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!

DECAYCAST REVIEWS: HEY EXIT “Else” Cassette/Digital (2015)

“Else”  was  recorded by HEY  EXIT, in Brooklyn NY in 2015, but  you’d  never  really be able to tell as  it comes off  as this  sort of  timeless  drone recording.  “Else”  starts with a low, slow, cloudy  drone and  slowly builds and  destroys  subtlety across the  entire album. The  first sounds that  emerge  are  delicate.  spacious, tone  poems of  humming synths? guitars? who knows?  but the  source a1533371763_16isn’t  really that important and the sounds  create a sonic  space  that exists  somewhat outside of  codified instrumentation, structure,  rhythm. The  sonic palette of HEY EXIT is  largely of a similar toolset, at least on Else, and the cassette is broken up into five tracks, however they all function as  one  breadth, decaying and  gently bleeding into each other. “What Role, If  Any”  is  probably the track that feels   most complete on its  own in terms of a moving composition within itself and  offers arguably the most  sonic  density and  variety on this EP.

The sounds themselves  are a  plush mesh of drones,  blissed  out  and  stretched  out  orchestral swells, slow attack  guitar  swells,  strategically placed crunches of  rumbling  distortion, and  wind. The  tempo of  Else is  made up of slow, delicately offered  pulses, as  if  someone was  breathing  out the notes, blowing ou

t the  tempo on a single  flickering candle,  but  not  through a wind  instrument, the  attack is gone, the breath has  transformed into a slow,  churning, crawling, beautiful sound.  The slow, crawling , glossy pillars of  sounds ,  at times  almost seemed to  sync up with my breath as i was  sitting in the dark listen

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ing to the  cassette on repeat. This is  excellent  “meditation” music, or at least music that  begs of  slow action, slow  thought,  slow body movements, and slow listening. There  are moments  that  get “noisy” in the traditional sense, but they never  obliterate or  destroy the  more  quiet, subtle  tones  that dance and  breathe  as he main life  source of the  piece.  “Else”  is  a delicately crafted ambient  drone offering for  fans of  slow, delicate, breathing music to  listen to  on a foggy, crawling  confusing day. Highly enjoyable.

 

You can   check this release and more  from HEY  EXIT,  here

EN NIHIL “DEAD FREQUENCY” Cassette (Danvers State Recordings, 2014)

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Here we have a newer release, “Dead Frequency” from the prolific yet deserted and obscure project called En Nihil, released on Danvers State Recordings The  A  side  starts out a slow,  cold,  ambient windchill of  space and  delicate reverberations. En Nihil is known for his  desolate, dark  heavy death/ambient/industrial recordings  but the “Dead Frequency” tape picks  up the pace  pretty heavily right off the bat. The slowly spinning ambient burner quickly but in a well composed manner, morphs  into a heavy, noisy, industrial hash squall from hell.  Dense, sharp, ripping sounds crumble and spatter atop of each other and  create gray pillars of psychedelic, waves of spiked feedback, and noisy  percussive elements. The wall section of the  piece  builds up to a blistering climax, and then gradually gives itself breathing room and a deeper, more restrained   tension is created. En NIhil swiftly and skillfully creates a monumental tension between the cold, ringing, droning ambient sections, and the harsh noise walls and cities of sonic bombardment.

On this particular release, we have a wide and refreshing scope of styles that are skillfully executed. There is actually a plethora of sounds and  ideas making up this  sinister, unclimbable wall of sound. Even though at times, it just sounds like “noise” , rest assured, it would be counter productive to pigeon hole it as such En NIHIL is a master at riding the waves between noise / ambient / death – industrial and straight musicality. Especially the B side of “Dead Frequency” if you blink for a second you might be fooled into thinking that some of these tracks , composition wise , have a structured sensibility to them, which for this type of music is a good thing in my opinion. There are no happy accidents here, or if there is, they are disguised well, each note , tone and action appear intentional and forthright in the composition and idea.

“Dead Frequency” is the logical progression in the En NIhil discography and takes a step forward in terms of dynamics and harshness but remains true to the unique style that the artist has created. MOre to come from this artist! Keep an ear in the cave.
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DECAYCAST REVIEWS: COCK ESP & GINGER CORTES Split Cassette (Forever Escaping Boredom Records, 2014)

DECAYCAST REVIEWS: COCK ESP & GINGER CORTES  Split  Cassette (Forever Escaping Boredom Records, 2014)

I’ve been a Cock E.S.P. fan for a lonnnnnnng  time  but i have  never  written about, or  attempted to write about their music/noise/destruction, etc but  with this tape, i’m going to, The  side  starts out  with  an insane bass  blast low -end FullSizeRender(14)wall of noise  and  a woman’s  voice, twisted, demonic, screaming and  howling as  it’s being  choked with blood and laughter. The  voice is a constant but a  hellish wall of  squelching noise  ensues and  swallows the voice into despair and hatred.  The transmission is broken, and high frequency walls of nauseating   piercing feedback give a bloody birth, to, what , a thumping beat, a beat???? Yes  folks, thats tight, Cock E.S.P. brings the booty bass on this one. The  distraught voice chugs and howls on,  grabbing onto and biting through the beat until the  skilled vocalist spits it out into a superhero’s afterbirth of a noise  menacing, dark noise  wall,  screaming at and  attacking  the listener  with unrelenting precision and terror. I do  NOT want to know what was going on in the  studio when this was  being recorded, or maybe  i do, but  either way something hilarious, dark, and nauseating was the influence, oh I dunno this  filth of a planet? COCK E.S.P.  does what most harsh bands cant  do, EVERYTHING. they bring the ultimate  package of visual and  aural insanity.Here’s the thing though, this is noise, but it’s done with a  jazz like attention to detail, all whilst embracing the  murky guts of the  chaotic element of bodily fluids, chicken masks, and flying objects.

They literally NEVER  let me down, even when when they’re  trying to let  you down, they don’t, and  that’ll hopefully piss them off 🙂  and this recording, like many I’ve heard are a testament to their hard work in the  studio, in the gutter,  and their  blatant infatuation with  and  disgust with humanity… What a  fucking  good  band, seriously, see them live, but  don’t blink because it’ll be over.  Like this  shit  inspires me. Thank you Emil Hagstrom, Jason Wade, Julia Rau, Paige Flesh, and John Vance for  releasing this blatant harsh assault on my ears and mind, it was much needed.

Despite COCK E.S.P.  being  a very tough, and messy act to follow on the  stage  and on a  recording, The  Ginger Cortes  side holds it’s  own on the B side of this harsh  brain jammer.  GC opens up with a dark, heavy, grinding, repulsive wall of harsh decaying belt  sander  style harsh noise. The  dark, brooding  sound continues on, slaughtering the  listener  with an unrelenting sledgehammer of a  scraping mid  range  springed out static  attack.  Ginger  Cortes grinds and  grinds and  grinds  away until the cochlear begins to flake  and shred off, bleed  and disappear, and  then they stop. They stop for a few  seconds of unknown scraping and  fumbling  around, and then a few  sharp  cuts  and blasts and we’re  right back into the harsh noise anus of Ginger Cortes. Quick,  cutting, bloody  cuts of high range  feedback give splinters of disease Ridden mid-range  feedback clusters, and  atomic blasts of  distortion,…and then ‘be  a good  little girl”……….??????????????   wow, what a tape, what a wild  tape, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED,.

FOREVER  ESCAPING BOREDOM RECORDS

COCK E.S.P.

GINGER  CORTES

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