DECAYCAST Reviews : Expose Your Eyes “Brain Pan” Cassette (Aphelion Editions, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Expose Your Eyes “Brain Pan” Cassette (Aphelion Editions, 2018)

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 “Brain Pan” is a compilation album of sorts spanning nearly three decades of the Expose Your Eyes moniker via Paul Harrison. This long-form cassette explores harsh, heavy manipulated noise/voice, a myriad of field recordings, slow moving and cavernous drone and ambient works, low-fi voice manipulations via  cut up and  distortion methods, glistening warm synth poems clamored against harsh noise mayhem; the  stylistic shifts throughout the release exposing the listener to a mixtape style of experimental styles. 

Standout track “Rend” blends heavily delayed percussive events with a mid-toned whirring, slowly building tension and anxiety and almost seems to crawl out of the speaker into an unsuspecting nervous system. Other tracks such as “Red River 2” offer a more sombre, melodic approach, while still retaining elements of experimentation and loose compositional structure.  The label describes the process of choosing from the vast sea of material presented to them by the artist, “For this album, Paul sent me a whole stack of recordings that I then carefully sifted through to select the pieces that would finally be presented here, and I’m really pleased with the results we’ve achieved.  

Go ahead and delve deeper into the vortex for a whirlwind of (un)easy listening.  

It will leave you washed up on a distant shore of your consciousness, perspectives altered. 

Curious, bizarre and wonderful… “

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All in all “Brain Pan” explores a wide variety of experimental sounds and really theres something for everyone on this cassette from  the uneasy, nauseating sounds and sights of one (cough cough) Smell & Quim (who Harrison was a member of) to the lush, hypnotic, Organ and synthesizer forward dronings of early  Tangerine Dream. Pick it up on limited edition full color cassettes or  CD’s from the label HERE

 

 

 

 

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DECAYCAST Reviews : Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem, 2018)


Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem)

Washington’s longstanding experimental stalwart William Rage returns with a heavy, cinematic offering for the Mondo Anthem imprint titled “II” or “Mondo Anthem II“. On this release, Rage crafts two slow, churning, heavy, dynamic works blending what sounds like synthesizers, field recordings, and noise sources to an interesting and unique sonic end. Overall, the sound of Happiness Forever is heavy, yet varied, textured yet articulate. A low ominous drone oscillates throughout the first side while seething, weighted atmospheric textures glaze over the drones in a hypnotic nuanced mixing style. The A side quickly builds with intensity as sine wave communications cast themselves far beyond the listener into the inner workings of the brain; something is wrong, I’m feeling uneasy.

The B side, titled “I Left My Electronic Heart In San Francisco (Recreation Of A Live Recording Of A Performance That Never Happened)” begins where the A side left off so to speak, with dense, field recordings and ominous crawling synths, which seem to sputter in and out like a rumbling, thirsty dying motor. Slow arpeggiations sing next to a thick, resonated clicking with background swells which create the perfect texture; the perfect song of alienated confusion. Mutated and garbled voices peak through the murky swamp, enveloping atop themselves and then decaying into the darkness, a different, warped experience every time. Truly beautiful sound composition.

“II” never becomes too much of one feeling, it’s always mutating while maintaining an overall fluency to its sounds and composition that make “II” a dense and refreshing listening experience for fans of many styles of electronic music. From musique concrete, to drone, to more cinematic styles of electronic composition, Happiness Forever is a which heavy fog we all must get lost in for the duration of this tape.

Follow MONDO ANTHEM HERE

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

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SHADOWS “Knight’s End” (photo: Polar Envy / ASR)

Cleveland, OH mainstays SHADOWS is David Russell and Wyatt Howland (and at least for this release are assisted via the sonics of Roman J. Leyva) crafting their  dark, horrific, take on the legacy/story of Batman  through mastered techniques of harsh noise, drone, percussion and dynamic  mixing and editing techniques. The sound of SHADOWS seems go evolve with every release and “Knight’s End” is no different. Beginning with a murky, distorted rhythm we are  quickly whisked away into a harsh symphony of ringing, clanging, scraping; attack on  the ear and the “fearless”? The sound of shadows is physically manifested through the  black clad, pointed eared upside down man of the night. “KnightsEnd” fuses longer drone sections, which contain a rather cinematic arch to their presentation, slowly beginning as a low, slow sine wave and over the course of a few minutes, escalate into a cavernous,  yet detailed sonic explosion of harsh noise, voice, and percussion, a masterfully blended evil sonic stew leaving the listener with a tense, uneasy feeling, which for my ear canal is just perfect.

.The B side “KnightQuest”  follows a similar compositional format, beginning with stark, alienating percussion, resembling the swaying of an old, cursed sinking ship with hundreds of  piezos placed within it’s weakest structural support system and signing a hum of the  druid through mangled cassette tape, as it creaks and rips apart all whilst bombs fall from an unknown sky above.  We hear a parade of  dissonant sounds slowly dragging themselves closer and farther away to the ear canal, like a slow, pulsing infectious disease spreading through an unknown human cavity, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The blending of all of the different sonic elements that compose the sound of SHADOWS is perhaps one of their strongest elements as the  tension seems to build throughout in a subtle, yet  important way, dragging us down and down into the sea of sonic mayhem until the  last air bubble pops at the  surface, the ship has sank, their are no survivors, only the harsh, alienating tortured sounds of Shadows “Knight’s End” As of the time of this review, according to the label’s bandcamp page there’s just, ONE copy left and you should GO HERE AND BUY IT.

POLAR ENVY 

SHADOWS 

DECAYCAST Reviews: AMANDA R HOWLAND “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” (No Rent, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: AMANDA R HOWLAND “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” (No Rent, 2018)

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Cleveland, OH recording artist Amanda R.  Howland comes with refreshing array of sonic possibilities and strategies with, “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” her first tape for the NO RENT imprint, with two sides of mixed-bag, dense, electronics spanning from harsh noise, to musique concrete,  to sections accentuating voice, to more abstracted rhythm sections which blend in and out of a gentle, yet very present, bowed, hum.  Static, voice, melody, clattering broken rhythms, radio chatter of  ancient transmissions and a harsh sense of absence are all present in this short but important release.  Tension is another constant theme to the ear as  one section may contain a harsh, alienating scraping; a  sound nasty pissed and angrily broken, inching across the floor toward its prey as the  amplitude and aggression increase and climax into an alarm style buzzing; alerting the listener that, yes, now is your time. Another sound, if even for a moment, m0014255476_10ay offer a brief, ambient respite to the harsh reality that has encapsulated us all, “Spider, Milk, Batshit, Silence” is, indeed the sound of that. A chaotic, dangerous and aurally thick and swift climax appears and then vanishes leaving only a distant hum of  abstracted silence, a slow, subtle, thumping as if the decaying heart has pushed red for its final beat.  The silence at the end of side one almost doesn’t seem real as the listener is left with wanting more of this uncertain future the ears and brain have yet to test, yet to experience.  If any sonic territories are left unexplored under the “experimental”  or “out-sound” tags on side one, we soon learn they will be shredded and eviscerated on side two with as much skill, tension, and carefully articulated abstraction as they were on side one.

The second side, “Batshit, Silence” picks up  right where the  A side dropped us off, with a high-pitched, distorted and warped melody.  Intense shrieks, angry swells, and ancient hymns of bouncing, pulsing sine-wave frequencies gel together like a microbiological  fungus slowly transforming into something much greater and dangerous, the thick scraping, shooting radio0 transmissions into the brain grow together, seamlessly providing a ridged and ugly backbone for abstracted  layers of thunderous pounding, the a tonal scraping of a ferociously thick winds ripping across the gruesome and confusing scene, pulling tiny, flesh-ridden shards of the listeners inner ear with it,  to cascade upon, as Howlands’ dark, grinning, noisy, churning  machine glides through the wires and slowly leaks out of the pores offering a new dark reality, endlessly searching for a cave to whip around in, an enormous sound. This scene is eventually evacuated to barren, alien radio transmissions have crept their way in and angst-like shake and sputter long lost messages over the dense, thick walls of  bleeding electronics, this like life eventually fades away and we are  left with an alienating, deafening silence.  Highly dynamic and enjoyable tape for a wide variety of experimental delvers. Pick u the digital HERE and the cassette HERE

DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)

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Witowmaker is the project of Bay Area electronic producer and internet cult personality Christopher Danko, also of Stable imprint/collective, and Religious Girls fame. On “Feather”, Danko crafts ten lush, dynamic,  emotionally present, fun and heavy electronic “dance” tracks which float the listener to an oscillating plane of lush tone poem arpeggiations, thick walls of decaying synthesizers, heavy, dynamic drum programming, atmospheric flutterings, and concisely layered, and intricately mapped vocal samples. The overall sound of Witowmaker is, at times,  surprisingly warm and ‘positive’, with a tinge of sarcasm, and at other times, darker, more dissonant, and even emotionally confusing in an interesting and uncontrived manner. Tension is sonically available throughout the wide range of aural moods on “Feather”, one track is accentuating the bent light sunshine across crashing waves, while the next track descends into another layer of cosmic hell, unsure of the outcome. Refreshing; this is a fun and important release in the arch of bay area electronic musings.

“Feather” offers complex, lush, delicate sonic textures while still retaining a pounding, thick, four to the floor heaviness which pulls from Acid, Dub, IDM and a dense warped version of straight-up dance music. Remnants of influence from Aphex Twin, FKA Twigs,  DJ Spooky, Art Of Noise, and later Carl Cox can be heard in the glistening, bright, affront production, yet Witowmaker offers a unique style of dance based electronic music all their own! The B side begins with a fast tempo, funky bass arp track titled “Trick Me Twice” which rings back to 90’s NRG/bass music with an experimental flare all it’s own. A classically trained arp machine spits out climbing cascading  rhythms while lush pads provide a warm backbone for chopped and glued vocal slices, offering a dense, warm, funky dance floor banger. Plug my ears with a drill to extract the earplugs that have been stuck for centuries at the club, ‘cause this is the high tempo, low bullshit dance music I’ve been waiting for.

This little tone machine gets funkier and more dynamic with each spin!  Other tracks like the B side’s “Contamination” offer a darker, more evil-grin means of electronic stylings, which perhaps might be the  darkest and most warped track on the album, pleasing the listener as the acid kicks in and everything changes. Witowmaker is refreshingly honest, dark and delicately crafted dance music for the jokester in all of us laughing to the trap door of life  until the doors spin open and we’re left wandering through a world of confusion not knowing what we’ve seen nor heard. Look for more from this project, we will be. Side note: this is one of the best sounding and best LOOKING tapes we have received in some time, and it’s refreshing when the visual look and sound unite to create a beautiful package of lush electronic presentation.  Order this tape, now!

 

Here’s also some free bandcamp download codes for the album:  redeem at http://www.bandcamp.com/yum

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DECAYCAST REVIEWS Petridisch – “A Fixed Point” CD/Cassette (I Heart Noise, 2017)

DECAYCAST REVIEWS Petridisch – A Fixed Point” CD/Cassette (I Heart Noise, 2017)

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Petridisch”A Fixed Point” CD/Cassette are already sold out in physical form (both CD and  cassette) but you can get a free download over there at the  I Heart Noise Bandcamp Page , which is a label and multimedia platform hosting a rather active blog of the same name. Petridisch’s  vocal and  percussion forward offerings of multi-layered, slow  ambient sonic explosions and chants of densely layered synths, build a wide variety of complex timbral experiments and densely articulated specimens. On “A Fixed Point”, Petridisch begins with slow shimmering waves of  ambient, buzzing waves, decaying, cavernous claps  and slowly and  steadily builds  layers of washed over plumes of texture and memory while structures of rhythm and  percussion begin to take form. Synthesizers slowly and  craftily edge  their way in with soft, present  swells,  mid  tempo arpeggiated sines, and layers of  ambient noise sustaining bright,  shimmering, articulate sonic  events.

The voice is an important part of this record and it adds a beautiful cloak around the various  track elements and really does gel all of the different  elements together as a compositional superglue.  Four short, ambient explorations pull equally from The Cocteau Twins, Boards Of  Canada, early Eno and  so much more, and so much less in the best way  possible, as Petridisch truly has cast their own unique sound into the  ethos of the word of endless sonic discovery and invention.  For fans of ambient, drone, early Tangerine Dream,  Terry Riley, and early synthesizer music, Petridisch packs a huge arsenal of sonic weapons in a  release that  is barely twelve minutes long, Highly recommended.

 

Petridisch

DECAYCAST Reviews – Witches Of Malibu – “The Grand Crucifier” (Dead Media Recordings, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews – Witches Of Malibu – “The Grand Crucifier” (Dead Media Recordings, 2018)

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Witches of Malibu is the project of underground  industrial / harsh noise / psychedelic master Skott Rusch also of Hunting Lodge fame.  For this  release Skott’s playing under the WOM moniker and this one is released by  Dead Media Recordings, out of Ontario, CA. “The Grand  Crucifier” opens up  with a distant noisy, slow,  industrial rhythmic thudding which slowly grows with frequency, intensity and  terror.  A violent, shuddering call and response pacing develops between cold, clanging metal blasts of  metal and high pitched, unrelentingly harsh, static-filled, spikes of noise and chaos, however it never morphs into anything that could be construed as carelessly random. One thing that sticks out of these tracks is the the  tension, intention, and focus remain focused on their own bleak starkness which only serves to make the sounds that much darker and menacing. These cuts are super intentioned, and never fade into the realm often visited in harsh noise of unconnected,  random and selfish sounds, each  section possesses its own structure and harsh intentionality,  and with each sonic shriek, stab, or inverted  explosion comes a heightened peak of anxiety and uneasiness,  again and again until that is the listener is meant with deafening silence upon the tracks completion. Not to fear though, as dark soup will be served at the table all night, and the bleak, misty, cavernous  alienating sounds of WOM aren’t going anywhere, at least for the duration of this cassette.

The second track, Strike Strikes (04:11) is perhaps the  album’s most static offering in terms of movement, but  still provides a grating, hellish, scraping soundtrack to the days  activities of  gently knifing out your eyeballs and rolling them down the hill as they collect dirt and eradicate the last bits of light folded into your brain. The track builds with volume, form and intensity and by the end, a dark psychedelic confusion sets in and you can neither see nor hear nor feel where you have ended up, the pulsing has eclipsed all of your senses and the deafening shrieking has taken over. 

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The third and probably strongest and most dynamic track, “The Shine Cannon-Hectic Parasite”  starts with an almost inaudible hum for a  few seconds and then quickly turns into a buzz saw like cacophony of synth engine  destruction, slowly shifting and pulsing to bleed out the last bit of orientation one may have had at this point in the listening experience. The buzzing  goes from a constant square like jagged, aggressive, but relatively static,  sound to  morphed , twisted, swirling  sphere of sonic memory failure, blending into the next wave of  aural destruction. The cassette closes out with a slightly more minimalist, barren, percussion  forward track with some  subtly shifting whirling string like synths which sound more like a bowed saw than  synthesizer, blending perfectly with the choppy, blown out, mangled and twisted percussion. Rhythms pound and shake and eventually fade  away. The cochlear is now a dark, barren hole into the center of nothingness, and the  white noise blasts, high shrieking oscillators and garbled transmission ensure you won’t be making it back up the hill- you are forever  trapped in the  bottom of this pit and the sound  of  scraping, clawing, clamoring blasts of  sonic slag is the last sound that will  ever  pressurize your  ear  drum. Good bye. The end. Buy this TAPE HERE  or pretty much anything by this project.

 

– Michael Daddona