This album is packaged with great intention and effect, complete with a chic track booklet (I actually handed these out in middle school at a mall once with a Christian youth group), fold out poster and liner notes inside a medium sized garbage bag with a picture of said opiate crazed canine displaying full doggo junkie madness. Excellent use of silence and quiet interruptions of the harsher bits. Synth, blasting harsh noise, fucked up tape loops and samples dancing around one another. Whispering maddening phrases in the apartment above you, while other parts are fillies with wanton bashing of scrap metal as screeching vocal loops disintegrate into violent thrashing feedback tones.
This album gets psychedelic with the tape editing and post production effects guiding the recorded sessions into interesting and unexpected directions. Lots of approaches and moods presented on both sides, some tortured vocals that sound like they were recorded in the ventilation system of an insane asylum shine through in rather awkward ways, whether it be one of the three members of the band or a sampled phrase. Side two gets into some demented surrealist darkness of slurping synth tones and acoustic sounds. But right back into piercing harsh noise squelching, the hound needs more and is coming back for more . A real highlight from this project. I expected marconympha worship and instead find this collective making an extremely music concrete album with elements of harsh noise and industrial synth and tape manipulation driving things into odd spaces of fragmented chaos this one come highly recommended for the weirdos. – Jacob DeRaadt
GRST ‘container+=object EP’’s pleasingly adjunct description states only that it relies upon ‘a variety of electro-acoustic techniques and physical modelling’, eschewing any form of wild conceptual structure in favour of a more detailed sonic study. Connoisseurs of physical modelling synthesis will no doubt recognise its presence – we’re not dealing with bold new territories here, but rather some extremely pensive, rhythmically free wanderings that travel from additive washes to organic plucks and rattles. The absence of any measurable pulse is perhaps ‘Maracaibo’s’ strongest feature – its textures are allowed to ebb and flow between various synthetic states without ever feeling pressured to reveal a defined compositional logic.
In contrast, the second track, ‘aruba’, invokes a distinctly modular tact, tying bursts of reverb to the gestating clangs and urgent bounces across glass and metal. We get some nieve stabs at melody, too, meandering repetitions that dance back and forth like the song of a sinister, cartoon music-box. Theres no development proper, nor does there need to be – ‘container+=object’ works precisely because it sets up a limited palette and then proceeds to meekly explore its affordance, the listener invited to observe as GRST tests the sonic properties of each corner in turn.
– Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully
Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully is a composer, video and performance artist from the UK. He produces work under the Distant Animals moniker (www.distantanimals.com), and runs both the production company 7000 Trees (www.7000trees.com) and the Difficult Art and Music label (difficultartandmusic.bandcamp.com). He holds an actual proper grown-up PhD in contemporary music, and currently lectures at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
We’re back with another installment of DECAYCST Guest Mixes, this one from frequent mixer and digger DJ MICOSE.
This is a continuation of the “Digesting 2020” series I’ve been posting on the ploqueMixcloud, featuring only music that was released in 2020. It’s a free-form mix with abstract ambient sounds, industrial-influenced electronic songs, plus a variety of loud and repetitive rhythmic tracks. Features artists from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Peru, Poland, Norway, and the US.
The Soft Pink Truth – Go
Racine – Geranium
Ale Hop – La Procesíon
Sébastien Brun – Empty
Tantão e os Fita – Ich Bin Der Fluss
Thoom – Large Fly
Negro Leo – Absolutíssimo Lacrador
Eartheater – Burning Feather
SIKSA – Proste Hasło
Jonquera – Artisou
Golden Oriole – The Granitoid Panics
The End – Allt Är Intet
Arrington de Dionyso – The Mani Malaikat Awakening
DECAYCAST Reviews: Laura Luna Castillo “Tuberose” ((Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)
Ohio’s Whited Sepulchre Records brings us another underground gem with the hauntingly moving and inspirational new album from Laura Luna Castillo exploring themes of time/place, fragrance and experience, and the sound waves a wonderfully complicated line between all of these. The sounds present on “Tuberose” evoke unknown histories as worlds with a dash of familiarity, like a distant world buried deep within the subconscious rhizome. The sound is both ethereal and cinematic, often holding a powerful tension both compositionally and within the sounds themselves. It’s the music for a slow growing tree; it stretches only inches between the time we are born and when we die, yet we can still be transfixed on it’s beauty, power and growth.
The natural world. and it’s sights and sounds, isn’t something foreign to the artist and her practice. Castillo states, ““I was inspired by the book “The art of perfumery, and method of obtaining the odors of plants” by G.W. Septimus Piesse from 1857 in combination with the exploration of the study of time, memory loops, ephemeral and elusive memories.
Oscillating in sonic zones akin to Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, A Silver Mount Zion/GYBE, the ambient sections of Neurosis, and early Wendy Carlos, Castillo blends experimental compositional techniques with stunning epic, over-arching movements in sound and space. These compositions hold great tension in many different moods, which Castillo stitches together flawlessly, as they shift between haunting, and reaffirming, morose, and explosive. Huge moments happen with the space of a few seconds, and yet, we have to dedicate our mind and ear to the entire journey and it’s slower changing moments as well, as they necessitate their own timelines of experience. A vastly complex and interesting album for so many different reasons which are better heard than read about . Castillo’s sounds, like nature, are complex, complex in detail in the most rewarding ways, at times unsettling even, but overall present as an abundance of sonic beauty. Powerful powerful music, hard to classify, and what’s even the point, just go buy it here.
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.
Billington says “The 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. .
“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.”
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.
Bay Area artist and curator Karl Evangelista (and one half of the duo Grex is producing the Lockdown Festivalhappening 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 stalwartsDeathbomb 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 andThey 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.
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:
We have the capability to do remote streams without having our team present.
We will teach you how to stream while providing technical support
We can provide Stream-Kits (limited)
We will feature your set on our archive (Youtube, SoundCloud & website).
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.
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
Open Call For Works for #ActuallyAutistic Musicians Awareness Compilation
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!
#ActuallyAutistic Musicians: We are putting together a compilation to Autism Awarness Month. What we need from you is to know if you are interested in being on the compilation. If so, DM or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know your interest. 🙂
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 email@example.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.
DECAYCAST Presents: Thirty-Seven More Genre-Defying & Impactful Releases of 2018: Part Two.
Presented more or less without comment. Please seek out these records andÂ 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.
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.
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.