DECAYCAST Reviews: ZSA ZSA GABOR “Left Skull Bank” Cassette (Stay Strange, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: ZSA ZSA GABOR “Left Skull Bank” Cassette (Stay Strange, 2017)

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“ZSA ZSA GABOR is dead” but the  sounds, voice, and pulses in a ritual are anything and everything but that. ZSA ZSA GABOR is one of the artists and founders of the Stay Strange SD Crew who boast a new label imprint, show collective and all creative force led by San Diego stalwart Sam Lopez aided in sound and  words from Ariel Irbe, Esteban Flores and Micheal Zimmerman, allwith their  own projects to boot under the  collective umbrella. Irbe performs and records  under the  S O L V  moniker, while Flores work as  Monochromacy represents  powerful, thick, radicalized  guitar  forward drone/noise works.  

“Left Skull Bank I” opens up the cassette after a brief intro with a dark, smudged, thick drone which slowly encapsulates the listener and then drops them in a voice cell of terror, confusion, disorientation, The time to talk isn’t now or maybe again for an hour  or even a year. Seal your lips shut for it’s  time for the  hymn of ZSA ZSA GABOR. This release is relentlessly and refreshingly diverse in its sonic character and nuance of sound and style; oscillation between spoken texts , drone, ambient, field recordings, distant screams that  ring like a hammer  smashing an ancient bell,  and  string based  swells ZZG has something for everyone , but at the sane time NOTHING FOR YOU. They owe you nothing and owe  everything to the void. Full tilt  sonic mayhem engulfs your  last thought and hope as your skull is  cast aside like an extra, misshaped, unneeded brick into the  ever-growing pile of death.

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“Left Skull Bank 2” picks up close to  where part 1 left off, with a thick, buzzing,  shaking vibrato of  stringed chaos while a monotone, anxious, realistic voice reads and  breathes upon every swelling  stringed drone of death, and after a “brief  demonic interlude” the listener is  cast once again into the  chaotic experiments of death with Part three, twisting and  tangling the  false hope that we once had  with harsh stabs, angry, dissonant, atonal swells through a purgatory nobody wants to  even pass by for a minute. This  cassette runs the  full scope of experimental sounds but in a a unique and refreshing way, no rehashing, no redux, this is simply top notch experimental music,  get about it, be about it. .ZSA ZSA  GABOR  is a thick, swollen, controlled  anger, which is more or less the  sound of  a  decaying  future; you’re dead long after you  found out when you’re  going  to die, and if you’re worthy this  might make an appearance at the funeral to help shovel your lifeless  corpse to  rest eternally and be consumed by the  wormed earth. Follow  ZSA ZSA GABOR HERE and HERE.

 

 

 

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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: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

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With the rise of accessibility for artists and producers to create sound, music, art and the ability for those artists to contextualize, and re contextualize their work in a seemingly often dizzying whirlwind of labels, sub-labels, sub-labels of sub-labels, through, you guessed it, the INTERNET; questioning the role or necessity of a small independent record label in these weird, confusing post-post modern days of malleability of meaning, format and intention, seems like probably a good idea. How many of them are genuine, how many of them truly put the artist first, and in priority, how many of them believe and stand behind their “product”, behind both the “artist” and the “artwork”. Derek Rush‘s New York – based imprint, Chthonic Streams does just that, and they do it with style, focus, and intention, as exemplified by the labels’ most ambitious and potentially most conceptual release to date, at least in its packaging and  form, is the “No Workers  Paradise” boxset. You should keep reading, but what I also recommend is that you  stop what you’re doing and instantly ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

We  are  fans of  boxsets, we are fans of conceptual art, and we are fans of toolboxes and  ridiculously ambitious projects here at Decaycast, and Chthonic Streams exhaustive 8 hour cassette boxset titled, “V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE” covers all of these bases and more, in one, mechanical, maniacal offering. Boxsets are awesome, and they’re even more compelling when they actually contain new material, by, gasp, even living artists. No shade on the myriad of Miles Davis and John Coltrane CD reissue boxsets that we have all seen and probably purchased, but eight hours of new material, from eight heavy hitters in the noise/industrial/power electronics scene enclosed in a matte black tool box, accompanied by a zine and customized time card to boot, is not really something we could (or should ignore). We received a rather large media mail box from New York and upon opening, the “No Workers Paradise” boxset emerged, a sleek matte black toolbox with a shiny chrome latch and basic font that reads “No Workers Paradise” is affixed to the top. Its interior reveals eight 60-minute cassettes and a zine/accompanying booklet for the release, and customized time card emerge as the tools for the job, so to speak. It was time to clock in.

As with all of the labels’ releases, the artwork is done by label head honcho Derek Rush who also books shows, is an active DJ, and works in graphic design and photography, so it comes as no surprise that all of the artwork included looks stunning and professional, accented by the printed booklet and cassette artwork itself. We haven’t even gotten into the sounds and this is already worth the $75 price tag without question, a truly beautifully put together collection. Now into the meat and bones of these disgruntled, bloody and beaten-down workers, we will delve into the sounds in reaction to the  tormented work day!

The boxset starts with the label owner’s project, COMPACTORoffering a strong, mechanically styled “old school” feeling industrial track with clanging rhythms, backed with the tick tock tick tock of the overlord’s clock. The panopticon is omnipresent and the worker must continue. Wake up. Work! Time To Work! Until you DIE, and DIE, until you can clock out at the end of the day and do it all again. Compactor’s sounds generally fall within a more mechanized style of industrial, there is soul, but it’s the soul of a robot programed to destroy itself, through repeated, violent, senseless rhythms, yet Rush’s sound and sample choices are powerful and intentional. The, slow, churning blown out percussion blends perfectly with the  high squelching feedback of industry/insanity and  multi-layered, multi-timbral synth workings. Compactor’s offering is the perfect opening to the project, cold, alienating, mechanized, and dense; the perfect ramp up to the more  fuzzed out, abstracted works of some of the other contributors to the boxset, The Vomit  Arsonist,  Redrot, Gnawed, and Filth, amongst others.

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Another  standout sound work in this massive offering comes from Denton, TX’s FILTHwho offers up his own interpretation of an hour slice of the standard american work day. Rob Buttrum’s FILTH project is known for his menacing cacophony of industrialized noise, power electronics and analog psychedelic compositions. FILTH brings his A game to work for with a dark, brooding, menacing stitching of fuzzed out, psychedelic noise and drenched in feedback power electronics, in what can only be described as the  FILTH sound, which we have covered in the past HERE in an interview with Buttrum and his label OUT OF BODY RECORDS.  Buttrum does offer a rhythmic backing at times, but in a different, slightly more diffused, muffled style than COMPACTOR, but don’t skimp on the manual,  because there is a harsh reality in store if you don’t, and  you’re likely to get gobbled up into the machine and  spat out as puny remains, but FILTH’s sound is  not exclusively harsh, tripped out noise, there are  abstracted broken rhythms, there is intention, it is planned, and panned, it IS the sound of the second hour of the day forcing itself into the  negative space of your brain, that may in fact, prove to be your  last of the day, of your life. FILTH is the sound of a  rusted, dilapidated, unstable, harsh machine taking its unknowing operator with it to an early grave.  Planned obsolescence, like user, like machine.

Michigan’s REDROT (Chondritic Sound, Bloodlust, Slaughter Productions) aka Ryan Oppermann offers another standout track on “No Worker’s Paradise” with one of their tracks titled, “Work Release Program Terminations”. REDROT is blackened, harsh noise/PE, with slices of  blown out  beats, and angular rhythmic structures over a sea of  dense power electronics and industrial. The machine has already regurgitated the  one time worker into a mess of fleshy, red, sacks of rotting remains, and REDROT is the  absolute perfect soundtrack to the coworkers slowly and confusingly sweeping the bloody bits into a bag for disposal. Redrot carries a white noise sword which swiftly and steadily shaves away at the listeners  inner ear  canal, until a drop of blood leaks out, and starts a mechanical frenzy leaving the  workers, along, confused, and  scared as the  drop turns into a red pool where music dies.

Another standout offering on this project is Minneapolis, MN’s  GNAWED, aka  Grant Richardson. We’ve covered one of GNAWED’s previous releases HERE on Decaycast. 

GNAWED‘s track for “No Worker’s Paradise” is similar to  his other industrial, harsh noise, power  electronics hybrid funeral stylings; chaotic, yet restrained, busy yet articulate, harsh but at times even beautiful. Much like  FILTH, GNAWED  uses homemade analog electronics to create a brooding, dark, cavernous sound all of his  own. His “Terminal Epoch” album from Phage Tapes, would be the closest style wise that I’ve heard for the track for this boxset. GNAWED is a master of tension through intentional and articulate dynamics, balancing sharp, harsh sounds with lower, more  brooding under swellings of terror; the track slowly and painfully oscillates between violent shudders, chaotic, dense, noise blasts and distorted, broken voice swells.

THE VOMIT ARSONIST, EXISTENCE IN DECLINEBLSPHM and WORK/DEATH  also punch in with powerful sound works blending industrial, harsh/blackened noise, power/electronics and dark, experimental moods of the harsher, angular  style.

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The boxset as a whole is a lengthy listen clocking in at the 8 hour mark, but when one thinks of the  slow, grudging, unrelenting time clock of the american work day, this tour de force of harsh industrial / PE  serves as a warm, relaxing day on the beach as a vacation, even for a day, from the  alienating, hellscape robotic world that is American capitalism. Rush does right by all of the artists involved with stunningly beautiful and appropriate artwork and  packaging as with all of the labels releases. A must for any noise collector, and/or hater of  capitalism.

ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

Chthonic Streams Online Store 

Label Website 

 

LIMITED TO 50 NUMBERED COPIES
(additional 16 go to artists only)

DECAYCAST#036: NIHAR BHATT : V/A: ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE DJ Mix

DECAYCAST#036: NIHAR BHATT :  V/A: ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE DJ Mix on RATSKIN RECORDS, 2017 

IMA “Meshes”
TERROR APART “Perfectly Nowhere”
BIG DEBBIE “E.P. Hypnosis”
AH MER AH SU “Write This Off”
SNEAX (LaTron + Obsidian Blade) “Till The End 100%”
Piano Rain “Last Year” Remastered
PRIST “Still Movin'”
FORBIDDEN COLORS “Green Smiley Face Sticker”
BONUS BEAST “Direct Dive”
ZEEK SHECK “7777-01-07 Son”
JOSHUA KIT CLAYTON “Morning Rasp”
HIROSHI HASEGAWA “Homeobox”
MALOCCULSION “Walk Of The Dead, Part One”
S.B.S.M. “Godzilla”
POD BLOTZ “The Current”
MOOR MOTHER “CTM Five”
BRIAN TESTER “Chrono People”
GOLDEN DONNA “Wired For The Worst”
THE CREATRIX “D B No Moral Universe”
CIARRA BLACK “Don’t Say It, Volume 1”
RUSSELL E.L. BUTLER “Technofeminism House”
ZANNA NERA “In My Veins”
JASMINE INFINITI “Scratchy A”
ELROND “Hart Start”
DIMENTIA “Specimen Identity”
PARALYCYST “Untitled”
SHARON TATE FETUS EXPLOSION “Personal Brand”
V.E.X. “Ride The Time”
arc “Breathe Couplings Undulation Map”

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On The Origin Of Rogue Pulse / Gravity Collapse: About two weeks to the day before Ghostship, we returned home after days of protests; as always feeling defeated, BEING defeated another day of violence enacted upon the communities’ consciousness; Witnessing the beautiful families of oakland wading through never ending rivers of trauma enacted on all marginalized communities through state sanctioned violence and racism in Oakland, and the Bay Area at large. A compilation will not solve this, a thousand compilations will not solve this, but we have done nothing to combat this and we have to start somewhere. ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE is an uncertain yet thorough attempt to demonstrate to propose a restructuring of how artists, labels, promoters, venues and other “institutions” and INSTITUTIONS use their privilege, time, talents, and resources. But before we could do that, and begin to unpack the complexities around all of these issues, in one single night, the community lost thirty six souls, including founding members of our collective, artists on our label, family members, and so much more in Ghostship and then months after RP/GC was released, almost a dozen more in the San Pablo Fire months later which displaced hundreds of longstanding Black members of the community, and lastly the North Bay fires. There is only so many ways to process or not process this stuff, but we came up with a compilation. We weren’t sure how long it would be, who would be included, how we would present it to the public without exacerbating the commodification of grief, and without taking visibility away from traumas enacted against the Oakland community at large, outside of the “artistic” community. We weren’t really at all sure how we would divide up the money, how we would promote it, but sometimes you don’t have any other fucking choice, even if it raised $100 you never know how far that could go.. Ghostship was, and still is a horrendous blow to our local creative community, many of whom had already been resisting against the structural wrath and chaos of a white supremacist, sexist, capitalist culture, and therefore already just struggling to create and survive, day by day hour by hour minute by minute. In short, many communities were fragmented and tormented long before Ghostship, and Ghostship, for many of us, brought a blade of mass trauma slicing through reality, grief, chaos, distrust and confusion that uprooted the community in so many different ways. The Immediate Fire relief fund literally saved people’s lives by the way and all the love should be given to them and those working on the periphery as well.

What was crucial for us was linking in those deeply affected and lost in Ghostship fire while also keeping the financial and conceptual focus on the organizations we chose to support before the fire, Black Lives Matter and St James Infirmary in San Francisco. Before we knew it, it was out. It was like the best and worst possible distraction, and in MANY ways, postponed a lot of the mental and physical healing that members of the collective needed to do for ourselves but at the same time it was, and still very much is an entry point for beginning the process. For me personally, this has easily been the single most important release I have ever been a part of for numerous reasons, but the single biggest reason is because it saved my life, literally, so many times I cannot even count and it did that by showing me the undeniable ferociousness of our community. Every track on ROGUE PULSE / GRAVITY COLLAPSE, came as a blessing, a hug, a shoulder to cry on, but also they came as weapons, one hundred and eighty seven weapons, and we couldn’t be happier with the finished offering, as it strives to demonstrate the unrelenting power through all of the trauma and grief that our community and the people of Oakland, through various intersections possess and present with every moment that they exist. Nihar’s essential, heartfelt, and nearly perfect distillation of the thirteen hours of Rogue Pulse / Gravity Collapse, carefully and masterfully sharpens heavy stones of grief into razor blades of warmth, love, creativity, and determination of our community like daggers to the throat of a broken, corrupt system. Every tear shed will eventually freeze to form an icicle to thrust into the socket of a system which has cast away so many amazing, beautiful, creative, people.

This mix is one for everyone who has lost a loved one at the hands of systemic violence. Your tears will not go unnoticed, and this is just the beginning.

This mix is one  for  everyone who has  lost a loved one  at the  hands of  systemic violence. Your  tears will not go unnoticed, and this is just the beginning.  

Follow Nihar’s projects NINE, \ LEFT HAND PATH & SURFACE TENSION

The physical edition of  ROGUE PULSE   / GRAVITY    is SOLD OUT  as of  Today, but the  digital download is  available HERE ON BANDCAMP  via RATSKIN.

 

-MD. Dec 1, 2017

 

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

decayREVIEWS: MOTH COCK “Moth Cock” LP (Tusco/Embassy, 2012)

DecayREVIEWS : MOTH COCK “Moth Cock” LP (Tusco / Embassy , 2012)
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So I was walking through the woods after a long night of being lost and found a very scratch dirty muddy and ominous looking record – I picked it up and decided to review it – attempted to clean with a mild BLEACH. Solution but it may have etched the record even further into unplayable hell –
I drop the needle .

It’s a quiet buzz, something churning your stomach a bright flash, the soar around you starts to shake – for no reason at all – everything begins to turn subtly orange and green as if your retina is slightly being drilled by a microscopic drone – the slow taking effects of the Moth Cock .this record is like a bad trip , with good company- starting out subtly and slowly building up to a twisted, deranged, cacophony of jazzlike drums played on the couch with Mosquitos circling the head of the percussionist into a frenzied disorienting dizzying amalgam of fucked up and mind bent sounds.  Puttering out walls of horns, a racket of broken pot and pan percussion, tape players eating loop tapes and spitting them back up into the bell of a muffled fighting , bent horn.  Throughout the record MOTH COCK ebbs and flows through what could be pigeon holed as broken free jazz with electronics  but it’s so much more (and less ) than that – a blowing , buzzing , pussing , tripping orchestra  of NONE belts forth nearly forty minutes of some of the most deranged jazz ever to be pressed to vinyl and left to Rot in the woods… The varied instrumentation of horns , reeds, and broken electronics sews together a murky stew of sonic confusion and mayhem, Swinging, twisting, tangling around itself MOTH COCK chokes itself until the last gasp of broken wind is emitted through the bell. Also two color screen printed covers, With WTF inserts and brown/ grey / orangish swirl color vinyl to boot

TUSCO/EMBASSY

MOTH  COCK

DecayREVIEWS: BASIDIOMYCOTA/PLAYING WITH NUNS Split CDr (No Label)

PLAYING WITH NUNS / BASIDIOMYCOTA “Split” CDr (2010?)basidiomycota split
First three tracks are by a project from Argentena, “Playing With Nuns” who seem to have a lengthy stream of work according to their discogs. The disc begins with some well prepped tape snake hiss mixed with lower rumbles, which subtly gains structure and textures of what it might sound like the last few seconds of being trapped under ice, and all death’s inherent delays. Easily the best paced track? on the disk? churning, churning, tense, lower fidelity tape scraping, mixes with oscillator explorations, CBradio gone awray, parts recorded through a coca cola bottle gas mask??? higher pitched feedback carves into solid middle range timbre, eight broken speak and spells slowed down to shopped and crude pacing, all while still moving forward and backward at the same time. The second and third tracks are more rhythm brain ? pop? (haha) forward, but UMMMMmmm, don’t make me feel as uncomfortable (shoot me brains in) as the first piece (I think that’s OK, right?). Good movements in themselves but the first piece caught me most by the throat,ALL the way up to the oscillator heli attacks of the 1:20 mark of track number two, another high point. sssssspeaking of “by the throat” type stuff, track four and five, Basidiomycota and Co. graft dense, layered lobotimone$$$y hook systems for self taught surgery school in the girl’s bathroom with the hairdryer in the sink, the SOUND OF NEURAL SHOCK, again and again and again. Frothy architectures of warbling delayed LFO and LSDee buzzsaw waveforms, from tooth to throat—cutting through your speakers and turn them into high pitched frontal-lobe modification receptors, the sound design of your own death/reincarnated/incinerated as a 222,220 volt power inverter. calmer delayed waves of voice structures give way to alien flutters, nanobot druid hums for the 23rd century. Outer space music to abate the post pre- post-human… Charge your 9v brain supply to die 1000 times over and over again with this mix. Does your skull still work? Is it still holding in the flesh??? Leave the volume set alone to pan out decay your neighbors into the ground where they belong. Sharp,sharp, sounds throughout. Pretty good release overall, seems that maybe they should have done more than 10? maybe not though,,,
Packaging was standard color xerox printout in thin plastic bag with yellow CDr w/ sharpie. Not the worst, NOT the best, though the drawing and layout are quite snazzizy…
written by: malo
Overall : 8.1/13.0
BASIDIOMYCOTA – @ LEWCID JOOSEBOX
PLAYING WITH NUNS @ Discogs