runs. While the audience for experimental/modern/avant-garde/out/noise/weird/gnarly music is bigger than it’s ever been, it still is a tiny splash in the pool that is the whole of recorded sound, and we believe that putting the 300 copies of “Stand Up Comedy

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Alessandro Bossetti’s “Stand Up Comedy” LP
(for example) into the right 300 peoples hands is more important than spreading it all over the place and hoping random people pick it up. The advent of streaming entire albums also backs this strategy up – we really would like people to listen and make sure it’s for them before purchasing a copy. Defining trends is a slippery slope, in part due to the relative insignificance of our scene in relation to recorded sound on a whole (again), but then there’s the the flourishing microcosm aspect that no one person could keep up with all the facets of, so the way we define those trends that we aspire to steer clear of is very subjective, though a guideline that has worked well for us is trying to find works that wouldn’t have an easy time finding a home elsewhere. We also are attempting to avoid trend within our catalog for as long as we can, which is a bit easier to quantify.
I believe that a large amount of the proliferation of side-projects/one-off projects and such that you refer to is generally relegated to the noise end of the spectrum, and as such, we probably will leave Noise to other able and willing labels.
 
So you wouldn’t ever define your label as sticking to any one genre, rather anything with a weird bend that catches your ears? So far y’all have a really diverse roster, showcasing vastly different aesthetic sets, everything from the proto- industrial styles of WAXY TOMB on her “infra shape” cassette to fever dream psychedelia borderline abstract pop sounds of A MAGIC WHISTLE LP that y’all recently released, yet somehow it all works, to a rather refreshing degree curation wise, care to talk about that?
RR: we hope to avoid trend and purity in our releases not only on a world scale, but within the confines of our releases as well. So, for example, in the larger scene, modular synth stuff was nominally bigger last year than years previous, so, even if we really like a buddy’s Buchla Synthi album, it would need to be queered by some other element to feel like it fit in the catalog. On the level of our releases, I’d like to try to keep from trend there too, excepting the trend of having releases that wouldn’t appeal to purists of any particular genre – so like, Glochids “Originals” album is largely field recorded, but he is in these field recorded passages playing objects/instruments, so it’s field recordings, but impure, or queered, if you will… what was I getting at? Oh, right, so, now that there’s been an album of field recordings, I probably won’t do another one too closely related to field recordings for a while, until a good number of other styles of experimental/modern music have been touched on, see?
NEXT QUESTION PLEASE
 
DD: Tell me about the future vision for weird ear , upcoming releases / tours / WTF stuff ? Blow our mind

Ok so we have a couple upcoming releases that should be out before summers end; WER-006 is Angela Sawyer, of Preggy peggy and the Lazy babymakers, duck that!, and exhusema.. The album was commissioned in 2011, and she’s been working away at it for us since then, but she also runs Weirdo Records in Boston and has little free time, so it’s taken a while, but the results are completely worth it – sweet and sour songs sqeakily sung with a wealth of oddvant-garde instrumentation and arrangements, the songs themselves being largely covers from her huge collection and other local bostonians… I believe that there are a good few samples in there also gathered from her stacks, which begs the question of why more record store owners don’t make sample based musics, since they’re diggin in the dustevery day already!

We also are quite pleased to be presenting a split between,  Trumpet Trumpet Synthesizer and Horaflora (thats me). TTS is a duo (Brad Henkel and Weston Minissali) on amplified trumpet and Synth/vocoder playing some really out tones in a sexy as fuck way, which i’m told is fairly uncommon in experimental music! My side is loosely based on Mauricio Kagel’s Acoustica, or maybe just indebted to it, but will mark the end of my work with acoustic phenomenon for the foreseeable future, and I felt the connection should be credited later than never, so there’s that!

Beyond specific releases, all our future cassettes will be in handcrafted cardstock jackets rather than plastic cases, as we were impressed with Geweih Ritual Documents Envo-Box: http://www.gritual.com/Info-About
As they point out, the plastic cassette case isn’t intrinsically related to the album, and once cracked, is quickly rendered useless garbage, basically analogous to the plastic bag an LP may come in, nice to keep your jacket clean, but all too replaceable, adding to the plastic problem we would ideally like to avoid being a part of.

Thanks for asking all those questions! See ya soon!

Raub and Dianne,
Weird Ear Records