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.
The discography of California based imprint Deathbomb Arc spans across rap, noise, experimental, noise rock, abstract electronic music and more boasting releases from experimental rap group Clipping, and rap/noise crossover Death Grips to the dense lush pop soundscapes of Fielded, to the noisy chaotic percussive assault of Foot Village, but none of these releases seem to masterfully weave so many seemingly disconnected genres into such a dense, queer, volatile, explosion of hybrid-styles future music than one of the the labels newest release, “Spirit Realm.Final” from non binary CA based rapper SB THE MOOR. On “Spirit Realm.Final”, SB takes the extremes from “Pillows” and “MNFST.dstnii” and a swarth of self released cassettes and mix tapes and pushes them even farther into the psychedelic netherworld that is their mind. This record truly defies categorization, it’s at once both haunting, beautiful, chaotic, poised, explosive and contained, seamlessly bridging hip hop, post rock, noise, industrial, and avant garde. These terms seem to contradict each other but upon opening your ears to “Spirit Realm.Final” and the work of SB THE MOOR, you’ll find beauty, chaos, anger, confusion, and even peace in the complicated dichotomies of our very existence. Moor has been on an unrelenting tear of touring, recording and collaborations and we needed to know more! We chatted with SB about their newest record, released on Deathbomb Arc, what it means to be a queer working artist, collaboration, touring and how this impacts the creative process. You can order their new record from the label HERE.
Dr. Decaycast: Thanks for talking with Decaycast! Can you talk a little bit about your project SB The MOOR? Do you consider it more of a band, solo project, or concept?
SB The Moor: hmm I guess when I started, Signor Benedick the Moor was just another name/alias. I think I already finished an album (which ended up being El Negro) and that was just another weird name I picked to call myself. I didn’t expect it to take off. Now, it’s a bit of a mix of all three. SB is sort of a persona, or alter ego with which to experiment and make art with.
DD: You have a new record out on Deathbomb Arc, correct, titled “Spirit Realm.Final”? Is this record a linear continuation of your sound from the previous Deathbomb releases, and if not how has your sound changed?
SB The Moor: This new record…. well I never really know what’s going to happen when I go into album making mode. Even after I’m finished it usually takes a couple weeks of downtime before i really understand what it is. In a way this new record, titled “spirit realm.final” is a continuation of “Toybox”,“cybr.pnk”, and “MNFST.dstniii“. Those records were like…me figuring out how to make spirit realm.final. Sonically, texturally….and figuring out my music making process….as well as how to mix to my liking…those last three records trained me in all of those aspects. Thematically this record reminds me a lot of El Negro, too. It’s almost like a spiritual successor in my mind, because the album was born from a very dark place. This time though I’m experienced enough to identify the darkness and use it purposefully, instead of being used by it. Tbh, El Negro attracted a lot of attention from people I really didn’t want to be associated with haha.
“Representation is everything! Even on this tour ….. non binary kids have been tellin’ me how much it means to them. ….. But, y’know, seeing artists like Mykki Blanco just tear shit up was crucial for me.”
DD: You’re currently on tour, correct? How does touring affect the writing and recording process? Do you record and write ideas on the road or are the two unique and individualized parts of your process?
SB The Moor: Being on tour and being “in the studio” are really yin and yang to me… I find out what works live, what my vocal and performing abilities are. This really fuels what I decide to do when making a record. Then, having leveled up on stage, I make something with new ideas and abilities in mind. I’m not usually thinking of one while I’m doing the other, so connecting the two is usually a learning process in itself, and another way to level up. I do think broadly about recording when im on tour, like what themes I want to explore and what sounds/textures/genres I might use, but I usually only write when I’m actually making a record, working on a collaboration, or of course, working on a commission.
DD: What is the most misunderstood aspect about your work as SB, or rather of nothing comes to mind what would be one thing you would like to share with your supporters that they perhaps don’t know at this time
SB The Moor: I think I felt wildly misunderstood around 2014-2016. 4chan is apparently a big reason for my success early on and I hate 4chan lol. A lot of sweaty racist white boys, proud to tell me about their obscure music tastes, simultaneously putting me down and looking for me to give them a proverbial cookie. Maybe most artists just ignore them but I felt hurt that by these dorks, I’m sensitive damn it! And I also thought about what that meant about me, what part of myself is being reflected here? When I released Toybox, which was pretty much a pop punk record, a lot of people were actually angry! And I’m like wow I’m way too un-famous and broke for these clowns to be getting under my skin…and where were they when I needed support??? Lol. So now….idk speaking plainly where I need to is a bigger part of my music haha.
DD: Might you talk about the zines and other visual art you’ve been making, are these a direct extension of the ideas and concepts your exploring with SB, or do they exist on their own as well, both physically and conceptually?
SB The Moor: Even before music, I wanted to draw comics and make cartoons. So making the zines is more like a childhood fantasy come true haha. The first one I made was with my partner, Marcosa (@multosa on Instagram) who paints beautiful colorful landscapes and puts poetry on top. I thought putting my cartoony, punk-esque drawings in the same magazine would be a cool contrast, so we did a zine! Then I realized I could take what I learned and make my own little comics, which I peddle on my patreon. Both of the mini comics are extensions of the record. One is titled “Sexuality in the Digital Age” and the other “What are Feelings For?” which are themes directly lifted from spirit realm.final. I don’t really know where I’m going with comics but a lot of my favorite musicians also work in comics so I figured I shouldn’t let anything stop me haha.
DD: I think the 4chan thing you brought up leads into something else I wanted to talk about. Has your experience as a Black, queer artist affected how you’re treated within experimental music circles? Also, I have heard people talk about on how your work as an expansive and eclectic, radical mixed-genre, queer rapper has helped give them a voice as a queer or non binary artist themselves. How important is visibility to you as an artist living and working within a world largely controlled by racist, sexist and transphobic systems of oppression?
SB The Moor: Representation is everything! Even on this tour (Legendary tour with milo, we just played our first date in Denver last night) non binary kids have been tellin’ me how much it means to them. And tbh the first time someone mentioned it I was surprised! But, y’know, seeing artists like Mykki Blanco just tear shit up was crucial for me. And I can understand how I might be something similar to others, especially as I grow more and more into myself. Idk what 4chan thought I was about, I never asked…lol. But the minute I got gayer and poppier, despite becoming arguably MORE experimental and confirmably more skilled at music making in general, I think a lot of 4channers realized I was not for them haha. The contrast between people showing up for my shows back then to now is great, and I look forward to my crowds getting gayer and browner as I grow. Haha
DD: Do you see the politics of representation changing for the better or for the worse within music communities for queer people of color, disabled people and marginalized communities in general?
SB The Moor: Tbh I….idk if I’m qualified to answer in an intelligent way lol. I know it seems to be easier for me and others like me, but this game is still a lot about privilege and I wield mine like a sword. I don’t have kids, I have a great support system, I’ve been lucky enough to work on my mental health with professionals…I’m tall and scary looking…haha. But many of my friends do not have these advantages, and even just working a full time job can really drain you when you’re black/brown, trans, and disabled as many of my friends are. How can they tour, or find enough time to finish projects for themselves? And of course, some do anyway, but….idk I’ve drifted from the question haha. I’m not political, or rather, I’m a political skeptic. Like the police, politicians just aren’t our friends. And as more people like us make music that people can’t deny, then yeah certain things get easier.
DD: Can you elaborate on your (apparent) affinity for collaboration ? You also accept commissions on occasion and can you talk a bit about that process and how you started to be so open and prolific with your talents?
SB The Moor: I love collaboration for a couple reasons…I love to experience newness. It’s a great way to train your brain. I believe if you can look at something new and just accept it, even if u don’t like it, you will never be stuck in your ways. And that leads to learning faster and reaching a certain level of mastery faster. And I accept commissions as often as I can, it was a large part of my smol income last year and it was fun to do, fun to see who is listening and who wants a piece of the pie I’m baking and what kind of weird underground shit is out there. Once I conquered my fears it seemed like the logical step. Honestly I was inspired by Lil Wayne’s prolific output too haha. Saturate the market and have fun widdit. I still have songs poppin up on spotify and bandcamp and I be like, oh damn I made this??? I’ve done like 150 commissions so I really be forgetting lol!
DD: Future plans for SB the Moor ?
SB The Moor: future plans:
keep bein’ dope
stay in the dojo
upload to the spirit realm
DD: OK, Finally, any shoutouts, closing statements etc
SB The Moor: Shout out to milo, the ruby yacht, Randal bravery, Pink Navel asleepin like a angel beside me, my Taurus Moon Sweetie back in Port Orchard, our families, my big little brother and my little little brother, the ancient ones, the future ones, shout out ratskin for the continued and future support, and lastly shout out to myself cus I couldn’t have done it without me.
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)
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.
Stay Strange SD Collective artist Esteban Issac Flores brings eight heavy, dissonant and atmospheric guitar based worlds oscillating between drone , noise, metal and industrial under tbe MONOCHROMACY moniker . Flores elegantly creates haunting and dissonant cinematic spaces for a wall of destructed waves of swelling chaos, choked screams decay into walls of thick oppressive fog of tone, climax and eventually swell back down into dreary, pulsating tones. Sine waves shifting into the horizon encapsulate a distant haze of confusion and dread.
On “Living Posture” , Flores creates a deep and complex tension between the various sonic elements, which really doesn’t ever falter throughout the eight tracks of dreary doom. Some of these atmospheres could call back to Times Of Grace era Neurosis (my favorite period of one of my favorite bands ) , SUNN O)))) , Earth etc but that would be sort of a lazy comparison as Flores has clearly refined his sound to something not heard before in the tropes of heavy music.
Monochromacy leaves the “tough guy” bullshit of extreme music far away in the trash for a delicate and intelligent experimental offering. Flores has clearly honed a unique philosophy and approach to present the listener with a tense, yet refreshingly present decaying burning structure of mammoth and intimidating take on noise-influenced, drone-metal. The plethora of unique territories covered on this record while maintaining an overall dark and dreary cinematic vibe is rather impressive to say the least.We are never left without a tight sonic line pulled taught across our reality/neck wth ever shifting tone, pulse and intention. what is going on? Where did he leave us atop this fog ridden, dank mountain of dissonance and confusion? What is GOING ON! Wow and just like that it’s over, what a listen.Absolutely essential ride for all fans of the heavier side of noisy guitar works and heavier dissonant, cinematic music in general.
“Brain Pan” is a compilation album of sorts spanning nearly three decades of the Expose Your Eyes moniker via Paul Harrison. This long-form cassette explores harsh, heavy manipulated noise/voice, a myriad of field recordings, slow moving and cavernous drone and ambient works, low-fi voice manipulations via cut up and distortion methods, glistening warm synth poems clamored against harsh noise mayhem; the stylistic shifts throughout the release exposing the listener to a mixtape style of experimental styles.
Standout track “Rend” blends heavily delayed percussive events with a mid-toned whirring, slowly building tension and anxiety and almost seems to crawl out of the speaker into an unsuspecting nervous system. Other tracks such as “Red River 2” offer a more sombre, melodic approach, while still retaining elements of experimentation and loose compositional structure. The label describes the process of choosing from the vast sea of material presented to them by the artist, “For this album, Paul sent me a whole stack of recordings that I then carefully sifted through to select the pieces that would finally be presented here, and I’m really pleased with the results we’ve achieved.
Go ahead and delve deeper into the vortex for a whirlwind of (un)easy listening.
It will leave you washed up on a distant shore of your consciousness, perspectives altered.
Curious, bizarre and wonderful… “
All in all “Brain Pan” explores a wide variety of experimental sounds and really theres something for everyone on this cassette from the uneasy, nauseating sounds and sights of one (cough cough) Smell & Quim (who Harrison was a member of) to the lush, hypnotic, Organ and synthesizer forward dronings of early Tangerine Dream. Pick it up on limited edition full color cassettes or CD’s from the label HERE
DECAYCAST : Fifty + Impactful Genre Defying Music Releases of 2018 : Part One *part two to be released Feb 2018
2018 was a wild year for music and the world. Bad politics and worse people coming to positions of power often spark good art. Here’s fifty genre defying releases from 2018 that we at Decaycast found absolutely exceptional.
Please seek these albums out and support the artists as directly as possible!