In The Midst Of Upheaval, Artists Are Curating Online Festivals To Keep The Music and Art Flowing

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One thing is clear, the news is changing everyday surrounding, COVID-19, the newest and deadliest manifestation of a set of viruses known as Coronavirus, Although many were, and are still slow to adapt to the strategy of social distancing, a strategy recommended by many simply to flatten the curve of transmission in the US and across the world, to save lives but more importantly to ease the massive burden put in place within a “healthcare system” which was already on the brink of collapse. In a world already in social and political upheaval with racism and capitalism driving profits over people, artists and other marginalized members of society such as service industry,  social and hospitality workers not to mention the inhumane and rapid growth of  house less populations across the country and especially here in the Bay Area, visibility, resources and support systems  for art, music and social practice were already practically non-existent, and for underground experimenatalists and activists alike, even less so. But in the true spirit of underground art and culture, artists and creators  are adapting quicker than any of us expected, out of a necessity of  survival. In a time when the day to day changes our  reality in a way perhaps never experienced by this mass scope of the population at once, uncertainty is the only certainty. We talked to a  few artists who are beginning to  adapt new models to  support artists almost immediately.

Chicago, IL musician and curator Ben Billington, who is one of the founders of the The Quarantine Concerts series based out of Chicago spoke with us briefly about the newfound series and how they are adapting to this unexpected shift in the arts and performance.

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Billington saysThe Quarantine Concerts are a collaborative multi-city endeavor meant to provide artists in our community a space to share their work and continue to earn a living during this time when most live performance opportunities have been cancelled due to COVID-19. By centralizing streaming efforts, we hope to drive larger audiences to the artists performing, with the aim of helping them earn more money in the process. The idea was formed by the collective minds of Experimental Sound Studio, Daniel Wyche, me, and Carrie Cooper — Daniel had planned an online concert himself since his tour was cancelled, and we all saw his post and sort of jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on something bigger.”

As a curator myself one of the inherent obstacles I can see with  suddenly switching the majority of live performances and events to streaming/online is an over-saturation / lack of organization/scheduling which can lead to the audience or viewer  simply being overwhelmed with content, without any actual direction. One friend is streaming here, another over here at the same time and we almost don’t know where to look. Through collaboration and selected curation, The Quarantine  Concerts seems to begin to address this issue through mutual aid and collaboration in  a way that individual artist streams or presentations fall short. Since Billington doesn’t solely rely on music/curating as a sole  source of income, he is able to dedicate more time and resources to promoting the work of others. The series solicits donations for each event and 100% of the proceeds are split between the artists at the end of each night. A truly generous and radical act.

Luckily I don’t rely on my art or event curation to make a living, so my time has mostly been spent trying to support others to get their art out there (and make some scratch) for as long as I can remember. That’s still very much my mentality while we’re on lock down”

Dr. Decaycast: What has been the biggest obstacle of the series and what are some valid critiques people have expressed thus far?

“So far, the biggest obstacle has been YouTube — our live stream was repeatedly being flagged for “inappropriate content”. So, the first hour of our first concert was us troubleshooting, and then making a last minute decision to switch over to Twitch. Luckily, it worked out and the whole concert happened, albeit 1.5 hours later than planned”

“I think the main critique is that not every art medium can translate well to the streaming format, and also, as soon as we announced the project, everyone wanted to be involved. Unfortunately there’s only so much time and bandwidth as a lot of us have day jobs on top of this fun project, so it’s day-by-day progress.”

Can you talk about what the series have coming up, performance wise, and how the curation works and how people can support?

“Tonight ESS is curating, Friday there’s a Chicago series called ACORN that had a bunch of shows cancelled, Saturday we have electronic music label Hausu Mountain curating a night. Next week we have Ithaca Underground curating a gig, Homeroom doing one, some others and many more to confirm. We’ve had curators approach us and we’re reaching out to some as well — curation of curation, for sure. Definitely not a free-for-all. Once a curator is confirmed, they pick an open date and we start the process of getting them the tech how-tos and other suggestions/guidelines”

Make sure to check out TQC  website and schedule  here and scope a performance.

Denver, CO based  artist Kevin Richards, who  performs under the moniker Equine is hosting PLAGUE FEST out of their underground Denver, CO based venue  Glitter City, but as many as the events over the last week, it will be without attendees. From the  Plague Fest event page:

“Since we (and many other venues) have shuttered their doors, I have decided to attempt some online actions such as this to help pass the time. In addition I am hoping this will be a way for me to offset the costs of keeping glitter city going. Any funds you want to donate to this end, please send via venmo to @glitter-city Please be sure to donate to the artists performing via the means they provide, and of course, buy merch!”

Plague Fest begins today and runs through March 27th. Artists interested in getting involved should follow the link above for  submission instructions.

Nima Dehghani,  an interdisciplinary artist based in San Francisco and Tehran has relaunched his Netformance series as a way of connecting artists across various disciplines and continents shortly after COVID-19 began to rapidly spread. We got the chance to talk with Nima briefly about the Reconnect Festival.  .

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“Well, I had a project called: Netformance which was dedicated to internet-based performances, I stopped this project 3 years ago, but after the strange coronavirus crisis, and seeing all my artists and non-artists friends stuck at their homes in quarantine, I thought that I can restart that idea, so contacted two of my friends in Iran (Fariborz and Sepehr) to see how we can come up with a creative idea to, first: entertain the people while they are bored at their homes!  Second: engage our artist friends whom their shows or artistic projects are canceled or postponed.

Also how we can unite artists from all around the world, who for the first time are facing the same problem and experiencing the same critical situation at the same time? The idea of online performances is not something super novel, but we thought at this point providing a solid platform for this kind of art, would be helpful to re-connect people and increase the empathy and human connection and to help people go through these tough days with the help of art, together.”

 

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Here’s a Google Doc to Submit to the festival, which begins April 5-12th (FIRST EDITION)  and will be held on instagram live An Austin, TX collective, seemingly inspired by the monumental cancellation of SXSW, started The Social Distancing Festival.

The festival like others above, has an open submission policy but is focusing on works that we’re specifically cancelled or drastically altered due to Covid-19. from the festivals website,  “Check out the LIVE-STREAMS page, or click through the calendar to find out about streamed events from all over the world! Have an event coming up? Let me know about it through the SUBMISSIONS page!” One thing that;s quite unique and  exciting about these festivals is their seemingly open submission policy, which is often a hurdle for underground or undiscovered artists. Here’s hoping these festivals will birth new collaborations and projects which may have not even been possible, or have an audience previously.

40203202_10156204124071693_7594413970820169728_oBay Area artist and curator Karl Evangelista (and one half of the duo Grex is producing the Lockdown Festival happening April 4th,  and features performances from heavy hitters Marshall Trammell, Oakland Art-Rock emsemble Grex, and the  dark whirring sonic spirals of Oakland’s own Voicehandler, Submissions are  currently open. Evangelista states The purpose of the festival was to consolidate some of the effort I saw going into both community advocacy and music making in the face of quarantine. I just thought it might be nice to see that collective action is possible (and in some ways easier) via all these technological innovations that we’ve been forced to interface with these past few weeks.”

Aside from open submission festivals,  many underground and small indie labels are doing online versions of their festivals and artist showcases. Erstwhile Records is planning an online version of their AMPLIFY Festival, you can join the Facebook group here. Also  Southern, CA  stalwarts Deathbomb Arc are  supposedly planning an online version of their showcase as well.  They recently had showcases booked in Oakland and in LA featuring Cooling Prongs, SARN, DIS Fantasy and They Hate Change, a queer rap duo from the swamps of FL taking the underground by storm.

While some are booking online festivals , others are sharing their own resources and encouraging to learn new tools and methods of sharing and promoting their work in times of extreme isolation. Bay Area collective Fault Radio, who already had a dizzying stream of online DJ performances ala Boiler Room has released an article on how to expand your practice in the time of quarantine.

Fault Radio’s Broadcast from Home . Details below:

Are you an artist or DJ who is self-isolating at home? Do you want to know how to stream your sets? Fault Radio is looking to host DJs who want to live stream from their house!

We will be providing the following:

  1. We have the capability to do remote streams without having our team present.

  2. We will teach you how to stream while providing technical support

  3. We can provide Stream-Kits (limited)

  4. We will feature your set on our archive (Youtube, SoundCloud & website).

  5. We will open an online event where people can donate. Revenues from the event will be divided between participating artists and Fault Radio/

Lastly, we figured we’d announce a new project related to all of this melee, a YouTube  Playlist Series of themed mixes titled #StayTheFuckHome Mix Series with themes ranging from bay Area Experimental Music to Underground Electro, to In Home Workout Mixes, Cooking Mixes, and more. Here;’s the first one, and please support all of the artists in this mix by going to their respective bandcamp pages and buying directly.

 

DECAYCAST News: Experimental Pop Artist Dani Lee Pearce Shares Her Video Triptych Single; Watch Now

Grimalkin Records  Artist Dani Lee Pearce Shares Her  complex and vibrant  Triple Video Single from new album “For As Briefly As I Live”

Nor a premiere in the traditional sense but we wanted to present these three works from Dani Lee Pearce which range from hi energy experimental pop/rock to lush, serene, symphonic minimalist ballads- released on Grimalkin Records.

The complex first single “I’m Gonna See My Abuser Again”  tackles a character questioning their own experiences,  and how they can possibly free the mental grip of a negative relationship and break free from a cycle of abuse through seemingly upbeat experimental pop strategies, but open the second and third listen, the nuance and complexities of this track come out for all to see.  The  high energy synth, percussion, and vocal production puts the listener in a state of hope, a little anxiety, and wonder, wishing for the protagonist to escape the violent clutches of an abuser

“Deep Red”  is a funky, whimsical, yet dark animation /live-action mashup which captures the breadth of Pearce’s work in an elegant and astonishing way.

“When All Things Are Well”, the third single is the most serene and morose of the three in both visual and aural presentation. Lush symphonic synth lines are encapsulated by Pearce’s stunning vocal delivery.  Pulling from Bjork, Elton John, and Spellling, Pearce has created a lush and dynamic sound all her own.   You can also subscribe to the artists Patreon Page here.

“Commitment has the ability to intertwine such mutually opposite but attracted things like love and death in ways often unexplained or unexplored. The two are either separate or complimentary, never in between. This album is a collection of songs that explores this from the perspective of a frequently shy, nervous, and lonely trans woman; Someone in a period of processing the implications of her own mortality in an unstable time, while at the same time, being absolutely smitten with a devotion that’s made for a timely antidote which makes living worth its rough and complicated while.”

from the label:
Proceeds from cassette purchases of this album, “For As Briefly As I Live” go to Critical Resistance in Portland, OR. “Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope.”
criticalresistance.org

 

Grimalkin Records

Open Call For Works for #ActuallyAutistic Musicians Awareness Compilation

Open Call For Works for #ActuallyAutistic Musicians Awareness Compilation

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The twelfth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2019, and this is the same day musician, writer, and activist  mynameisblueskye has chosen to release  “On The Spectrum 2: Red April”a compilation featuring mixed-genre artists who are on the Autistic Spectrum.  The title is a reference to  the often problematic Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue campaign, as the majority of autistic people having problems with Autism Speaks (pretty much saying Autism Speaks is low key an autistic hate group that masquerades as a harmless Autism-focused organization.) The artists have chosen to focus on the color red, with the slogan “Light It Up Red”.  We can’t  wait to hear the submissions for this and if it’s anything like the diverse sounds championed on I Heart Noise in the past, (the label slated to co-release the project) it’s sure to be a diverse and eclectic sonic offering. In a time where artists are already exploited within shifting narratives of  global chaos of racism, sexism, transphobia, ableism and other forms of  systemic oppression, artists and activists must often function as double sided advocates for both their own work and their friends and peers  work who might not have the same  set of resources to fight these menacing, and this to be titled compilation is a fantastic step in fighting against this very system. Representation matters. Below is the call for works from the organizer. Please spread this far and wide and contact the organizer with any direct questions, inquiries or submissions!

From the organizer: “we are doing a compilation wrapping around artists who are on the Autism Spectrum. For Autism Acceptance/Awareness Month, me and IHeartNoise decided to put together a compilation to showcase some talent within the spectrum. Are you interested in being a part of it or do you know anyone on the spectrum who might be? If so, is there a song you would like to offer to the compilation? Although, we accept covers, we prefer your material be original. 🙂

If so, please email a song that you wish to contribute to lightningpill@protonmail.com. If you need more information, don’t be hesitate to ask. Also, if you know other artists with Autism that might be interested, please do not hesitate to spread the word,

Addendum: we cannot promise every song will make it, but you will be shouted out when the whole operation is done. Thank you so much not only for reading, but for being interested. 

You can listen to mynameisblueskye ‘s  personal music below!

Stay tuned as this  article will be updated with a link to the compilation once released.

DECAYCAST Presents: Thirty-Seven MORE Genre-Defying & Impactful Releases of 2018: Part Two

DECAYCAST Presents: Thirty-Seven More Genre-Defying & Impactful Releases of 2018: Part Two.

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Presented more or less without comment. Please seek out these records and  support the artist in any way you can. We are NO authority on anything,  and everyone should make their own lists and thanks for reading ours! Without ado. Check out all these records, most are in print at least digitally.

8ulentina “Eucalyptus” (Club Chai)

Anatomy “S/T” (Self Released)

Austin Davis & How I Quit Crack “Far Away” (Noisequanoise)

Avola “Zone”

Bonedust “Fruit of the Ash” (Dirt Palace)

Caspar Brotzmann Massaker ‘Black Axis’

Chuck Johnson “Blood Moon Boulder” (Scissor Tail)

Collections Of Dead Souls “The Vault 12​/​2017 – 10​/​2018” (Self Released)

Daughters “You Won’t Get What You Want” (Ipecac)

Divtech “Spit Blood” (Realicide Youth Records)

Echo Beds “Buried Language” (The Flenser)

E.W. Wainwright “African roots of Jazz” (Private Press)

Fire-Toolz “Skinless X-1” (Hausu Mountain)

Gaylord “The Black Metal Scene Needs To Be Destroyed” (Blackened Death)

Gurrumul  “Djarimirri: Child of the Rainbow” (Skinnyfish)

Hama “Houmeissa” (Sahel Sounds)

Keiji Haino + Sumac “American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On” (Thrill Jockey)

Klara Lewis and Simon Fisher Turner “Care” (Editions Mego)

Licking Wounds “Licking Wounds” (Phage Tapes)

Lingua Ignota “All Bitches Die” (Self Released)

Lizard Bitch “Souvenir”

Lonnie Holley  “MITH” (Jagjaguwar)

Meitei   “Kwaidan” (Self Released)

Mika Vainio + Ryoji Ikeda + Alva Noto “Live 2002{” (Noton)

Neckbeard Deathcamp “White Nationalism Is For Basement Dwelling Losers” (Prosthetic Records)

Nomadic War Machine “Always/Forever”

Nursalim Yadi Anugerah  “Selected Pieces from HNNUNG” (Hasana Editions)

Ragana / Thou “Let Our Names Be Forgotten” (Feast Of  Tentacles)

Ricardo Donoso “In Search of Lost Time” (Inverted Audio)

Senyawa “Tanggalkan Di Dunia” (Sublime Frequencies)

Thou “Magus” (Sacred Bones)

Ulfur, Oren Ambarchi, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Alex Somers

“Arborescence {remixes}” (Figureight)

Various Artists “Ex Abyss I” (Evening Of Light)

This is by no means whatsoever meant to be comprehensive in any way just some records that we played many times throughout the  year that we’re specifically released in 2018!

Read PART ONE HERE

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

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This collaboration shifts  honestly between many many different  sonic spaces; in the least contrived blending of  beat oriented synthesis and, well plants.  Riffing off a  theme of the releasing label, Biodiversità Records, Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë create a dense, special world of  sonic possibilities in a structurally rhythmic call and response ping pong of tense, delicate, and complicated sonic events.  Oscillating between dissonant beat oriented electronic music which the  artists admit could be  considered “techno” but the  four to the floor mindless speed comedown hooks are  left  by the wayside for a more atonal, arrhythmic, deconstruction of traditional “techno”, “dubstep” or whatever step” you take away from these quaint but pungent sonic exercises.  “Pteris Variata” unduates  between slower, cold, tense pulsing rhythms, occasionally backed by more straightforward  percussive  voices, however the  ambient  swells and  tense array of  noises never  allows this to become too much of  a  unique sound; the tracks and  sections move  swiftly and  articulate their space and move on, nothing forces the listener into a corner relentlessly, rather  creates a dark and interesting space for the listener to crawl into if they choose and explore a lush, dark, cinematic sound.

Background  swells of anciently articulated sawtooth waves  swell and wobble under a filter noose and offer an ambience which the percussion rhythms can dance around without dominating the mix.  Overall the  vibe is minimalist, tense, cinematic, ambient. Clickity, tapping, bass drums drive the  rhythm exercises through a  full workout of  sonic possibilities ending with perhaps the  EP’s strongest track, ” Oromë – Athyrium cantem” which speaks to  early Phaedra era Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos and  even references current producers such as Cloudland Canyon or Peaking Lights.

Will be  digging more through this  Italian based label’s catalog and seeing what other dark, pulsing treats we can find hiding in the brush.

DECAYCAST #015: BONUSBEAST “I AM THE BLACK GOLD OF THE SUN ’71”

DOWNLOAD I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun ((28:54))

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Entering the upper-atmosphere the black gold burns a racing stripe in a satellite and destroys cellphone reception on an arc across it’s descent line to crash into a secret marine base.  From a lulling corridor some broken record message in a bottle repeats across the radio signals and submariner clicks. A dolphin interrupts the transmission speaking to us from many miles. The oceans marching. Nodding kelp. Wriggling reef dries to a desert canyon.  The sky is freckled with fire and the wolves are working in the mines. Falling through fanged flute tongue stalagmites the hammers  find the punctuations for the growling gold belly lurching the ferris wheel future furnace into translating a pulsar’s speech to a dolphin congress. pulsating light ribbons in the forest undulate with machine birds driving helium balloons past the antigravity vehicle stuck half in a vortex trying to squeegee the clouds with oil repellant.

decaycast#009: Loachfillet • Modular Graveyard Sessions, Volume 1

DECAYCAST009 : LOACHFILLET “Modular Graveyard Sessions, Volume 1” (mp3)

Count Loachfillet
Count Loachfillet

COUNT LOACHFILLET’S WORM PERIL FOR OTHER GHASTLY TREATS and webbous sonic ARCHIVES…Sorry for the trubbles….

The composition you are listening to is an electronic sandwich of aural preparations. It was recorded in November, 2008 as I geared up to perform at the Composers Decomposed Series in Oakland, California. All sounds were played live to tape, processed through a Frac-Rack unit, with additional electronics, tape loops and auxiliary effects piled on at the Loach Crypt. This recording represents Volume one in the Modular Graveyard Series. An ongoing foray into the world of atmospheric experiments, thought tunnels and mental cleansing by way of the Modular Synthesizer. The original output was distributed to a system of four speakers in cardboard tombstones and one stereo public address system. For more information on Loachfillet, visit my blog at: http://wormperil.blogspot.com/2007_04_01_archive.html