BUCK YOUNG “Proud Trash Sound” LP (No Rent Records / Rent Hike , 2018)
BUCK YOUNG “Proud Trash Sound” is one of the most unique, albeit one of the only fusions of contemporary harsh experimental music and western fever dream Americana that I have come across, and what a discovery this has been. From the twisted. hand drawn, scrawly, but beautifully executed artwork to it’s strange, and twisted blending of seemingly unrelated styles and techniques, “Proud Trash Sound” subverts much of what we have come to expect from “harsh noise” or experimental music in general, and turns it’s on it’s ten gallon hat as our brains leak out in a red mess on the floor trying to articulate what this “Proud Trash Sound” is just all about, ya hear?!
Fuzzed out, westernized twangy acoustic guitars and nasily, heartbroken, yodeling vocals skate and twirl along, rising atop the bent capo as Whisky drips down the neck of the guitar, often and angrily interrupted by dense, belches of harsh cut up noise that Crumer has articulated as his own over the years, but “Proud Trash Sound” doesn’t stop there; it escapes the one trick pony of ironic “comedy” record and belts forth an honest and complicated, yet aurally and conceptually pleasing synthesis of styles that are traditionally considered “unrelated”. In the cacophonous slab of post modern beauty that is “Proud Trash Sound”, there is truly something for everyone on this record, from morose, sad, heartfelt paino works such as “Murdoch” which blends heavy, heartfelt piano arpeggiations with a lonely buzzing from the farm’s distance to minimalistic, muffled blendings of bending guitars, field recordings of explosions, horses, farm animals, and just about everything else left after the show down, BUCK YOUNG slickly avoids categorization throughout this LP. Are these some sort of twisted cover songs, or is Buck Young simply pulling on nostalgia strings through this deep and unnerving sonic tale of a time where the cobblestone streets ran red which archaic blood of those on the wrong side of the gun and the bottom of the barrel. Other tracks like the more upbeat “Harper Valley PTSD” offer a higher pitched twang, blended with cut up tape loop destruction and a thick warm analog haze of sonic confusion; this is a good thing btw.
The album’s standout track for me “Hey Linda!” is a chaotic, multi layered, fumbling, bumbling, beer soaked love ballad sped up, bled dry sounding like Can 1968 loops accelerated through a mangled, ash-covered tape machine feeding back through CB radio. Blending 60’s psychedelia with futuristic sounding harsh noise, a cowboy belt buckle stash spot of mind bending, leather hide rank sounds into a hooch barrel of = truly unique and all encompassing American experimental music, BUCK YOUNG offers us nothing short of a dark take on a murky past. Buck Young is a truly indescribable sound, you must only hear it for yourself to believe. Pick this up from No Rent Records before it’s sold out, or it might already be?!
It has been 74 long years, so steal a few tall cans of beer, pull up an old crate or a worn out tire and start a bonfire with your roommates’ crap. Add a reasonably functional cassette player and this is the new American concert hall. “
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.
For one of her newest releases on Bedlam Tapes, Angel has offered a nearly forty minute offering titled, “Interbeing” which was released this November and today we are beyond excited to be premiering a video for the track, “Passageways To Meeting Areas “, which is a masterful work of aural and visual assemblage, oscillating between dense electronics, noise, industrial, smooth jazz and other more esoteric, less definable physical, visual, and aural points of reference and strategy. We are very proud to be debuting this video here and honored that Angel took time to talk to us more in depth about her processes as an artist, influences, and scoring weed on the internet. Here’s the video, and interview below! Please support Angel and buy her music, looks like the cassette version is sold out but you can cop the CD Version and a free digital download of “Interbeing”HERE!
Hello Angel. Thanks for chatting with us over the panopticon that is Facebook messenger for Decaycast, first off how is your day going today and second, how deep does the internet go? Is it a weird portal? Just data? Productive? Evil?
My day has been pretty good. I was at work for a while, which was a good time. (No sarcasm, I swear.) Then I came home, fed the bears, scooped their shit into a bag, and started making the final tweaks to an LP slated for release next year.
About the internet’s depth…all I can say is that if you go deep enough, you can get fantastic weed for good prices. As a self-proclaimed hermit, ordering anything online is a blessing.
I remember we used to have to wait in the dumpster behind McDonald’s, now you can order weed online. What a trip? It’s a rare case when someone has a good day at work, so this is off to an odd but wonderful start already. Do you want to talk a bit about the LP you’re recording?
It’s a Fire-Toolz record, and it’s called Skinless X-1. Only about 30% of the music has vocals in it this time. I wanted the melodies and textures to have a little more space to breathe and say their piece. There is an even heavier 80s/90s new age & jazz fusion influence on this album. I still can’t seem to get away from heavy four-on-the-floor beats, though. With the exception of one eccojam, the occasional sample is only used as a brief brushstroke. I tried to write music that sounded the way my dreams did when I was young, living at home, in a peaceful part of town, surrounded by trees, grass, swamps, and various wildlife. This isn’t to say the album doesn’t have plenty of abrasive moments. I will say that there is no anger on this album. I’m still exploring personal challenges, but they’ve been a little neutralized.
This album’s message is more observational, more curious about things, and frankly more empathetic and compassionate toward a lot of the things I’ve expressed mind-numbing rage for on previous releases. This album expresses a deep appreciation for things, and an outlook that is a little more neutralized. The album is floaty. And the few times it lands, it really pummels into the ground. The mess it leaves is intricate and colorful. Am I doing your job now? I’m starting to say some weird shit.
I love the idea of it smashing into the ground and leaving this colorful mess. Can you talk a little bit about some of your previous releases or projects that stood out to you or hold a certain place in your scope as an artist/ person
Most of the releases in my backlog that stand out to me are ones I didn’t think were going to stand out the way they do. A lot of times my favorite releases aren’t favorites of others. Which is fine, but interesting in it’s own way.
I had a CDr/6″ lathe/cs release called “Solar Activity & Civil Unrest.” It was massively conceptual. There was a pretty wide variety of experimental electronics, tape manipulation, found objects, voice, etc.
There was another release called “Journey To 0.004”that had several editions. It included an hour long sound collage. Also a concept release. I think these types of long releases can be exciting for the artist and overwhelming for the listener.
Both of those releases are available for free download and were released under my old birth name, “Justin Marc Lloyd” on my old label Rainbow Bridge.
Lastly, my music as Power Windoze didn’t really get much attention compared to some of my other work, but I believe it to be very special. It was my first attempt at making electronic music entirely on the computer. I released a few albums and an EP. The second album may come out on vinyl. I just started talking to a label about it. It’s about 3 years old now and needs a remaster, but I’m excited that the album might reach a wider audience soon!
I need to dig into that PW stuff. You also run a Netlabel, Swamp Circle? Care to talk a bit about that and the benefits / limitations you’ve experienced as owning both physical and digital imprints?
I started Swamp Circle for two reasons. I wanted to release my music and other people’s music without financial limitations (on my part or theirs). I also wanted an outlet for my own digital artwork (Rainbow Bridge was mainly a xerox-on-colored-card stock label). At first I wanted to release 5 albums at a time. Now I just sort of release them when I can. Most of the albums in the queue right now are other people’s music. We are waiting on me to finish the artwork. And since my priorities have shifted, it’s been challenging to find time to do this artwork. I made a rule for myself that all art on Swamp Circle would be done by me. This was cool at first, but now I’m mega behind because I gave myself another hefty job to do. I’ve been thinking about changing the format but I’m not sure yet. It’s rare a donation is made so it’s not financially lucrative, but it was never really supposed to be. I wanted these releases to be free.
Well we hope you keep Swamp Circle and Rainbow Bridge going, they are both fantastic labels. Care to talk a bit about your influences as an artist; bands, songs, routines, strategies, etc?
This past year I’ve been infatuated with jazz fusion-tinged new age music from the 80s and 90s. Shadowfax, Jonn Serrie, Patrick O’ Hearn, Dan Siegel, Elements, Richard Souther, Interior. You can hear some of that influence on Interbeing, and it will be even more apparent on Skinless X-1. Orange Milk releases are always in regular rotation. Euglossine, Nico Niquo, Seth Graham, Giant Claw, and Loto Retina are all especially inspiring artists to me. BT’s “This Binary Universe” was a recent rediscovery that kind of knocked me off my feet and provided a huge boost of creative juju at one point in the Skinless X-1 writing process. When composing sound collages, I’m reminded of my roots in Sickness, Gastric Female Reflex, Jason Lescallet and other noisers that are incredible at keeping you confused and overwhelmed. Fear Factory, Nine Inch Nails, and KMFDM have been there for me since I was a child, perpetuating my tendency to make heavy electronic music even when I don’t want to. John Wiese and mid 2000’s Prurient, although vastly different artists, taught me a lot about harsh textures and their unique aural impact. Also, tinnitus. Tinnitus influences me as an artist.
My routine usually starts with an isolated idea. Never an idea for a whole song. That idea is usually recorded or assembled, and then blindly built upon by living in the moment and just doing whatever comes to mind naturally, or sounds good when I do it. But, I also have to go to work sometimes. So, I transfer works in progress to my phone, listen to them on decent headphones at work, and brainstorm. A lot of times I take notes. Then I go home and make changes, or re-record stuff, and it just kinda goes on like that. I am very grateful to have a job that facilitates zoning out completely while still performing effectively.
My strategy is to take extra care of my ears because I didn’t used to and now I’m sorry.
Can you talk a little bit about this video we’re premiering? How different is your process for creating video works than your audio practice mentioned above? Do you see them as one piece or separate pieces complimenting, or perhaps being at odds with each other?
This video is for the song “Passageways To Meeting Areas”. It deals with the concept of ’emptiness’ from a Buddhist perspective, and the concept of Interbeing, which is a term coined by Thich Nhat Hanh that describes the inherent interconnectedness of humanity, or the universe. In this song I’m sort of projecting a desperate plea to other humans, specifically those hateful and oppressive, to find common ground with me. In doing so we find that we are all generally good at our core, underneath our illnesses and compulsions. We all want to be happy, and we all want to be treated with love. It was difficult to come up with ideas for this subject that would go along with this message and still look like a Fire-Toolz video. It took a really long time, and I had this video sitting unfinished for months while I sped through four other videos. It wasn’t until Interbeing was days from being released that I finally finished it.
On one hand my videos are much more complementary to my first album and what I was making before I changed the name to Fire-Toolz. My latest material, and my sloppy, pixelated, shitty green screen footage and heavily processed VHS rips of ancient CGI demos, can seem at odds with each other. I strive for a complex precision in the composition and sound design of the music, but that approach doesn’t show itself very often in the videos. I haven’t much training in animation, 3D rendering, or illustration. However there is an overwhelming amount of similarities that transcend that dissonance. The juxtaposition of genres and textures, glitching, processing, re-contextualizing, absurdism, conceptualism, surrealism, nostalgia triggers, representations of modern technology. There is even the occasional humor that erupts from perceived absurdity. Such as black metal style vocals over a sample of a sensual jazz fusion track from 1986, or heavily glitched animations of a broken ATM machine over generic HD stock footage of a beautiful sunset on the water. I see the potential for humor, yet in my mind, all of these things are made for each other.
I usually keep the imagery consistent with lyrical themes. Literally, metaphorically, or analogically. I also sync the activity in the video to the dynamics and changes in the music. The videos are a lot of work. Lots and lots of processing and editing, rendering, re-importing, processing and editing, rendering, re-importing, etc. The music style demands many visual elements and layers. Many of my songs shift moods drastically within them so I think the work needs to be done.
I create the music as something that can stand alone. I create the videos so that they can complement the music very closely as well as act as a live performance enhancement. I don’t move around much live. Part of the reason is because the equipment I use isn’t mobile. But I have little to no stage presence. I never look out toward the crowd and I rarely talk to the audience while I’m “on stage.” If I have my videos projected for everyone to see, I think it makes coming out to the show more worth it for everyone. I feel like I’m much more effectively expressing myself through a video projection than whatever dances and antics I can come up with using my body.
Do you consider yourself a plunderphonics or sample-based artist? How do you choose your samples/why do you sample other artists?
I don’t consider Fire-Toolz to be plunderphonics or sample-based. Having the vaporwave tag in the string of associated genres is partially to blame for this confusion, because most vaporwave is sample-based. I’m just incorporating a sample-based genre into some parts of my songs. Fire-Toolz is no more vaporwave than it is harsh noise. I think sometimes when an artist samples another artist, some listeners then tend to wonder what is a sample and what isn’t when listening. People have asked me what metal vocalists I’m sampling and are surprised to hear that I’m recording them myself.
Interbeing (and Skinless X-1) incorporate far less sampling than my earlier work. It’s not that I’ve tried to get away from sampling as if it’s a bad thing. Sampling is sick. I have several on-going projects that are religiously sample-based, and I will never break those rules. It’s just that I’ve been less interested in finding the perfect sax pop verse to layer in or build upon, and more interested in composing all these melodies and progressions from the bottom up. Fire-Toolz was always original composition and instrumentation-based, but samples were sprinkled all around as part of the process and theme. At this point, the rare sample is even more intentional, and thus a more special moment.
If I’ve taken a little chunk of someone else’s music and integrated it into my own song, then I adore that artist and listen to them on the regular. If it were safer to be more open about the samples, I’d be listing their names in the credits. There has been one exception to this, and it happens to be on the song of mine that’s gotten the most attention so far. It’s the Billy Idol sample on “All Deth Is U” from the Drip Mental album. I’m not a huge Idol fan! He was good in The Wedding Singer, but I was typically turned off by his music as a kid. I do love the song the sample came from, though. It’s probably because it sounds like other bands I like who were big at the time. I’ve always figured Billy was pissed about that. I bet he thought Depeche Mode and Duran Duran were a bunch of posers. The thing is, I kept hearing that fucking line “Eyes without a face…” in my head whenever I worked on that song, so I just did it.
Ever since Drip Mental my sample palette has been primarily jazz that’s come out sometime between 1984-1994. A few snippets of early 2000s metalcore and second wave emo can be spotted throughout the discography as well. My sample usage is meant to be a juxtaposition and re-contextualization, so I don’t sample “experimental” or techno or industrial or anything like that.
I would really love to just contact the great artists that I’ve sampled and show them what I’ve done. That could quite possibly yield unfavorable results. See, if it were me, even if the song was really bad, I would be like “OMG that’s really cool, thanks, I’m glad my jams have touched your young soul in such a way that you found the inspiration to re-contextualize them in your own way!” But these are old people now, you know? They may be more old fashioned. They may get angry and think I’m trying to profit off of their labor. They might even call me a bad word, and I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to cuss or feel anger if you’re on Windham Hill Records. I think my dream would be for one of these artists to contact me and ask me to collaborate on some music!
I did email Zenju Earthlyn Manuel’s camp about my sampling her guided meditation in the track [CODENAME_BONKERS]. I didn’t expect a reply but I’m sure someone has read it by now and decided to leave me alone. The sample is from a public YouTube video, but I chopped up her phrases a little and still credited her, so that made/makes me nervous. shrugs.
Whenever one goes out to the mailbox and is granted with music its a great day, zines and books are no exception, especially collaged zines which throw my brain back into being 15 and thumbing through pages and pages and pages of crudely xeroxed interviews with friends, bands i looked up to and bands i had yet to discover, Shrouded Recordings Zine is pretty much this: centered around the label with the same name. Issue 1 has an interview with Sam from the Rita, which is funny, informative and to the point, which is surrounded by high contrast images of cassette tapes, industrial style textures and abstracted artworks, and ads and upcoming releases for the label. Volume 1 is more fanzine style, however, Vol 2 and 3 give considerably more to the reader in terms of length, quality, artwork, and information. Shrouded Zine boasts cut up style interviews, NOISE, NOISE, NOISE and more noise are jam packed within this modest zine. All of the content blends together in an interesting and almost dadaesque way. Interviews blend with reviews, ads, non sensical, albeit beautifully crude collaged images, and blank space – the MOST important space in noise and art, imho.
#3 is perhaps my favorite so far, as each page of content is intelligently paired with a blank page to act as a journal, sketch pad, notepad, blank space for contemplation. What at first seems maybe like a printing error later reveals itself to be an intelligent and generous offering from the writer to the reader – in fact mine is INDEED scrawled with random notes and drawings that i made on the bus ride into the city whilst thumbing through volume three. Fun and informative interview with Kevin Yuen from Sutekh Hexan, lots of reviews covering harsh noise, death industrial, power electronics, noise, electronic, ambient and even some hardcore/metal stuff! PLUSS adds and upcoming releases from noise, industrial, electronics, and harsh noise labels, distros, and other zines/webzines with some minimal artwork scrawled across the pages as backdrops. I’ll be looking forward to stumbling across more from this zine/label in the future!
The tour kickoff in Oakland last night was sooo heavy. Loved it. The Styro gyre is at top spin, about to make land. Open wide murfukrs!
And the STYROFOAM SANCHEZ “Empire Underwater” LP is a required listening milestone. The past just floated away, this is serious soundcraft, lo-fi grabs hi-fi by the skullholes and has its way. Did y’all know what lyrics have been clattering out of the ocean’s brain all this time? Like Sun Ra said “There are other worlds they have not told you of who wish to speak with you.” SS lyrics are too core to their music, grab the book and see what you’re hearing. The illustrations are too much, a labyrinth for the eyeball while lost in the record… none of this distracted half-heard imusic… FULL IMMERSION.
Don’t look past the all new “Coastal Ruin” cassette, neither. Stretched out live sound, perfectly recorded darkness, suited to tape, triggers gooseflesh at the mere memory of styrene squeaks.
Damn, and the whole “macular Edema/Occular oOil Pond” DVD! The huge glue-jewel of this whole chemical crown. No spoilers though, suffice to say… don’t let your life suck on milquetoast mediocrity, grip this intense labor, one pkg includes the LP/DVD/BOOK, then the tape is its own. Sink yourself in mile deep layers of some heavy pitch black prescient shit, the future is cresting, about to pile onto your chest. Don’t say you were busy lookin’ at your phone glow. http://www.ratskin.org/index2.html
DecaycastREVIEWS : P.C.R.V. “Note To Self” CD (LEM , 2013)
P.C.R.V. is the longstanding project of Billings, MT based artist Matt Taggart . His PCRV Project historically has focused on harsh noise (passionately crafted with intent and direction) In a blend of a cut-up and wall styles of noise PCRV squeaks out intense soundscapes of conceptual noise music. Newer, more recent recorded works and performances have somewhat abandoned P.C.R.V.’s “signature style” so to speak, for a more fluxes / dada / playful/ conceptual approach to sound and performance; this newer style possesses no lack of excitement or interest though, almost always holding the same tension that the HARSH noise recordings do, just in a different and unique way.
“Note To Self” is no exception- a blending of all his styles – harsh noise, Minimalist breaks , tension, multi dimensional uses of sound through varied sound sources and rules of engagement with said sound sources, occasional jazz like sputterings and “field recordings” who knows? Who cares really , cause it sounds CRUNCHY. PCRV shows he as a near uncanny ability to navigate these drastically different styles of sound preparation and intent.
On the cover, “Note To Self” Boasts an intricate, yet crude collage by the artist himself – which is the perfect visual representation of the sounds existing within this album. PCRV’s sound palette has been quite diverse over the years and this disc is no exception. Jumping from harsh and blown out to subtle, conceptual and super minimal gives the listener a wide array of sonic possibilities and interactions, even the harsh sounds in this disk have a playfulness to them, the artists intention ? Really comes through in an interesting way. It’s a game – but it’s not . And also catch this dude LIVE if you get the chance, you may not know what to expect ; DADA / FLUXUS games or HARSH FUCKING NOISE, but it’s a great treat either way – TOP NOTCH.
Obscure Psychic Themes” starts off with two short tracks from Divine Shell, which elegantly weaves between manipulated voice, synth textures flexing tight and tense dynamics and thought out layerings and volume
and pacing automations. The listener goes on a wash of garbled vocal tracks, brainwave alteration binaural type vocal beadings. The voice goes into a head and whispers around for a while with delicate pops and low flying subtly chirping oscillators. A minimal beginning slowly builds into a harsh frenzy and then the listener is dropped back down, to a soft psychic beading fizzing tone. The tape sounds like it was hand mangled and then put back in the shell with great success and hard pause microsecond edits breathe the voice nicely, and then it fades away, as quietly and unassuming as it started. Great tension !!!!
The flip side is Justin Marc Lloyd who is back at it with his glitter bomb homebrewed electronic sandstorm of texture and fractured sounds. This piece is more sample
Based than a lot of the homemade electronics stuff I’ve heard, though there’s a lot of interesting high speed edits and stuttering mayhem going stereo crazy in the background of tape
Collage??!! Edits ? Who knows with this guy, but this mix gets more damaged and damaged by the second. Gospal instructional type tapes turn into splattering breaking racecar engines, and pop after pop after sharp scrape, the voice comes through again for a second and is washed away in a collage of murky bubbling distorted throbs of filching electronics. Sit back and enjoy a new sound, BINAURAL bleeding. Great little release, this label never really disappoints!!!