DECAYCAST Reviews: Electric Sound Bath “Of This World” (Moon Glyph, 2020)

Electric Sound Bath is the new age / ambient duo of Angela Wilson & Brian Griffith. Their newest, “Of This World” is out now via the mighty Moon Glyph Records. Large, swelling synths, rumbling sub bass undulations slowly bubble up through ambient swells on forgotten tones, a warm but slightly unsettling and unresolved tension. Electric Sound Bath is the perfect conceptual and sonic reference for this work, as the tones eclipse the listening space in a spacious and breath-like eclipse of sound. Channeling early Eno and Godspeed You Black Emperor, ESB’s tones slowly peak and dip with a graceful ease, a constantly shifting tone poem enacted with grace and precision. relaxing, calming, and blissful despite holding a tight intensity at times, never fully resolving to “background sounds” but engaging movements of pressure and movement.

The duo’s sounds have room to undulate within controlled structures, allowed to breathe on their own without much chaotic interference. Like an old ham radio beckoning into an empty sky, with hope of contact returned. Bordering on psychedelic ambient, and new age, the sound switches gears occasionally but slowly and carefully, dark and low string sounds guide the work like a distant light ahead, while warmer and more glassy synth voices continue to pulse – shimmering ever so steadily through the thick fog of the sonic space.

“This long-form creative process mirrored the duo’s own life trajectory and experiences ‘of this world’. The result is a celestial wash of MIDI-driven modular synthesizers crafting slow, unfurling caverns of sound. The type of deep, meditative tones that reward loud and close listening. Allow this music to patiently flow over you, reveling in the crystalline details and heavenly peace.”

Order now via Moon Glyph Records

DECAYCAST Reviews: Laura Luna Castillo “Tuberose” (Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Laura Luna Castillo “Tuberose” ((Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

Ohio’s Whited Sepulchre Records brings us another underground gem with the hauntingly moving and inspirational new album from Laura Luna Castillo exploring themes of time/place, fragrance and experience, and the sound waves a wonderfully complicated line between all of these. The sounds present on “Tuberose” evoke unknown histories as worlds with a dash of familiarity, like a distant world buried deep within the subconscious rhizome. The sound is both ethereal and cinematic, often holding a powerful tension both compositionally and within the sounds themselves. It’s the music for a slow growing tree; it stretches only inches between the time we are born and when we die, yet we can still be transfixed on it’s beauty, power and growth.

The natural world. and it’s sights and sounds, isn’t something foreign to the artist and her practice. Castillo states, ““I was inspired by the book “The art of perfumery, and method of obtaining the odors of plants” by G.W. Septimus Piesse from 1857 in combination with the exploration of the study of time, memory loops, ephemeral and elusive memories.

Oscillating in sonic zones akin to Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, A Silver Mount Zion/GYBE, the ambient sections of Neurosis, and early Wendy Carlos, Castillo blends experimental compositional techniques with stunning epic, over-arching movements in sound and space. These compositions hold great tension in many different moods, which Castillo stitches together flawlessly, as they shift between haunting, and reaffirming, morose, and explosive. Huge moments happen with the space of a few seconds, and yet, we have to dedicate our mind and ear to the entire journey and it’s slower changing moments as well, as they necessitate their own timelines of experience. A vastly complex and interesting album for so many different reasons which are better heard than read about . Castillo’s sounds, like nature, are complex, complex in detail in the most rewarding ways, at times unsettling even, but overall present as an abundance of sonic beauty. Powerful powerful music, hard to classify, and what’s even the point, just go buy it here.

Highly highly recommended.

DECAYCAST Reviews: Woven In “”Profess” (Grimalkin Records, 2020)

Decaycast is back from the catacombs just before halloween to share this special release day review of the newest release from one of our favorite labels, Grimalkin Records who are always bringing important, under-represented artists into the forefront. One of their newest releases is “Profess” from GR-artist Woven In, which continues the strong presence of GR releases that bridge genres in really interesting and innovative ways in 2020, and since they have started really, and Woven In is no exception.

Woven In “Profess” is the 9th album from Woven In, the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Mariah Fortune-Johnson (she/her). Twenty-nine year old Mariah has been releasing music under the name Woven In since 2013.

On her newest offering, Woven In builds a sonic bridge across multiple styles to create a cloak of warmth, discovery, humanity and information through minimal electronics, voice, and movement. Fortune’s voice glides across the honest, minimal , rhythmic glassy synthesizers which create a perfect back bone for her to enrich the meaning of these relatable, warm compositions through the speakers and into our waiting consciousness. Pulling from early Kraftwerk with the intimacy of Wizard Apprentice or Arca, Fortune has created both a sound a a space all her own, while referencing a relatable and inviting composition style.

Tracks such as “Spoken From The Heart” offer an honest and intimate look into the album’s mantra perhaps “No it’s not very nice, but it’s spoken from the heart”. The phrase repeats as a dark heavy buzzing synth backed with looping synth arpeggios create a beautiful and heartfelt nod to 90’s Euro dance and late 80’s minimal electronics, all while accented through her lush, in the pocket, hauntingly elegant vocals; absolutely my favorite track on the record.

This record isn’t just for feeling good at the club or inside you perfect personal space however, this is a record connecting her own struggle as a Black Women in America as a central theme throughout the record;

“It’s social commentary on being a Black woman in America,” says Fortune. There are other themes within the album, including love, kink, and a couple of contemplative instrumentals. Digital only proceeds will be split evenly between Black Land Ownership and the Black Creatives Redistribution Fund founded by Mariah Fortune. The Black Creatives Redistribution Fund’s website is here

Through a powerful combination of voice electronics and percussion, Fortune has created a minimal pop masterpiece which will grow on the listener as it did me, beginning as a minimal pop record and blossoming into a contemporary minimalist electronic masterpiece. This record is honest in that it keeps on giving, it keeps letting you in with each listen, opening up new portals of meaning and new orientations to sound and meaning, and that is not an easy thing to do. “Profess” is out today and you can buy it here

DECAYCAST Reviews : Graham Dunning “Panopticon” (Every Contact Leaves A Trace, 2020)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experimental music stalwart Graham Dunning‘s newest release via the  Every Contact Leaves a Trace imprint   Panopticon  is conceptually interesting as it is sonically, and this is a tough crosshairs to hit, but once again, Dunning does this effortlessly. Dunning reverse engineered and then replaced video game sounds with his own sounds and used the gameplay triggers as a compositional tool as we understand it, with some really interesting and rhythmic results. Panopticon starts off with mid to mid-fast tempo jarring, hammering beats, ala Pan Sonic reel to reel demos 300% sped up and progresses into more delightful sonic madness from there. Dunning’s beats and rhythmic structures are complex; alienating, cold, and yet delicate and nuanced. Oscillating between glitched out, hammering beats, to more distorted, churning,  slower-moving sections, the sound and structure of Panopticon is always changing, and always refreshing and building upon it’s previous iterations.

“The research consists of four main phases: The first phase involves extraction of the silhouette of an individual. Calculating the gait period or gait cycle of the individual follows this. Finding the sum of silhouettes is the next step. Finally, similarity score computation and matching process is performed for recognition. Any two images when compared using root mean square value are said to be similar if the value falls under the given threshold.”

Like the eye in the sky it can see you but it can also control you from all sides, slowly reeling you into a violent, repetitive system that slowly encapsulates you and rapidly shoots your flailing body down the robotic assembly line into the center of sound itself. Complicated and dense, Panopticon is one for the sonic adventurer delving into the sonics of cybernetics cast across a futuristic, barren, wasteland.

Recommended listening!

Purchase HERE

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Corsica Annex “Doors Outside” (Ingrown Records, 2020)

Corsica Annex from Brooklyn creates delicate washes of ambient hum that will aide to calm even the most nervous and pent up listener.  Beginning  with wishing, weeping waves of  encapsulated warmth; a homely and resounding analog synthesizer din. The  psychedelic sound of “Doors Outside” slowly envelops and drifts away to a different place. Fuzzy, dream like tones gently lift light into the barren, lost eyes like the morning sun’s cast across a frozen, unsuspecting rose from the night before.

The mossy vibe slowly shifts into a repetitive string piece, undulation coupled with a morose progression that leaves the listener in the unknown. Warm organ like tones pulse uncertainty like a shifting leaf lost in the wind. Steve Reich style  string arpreggiations gloss over even more dense patterns of organic sounding  water-grown, nano bots, sonically somewhere connecting  Cloudland Canyon , Tim Hecker “Radio Amor” and later era Tangerine Dream, Corsica Annex have concocted a heartfelt electronic mood  bound to resonate with even the most passive listener.

Buy ‘Doors Outside”from the Ingrown Records bandcamp page, and check out the rest of the tapes from the batch here

 

-Dr. Decacast

DECAYCAST Reviews RXM Reality “Blood Blood Blood Blood” (Hausu Mountain, 2020)

DECAYCAST Reviews RXM Reality “Blood Blood Blood Blood” (Hausu Mountain, 2020)

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Midwest mind bender juggernauts Hausu Mountain are at it again with a seemingly endless stream of twisted cuts and RXM Reality “Blood Blood Blood Blood” is no exception.  Splattering Synth, pummeling percussion fly around the room, ricochet roadblocks inside the mind rattle around like drum sets crashing down an endless stairway. For his third Hausu cassette, RXM Reality explodes into dense layers of break core madness,  using sputtering percussion,  accelerated synth tone poem destruction,   alien death accelerated.  Time compresses and expands in a never-ending array of spastic shuttering, clipping, squeezed rhizomes of inexplicable sound. BBBB is an anxious,  rattling machine shedding  it’s parts like cyborg gone awry. Bass drum explosion sets a sudden pressure change inside the skulls abandon, hollow cave, and you feel things begin to crack. Voices undulate to  short sputtered screams truncated by  delayed pitch shifting schizophrenic madness. The sound of  “Blood Blood Blood Blood” is textured and layered in a way that resonates with many of the other  Haus Mo releases, fitting into the labels sonic archeology quite nicely.  At times, referencing a  distorted, acid fueled take on footwork, other times, on “Queen Tiki” – twisted  and turning, mangled interpretations of  trap, and yet again, at other times (seconds later)  frantic  truncated noise walls cascade upon layers of warm tone poem backings referencing early Wobbly,  Autechre on acid in reverse, is that  something that can be referenced, we don’t know, but we do know that we love this tape.  Throughout the entirety of BBBB the  sound continued as the perfect mix of insane, chaotic, pleasing, and indescribable;  a maximalist sonic gem, Haus Mo can seemingly do no wrong. Pre order the album here:

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Waxy Tomb “Imminent Fold” (Gilgongo Records, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Waxy Tomb “Imminent Fold” (Gilgongo Records, 2019)

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.

Order via Gilgongo Records

DECAYCAST Reviews: Bonnie Baxter “AXIS” (Hausu Mountain, 2019)

Ok so once in a while something so twisted, mutated, alien and sinister lands in the inbox and what a rare joy this situation is, and that’s exactly how we would describe the new album “AXIS” from Brooklyn based producer Bonnie Baxter, which, by the way is out NOW on the esteemed and never disappointing Hausu Mountain imprint, and you should go buy it right now! On “AXIS”, Baxter blends chaotic electronic blasts of sputtering, broken IDM rhythms with chopped and mutated alien vocal transmissions. The pacing and intensity are both set on high as Baxter belts forth a scattering array of tempo, time, and timbre changes seemingly on the neckline of a dime, all while creating a dark, unsettling yet unifying and coherent collection of tracks. This is maximalist music for an alien invasion where the beings slice open the ear, amplify it and reconfigure the soud intake structure; it is now inverted and begins omitting violent, brooding, and cynical laugh tracks for the apocalypse. Some tracks such as, “Spirit Enema” focus on more minimalist, albeit twisted takes on IDM/House music percussion with ominous shifting tones backing childlike vocal tone poems. Despite the often whimsical yet twisted vocal presentation, the electronics hold their own and never stalemate, every sound within every track is a now sonic discovery that adds depth and complexity to the album overall and the track within itself.

Other tracks like the later “Celestite” offer lush undulating muffled brass like textures which give breadth to complex yet minimal percussion tom lines as well as wells of elegantly placed reverb and delays, all sitting beautifully and elegantly in the mix. The sheer range of sonic explorations sound wise, percussion and vocal wise is impressive in itself , but the fact that composition wise, this album flows so well, despite it’s wide chaotic reach and conceptual points of entry, drops it in the highly recommended category for us, don’t sleep on this, A+ twisted electronic jams!

DECAYCAST Reviews: CONCRÎT “Far” (2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: CONCRÎT “Far” (2018)

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Madrid, Spain outfit CONCRÎT blends decayed out ambient textures with atmospheric howls, delicate, haunting, creaks and bends in sound and tension, mixed with dark industrialized rhythms, and heavy field recordings ranging from disaster to psychoactive terror/tragedy.  CONCRÎT takes the raw field recordings at a great value, using the voice as a sort of lead guitar over the top of the dark, churning, mechanized rhythms of catastrophic failure with  dissonant rhythms. “That’s the way freedom is and we wouldn’t change it for a minute”. The music could be higher in the mix, though it does afflix the listener’s brain on the tension and caustic nature of these events blended with such mechanized, alienating sounds, though at times the voice does become so dominating we almost forget we are listening to “experimental music” though it’s not for the worst effect.  The ambient sections prove to be some of the stronger work on “Far” though the whole album holds it’s  weight in dissonance, and minimalist looping  rhythms. Closing with “0000” an unknown field recording of  chatter and a detuned, decaying piano rhythm slowly spins the listener into the end of this dark and morose sonic offering.


“FAR is the first EP of the dark ambient/industrial act CONCRÎT, based in Madrid, Spain.
The EP moves between soft programming and noisy mechanical rhythm mixed with historical speeches and ambient sounds, FAR is inspired by the human need to reach further and the consequences of exploration and conquer, the hope and the horror; Inspired by the voices of Amelia Earhart, Ernest Shackleton, Neil Armstrong, and the accident of the shuttle challenger and the attack to Hiroshima, with American presidents Reagan and Eisenhower’s speeches. The last piano piece is inspired by airports as non-places, where even travellers on their pursuit to the most remote destinations remain anonymous.”

 

 

DECAYCAST Premieres: Peaer ” left​/​felt pt. 2″ (Citrus City, 2019)

DECAYCAST Premieres: Peaer ” left​/​felt pt. 2″ (Citrus City, 2019)

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Taking a stroll outside of our normal “experimental” zone a bit to share a premiere from Citrus City Records artist Peaer ahead of a reissue due for release March 18th of this year. Citrus City hosts a diverse myraid of artists and has been popping up in all corners of the internet for some time, and taking a look at their eclectig bandcamp page linked below offers a diverse sonic array. Here we have Peaer’s  track “left/felt pt 2.” , which opens with a slow twanged guitar pluck with a minimalist beat and softly spoken words, however things don’t remain the same for too long as things begin to open up and expand and voice articulates fuller and louder presentations each phrase. The track slowly and steadily becomes a  much heavier, fuller, yet dissonant  form of itself blending thick drums, as the break drops we’re thrusted into a full on post rock composition, strummed waves of  chord distortions,  decaying riffs and arching waves of tone poem high register guitar work, dynamic and interesting throughout.  Take  a listen below and preorder the cassette today!

 

Peaer states, “‘the eyes sink into the skull’ was a phrase I lifted from a random webpage when I was reading about the stages of decomposition of a human body. The image conjured, although gruesome, captured the introspective nature of the album. This version has been slightly remixed and completely remastered by our beloved Jeremy Kinney. “the hands and feet turn blue” is another line from that same writing found here. This recording includes a re-recorded version of the song “left/felt” that includes a brand new portion of music, one that was written virtually one year after the original song was written and recorded. Released for the first time here. Also on the collection are two live tracks, from our first official tour as a band in 2016. The two remixes are included as well, a remix of the song “mouther” made by our friend Andrew Schuyler (aka morningstar), and a remix of the song “the dark spot” made by good friend Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie, both originally made in 2015 and have been patiently awaiting release. Finally on the new recordings are two previously unreleased demos that I have made since. Those two songs “happy birthday to me” and “the entire day feels like morning” were recorded on Ableton before being fed into a handheld tape recorder to characterize and color the recording.

Peaer reissues their debut album, the eyes sink into the skull, now remastered & reissued on tape for the first time alongside special remix & live sessions album, the hands and feet turn blue, via Virginia/Brooklyn based label Citrus City Records. Available digitally and physically March 18, 2019.