DECAYCAST Reviews: Marlo Eggplant “Loose Footing” (Dubbed Tapes, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Marlo Eggplant “Loose Footing” (Dubbed Tapes, 2019)

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For her newest cassette “Loose Footing”, underground experimental sound artist,  curator, and all-around master of her craft, Marlo Eggplant further refines her minimalist sound discovery practice for a frightening and dynamic sonic offering. “Loose Footing” is a haunting, dark and powerful delve into the deeper trenches of experimental sound and composition. The tape opens up with a twisted and mangled voice piece that turns into flowing water, a distant wind, a failed communication; we’re not really sure, except that it’s a new part of the journey. This work functions sort of as a “mixtape” style release in the sense that it contains lots of short compositions that all gel into an overall vibe, while maintaining their own individuality of experimentation, free from the flow of an “album” but structurally just as completed, and in some ways perhaps more profound and detailed than many noise “albums” where everything is presented as one long track. After the twisted, demonic voices subside,  A more melodic, undulating sine-wave drone piece eclipses from the crumbling fog, like an intense pulsing light escaping from the distant mountain peak at sunrise, warming the inner ear with a comforting din. Eggplant has always worked with a diverse palette of sounds, however this cassette composites so many different styles of composition and techniques that almost no two minute section is the same as the last- we are always led to a new sonic discovery with Eggplant at the controls.

Her sounds hold power and often a cinematic vision, I often found myself closing my eyes and dozing off into an unknown and slightly frightening world of unknown origin. If there’s one person who can transform sound and take us to another place, it’s Marlo Eggplant. The  B side contains more of the same, dark, heavy drone-based works which morph strings, turntablism, voice, and mixed electronics for a highly dynamic, tense,  and complex effect-my favorite listening experience. Eggplant is one of the best in the game and you should follow whatever she’s doing, including her label and distro and LADYZ IN NOIZE series. Also check out an older review we did of Marlo’s last tape  “Head/Rushed”  (Vaux Flores) here 

DUBBED TAPES 

MARLO EGGPLANT

DECAYCAST Reviews : Bran (…) Pos “Cosmic Mushmouth”  CS (Planetary Magnetics, 2020)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Bran (…) Pos “Cosmic Mushmouth”  CS (Planetary Magnetics, 2020)

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Bran(…)Pos‘ new album “Cosmic Mushmouth” may be the most complete overview of Jake Rodriguez’s multi-faceted soundscape composition to date. With his signature vocal-triggered electronics buried under layers of modular and effects, “Space Gelt” seems closest to a lot of the recent live performances I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Jake do. I first saw Bran(…)Pos in the late 1990s in SF and seeing how different each
performance could be and the many concepts that Jake has tried over the years has made him a favorite of mine and many in the Bay Area. It’s great to see him team up with Tyler Harwood (who produced this for his label (Planetary Magnetics) and did the artwork) who you may have seen perform as Anti-Ear or together with Rodriguez as ‘Beandip Troubadours,’ fully engaging both of their hilarious stage performance skills.

The crowning tracks here are the 20+ minute composition “RxR (rocket crossing)” which slowly builds into a stuttering modular synth rhythm with some of Bran’s trademark acoustic tympani playing. The final track “Martian Brine Pool” features an amplified cello;  another instrument that Bran has used off and on and in many configurations over the years.

Rodriguez is now heavily entrenched in the Bay Area theater scene, doing sound and composition. It will be exciting to see what lies ahead for this polymath and true SF original. Albums and acts like this that make me excited to be living and working still in SF. Come aboard!     – Derek Gedalecia

DECAYCAST Reviews : SKY “Lullabies” CS (Pop Nihil, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews : SKY “Lullabies” CS (Pop Nihil, 2019)

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Hauntingly lonely, booming caverns seem to be the backdrop for SKY’s “Lullabies”  cassette EP on the refreshingly diverse Pop Nihil imprint. First off, the  stark design caught my eye, and I enjoy the minimalist design theme that runs across of these releases, it really helps to gel them together in a special and unified way. The voice, synth, and drums all blend perfectly on this EP, creating a morose, and lush cloud for the  uncertain change of the future to be birthed upon. Cavernous reverb on the drums, and strings (synths?) cast a hollow but intentioned place for the voice to dance upon into the night.  Favorite track of the A side is “ILIKELIES” though, they all really present a focused and uniformed sound. Like the  voice and  rhythm section of early Cocteau Twins, mixed with the delicacy and nuance of contemporary avant -garde  megastars like FKA Twigs nodding to the softer side of Witchhouse.  popnihilSKY paints a blissful portrait of an unknown place where the next step is to be taken, the  only thing that’s certain in uncertainty.  The B side is a little  more  driving with a ear forward bass and  drum rhythm that escalates the pacing and tension from the soft and intricate spells cast by the first side. Closer to tara Cross or a chopped and  screwed TuxedoMoon the big percussion and thudding bass create a nice, angular tension for the voice and delicate droning synths to skate off lightly but boldly into the distance, a truly beautiful and nuanced listen.

 

DECAYCAST Guest List: Bran (…) Pos “EOY TOTALE 2019” Bay Area Multimedia Artist Chooses His Favorite Mind Bending Media of 2019

DECAYCAST Guest List: Bran (…) Pos “EOY TOTALE 2019” Bay Area Multimedia Artist Chooses His Favorite Mind Bending Media of 2019

 

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EOY TOTALE 2019

some of things that flicked my tick this year by bran(…)pos

Headboggle “Polyphonic Demo”  – Ratskin Records

40+ one-minute diddies catchy as fuck, and always weirdy. Then the dude practiced the pieces and toured them and they got better and deeper. Each live show I saw of Derek this year topped the last. Bubble machine finale at the Dildo gave me the creepy-happy chills.

 

Patrick Cowley “Mechanical Fantasy Box”  – Dark Entries Records

https://www.darkentriesrecords.com/store/vinyl/lp/patrick-cowley-mechanical-fantasy-box/

This got a lot of spins from me and combined with the release of the same-titled “Homoerotic Journal” creates an amazing document of a period of San Francisco that is increasingly becoming as lost as one of those self-driving cars stalled in a SOMA intersection.

 

Sahra Halgan Trio “Waa Dardaaran”  – self-released

Sahra has an incredible voice and energy and this trio combining her song stylings from her native Somaliland with a tight rockish energy brought by French musicians Aymeric Krol and Mael Saletes puts big smiles on my face every listen. I wore out their 2016 EP “Faransiskiyo Somaliland”, and was super excited to see they had a new release on Bandcamp this year.

 

XUXA SANTAMARIA “Chancletas D’Oro”  – Ratskin Records

Haven’t stopped playing this record. Sits right in the 2019 groove for me. Poppy, hard, sexy, smart as hell, and just a really fucking well-produced record. Won’t be surprised when this band blows way the fuck up. I promise I won’t be a hater when that happens.

 

Ed Balloon “The Dubs”  – Deathbomb Arc

Like nothing else I wore out this year. “Dreamworld” may be my favorite pop song in many years, and this tape was certainly my summer soundtrack of 2019. I’ve yet to see him perform live, and I’ve heard he brings it. Excited to see/hear more in 2020.

 

Dos Monos “Dos City”  – Deathbomb Arc

Another tape I played to death and memorized. I love these fools’ energy and sharp vocals riff on each other like the jazz samples they so well-employ in the production. Fun as hell and got me through some bike rides I have no business putting my knees through.

 

WAXYTOMB “Imminent Fold”  – Gilgongo Records

https://gilgongorecords.wordpress.com/tag/waxy-tomb/

Strange and gorgeous futurewrong electronic rhythms and vocals LP packaged alongside a 10-inch glossy “visual lyrics book” with amazing computer art by JulesLC, this is hands-down one of my favorite new weirds of 2019.

**** You can also read our review of the album here 

Sir Artful Cornhole Doily “Sings the All-Time Greats”  – Planetary Magnetics Corporation

http://www.planetarymagnetics.com/music-1

Imagine The Frogs slapping a baby around with a rubber fish covering the best/worst songs of your ok-boomer life. Yeah, this fella has more musical ability in his damp palms than any of us deserve, and we should be so lucky that he is putting music out in 2019 and beyond. Good luck finding this tape, but try contacting Planetary Magnetics hq in New Orleans direct.

 

The Residents “Mole Box”  – Cherry Red Records

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/the-residents-mole-box-the-complete-mole-trilogy-preserved/

A longtime favorite set of music from a longtime favorite band came out this year collected, remastered, and filled with tons of extra material and documentation. The Residents alongside Cherry Red Records have been firing out reissues of all their classic material lately, but none of the pREServed editions have been as exciting and revealing to me as this set. A runner-up would have to be the Record Store Day BS reissue, filled with ancient Rezzy material I had never heard. Residents 4ever.

 

Chromatics live at Mezzanine SF June 12, 2019

Chromatics

I’ve been a casual fan of Chromatics, but this live show put me over the edge. So great to see this unit form the music live and fill a club. This being the last show of their first tour in many years, there was real emotion on stage and in the audience. Their new record “Closer to Gray” has been on repeat play for me, but nothing recorded from this band has quite captured the energy of the live show in my opinion.

 

Evil Moisture/Thomas Dimuzio/Demonface/Ava Mendoza/Hobo Sonn live at Peacock Lounge December 18, 2019

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https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1360084

James Decker/Resipiscent Records has been putting on monthly experimental shows for a few years now at venues around SF, but the much-needed SF series has really found a home at Lower Haight’s Peacock Lounge. I had the pleasure of working sound and sitting front row for this particular gig, which really brought a fantastic close to 2019 with solid to spectacular sets from every act, including maybe my favorite solo Ava Mendozaset ever.

 

RaffyTaphyASMR “ASMR raffy’s 3 hour video”

The king of tingles is back! After a lengthy break from any new material, Raffy came back strong in 2019, and his 3-hour video of all new good sounds quietly blows out the competition. Other ASMRtists have trouble coming up with a continuous 20-minute session without looping, and here Raffy remains strong and relaxing with unique content all the way through a full 3 hours. At least, I think that’s the case. I’ve never made it through the whole thing awake.

 

Biggest Crock of Shit 2019

“Cambodian Rock Band” by Lauren Yee with (some) music by Dengue Fever at OSF

Remember those Cambodian Rocks comps from the 90s? How about that 2014 documentary “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten? Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘N’ Roll”? Playwright Lauren Yee and band Dengue Fever hope that maybe you have forgotten about artists like Yol Aularong, Ros Serey Sothea, and Sinn Sisamouth as they front this disingenuous music play about the Cambodian genocide. “With music and songs by Dengue Fever” blasted all over the promotion and program with little to no information explaining that about half the songs are cover songs from this classic and tragic period of music and history. Dengue Fever has made a career of this kind of charlatanry and unfortunately theater folk are as susceptible to this kind of shortchanging of history as anyone I know. This play is a HUGE hit and will be produced everywhere in 2020. Almost every theater person I’ve talked to about it loves it. Every music person I talk to about it gags. I have way too many thoughts but suffice to say nothing in the arts irked me more in 2019.

 

Late entry (direct into my veins): Follow Your Heart “Siracha Vegenaise”

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The Belgian concept of mayonnaise on fries has always disgusted me. After trying this incredibly addictive vegan spicy sauce during the recent holidays at Follow Your Heart’s longtime Canoga Park home, I have to revise all former thoughts on the matter. In 2020 you will find me dead of heart failure with an empty bottle of this shoved direct in my throat. I will have died happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bran(…)pos is the ongoing audio-visual-performance-noise-musique-brain-bend of Jxxx Rxxz from San Francisco, CARodriguez has been performing and recording under this moniker since 1996 with releases on C.I.P., Resipiscent, Ratskin Records, Animal Disguise, and Chitah! Chitah! Soundcrack

You can follow Bran (…) Pos at:

www.soundcrack.net

https://branpos.bandcamp.com/

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

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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 #037 GUEST MIX – qualchan “A Mix For Inspiration II”

DECAYCAST #037 GUEST MIX – qualchan “A Mix For Inspiration II” “when i found out i was making a mix for Decaycast , i was pleased as punch & was moved to make a second volume of inspiration. meant to be played through headphones while wandering aimlessly around your neighborhood at three am.” – qualchan

photo for mix

1. roc marciano ~ select few
2. medslaus ~ cold 2
3. quelle chris ~ wild minks (feat mach-hommy)
4. medhane ~ stranger (feat navy blue)
5. earl sweatshirt ~ mtomb
6. ade hakim ~ along the hudson
7. koncept jack$on ~ murder call$
8. mike ~ butter fingers
9. wiki ~ 4 clove club
10. sauce walka ~ new sauce city
11. rago foot & king carter ~ 10 toes
12. akai solo x pink siifu ~ galaxy eyes
13. fly anakin x big kahuna og ~ quarters
14. sixpress ~ checkyrself/drowning (feat mike)
15. maxo ~ no love
16. the god fahim x mach-hommy ~ foto synth
17. mavi ~ sense
18. caleb giles ~ gather
19. jazz jodi ~ fifty
20. dj muggs x mach-hommy ~ stain glass
21. pink siifu ~ outlet (feat mike)
22. yuk. ~ tortay & friends
23. slauson malone ~ two thousand eighteen, bye

qualchan. is a multi-disciplinary artist residing deep in the heart of cascadia. he describes his work as a reimagining of americana filtered through the tropes of new age, focusing primarily on living through the anthropocene. he calls this wave now age, & is the only member of this school.

https://hangontoyrego.bandcamp.com/

Side note, Decaycast has  previously reviewed one of qualchan’s newest works “goodbye to all that” on Houdini Mansions, and you can read about it here 

DECAYCAST Premieres: ELIZEBETH OWEN “Still Coming Of Age” – Listen Now!

Still Coming of Age Cover

We’re excited to premiere “Still Coming Of Age”  from Grimalkin collective member Elizabeth Owens. On this four  song acoustic/unplugged, Owens offers four serene, morose,  compositions accented by lush vocal layerings which blend with the  strings perfectly. Owens at once crafts a warming mix of voice, strings and piano for a enchanting effect on the listener. Somewhere between modern classical and neo-folk,  Owens stripped down compositions offer a  glimpse into a distant unknown land we aren’t quite familiar with yet. Owens holds a dramatic tension between the different elements, perhaps most effectively in favorite track Growing Pain (unplugged) where Owens begins to  channel a Meredith Monk esque vibe, between voice and keys which is no small  feat, nor familiar territory for most. A splendid ending to a starkly minimal and  strong EP. Listen now in full below and pick up the album today .

Elizabeth Owens (they/them) lives in Richmond, VA and is a Grimalkin collective member. Still Coming of Age is the unplugged baby sister of Elizabeth Owens’ debut record, Coming of Age, released in September 2018. Available digitally and on limited edition lathe cut and cassette, this 4 track release includes unique, unplugged versions of songs from the original album and a new track titled “Rabbits.”  Arranged for piano, Celtic harp and voice, “Still Coming of Age” offers a glimpse of the musical direction Owens is taking next, while thematically symbolizing Elizabeth’s personal saga with alcohol abuse and recent recovery. A purchase of Still Coming of Age on lathe or cassette includes the full debut record, Coming of Age, as a bonus download. Still Coming of Age will be available on limited edition cassette and 10″ lathe cut. Proceeds from cassettes and digital only will go to the Virginia Anti-Violence Project.