DECAYCAST Reviews : HAPPINESS FOREVER “Primitive Dimension” Cassette (Mondo Anthem!, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : HAPPINESS FOREVER “Primitive Dimension” Cassette (Mondo Anthem!, 2018)

a0452602068_16IMG_1900


Another short but powerful offering from the PACNW’s Happiness Forever, titled “Primitive Dimension”, which is  aptly titled for this minimal but powerful sonic offering, A dark pulsing arpeggiated square wave  synth opens the track, slowly and effortlessly edging the listener to the edge of the cliff out of the gate.  Hard  stereo panning madness ala Phedora era Tangerine Dream when the tech left too many fuzz pedals in the chain in the best way. Lower pitched synths slowly undulate as the panoramic view widens and we are left  confronting out demons.  Pulses slowly phase and undulate across the spectrum of rhythmic militancy, shifting ever  so slightly to create a psychedelic fuzz of confusion. Long  drawn out bell-like sounds breathe in the background creating tension and thickening up the form to a dense, stew of synthesizer sludge.

 

Perfectly timed, the A side gives breath to a more subtle and sparse (but  equally dark and unsettling) B side which begins with murky, basement synthesizer swells, ringing inside the cochlear with beautiful collapsing sine waves, radiant, insect-like buzzing sounds, throttled tones of a  disharmonious and gray sunset. Happiness Forever creates peaceful yet slightly unsettling and  dissonant tone poems for  fans of  drone, ambient and synthesizer music. All the individual synth  voices sprout equal trees within a sonic forest of psychedelic electronic explorations.

DECAYCAST Reviews : Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem, 2018)


Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem)

Washington’s longstanding experimental stalwart William Rage returns with a heavy, cinematic offering for the Mondo Anthem imprint titled “II” or “Mondo Anthem II“. On this release, Rage crafts two slow, churning, heavy, dynamic works blending what sounds like synthesizers, field recordings, and noise sources to an interesting and unique sonic end. Overall, the sound of Happiness Forever is heavy, yet varied, textured yet articulate. A low ominous drone oscillates throughout the first side while seething, weighted atmospheric textures glaze over the drones in a hypnotic nuanced mixing style. The A side quickly builds with intensity as sine wave communications cast themselves far beyond the listener into the inner workings of the brain; something is wrong, I’m feeling uneasy.

The B side, titled “I Left My Electronic Heart In San Francisco (Recreation Of A Live Recording Of A Performance That Never Happened)” begins where the A side left off so to speak, with dense, field recordings and ominous crawling synths, which seem to sputter in and out like a rumbling, thirsty dying motor. Slow arpeggiations sing next to a thick, resonated clicking with background swells which create the perfect texture; the perfect song of alienated confusion. Mutated and garbled voices peak through the murky swamp, enveloping atop themselves and then decaying into the darkness, a different, warped experience every time. Truly beautiful sound composition.

“II” never becomes too much of one feeling, it’s always mutating while maintaining an overall fluency to its sounds and composition that make “II” a dense and refreshing listening experience for fans of many styles of electronic music. From musique concrete, to drone, to more cinematic styles of electronic composition, Happiness Forever is a which heavy fog we all must get lost in for the duration of this tape.

Follow MONDO ANTHEM HERE