DECAYCAST Reviews – Witches Of Malibu – “The Grand Crucifier” (Dead Media Recordings, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews – Witches Of Malibu – “The Grand Crucifier” (Dead Media Recordings, 2018)

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Witches of Malibu is the project of underground  industrial / harsh noise / psychedelic master Skott Rusch also of Hunting Lodge fame.  For this  release Skott’s playing under the WOM moniker and this one is released by  Dead Media Recordings, out of Ontario, CA. “The Grand  Crucifier” opens up  with a distant noisy, slow,  industrial rhythmic thudding which slowly grows with frequency, intensity and  terror.  A violent, shuddering call and response pacing develops between cold, clanging metal blasts of  metal and high pitched, unrelentingly harsh, static-filled, spikes of noise and chaos, however it never morphs into anything that could be construed as carelessly random. One thing that sticks out of these tracks is the the  tension, intention, and focus remain focused on their own bleak starkness which only serves to make the sounds that much darker and menacing. These cuts are super intentioned, and never fade into the realm often visited in harsh noise of unconnected,  random and selfish sounds, each  section possesses its own structure and harsh intentionality,  and with each sonic shriek, stab, or inverted  explosion comes a heightened peak of anxiety and uneasiness,  again and again until that is the listener is meant with deafening silence upon the tracks completion. Not to fear though, as dark soup will be served at the table all night, and the bleak, misty, cavernous  alienating sounds of WOM aren’t going anywhere, at least for the duration of this cassette.

The second track, Strike Strikes (04:11) is perhaps the  album’s most static offering in terms of movement, but  still provides a grating, hellish, scraping soundtrack to the days  activities of  gently knifing out your eyeballs and rolling them down the hill as they collect dirt and eradicate the last bits of light folded into your brain. The track builds with volume, form and intensity and by the end, a dark psychedelic confusion sets in and you can neither see nor hear nor feel where you have ended up, the pulsing has eclipsed all of your senses and the deafening shrieking has taken over. 

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The third and probably strongest and most dynamic track, “The Shine Cannon-Hectic Parasite”  starts with an almost inaudible hum for a  few seconds and then quickly turns into a buzz saw like cacophony of synth engine  destruction, slowly shifting and pulsing to bleed out the last bit of orientation one may have had at this point in the listening experience. The buzzing  goes from a constant square like jagged, aggressive, but relatively static,  sound to  morphed , twisted, swirling  sphere of sonic memory failure, blending into the next wave of  aural destruction. The cassette closes out with a slightly more minimalist, barren, percussion  forward track with some  subtly shifting whirling string like synths which sound more like a bowed saw than  synthesizer, blending perfectly with the choppy, blown out, mangled and twisted percussion. Rhythms pound and shake and eventually fade  away. The cochlear is now a dark, barren hole into the center of nothingness, and the  white noise blasts, high shrieking oscillators and garbled transmission ensure you won’t be making it back up the hill- you are forever  trapped in the  bottom of this pit and the sound  of  scraping, clawing, clamoring blasts of  sonic slag is the last sound that will  ever  pressurize your  ear  drum. Good bye. The end. Buy this TAPE HERE  or pretty much anything by this project.

 

– Michael Daddona

 

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DECAYCAST Reviews: UNSUSTAINABLE SOCIAL CONDITION “Pleasure Seeking Pacifists” (Phage Tapes, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: UNSUSTAINABLE SOCIAL CONDITION “Pleasure Seeking Pacifists” (Phage Tapes, 2018)

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Oxen label  head-honcho Matt Purse is back at it again with another no holds  barred  harsh noise ripper,  released by another veteran in the harsh/death/industrial hellscape,  MN based imprint Phage Tapes.  

“Pleasure Seeking Pacifists” comes right out of the gate with alienating brutality,  not even wasting a  second on some unnecessary intro and belts right out of the speakers with crunchy, ear splitting harsh noise with very little variation.  To the  casual or unsuspecting listener, sections of this cassette could potentially even fall under HNW category, though i think not to the discerning listener as their is some pretty interesting variations happening if  you can make them out once the  blood crusts over dried crispy inside the listeners ear and an entire dead sea of chaotic violent manipulations of the sounds become more articulated and present .

Thick scraping nails pull against a dead  chalk board which shimmers into the  listeners ear with a whistle meaning its time to eat the static and then death is the  logical next step. This cassette is unrelenting, it;s the style of undulating static, mid-high frequency  harsh noise that I would blast on the subway to alienate the morning commute into isolation, Did I say relentless yet? Because it is. Brutal, pummeling and alienating . This is top notch psychedelic noise. Purse holds nothing back with this sonic assault and with each release, further solidifying himself as one of the masters of new North American Harsh noise.  Short  review for a short but HIGHLY IMPACTFUL release. Highly recommended.

ORDER THE TAPE HERE ,

DECAYCAST Reviews : Cadaver In Drag – “People Meant To Die” (HUSK, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Cadaver In Drag – “People Meant To Die” (HUSK, 2018)

 

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“People Meant To Die”  by underground stalwarts Cadaver In Drag is  nothing short of a classic  reissue from Josh Lay’s longstanding Lexington, KY based imprint, HUSK RECORDS. Underground legendary grind/noise outfit C I D belt through  viscous, heart stopping grind core songs  which often sound more like machines shutting down than actual music.  Menacing, pummeling riffs bleed top spastic,  pummeling drums  and thick layers of homemade synths  and electronics.  The  vocals oscillate between early Black metal and  growling slabs of  guttural noise; the perfect  glue to seal your  ride all the way to hell. Cadaver In Drag belt forth classically atonal offerings  of  bleeding esoteric heaviness which  cannot really be  categorized as “grind” , “metal” or even “noise”. It does  contain all of these elements however it is a sonic beast all on it’s own and angrily and aggressively defies classification. FAST, ANGRY, CHOPPED, BLEEDING, PULSING, CHURNING, BREAKING, DYING, ACCELERATING. All these things seem to be happening at the same time; this record is the  acceleration of anger, chaos, and  heaviness into the ear.

Originally recorded in 2003 by Trevor Tremaine of  Hair Police fame ,re-released in 2018 yet is seems just as  fresh and relevant as ever. Additional electronic  slabs of  chaotic, sputtering noise are  laid  down by local KY maniac, and  psychedelic visual artist Robert Beatty, also of Hair Police fame, add to the  general chaos and uneasiness that this recording is  known for. Endless layers of  quick moving, buzzing, breaking, battling homemade synths  clash with pummeling, arrhythmic  walls of lightning speed percussion and flying, buzzing,  choking guitars assault the  listener  with a seemingly endless barrage of  thick dark, esoteric slabs of  heavy  grind and noise. All of the instruments blur together in the most desired, intentional way possible to  create a truly menacing, abrasive  style of heavy music/noise all of their own, which is often replicated but rarely done with this amount of precision, intention, and menace..

Big sounds, violent  outburst after  violent  outburst of bleeding, confusing negative vibes in the best way  bring the listener further and  further into a pit of chaos- a  sonic stew of your last chosen meal. The world needs more bands like Cadaver In Drag, an this reissue is an absolute must own for  any and all fans of heavy music.  Totally unique and essential listen. HIGHLY  RECOMMENDED you go order it HERE.  Paypal/E-Mail = huskrecords@yahoo.com.

DECAYCAST Reviews: Choisir Le Pire “-” (LE TOMBEAU DES MUSES, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Choisir Le Pire “-” (LE TOMBEAU DES MUSES, 2018)

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Choisir Le Pire is a newer project out of Metz, France  focusing on  harsh noise / harsh noise wall and this  new  cassette release is no  exception. Released on the newly formed LE TOMBEAU DES MUSES imprint also out of France. “-” as it’s  titled wastes no  time slicing the listener with  sharp, grating, alienating plumes of  static  filled gut  wrenching harsh noise with some  HNW and  even Power  Electronics sections to boot.

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The strongest track on this release, “De Charybde en Scylla.“, which is also the  opening track on the  A side offers  the most interesting and  dynamic work on the album,  featuring an ominous sludgy, fuzzed out  thick  droning intro  which is  quickly and  swiftly encapsulated by violent throbbing stabs of  sonic mayhem; grating, dark, and  uncertain. This tape is the  perfect soundtrack to a nauseating feeling that comes  moments before  leaping off  a  cliff into the  black abyss. The closing track, Ce qu’il en rester. is another favorite with it’s  blistering  shuttering fast paced dynamic  stabs and wells, peaks and  troughs of a  chaotic land, Choisir Le Pire wastes no  time and no sound, it’s all said and nothing is said  except for the  blood running slowly down the  side of the  listeners neck out of their ear. Focused, sharp and  agitated harsh noise release with  beautiful design and packaging to boot. Check out more from the  label and  artist via the links  above.

– malo

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: PBK & John Wiggins “Where Pathways Meet” CDr (Acousmatique, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: PBK & John Wiggins “Where Pathways Meet” CDr (Acousmatique, 2018)

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PBK & John Wiggins take a  far  out ride to the  depths of  sound  design collaboration. “Where  Pathways Meet” on newly formed San Francisco label Acousmatique Recordings,  is two top notch sound artists/designers smashing into  one and other basement studio style for a warm, complex journey through a myriad of minimalist, orchestral, and cinematic takes on experimental music.

DONE #2 (4-01) is blends lush strings, new age droned chirping caked with gently fluttering synthesizers, ringing shimmers of decaying sine ways, and subtle string groans into a soothing, pulsing ambient/drone work. Other tracks such as UNTITLED #1 (9-98) are much more diverse in their approach and sonic characters. This longform collage blends crunchy digital noise sources, churning, bubbling square wave synth grumblings atop psychedelic swashes of lo fi static for a disorienting, dense, and compelling ride through the designers mind. Bubbling distortions of  memory fizzle, pop, decay and a new sound is born. Uniquely indescribable sounds, a chattering humming bell, a sqwaking, choking robotic bird belches out a sonic buzz of disorientation ringing in the inner ear. Field recordings cough ancient  stories of a forgotten room where an ancient sonic experiment has died.  

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The John Wiggins track JW BED #7 (2-98) creates a highly tense situation with it’s long-form, nearly silent, digital  waves decaying upon a shore which is  sure to slice and dice the  throat of  any and all in the  wake of the crescendo, early sun distortions bleed the ear  until the  quietest big becomes amplified into a cacophony of  uncertainty and virus, while the  PBK solo track PBK UNTITLED SOURCE (10-98)  closing out the download leaves us  with a stringed morose background for a nightmare of loss and a question never to be asked, cause the  ear and brain has  faded away with the very last note.

from the  artists…

“John Wiggins is best known as an Emmy winning film and television sound designer, working for HBO and his own production company, Wonderland Sound. Wiggins is a master of the techniques of musique concrete, his experimental work often consists of painstakingly arranged synthetic and natural sounds that create extraordinary “living” audio environments. In 2017 Wiggins was one of the distinguished winners of “PRESQUE RIEN” Luc Ferrari Prize.

Phillip B. Klingler is considered a pioneer of noise in the U.S., but has also been recognized for his work in the areas of ambient, drone and glitch music. He uses samples, turntable, analog and digital synthesizers to create dense structures of bizarre sonic origin. He has had numerous albums released and collaborated with the likes of Jim O’Rourke, Wolf Eyes, Dirk Serries, etc.

Acousmatique is a record label from San Francisco, California that is focused on publishing and promoting the best contemporary music by artists from around the world. Follow the label for new publications in the Acousmatic, Electroacoustic, Immersive Audio, Musique Concrete, and West Coast music genres. Check out the full catalog at
acousmatique.bandcamp.com

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

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Spore Spawn is a nearly decade old project based out of Japan, and also happens to be an end level boss in the  popular fan favorite video game, Metroid.

The project name choice is Probably not an accident based on the title and  aesthetics of the artists imprint, 16 Shots Per Second   but this cassette is released by Leah and Matt’s imprint OXEN, based out of LA.  “Ochistuitara”, from Tokyo’s underground legend SPORE SPAWN, boasts a twenty minutes’ sacrifice of masterfully crafted, exciting, kinetic, dynamic harsh noise, and supposedly is made from a myriad of homemade joystick synthesizers and crude noise devices. While essentially existing in the harsh noise realm, “Ochistuitara” actually covers a rather wide and refreshing array of harsher sounds, compositional strategies and dynamics, and even musicality at times, almost a virtuosic approach to harsh noise. Spawn creates dense walls of feedback that violently and aggressively cascade into spacious vignettes of ambient drone, expertly blended field recordings, slow rhythmic pops, and chirps like a glitched- out, off-kiltered, dying alarm clock that fights the plug to stay in the wall when it’s angrily yanked out.   The walls of blistered, busted out, serrated chaotic mayhem crescendo into utter sonic chaos, and just as the ear bleeds for mercy rescind into a cold, alienating, isolating hum.  At times, the ambient sections act as a break from the unrelenting mountains of noise, and other times, function as matrix of brain mutes with respect to the ear fatigue. Loud is only loud when quiet is quiet, and on “Ochistuitara”, the artist is no doubt conscious of this strategy in respect to the timing and composition of this EP.

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Things never stay the same to become predictable or flat, Spore Spawn is constantly shifting though wavetables of disorientation, fear, chaos, tension, and even a few brief moments resolve. The tones themselves have a cold, digital body, while swells of analog chaos modulate themselves and the sharp digital pillars of extreme sonic swells and decays, and the start /stop style of aggressive noise, on more than one occasion even function as a “drop”. What was  dropped  we don’t know,  however it carved a  deep impact into  the  ear canal, even noted on one of CLIPPING‘s year end  best of lists! In short, this is a must have for fans of ASTRO, K2, early MERZBOW and even some of the work of CLIPPING themselves.   OXEN continues to remain at the forefront as one of America’s most aesthetically and conceptually consistent harsh noise labels.   Grip this fantastic tape before it’s too late.  Here’s a few world from OXEN that represent the complexity and brevity of this EP flawlessly,

Ochitsuitara brings any fan of modern harsh noise (nostalgists won’t be disappointed though maybe not specifically catered to) closest to articulating what it is that sets Spore Spawn apart from decades of legendary noise pioneers, his modern myth building utilizing swirling loops of cacophony and squelching stabs, uncompromisingly outpacing any modern competition in his unique patterns of ecstatic jarring drunken fervor and (sometimes) vocal delivers closely woven into and through electronics culled from homemade disused gaming controllers. Just harsh as fuck. All measurements of harsh noise enjoyment of this genuinely gifted noise artist will be vastly rewarded and on abundant display on Ochitsuitara.”

OXEN LABEL 

ORDER THE TAPE HERE 

SPORE SPAWN Soundcloud

 

“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