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

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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

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Choisir Le Pire “-” (LE TOMBEAU DES MUSES, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Choisir Le Pire “-” (LE TOMBEAU DES MUSES, 2018)

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Choisir Le Pire is a newer project out of Metz, France  focusing on  harsh noise / harsh noise wall and this  new  cassette release is no  exception. Released on the newly formed LE TOMBEAU DES MUSES imprint also out of France. “-” as it’s  titled wastes no  time slicing the listener with  sharp, grating, alienating plumes of  static  filled gut  wrenching harsh noise with some  HNW and  even Power  Electronics sections to boot.

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The strongest track on this release, “De Charybde en Scylla.“, which is also the  opening track on the  A side offers  the most interesting and  dynamic work on the album,  featuring an ominous sludgy, fuzzed out  thick  droning intro  which is  quickly and  swiftly encapsulated by violent throbbing stabs of  sonic mayhem; grating, dark, and  uncertain. This tape is the  perfect soundtrack to a nauseating feeling that comes  moments before  leaping off  a  cliff into the  black abyss. The closing track, Ce qu’il en rester. is another favorite with it’s  blistering  shuttering fast paced dynamic  stabs and wells, peaks and  troughs of a  chaotic land, Choisir Le Pire wastes no  time and no sound, it’s all said and nothing is said  except for the  blood running slowly down the  side of the  listeners neck out of their ear. Focused, sharp and  agitated harsh noise release with  beautiful design and packaging to boot. Check out more from the  label and  artist via the links  above.

– malo

 

DECAYCAST Reviews : TODD ANDERSON – KUNERT “A Good Time To Go” (This Is Non Linear,2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : TODD ANDERSON – KUNERT “A Good Time To Go” (This Is Non Linear,2018)

This little unassuming tape arrived in our mailbox all the way from NZ, where the artist Todd Anderson – Kunert is based. This work titled “A Good Time To Go” boasts the sonic equivalent of finding that perfect moment to ditch out on the show or event or interaction that you’re probably enjoying (or maybe not ) but are suddenly met with that harsh and disorienting wave of uncertain feelings, emotions and sense of space or lack thereof. This album is very much that. the albums opener “No” starts with a slow quiet drone which ascends into a loud, shuttering thud, and steadily breaks up into a more distorted, disorienting, confusing version of itself until the listener is left with their own feelings of confusion about confusion. Dark, crumbling noise swashes give way to more rhythmic patterns which oscillate moments between disappearance and uncertainty while bathing the listener in a sharp bath of loud and overwhelming sounds all to build to a climax and erase themselves to the point where only the distant hum of a sharp bell remains, a single alienating tone tuning and ringing inside the brain of the unsuspecting listener. The overall vibe is dark , disorienting , haunting with spurts of beautiful articulate decay.

The albums strongest track “It’s Taking Forever” is an honest, heavy take on what could be best described as digital power drone. Lots of dark and articulate textures exist throughout, crawling and wringing out dark, alienating slime into the ear, especially on this second stand out track which really carves out a lonely and confusing sonic space, oscillating between traditional takes on drone, ambient noise, “power ambient” some might say.  Overall a solid release with a wide interpretation on what could be considered psychoacoustic drone music.

TODD ANDERSON-KUNERT

DECAYCAST Reviews : SEA MOSS “BREAD BORED” CS/Digital (Crash Symbols, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SEA MOSS “BREAD BORED” CS/Digital (Crash Symbols, 2017)

a0364792524_10SEA MOSS is a perfect example of  why duos are sometimes the most engaging for heavy and experimental music. SEA MOSS, splice all of the specific aspects that make duo’s so special; tension, dynamics, a call and response/push pull type of  dynamic, (that often gets lost or muddled once a third or forth voice is added),  into a fever  dream ritual of distorted noise rock, and rhythmic, percussion heavy noise. When contrasting  voices push and pull, interesting and chaotic things can happen, and that’s exactly what this Seattle duo does, on their freshman album “Bread Bored”. For one, the sound is a perfect blend of Noa Ver  homemade, noisy, chaotic, dynamic home-brewed synthesizers, which she popularized in her solo project Mulva Myasis  and Zach D’Agostino percussion and live sequencing which meld together perfectly to create a raw, cacophonous blend of abstracted, cut up, angular noise / rock. Noa Ver create walls of glitched-out, sputtering, chirping, regurgitating bent and mangled waveforms blending together to create rhythmic walls of unique, raw synthesized noise over D’Agostino, who belts forth a seemingly endless array of broken rhythms, fusing both analog and digital sources to create a chaotic, chopped up, backbone of heavy, flipped out perscussion. Also we  couldn’t really talk about this release  without mentioning the intricate, dense, psychedelic collaged cover art/Layout done by Liz Pavlovic, offering the perfect visual counterpart to the dense, tripped out, broken sounds of SEA MOSS.

Having seen SEA MOSS live in 2017 (and BTW this project is barely a year old, and has already toured, released this album on CRASH SYMBOLS and self-released several live recordings) I had a rough idea of what to expect from this tape, and it really represents their live sound well. The aptly titled “Bread Bored” oscillates between more noise, even free jazz styled works, using more  chopped, off timed rhythm tracks, and the  synths are  sputtering more like a trumped or saxophone than a synthesizer,  such on the  second track “Infernal Stutter”, whereas the very next song, “Wanna See A Trick?”, perhaps my personal favorite on the album falls much more into an early Load Records style of noise rock where the synths and walls of noise act as a heavy low end for the pummeling 4/4 breakdowns which dominate the song, or  similarly styled and  varied is the finale “Sea Sickness”, which blends thudding  drums, more  buzzing, screaming oscillators and time/tempo changes that will leave your  head  spinning,  There’s also a whole lot varied vocal styles which range from long swelled, yelling to short, antagonistic bursts of  sound, yelling, fighting , screaming, screaming, threatening, impactful, and sharp in unique ways even though the lyrics are  rather indistinguishable from each other. Despite this, the vocals provide an additional layer of tension and chaos, especially when complimenting the heavy, smashed out percussion riffs in a sort of call in response type of way. At times, it’s as if all the instruments are being played as their opposites; or something they’re totally unreleased to; synths are played as horns, drums are played as basses, vocals are an additional layer of percussion, but also so much more.

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SEA MOSS stands above and beyond a lot of other offerings in noise rock camp so far for 2017 that have pummeled my ears. SEA MOSS has a seemingly uncanny ability to pack three or four different styles and feelings, even within a single track (and mind you most of the tracks are under four minutes, some even in the one to two-minute range). This music could be from 1999 or it could be from 2199, we haven’t totally figured that out yet, and that’s part of why it’s intriguing. The cassette is sold out; however, you can grip the digital album for five dollars from the Crash Symbols  band camp page. Be sure to check out a myriad of other releases from the West Virginia based imprint, while you’re on the band camp and make sure to follow SEA MOSS here!