DECAYCAST Reviews: STERILE GARDEN “Winter Rituals” (Basement Tapes, 2021)

Basement Tapes has released a collection from noise/sound artist Jacob DeRaadt’s STERILE GARDEN project titled “Winter Rituals” celebrating the fifteen year birth of the project- four cold alienating and low meditations on the ripping cold and isolation of the darkened winter. STERILE GARDEN has always carved out a sonic style all their own and although this release spans many years of rituals, the tones and vibe are unified in their chilling barren presentation. Harsh, creasing walls of crumbling icebergs create cavernous of Shining like chase scene slow motion decay.

White noise gusts envelop hidden textures as glacial distortion melts out of the earths crust. Dark, haunting, and meditative, “Winter Rituals” is isolationist sounding noise/drone for an endless season of frigid messages drying up frozen on an archaic stone. Hauntingly meditative and warmly rewarding for such a dark and sinister meditation. Highly appropriate for the season, now is the perfect time to order “Winter Rituals”. Beautiful cold music.


DECAYCAST Reviews : GLUE “II” Cassette (Zazen Tapes, 2019)


Another anonymous submission goes under the gun. This is pretty straight forward guitar noise/ harsh noise from GLUE  titled “II”. Lo Fi scraping and a  distressed engine revs over and over grinding the outer ear off with a feedback-induced haze, spiraling headache of a toxic grin, GLUE does exactly that, seals the ear canal as we run for cover from the sharp, cascading blasts of grumbling noise.

The B side is a gust of wind, slowly encapsulating the listener, like a boat  ripping through the beachfront, mauling unsuspecting tourists through VHS style fodder. This is a tour of low-style crunchy, ripping noises, nothing totally spectacular, but a  solid first release for the label ZAZEN Tapes and  A+  for alienation with the  ringing, piercing wind/ cloud cascade,. Fun sonic ride.

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

SHADOWS “Knight’s End” (photo: Polar Envy / ASR)

Cleveland, OH mainstays SHADOWS is David Russell and Wyatt Howland (and at least for this release are assisted via the sonics of Roman J. Leyva) crafting their  dark, horrific, take on the legacy/story of Batman  through mastered techniques of harsh noise, drone, percussion and dynamic  mixing and editing techniques. The sound of SHADOWS seems go evolve with every release and “Knight’s End” is no different. Beginning with a murky, distorted rhythm we are  quickly whisked away into a harsh symphony of ringing, clanging, scraping; attack on  the ear and the “fearless”? The sound of shadows is physically manifested through the  black clad, pointed eared upside down man of the night. “KnightsEnd” fuses longer drone sections, which contain a rather cinematic arch to their presentation, slowly beginning as a low, slow sine wave and over the course of a few minutes, escalate into a cavernous,  yet detailed sonic explosion of harsh noise, voice, and percussion, a masterfully blended evil sonic stew leaving the listener with a tense, uneasy feeling, which for my ear canal is just perfect.

.The B side “KnightQuest”  follows a similar compositional format, beginning with stark, alienating percussion, resembling the swaying of an old, cursed sinking ship with hundreds of  piezos placed within it’s weakest structural support system and signing a hum of the  druid through mangled cassette tape, as it creaks and rips apart all whilst bombs fall from an unknown sky above.  We hear a parade of  dissonant sounds slowly dragging themselves closer and farther away to the ear canal, like a slow, pulsing infectious disease spreading through an unknown human cavity, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The blending of all of the different sonic elements that compose the sound of SHADOWS is perhaps one of their strongest elements as the  tension seems to build throughout in a subtle, yet  important way, dragging us down and down into the sea of sonic mayhem until the  last air bubble pops at the  surface, the ship has sank, their are no survivors, only the harsh, alienating tortured sounds of Shadows “Knight’s End” As of the time of this review, according to the label’s bandcamp page there’s just, ONE copy left and you should GO HERE AND BUY IT.



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

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








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.


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.






“Four twenny in the Haight Ashbury? Yup. If smoke makes the best sunsets, the banks of Golden Gate Park will be blowin’ up as Neha Spellfish, Malocculsion, play the final show with Demonsleeper and Thoabath before they hang ten off a dank ring blowing out toward San Juan, Puerto Rico where they’ll opena new venue for experimental live sound. Come see them off with…1414959_10153953359597836_4368103547300810001_o

NEHA SPELLFISH (Oakland/Madrid)
With low frequency waves washing up on a beach of dark noise ambience, Spellfish delves into the shared space of interspecies communication and paramnesia, invoking the spectral measure of waking consciousness and noospheric cognition. Neha invokes themes of macro psychology, xeno feminism, dynamically modeled weather enclosures, and instinctual variance, employing audio programming platforms and algorithmic granular synthesis.

Deathrattle lullabys and inescapable lucid dreamscapes wrought by somnambulist maestra, Alexandra Bushman. In 1999, she formed the electro-acoustic group, Synethesia, tegether with Angélica Negrón. After scaring the daylights out of everyone at the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico, she matriculated to Mills College before committing to advanced studies with ancient dark forces whose names must never be spoken.

There’s a perceptible gravity to Andy Way that somehow vanishes once you draw near, the material world floats adrift. His solo project, Thoabath, might just be that massless Euclidean point where noise, dub, power electronics, horror, and ambient all emanate, an entelechy without clear precedent, of no laws. Prepare your ear, first study his collaborations with luminaries like Bruce Anderson (MX-80) & Petit Mal in the project, French Radio, sink yourself in the occult cacophony of Sutekh Hexen, and then, approach Thoabath, inescapable dark quasar.

Watch concrete turn to quicksand and glass return to sand as this sonic juggernaut storms the Haight Ashbury. His inaugural solo album released last year, “Psychosis Industrial Complex”, melds blown out distorted beats, arpeggiated synths, tape manipulation, voice, field recordings and homemade oscillators to belt forth a dark, unique offering of post industrial, prison music.



decaYREVIEWS : LOVE KATY “Cinematic & Dramatic” (Forever Escaping Boredom Records”

decayREVIEWS : LOVE KATY “Cinematic & Dramatic” (Forever Escaping Boredom Records”


LOVE KATY Cassette arrives and I am
Rather intrigued at the cover image and the non labelled generic cAssette shell – could be harsh noise – or ANYTHING really – opens up with a sample of a “shallow” “actress” ? women (maybe famous and I am
Missing it ??!) blabbing existential crisis bought at the store – Didn’t grace of the depressed psychosis holy dark unchanging unnerving militant walls love Katie Paine a cinematic nightmare of endless looping self-doubt a broken tea kettle off in the distance burns and boils; a subtle Wall Modulation; ie this woman on the covers personal Hell- over and inside itself – the sound of self doubt- an unchanging static wall – psychosis on and on and on; she doesn’t want a relationship just a career. A deep fall to the center of the earth with a failing actress exposes the underbelly of a corrupt and flawed facile of entertainment . Hope is being drained rapidly .

beautiful , minimal , relevant Cover art Which really emphasized a theme along with the titles and colored the wall in a nice way – only gripe (for what it is – and I am “particular” about “noise wall” –?????? ) is the tape was dubbed a bit on the quiet side – but this allows it to dip in and out of the categorization of “background noise” , which seems somewhat inseparable
From the conceptual framework and ethos of harsh noise wall and the VOID. Not the most interesting noise wall ever but then again – does it seek to entertain , alienate , or crush ?

order the  tape here….

Written by : Malo

DecayCAST reviews : VOMIR / CRUCIFIX EYE split C40 (Forever Escaping Boredom Records)

photo (7)Another swell release up from Forever Escaping Boredom
Records . A bright “psychedelic” data esque  is sliced my analog decay graces the cover with a thin black outline of a cassette shell, but pop this sucker in and its not quite as “bright” at all.  Layered images turn into a multi layered and structured WALL OF NOISE . VOMIR side is classic “VOMIR style”harsh noise wall- from France,  VOMIR is one of the best in the  game  currently. MILITANT, blown out, unnerving, a black analog  mass of  – the wall is information transmission failures -and meditative at the same time; hypnotic,  throbbing, yet unrelenting – a shuttering attack bouncing back on itself / again,again,again,again. VOMIR uses static for large sections of the lengthy track, as the oscillator for the wall
Of sound- static information- feeding back
On itself.; An endless breath from a tugboat at 100 decibel black sandstorm. Choke, choke , choke . subtle modulations occur underneath a wall of undulating fuzz. These subtle manipulations are in fact audible at different relationships to the speakers, but they actually become clearer at LOWER volumes – as the distortion cleans up a bit – shudder ur ears as the cassette stops.

Flip to side two and CRUCIFIX EYE blasts the listener with another huge wall – this one just as subtle yet monotonous as the last – brain lapse / OF CURSE that’s the point – the listener actually really needs to listen acutely at the RIGHT? Volume and an entire buZZINg orchestra of flatlined fans pulses the  air  with  an  unchanging static barrage of non information NOISE WALL. . STATIC into the ear canal
For what seems like an eternity. If anything, the Crucifix Eye side is just as dizzying yet it’s slightly quieter in volume which allows for slightly more clarity at the GUESS!? of the origin of the sound ? IMPOSSIBLE . An assembly line stuck
In a loop between a spiral caughtin the wrong direction -yes its true HNW has NO DYNAMICS and its meant that way/ unrelenting fuzzed out distorted audio assault of static hymn. This is the sound of an idea being sucked into an endless vortex of static entropy – THE sound pukes itself out for eternity – the militarism of the harsh noise wall is undeniable in this blast – for what it is / it’s done quite well. A great grab for HNW and static noise “fans” ? Two of the harsh noise wall masters on one cassette – a Blastermaster of sonic monotony wall ! Bow down .

Written by: Malo






DEVELOPER “OOBR004” C20 (Out Of Body Records, 2011)

DEVELOPER "OOBR004" cs (2011)

dEVELOPER blazes forth sharp, visceral, hills of harsh noise walls, pausing and chopping for various lengths only to punch back in at the oddest time where your ear-mind just begin to orientate itself to the sound, and then it slices-dissappears-kills back in again. Super high pitched feedback blasts knife their way through blown out bass hammerings, and then swell together to once again enduce a choppy form f nausea. The parts of this tape that work best for me, are where it gets really choppy, as opposed to the places where the walls build up to a point of density where things become blurred and sashed out, but this never happens for long, as DEVELOPER stays on the pace quite swiftly throughout the majority of the A side. Roaring, pummeling mechanized broken up loops sift through the blown out pillars of chaos and take brief rests, before jackhammering the cavity with thousands of white noise ghosts. The more the tape goes on the less and less breaks there are between the chaotic buzzing walls, yet it never totally looses it’s chopped aesthetic and frenetic pacing. Developer’s style, on this release at least, doesn’t come off as a bunch of tracks piled upon each other digitally, but rather a line-in style of recording where the cuts are being made live, I have no REAL evidence of this, but that’s the “organic” nuance that I pick up from the aesthetics of the pacing and editing, done quite well.

DecayREVIEWS “GNAWED- Patience is Waste” c40 (OOBR, 2011)


“GNAWED- Patience is Waste” c40 (OOBR, 2011)

Dont know much about this project (seemingly cause im
Out of the loop) but from the second the tape starts rolling, it caught my attention. It starts with a throbbing dissonant beat with druid?esque synth swells, slowly building up to a chaotic explosion of exploding throat vocals spliced with sharp blasts of dense white Noise. Grating throbbing pillers of STATIC trigger machine guns synth and drum blasts tear apart the cochlear as overdriven howls of repeated pain pulse the speakers. Distant drum patterns start to build
Up to a creshendo of chaos, but all while Keeping the overall tension between the instruments. While mny harshnoise/rock/industrial hybrid bands go for an all out sonic assault, obliterating all traces of “traditional” instrumentation, GNAWED rides the line very well. Dark pulsing low to
Midrange synth tones
Provide a balanced and textured backdrop for the drums and vocals to breathe as voices of their own , yet building up into a swelling breathing, bleeding storm of sonic chaos. DECAYED~ blasting stabs of ear pain keep building and building into your speakers and start to short circut your system then silence, ear ringing silence.

Side B picks up where side A left off but with a slightly quicker pacing. A crumbling church bell modulates in the distance as subtle machines begin scraping and shaking at the fabric of time. Slow Building tones create a chaotic space of confusion and disorientation. Before you know it your back in fhe whirlhind of self hate. Each miniture explosion of sound is another howl into the whistling winds that curl off of the slopes of gravestones. Slow churning peels of distorted spun around vocals swell into a. Unscalable wall of noise. The second track on the B side is the most developed spacial of the tape, dispaying a great call and response style of spacialized development between the oscillating vocals, and crawling syntn a d percussuin blasts. Most ofthe tracks have noticable intros ans outros which helps to demonstrate them as movements within themselves. The tape slows down a bit toward the end to a last breath type pacing, a creaking ship of dangerous winds. Are you the last one left on the boat before it sinks? Buzzes again build into a shaking chaotic nervousness that keeps the listener on a delayed edge of sanity, as black winds smother the percussive sounds of machines malfunctioning in the vacant hole of the afterlife. Good luck with that :/

This release isn’t terribly varied in the sonic spaces and or structures that it explores., yet GNAWED manages to create articulated chaos and TENSION with a fairly simple and stripped down sound palette, something many projects in this genre seem to have difficulty grasping, a very solid release overall. Top notch death/power electronics! Will be looking out for new stuff by GNAWED for sure. Pro dubbed chrome tapes with pro printed labels and color covers with black and white inserts, beautiful decaying artwork wraps around the black tapE.

OVERALL : 8.7 /13
Written by : Malo