WAXY TOMB is the work of multimedia artist Jules Litman-Cleper. We’ve been following the work of WAXY TOMB here at Decaycast for many years and after a splatter of homemade CDR’s over the years it’s nice to see her work presented in proper LP format, as well as adorned with the nuanced, futuristic, cyberpunk influenced digital art that they have come to be known for through video, live performances and 2D works. The LP is also accompanied with an art book containing expanded variations on a theme of the cover art. The other-worldly visuals are the perfect compliment for the music; dark, nuanced, intricate, alien, and complicated.
The sound of “Imminent Fold”continues where previously homemade releases have left off, with conceptually dense, yet structurally often minimal and stripped down electronic compositions, though there is structure; these exist as “songs” in the traditional sense, however they gel and mutate within the lexicon of Waxy Tomb’s visual and aural landscape to continue to tell a part of a larger story. The voice has always been an important aspect of Litman-Cleper’s work, and this LP is no exception, pushing her extended vocal techniques in effected ways further than they have existed before; blending beautifully with the dark, throbbing chirps of synthesizer explorations and static noise crumblings. Litman-Cleper’s sound is at once alien, and robotic, yet natural and “comforting” in a way. She is able to ride the tension of creating simultaneously a record, that, in a sense is both an experimental electronic record and an electronic pop record, and one pinned together through the visual and aural alien language that the artist has come to define within her aesthetic set. Pulling from assumed influences such as Laurie Anderson, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Tara Cross, and Bjork, Litman-Cleper creates a style of experimental electronic , left-field music all her own which speaks an alien language that with “Imminent Fold”, we just begin to understand and are all the more rewarded for it. Highly recommended.
If “True False” doesn’t destroy the world, it might just save it. I’m not one bit sure which would be worse. I dare anyone to listen on headphones walking through San Francisco’s Twitternob at twilight as socialmedia workers disperse and sidewalk-blanket markets roll out. Embracing the eviscerated stupidities of consumer society and then fighting to get free of those same idiot entrails now draped across your brain could make Negativland your solo silentdisco dance craze. Inside your head will be not only the sounds of marketforce lunacy, but the ghost traces of three Negativland members who’ve already shuffled off this mortal coil, Ian Allen, Don Joyce, Richard Lyons, kicking their heels at the Earth, the butterfly’s butterfly effect, and members still enfleshed, Mark Hosler, David Wills, Peter Connheim and Jon Leidecker with contributions from Ava Mendoza, Nava Dunkleman, M.C. Schmidt and Prairie Prince but their work is swept into a torrent of sampled language and sound, the electrocuted-elephant effect.
Since we’re all of us asleep all the time and find ourselves only occasionally awake on top of that, it occurs to me Negativland works the same way the human subconscious does. Both are made of always-on memory and an involuntary urge to chew up whatever isnt already pink slurry, gnawing in search of that single calorie of nourishment. The transcendental moment may be when you recognize it’s all going down the hatch anyway, out of sight, out of conscious mind. Like the gut, the subconscious isn’t built to chuck things back up for inspection. But barfing is underrated. Like food industry slurry, the ideology industry perfected its methods, designed to evade inspection, no eyes on the kill line, packaged for volume consumption. Negativland is underrated, their music serves as spectacular emetic, geysering your feed to sandblast the monolith of fiat happiness.
“It is Californians’ God-given right to water their lawnsYou know, there is no way to argue with thatPrint the manifesto print the manifestoDo you own research.No way to argue with that.Except with explosives.”
Of the multiple contexts Negativland evokes, mid-20th century ad-man polish has become their arch brand. The smiling voice that locates us in inert collective conscience, situating us in the vacuum space of capitalism’s dominant cultural mode: the con. Having seized pop music and advertising’s means of production, Negativland have long been masters of the weaponized ear worm. Each wriggler is impaled on a barbed hook of dense wordplay, segmented samples sourced from the mediasphere are always-already persuasive, wriggling mashups that compel close-reading at first just to hear the slogan, but then to anchor the preposterous and political contexts from which each source has been sampled. Unabashed about dense language and conceptual complexity, those who refuse to listen will still find their minds on the hook. They may suffer, commercial jingles rendered undigestible by semantic clusterbombs, their preferred identities and rationalizations perpetually stranded between disbelief and stalled rebellion. Close listening requires a doubling of cognitive dissonance, the line, the sources of the line, infrasectionality with the world before you. This doubling is itself a survival strategy for life under late capitalism, to ditch habituated scripts and act in the incomparable present.
“My life in the woods has been ruinedStand by.Pending final test.This noise!Wonderful isn’t it.The sound of American inventiveness.I may go mad.But think of the future you have. Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about? Stand by. The question is lost in the sound of the explosion. Unfortunately. We. You. We are not destroying anything. We. And the creatures that assemble your phone. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world.”
The album includes a booklet that warns “Play twice before reading.” Inside, the crafted lines are transcribed as lyrics so reading without listening separates each verse from the aural context of each sample. Pulling sources out of context is the most basic method of propaganda, but Negativland makes poetry from propaganda inviting us to another possibility entirely. The poetry of “True False” asserts a politics that doesn’t need to preach or cancel when it can surpass by wide margins of wit and a call to run, hide, then fight back. “True False” bears vital witness to floundering habitually disingenuous simplistic cons that paralyze collective action. Desire and derision may yet survive the slurry to congeal again, the Golem of post-consumer conscience.
BUCK YOUNG “Proud Trash Sound” LP (No Rent Records / Rent Hike , 2018)
BUCK YOUNG “Proud Trash Sound” is one of the most unique, albeit one of the only fusions of contemporary harsh experimental music and western fever dream Americana that I have come across, and what a discovery this has been. From the twisted. hand drawn, scrawly, but beautifully executed artwork to it’s strange, and twisted blending of seemingly unrelated styles and techniques, “Proud Trash Sound” subverts much of what we have come to expect from “harsh noise” or experimental music in general, and turns it’s on it’s ten gallon hat as our brains leak out in a red mess on the floor trying to articulate what this “Proud Trash Sound” is just all about, ya hear?!
Fuzzed out, westernized twangy acoustic guitars and nasily, heartbroken, yodeling vocals skate and twirl along, rising atop the bent capo as Whisky drips down the neck of the guitar, often and angrily interrupted by dense, belches of harsh cut up noise that Crumer has articulated as his own over the years, but “Proud Trash Sound” doesn’t stop there; it escapes the one trick pony of ironic “comedy” record and belts forth an honest and complicated, yet aurally and conceptually pleasing synthesis of styles that are traditionally considered “unrelated”. In the cacophonous slab of post modern beauty that is “Proud Trash Sound”, there is truly something for everyone on this record, from morose, sad, heartfelt paino works such as “Murdoch” which blends heavy, heartfelt piano arpeggiations with a lonely buzzing from the farm’s distance to minimalistic, muffled blendings of bending guitars, field recordings of explosions, horses, farm animals, and just about everything else left after the show down, BUCK YOUNG slickly avoids categorization throughout this LP. Are these some sort of twisted cover songs, or is Buck Young simply pulling on nostalgia strings through this deep and unnerving sonic tale of a time where the cobblestone streets ran red which archaic blood of those on the wrong side of the gun and the bottom of the barrel. Other tracks like the more upbeat “Harper Valley PTSD” offer a higher pitched twang, blended with cut up tape loop destruction and a thick warm analog haze of sonic confusion; this is a good thing btw.
The album’s standout track for me “Hey Linda!” is a chaotic, multi layered, fumbling, bumbling, beer soaked love ballad sped up, bled dry sounding like Can 1968 loops accelerated through a mangled, ash-covered tape machine feeding back through CB radio. Blending 60’s psychedelia with futuristic sounding harsh noise, a cowboy belt buckle stash spot of mind bending, leather hide rank sounds into a hooch barrel of = truly unique and all encompassing American experimental music, BUCK YOUNG offers us nothing short of a dark take on a murky past. Buck Young is a truly indescribable sound, you must only hear it for yourself to believe. Pick this up from No Rent Records before it’s sold out, or it might already be?!
It has been 74 long years, so steal a few tall cans of beer, pull up an old crate or a worn out tire and start a bonfire with your roommates’ crap. Add a reasonably functional cassette player and this is the new American concert hall. “
DECAYCAST Track Reviews: Forests 森林 “Disarray” from ‘Idol Collapse’ LP (Left Hand Path, 2018)
Forests 森林 crafts dark, heavy, funky, and occasionally sludgy, a-tonal industrial music for generations spanning many wars and technological shifts, collapses included. On the track “Disarray” of their new 12” LP “Idol Collapse” on the rapidly accelerating San Francisco Left Hand Path imprint, Forests 森林 begin with an ancient howling metal percussion style clamoring as a distressed alarm-style sine wave bleeds your ears into a dark, thudding, hammering bass riff. “Disarray” angrily and violently pounds forward with thudding, unsettling cavernous percussion. An angular, fuzzed out, monotone bass eventually gives breath to distantly haunted chanting/moaning style vocals. Words, and these worlds are unintelligible to my damaged, ramsacked, and now funky bassed-out, puss-filled ears, but the tone of the story tells of an old, abandoned structure who’s walls are being slowly expanded upon by the cavernous reverb, pulsing bass tracks and churning hum of far away synthesizers and mutilated electronics, Forests 森林 will lock you in a room and expand upon its structure through sound, until you lie motionless on the floor of a place that once contained the form, now you have nothing but an old mangled, half erased Front242 tape playing at a third of the speed with twice the intensity and four times the dynamics, whoops that’s actually the Forests 森林 tape i just dubbed as I was laying there gasping for my last breath, i reach for the record to button to replicate these hellish, booming sounds just one more time as my turntable wont fit in this tightly bound coffin. Order the record HERE
Hello and thanks for keeping up with decaycast . 2015 will bring a lot more reviews , interviews , podcasts and even our own bandcamp for easier streaming / downloading of all of our past and future episodes . If you’d like to submit PHYSICAL material
For review please email
Decaycast(at)gmail.com and we’ll go from there . We’re also happy to announce that we have two new writers so we’ll be able to crank out more lengthy reviews quicker and with more love and precision! The band camp will be up by the end of the week and expect interviews with PCRV , Crank Sturgeon , Jason Wade and tons more !!!
The tour kickoff in Oakland last night was sooo heavy. Loved it. The Styro gyre is at top spin, about to make land. Open wide murfukrs!
And the STYROFOAM SANCHEZ “Empire Underwater” LP is a required listening milestone. The past just floated away, this is serious soundcraft, lo-fi grabs hi-fi by the skullholes and has its way. Did y’all know what lyrics have been clattering out of the ocean’s brain all this time? Like Sun Ra said “There are other worlds they have not told you of who wish to speak with you.” SS lyrics are too core to their music, grab the book and see what you’re hearing. The illustrations are too much, a labyrinth for the eyeball while lost in the record… none of this distracted half-heard imusic… FULL IMMERSION.
Don’t look past the all new “Coastal Ruin” cassette, neither. Stretched out live sound, perfectly recorded darkness, suited to tape, triggers gooseflesh at the mere memory of styrene squeaks.
Damn, and the whole “macular Edema/Occular oOil Pond” DVD! The huge glue-jewel of this whole chemical crown. No spoilers though, suffice to say… don’t let your life suck on milquetoast mediocrity, grip this intense labor, one pkg includes the LP/DVD/BOOK, then the tape is its own. Sink yourself in mile deep layers of some heavy pitch black prescient shit, the future is cresting, about to pile onto your chest. Don’t say you were busy lookin’ at your phone glow. http://www.ratskin.org/index2.html
Alessandro Bosetti is a self reflexive spoken word/conceptual/voice collage artist who offers up a unique release for the newly formed Weird Ear imprint, from Oakland,CA. This LP breaks interesting new ground with it’s playful, conceptual nature using mostly recorded voice, and collage. Bosetti works with gentle subtle textures in the background which bubble to foreground paint by numbers style follow along voice collages. DROP the needle and listen as the words circulate in a nauseous pattern of field recordings, ” interviews”, subtle tape manipulation artifacts, and self-reflexing tape cut ups for “talk radio like ” framework around cut up,conceptual based voice pieces. Sometimes playing like an interview with himself , other times a playful Dadaist / surrealist / Burroughs esque game Like approach is used; where Bossetti seems to cut himself in and out of different conversations, interviews, monologues and the like. “Stand Up Comedy”
References early “cut up method pieces” while still injecting compositional choices and subtle manipulations which break itself from the chains of “randomness” , yet “confusion” and “playfulness” seem to multiply a central theme ; intention becomes muddy as parts seem like happy accidents, where others seem cut and spliced with surgical knife like precision. Stand Up
Comedy is just a spoken word “work” but it’s not – it’s self referential and obvious with it’s cuts and pastes yet background sounds and minimalist “composed sections” bleed through and are given life through the sea of broken chatter ; the sound of the human voice- sometimes interesting, often “creepy” and almost always “idiosyncratic”. in it’s editing approach, which Bosetti makes no effort to hide through amplitude, fidelity and tonal differences between separate recordings, gives it an overall ebb and flow of abstraction of place and time; there is NO STUDIO, Bosetti leaks a conceptual gem, once the listener begins to LOOK and LISTEN at the same time.
And more about the record, the object,
For me the GLUE of this release Weird Ear Records really went for gold straight out of the gate on this album- top notch production from mastering, to design, to Concept, to the final
Presentation – a RARITY These days – especially from
a brand spanking new label. WER001 “Stand Up
Comedy” presents itself in the form a stunning picture disc (WITH MEANING ) the words of the recording are printed on the record- spiraling from the beginning inward – and GET THIS – they actually nearly almost always match up to what’s being played/said on the record at any given time- the needle reads a word ; LITERALLY —- WHAT???!?!? Y E S – a “dictation record” . Once I realized the link between the sound and the image , the concept sort of blew my mind.; A record bleeding self referentiality to the sound that the ear is sucking on – oh, what a joy. Often times the text is interesting, often times it seems “random” bit it never loses it’s form, pacing and style. “Spoken word” is not really my thing, but than again this isn’t really “spoken word”
TOP NOTCH RELEASE – will be looking out for more from
BOSSETTI and WEIRD EAR RECORDS <br /