DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)

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Witowmaker is the project of Bay Area electronic producer and internet cult personality Christopher Danko, also of Stable imprint/collective, and Religious Girls fame. On “Feather”, Danko crafts ten lush, dynamic,  emotionally present, fun and heavy electronic “dance” tracks which float the listener to an oscillating plane of lush tone poem arpeggiations, thick walls of decaying synthesizers, heavy, dynamic drum programming, atmospheric flutterings, and concisely layered, and intricately mapped vocal samples. The overall sound of Witowmaker is, at times,  surprisingly warm and ‘positive’, with a tinge of sarcasm, and at other times, darker, more dissonant, and even emotionally confusing in an interesting and uncontrived manner. Tension is sonically available throughout the wide range of aural moods on “Feather”, one track is accentuating the bent light sunshine across crashing waves, while the next track descends into another layer of cosmic hell, unsure of the outcome. Refreshing; this is a fun and important release in the arch of bay area electronic musings.

“Feather” offers complex, lush, delicate sonic textures while still retaining a pounding, thick, four to the floor heaviness which pulls from Acid, Dub, IDM and a dense warped version of straight-up dance music. Remnants of influence from Aphex Twin, FKA Twigs,  DJ Spooky, Art Of Noise, and later Carl Cox can be heard in the glistening, bright, affront production, yet Witowmaker offers a unique style of dance based electronic music all their own! The B side begins with a fast tempo, funky bass arp track titled “Trick Me Twice” which rings back to 90’s NRG/bass music with an experimental flare all it’s own. A classically trained arp machine spits out climbing cascading  rhythms while lush pads provide a warm backbone for chopped and glued vocal slices, offering a dense, warm, funky dance floor banger. Plug my ears with a drill to extract the earplugs that have been stuck for centuries at the club, ‘cause this is the high tempo, low bullshit dance music I’ve been waiting for.

This little tone machine gets funkier and more dynamic with each spin!  Other tracks like the B side’s “Contamination” offer a darker, more evil-grin means of electronic stylings, which perhaps might be the  darkest and most warped track on the album, pleasing the listener as the acid kicks in and everything changes. Witowmaker is refreshingly honest, dark and delicately crafted dance music for the jokester in all of us laughing to the trap door of life  until the doors spin open and we’re left wandering through a world of confusion not knowing what we’ve seen nor heard. Look for more from this project, we will be. Side note: this is one of the best sounding and best LOOKING tapes we have received in some time, and it’s refreshing when the visual look and sound unite to create a beautiful package of lush electronic presentation.  Order this tape, now!

 

Here’s also some free bandcamp download codes for the album:  redeem at http://www.bandcamp.com/yum

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DECAY CAST Reviews: John Rasmussen “DModes” Digital EP (Not On Label, 2017)

 

DECAY CAST Reviews: John Rasmussen “DModes” Digital EP (Not On Label, 2017)

Rasmussen is the solo project of John Rasmussen.  He is based out of Denver Colorado, USA. His styles range from harsh noise to IDM / experimental / minimal. John began performing in 1999 after many years of recording. Originally John started Page 27 with John Gross in 1994 and for years around that time he played cello for 6 years.  John Rasmussen and John Gross work on putting on the Denver Noise Fest, http://denvernoisefest.com/ (started in 2010) and performs with Michael Nowak/John Gross as Page 27 regularly”

For this  release, “DModes” Rasmussen blends harsh noise, ambient loop sections, field recordings,  found sounds, augmented voice, lo fi transmissions blasted, blown out  rhythm sections, data bending  sonic sculptures; kind of but  not so similar to  the  sounds of  machines and  programs  dying, failing, flailing, and  fucking exploding in the  face of the user; with no  where to  run and nowhere to hide.  Belching, fizzing digital  gargling  spews out of the  speakers in long harsh seeing  breaths of  aural decimation. The first two tracks “Xenu” and  “DModes”  start similar with a minimal, crunchy digital  sounding  tone  burst, but both slowly eclipse into walls of harsh feedback, malfunctioning, or  properly function  triggers, and  sequencers. The Midi Cable has  come alive to strangle its user, and  the  user  repents.  The  B Side boasts live  versions of both of the  tracks  on  side  A. Although the  fidelity is a  bit lacking on the live recordings, the damage, confusion and discomfort is all still there.  Despite the  abstracted composition both of the  love  tracks don’t  stray too far from the  originals  presented on Side A,  which is  both impressive and  exciting  considering the noisy and chaotic nature of the project.

Often times with harsh noise it can be  extremely difficult to  tell the  source of the  sound, albeit  conceptual maybe it’s not important  what the  source is but with  Rasmussen ‘s work  it  screams a  healthy dose of  both digital and  analog  electronics and  processing.  Just as the  listener is being washed away in a sea of  white  noise trauma, the  chaos  fades and the listener is  left  with  bleep, dot,  error information?  A  single  dial tone to the  brain that has  already escaped.  What happens the  moment before meltdown?  Check the  band camp and  find out  HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

DecayREVIEWS : DAVID RUSSELL “Futures EP” CDr (ASR, 2012)

DAVID RUSSELL “Futures EP” CDr (ASR, 2012)

“A new direction for Cleveland,OH noise renaissance man David Russell. with this new disc Russell delves into a insane mix of broken beats, precise industrial and at parts, dare i say IDM. This disc blends thwarting bass programming, trebelly stabs, and warbling midranges which hybridize into concise yet dense electronic compositions. A new, yet focused direction of “post-noise” or just doing something different/similar with a ne w emphasis. This lacks the rawness and emphasis on freejazz like hammering persuccion and custom wind instrumentation that has become
a staple on select solo works,but takes a cleaner more “programmed” approach yet that still retains a visceral edge. Ya knowwwwwwwwwwwwwww it’s got chops and screws that he’s so well known for, as well as well um, almost dance music….

Some tracks take a more minimal approach to the rhythms and background textures similar to an early slowed down Oval while other tracks resemble a more put together instrumental Skinny Puppy. time and time again this dude busts out new sonix tricks from up the sleeve. Never saw this one coming, o ya, WHERES THE EMCEE? I say go for It.!!!! This is a really varied disc (for just an EP) and it has a wide appeal, covering all of the moods and emotions, articulate and vast-a great collections of more structured pieces that gel together quite nicely- not just for noise heads, by any stretch, just so ya know. Plus some great cover songs to boot, don’t wanna spoil them, but you should just check it out for yourself. One missing item again is vocals; could take this album to a whole new direction, and we know he’s got the pipes! Packaged in a slimline DVD case with classic Polar Envy style artwork, clean, dynamic, and dense, Layout by DR himself.
Overall : 8.6 / 13
Written by : malo
2/15/12

DAVID RUSSELL
POLAR ENVY