Tag Archives: harsh noise

“ORIGINALS” : DECAYCAST INTERVIEWS OAKLAND’S WEIRD EAR RECORDS

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These days,  record labels seem to be popping up all over the place in the independent /underground music world, and we  think that’s a good thing. Each independent music outlet that can get music to the right people without  all the unnecessary industry bullshit chain of  command isolationism that is perpetuated by the “record industry” the better, and Oakland’s Weird Ear Records is doing just that. Releasing top quality recordings in multiple formats to anyone who has an odd ear to the underground experimental music pulse. We sat down with Weird Ear Records dual head honcho’s Raub Roy and Dianne Lynn of oakland….
Dr.. DECAYCAST:  : Hello…. I heard of this strange new record label called WEIRD EAR RECORDS  Why don’t you spill the beans …. Let’s start off with Who, what, when, where…..
RAUB ROY: We started WER in 2011, after relocating from San Francisco to Oakland, Ca, and finding that the inexpensive cost of living here afforded us the opportunity to do something a little bigger than we could have managed in SF. I think the name ‘Weird Ear’ popped into my head one day and it seemed like a name one would either give a Recording label or a scroungey-but-loveable chinchilla…. Having no desire to harbour rodents, we went with putting out pieces of music that fit our aesthetic for the label.
DD : What do you all have against rodents? Why are cats so popular these days , especially in “noise”
DIANNE LYNN: We think rodents are cool too! Personally, our cats chose us and we couldn’t turn them away. In fact before the cats were around we had more rodents in the building. We don’t see much of them these days. Maybe the “noise” was too much for them?
DD:  That’s cool . I happen to like rodents as well, so much so that I named my label after a popular one from the 1980s….

At what point did y’all decide to start a record label, and why? Do you think it’s important that artists start their own labels, and in the digital age what is the “point” of releasing physical objects when one can just purchase a download ?

DL : We’ll say first that if you don’t get the “point” of releasing physical objects, then we’re sorry, you just don’t get it! We love the physical package. Some of the DIY stuff will blow your mind! Not to knock a download, but some works you gotta just “have.” To another point, playing files off a computer can be annoying as hell.

The label was manifested around February 2012. We sort of went crazy setting goals for ourselves and decided to put our words in motion. I think the tipping point was when Raub came home with the name Weird Ear. Honestly, we just wanted to have a label so that we could put music that we liked into a physical format that we personally appreciated; at the time this was vinyl, but we have come to appreciate the convenience of cassettes. As far as artists starting their own labels, we say go for it. The more the merrier.

DD: That’s an interesting take! Do you think there’s a point of over saturation in the experimental music community ? Is there such thing as too many projects, too many releases , too many “side projects” ? Is there an importance to trying to define the changing trends in experimental music? Or just let it run around like a chicken with its head cut off ?

RR: Well, one trend that I think keeps over-saturation from happening is that of keeping such things limited to smaller production runs. While the audience for experimental/modern/avant-garde/out/noise/weird/gnarly music is bigger than it’s ever been, it still is a tiny splash in the pool that is the whole of recorded sound, and we believe that putting the 300 copies of “Stand Up Comedy

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Alessandro Bossetti’s “Stand Up Comedy” LP

(for example) into the right 300 peoples hands is more important than spreading it all over the place and hoping random people pick it up. The advent of streaming entire albums also backs this strategy up – we really would like people to listen and make sure it’s for them before purchasing a copy. Defining trends is a slippery slope, in part due to the relative insignificance of our scene in relation to recorded sound on a whole (again), but then there’s the the flourishing microcosm aspect that no one person could keep up with all the facets of, so the way we define those trends that we aspire to steer clear of is very subjective, though a guideline that has worked well for us is trying to find works that wouldn’t have an easy time finding a home elsewhere. We also are attempting to avoid trend within our catalog for as long as we can, which is a bit easier to quantify.
I believe that a large amount of the proliferation of side-projects/one-off projects and such that you refer to is generally relegated to the noise end of the spectrum, and as such, we probably will leave Noise to other able and willing labels.
 
So you wouldn’t ever define your label as sticking to any one genre, rather anything with a weird bend that catches your ears? So far y’all have a really diverse roster, showcasing vastly different aesthetic sets, everything from the proto- industrial styles of WAXY TOMB on her “infra shape” cassette to fever dream psychedelia borderline abstract pop sounds of A MAGIC WHISTLE LP that y’all recently released, yet somehow it all works, to a rather refreshing degree curation wise, care to talk about that?
RR: we hope to avoid trend and purity in our releases not only on a world scale, but within the confines of our releases as well. So, for example, in the larger scene, modular synth stuff was nominally bigger last year than years previous, so, even if we really like a buddy’s Buchla Synthi album, it would need to be queered by some other element to feel like it fit in the catalog. On the level of our releases, I’d like to try to keep from trend there too, excepting the trend of having releases that wouldn’t appeal to purists of any particular genre – so like, Glochids “Originals” album is largely field recorded, but he is in these field recorded passages playing objects/instruments, so it’s field recordings, but impure, or queered, if you will… what was I getting at? Oh, right, so, now that there’s been an album of field recordings, I probably won’t do another one too closely related to field recordings for a while, until a good number of other styles of experimental/modern music have been touched on, see?
NEXT QUESTION PLEASE
 
DD: Tell me about the future vision for weird ear , upcoming releases / tours / WTF stuff ? Blow our mind

Ok so we have a couple upcoming releases that should be out before summers end; WER-006 is Angela Sawyer, of Preggy peggy and the Lazy babymakers, duck that!, and exhusema.. The album was commissioned in 2011, and she’s been working away at it for us since then, but she also runs Weirdo Records in Boston and has little free time, so it’s taken a while, but the results are completely worth it – sweet and sour songs sqeakily sung with a wealth of oddvant-garde instrumentation and arrangements, the songs themselves being largely covers from her huge collection and other local bostonians… I believe that there are a good few samples in there also gathered from her stacks, which begs the question of why more record store owners don’t make sample based musics, since they’re diggin in the dustevery day already!

We also are quite pleased to be presenting a split between,  Trumpet Trumpet Synthesizer and Horaflora (thats me). TTS is a duo (Brad Henkel and Weston Minissali) on amplified trumpet and Synth/vocoder playing some really out tones in a sexy as fuck way, which i’m told is fairly uncommon in experimental music! My side is loosely based on Mauricio Kagel’s Acoustica, or maybe just indebted to it, but will mark the end of my work with acoustic phenomenon for the foreseeable future, and I felt the connection should be credited later than never, so there’s that!

Beyond specific releases, all our future cassettes will be in handcrafted cardstock jackets rather than plastic cases, as we were impressed with Geweih Ritual Documents Envo-Box: http://www.gritual.com/Info-About
As they point out, the plastic cassette case isn’t intrinsically related to the album, and once cracked, is quickly rendered useless garbage, basically analogous to the plastic bag an LP may come in, nice to keep your jacket clean, but all too replaceable, adding to the plastic problem we would ideally like to avoid being a part of.

Thanks for asking all those questions! See ya soon!

Raub and Dianne,
Weird Ear Records

Decaycast REVIEWS : MBD “North Korea” Cassette (Eye Machine Recordings, 2013)

Decaycast REVIEWS : MBD “North Korea” Cassette (Eye Machine Recordings, 2013)

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Menacing quoted state of war terrorism noise blasted in, fuzzed out blown out distorted wind, pushed in the red, lays the bloody tracks for this interesting and confusing little number. A show of high pitched force bleeds with low fi distorted rumbling sounds with little variance over the first side. What you hear is what you get – low fi noise for the sake of a distorted or failed transmission?

“North Korea” offers little in terms of variety of aesthetics – its all low fi, from the source material, the sounds, the art and the recording itself, but somehow it gels together to create something unsettling,confusing and even slightly intriguing. MBD makes the cassette player seem like its about to consume itself, pinch rollers fold in on themselves and the only sound left is the sound of audio cassette tape transmissions being garbled into morse code of blown out “background” noise that becomes the “foreground” of intent with this release. Slow rumbling mind numbing distortion blocks, most likely akin to the sound of cracking the windshield in a kamikaze airplane at terminal velocity- and then it ENDS. Crash

Flip this cassette over and the B side starts out with more of the same but the blown out mud quickly gives way to fighter jet high pitched feedback rings and oscillations- still recorded in a very low-fi manner, yet the variance and range of sounds and frequencies is expanded upon. Squelching, pulsing square wave weapon destruction bleeds with morse code mayhem- war transmissions of the lowest technological order. MBD is an uncomfortable cassette to listen to and the imagery reads as a menacing surveillance still of atrocious acts. Humanity really just needs to end.

EYE MACHINE RECORDINGS

Decaycast REVIEWS :Kelly Churko : Transient Compared to Stone CDr (Mandarangan Records, 2012)

Decaycast REVIEWS :Kelly Churko : Transient Compared to Stone CDr (Mandarangan Records, 2012)
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The CD we received in the mail wouldn’t play in the computer.

So I listened to this recording on http://mandarangan.bandcamp.com/album/transient-compared-to-stone.

1.History of Wind

A machine like animal greets us,  gurgling us in its throat while strings are plucked in the tonsils pattering through stereo space something scatters its scales down a hallway slow strobing, something rising stalling waiting lurching along a old haunted train ride in an abandoned park there is a lost child whose mother is long since gone and swallowed by the writhing machine.

The pulse fades and metallic brakes skate in and grind to a halt . A light ahead goes out. By the end of the first track you are sure that somewhere someone is in need of help or at least in need of being woken up from a fever dream thats torturing them.  Long ambient drone-scapes with scraped swells.

2. Keitai Casualty

Someone starts attacking you with a vacuum hose in the ear, throbbing demon grips  with convulsing rhythm and highly resonate screeching. Pummeling ear drum cleaning.  An elephant trapped in a rubber balloon is chained to the bottom of a swimming pool. Spaces slide out from stereo space, pulses mix and new interwoven rhythms emerge.  Digital bomb decays to blast a hole in silence. Full stop.

3. Outside Context Problem

A zippy stomp bounce crunches through razor sharp layers and fat pulpy chunks cut to stomp roll then we climb a cloud of impenetrable cicada whirs but find ourselves breaking through some barrier and slamming into a bouncy tom and snare roll rhythm. then abruptly thrust into high pitched ear scrubbing. Eye bulging blast. then spit into blast scape of maniacal power surges and almost train horn rhodes drones lain under blistering ear cooking. My ears are cooked. Raw. Exit on ping pong chirping .

4.Palette Fatigue

Giant pillar of Church drone is cooking under the breath of some lawnmower man squeegeed grimace rumbles.  The Church organ is tumbling through space wrestling with Noise sheets that give birth to a quiet plucking melody that then gets swallowed by a 6000 foot tall Tsunami wave scorch your braincells, but have no fear the Church organ is here to save you wrapped in noise stain.

5. I Cant drive

We are tumbling down a hill and see some godlike sparkling tone and then tumble out into a different plucking chirping space sounding like the batteries are dying in the space ship then a chugging sludge metal noise throb emerges with something sounding like tape warp manipulations fast forwarding to noise blast then insect night, a roaring motorcycle, back to the dirge slum chug accented by a high ringing percussion. A ping ponging doodle and spongey mumbling gives way to a pipe bomb in a toilet.

6.Flattening deceleration

A slow tone creeps in overhead and some soft shortwave-like radio fuzz undulates with the slow stereo wafting tones rising in frequency I see the ultra violet light and the flat long open space of a parking garage : A lower distorted throb begins to rise into the mix, I imagine the parking garage strobing and evacuated cars and silently screaming people flickering in and out of the evacuated garage. A bilging microphone ruffle bump sound makes me feel like Im trapped in someones pocket in the machine room of ship accelerating to light speed.  A digital feed back flutters and tenses all the neurons in my skull giving way SLOWLY to softened white noise when a big dirty synth churns and bubble through, we emerge in a slow whistling scream  traveling through the VLF spectrum—this is what it must sound like to be attached to a NASA Rocket brought up to the pinnacle of the Ionosphere and then dropped falling back to earth and being sucked into a ride through slowed down shortwave surfing. At 21:12 this track is definitely for an altered time scale. A meditation piece that crawls into the smallest places of your brain.

This Disc is for  those interested in Harsh Noise, rhythmic throbbing raw synthesizer blisters and intensely crafted sheets of scathing sculpted white noise mosaics. The first half of this disc is a well paced journey through finely edited varied noise throb spaces that happen just long enough before changing to hold your attention on well sculpted noise drifts pulses and attacks. The second half is the opposite: a slow melt through the frequency spectrum giving the disc a good balance. Coming in at over 40 minutes this is a pretty demanding onslaught of a listen but it rewards with lavishly sculpted blasts and psychologically haunting and psychotic spaces.

http://mandarangan.bandcamp.com/album/transient-compared-to-stone.

written by: Verbjieff