Beautiful new sonic offering from Minnesota-based sound artist Marsha Fisher titled “New Ruins” from the wonderful Full Spectrum Records which released Feb 15, 2021. “New Ruins” plunders a bun of discarded thrift store cassettes mined across the midwest to blissful and conceptually and sonically rewarding looping gifts. “New Ruins” shifts between hypnotic loops and drones done in an almost new age breath of exploration. The intro track is beautiful, crumbling voice textures, like ancient hymns broadcast through a ham radio- crackling as the wind. arrests their sounds and buries them under inches of gravel. On “New Ruins” Fisher acts like a sound archaeologist, pulling disparate loops from the earth and presenting them in a larger delicate breath of sound. Beautiful tones float on the surface as time warps and folds on itself, undecided on it’s. future like a plastic bag adrift in the wind. Sonically evocative of Phaedra era Tangerine Dream, but where the Dream dies Fisher digs deeper into an ambient palette of creation and destruction. Transmissions act like slow warnings to a future civilization, echoed from an uncertain present, the last communication beacon drains the last pulse from it’s batteries as it casts out it’s last bleep of a signal, praying to be discovered.
What could be lazily discarded as “radio static” and “chirping electronics” fade in and out, enacting the listener into a blissful hypnotic style, but n ever completely untethered from their reality, just temporarily detached and floating through a very different and unfamiliar world, that Fisher lays forth droplets of information for that makes this unknown world that much more mysteriously welcoming and desired. Fishers sound. sources appear to vary widely, and sampled of forgotten dust collecting christian alt rock tapes are sampled and manipulated seemingly beyond recognition, another conceptual element speaking to the dichotomies present throughout “New Ruins” .
From the label: “One of the tapes sampled here was a jazz fusion record, another featured instrumental soft rock – conceptually dry and inoffensive cultural documents created by Christian record labels for consumption by God-fearing men and women who perhaps did not want to associate with outlets like Windham Hill or Nadara Productions, who might have been slipping blasphemous ideas into their record, what with their eastern religious iconography and casual dips into spiritual mysticism.“
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.”
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 Recordsbandcamp page, and check out the rest of the tapes from the batch here
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
DECAYCAST Reviews: Blaine Todd & Andrew Weathers (Houdini Mansions, 2018)
This split begins with Andrew Weathers on the A side offering three experimental guitar and synth offerings, beginning with the track “Llano” which offers spacious, minimalist guitar work complemented through warm buzzing, swelling synthesizers. The synths and guitars play wonderfully off each other in a barren, pulsing, slightly unsettling tone poem.
The second track, and standout of the tape “Mugwort Moon” is a huge, throbbingsynth number withinsect-like rattlingpulses that transport the listener into a parallel universe of floating drones. Weathers synthesizes a perfect union of tone and spaces to create lush, dream-like compositions with heavy and dissonant overtones.
The Blaine Todd Side of the split is more a take on traditionalAmericana psychedeliarenderedthrough reverb drenched folk thrusts. Todd skates across a lush and morose pond, blending dripping, cavernous guitar strums, backed with distant unsettled, sadvocals creating a fever dream style of psychedelic alt-pop. Gentle plucks and minimalistic events within the body of the guitar bloom intolush waves of intonation, a perfect compliment to the slightly more abstracted works of Andrew Weathers on the A side. Todd’s music is slightly more on the morose side of things where the Weathers side feels both dissonant and uplifting at the same time, a truly unique and dynamic pairing.
The label itself describes the offering as:
“A striking document of wide open loneliness, this split release by Andrew Weathers & Blaine Todd contains timeless works about Wobblies, the Staked Plain, etc.
Thoughtful, pensive songwriting blends with artisan-crafted dronework, and undercurrents of electronic wizardry.”
All in all, great releasefrom Houdini Mansions, a hybrid label, review site and radio show/ podcast. Follow them today and keep a lookout for more from this exciting collective, as well as both artists individually.
The newest work from LA’s CONSCIOUS SUMMARY carves a sharp and distinct lineage from their previous works to this newest release from California based SKIN TRADE RECORDINGS. “Exhaustions” encapsulates the delicacy and intimacy in which Samur Khouja, the person behind Conscious Summary handles his sounds. The first side, “Commitment To An Extinction” begins with a low, bubbly rumble just below a present volume and continues to undulate at a stasis-like pacing of a slow churning dark, gurgling sounds interjected with sharp and poignant shards of violent sorcery. The aggressively present scraping eventually gives way to a more subtle, peaceful tone poem of pulsating drones. We are left in a contemplative, peaceful place, but not for long, a new dawn is on the horizon, one we did not plan for. The peaceful poem turns into a dynamic battle for space and form; shivering blades of sonic chaos, accented through monstrous spurts of distorted, harsh, frequency battles, which slowly and effortlessly take control as background synthesizers pulse, hum, and vibrate with ascending tones while the chaos ensues. After a brief but present harsh section the listener is once again placed into a new identity, which gently, calming efforts of swelling sine waves, which are so delicate and nuanced they almost weep to the listener in a morose, subtle, nuanced phrase.
The B side offers more voice forward pieces with stretched voices and textured, articulated synth happenings work in a high tension psychedelic harmony similar to the oncomings of a long, desert experienced LSD trip, but this psychedelia is sonic, and not chemical based. Through masterfully mixed and layered synth and voice sections, Khouja creates high tension electronic happenings, with choked and eviscerated voice offerings thumped by a sub bass drone/beat that will take the listener unto the next plane of existence, an unknown place with spatial distortions unknown to our current mind.
The sounds of “Exhaustions” pull from harsh noise, drone, ambient, and new age strategies in the best way possible, referencing these historic practices while simultaneously shattering the expectations of what any of these could and should be. Khouja masterfully blends these styles in a hypnotic, meditative tour de force of minimalist contemporary electronic music. “Exhaustions” is not worlds away from the work of say Pauline Olaveros or Terry Riley however it offers its own dynamic breath of sonic interpretation. “Exhaustions” is poised, patent, and all around a profound minimalist interpretation of space, form, tension, and experience. Highly recommended, there is also a special edition encased in a wooden box which looks beautifully crafted, and a perfect enclosure for this cavernous work of experimental electronics and voice.
Oceans of Blue, Forests of G R E E N : AN INTERVIEW WITH ANNA LUISA PETRISKO
The work of multi-media artist Anna Luisa Petrisko has been making waves in the bay area and beyond for years under her own name, the longstanding JEEPNEYS project which mixed recording, performance and video, which culminated in a video game project “JEEP JEEP”, The Black Salt Collective, and now her new album, titled “Green” , released on LA’s Practical Records help solidify Luisa as one of the most important contemporary artists working today across many different platforms while still retaining their roots and radicalized aesthetics. Luisas’ tour with XINA XURNER , “The Royal Hearts Tour” stops in Oakland this Wednesday at Pro Arts!
Hello Anna, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with Decaycast. Can you introduce yourself and speak a little about your current performing/recording project?
My name is Anna Luisa Petrisko and I am an artist working across many mediums. I recently released an album called “Green” which was co-produced with Julius Smack and features guest vocalists Adee Roberson and Ana Roxanne, and piano by Gavin Gamboa. I’m getting ready to tour (with my friends Xina Xurner) in support of this album. I’ve been calling it “tropical new age pop” but you could throw in “synth” and “experimental” too. It is definitely song-based. I live in LA and although there is a ton of nature, it isn’t the greenest kind, especially in the summer and after several years of drought. The “green place” I dream of through these songs is this lush space where we can all chill, heal, and play. And pray for rain! Green is the color of your Heart Chakra and I wrote this album while grieving, so the green place is also where we process grief and connect to the ones we’ve lost, our ancestors and whomever else we keep close.
Thank you for going in so deep, how has the sound of “Green”, your newest recorded work, changed since previous works such as the esteemed JEEPNEYS project? Also is collaboration a main theme of all of work audio works?
JEEPNEYS was a project that was in and of itself constantly evolving and was a way for me to process coming into my self as a multimedia artist, rather than somebody who was always in bands, as well as processing my identity and culture as a Filipino. When I decided to retire JEEPNEYS (in the form of a video game JEEP JEEP) I knew my next album would be something different. But it is still a lineage and a continuation because the theme music from JEEP JEEP evolved into the first song Offering on GREEN. Damn I guess I cannot escape myself! The songs on GREEN feel different than music I released as JEEPNEYS, and they are not tied to specific performances whereas JEEPNEYS releases are more like opera soundtracks.
I am mostly reclusive in the studio so collaboration is really fun and a way for me to get out of my insular world. I love my friends so much but I am also a create-aholic so collaborating is how I hang out with my peeps without having to leave the studio! Working with Adee, Ana, Gavin and Julius Smack on this album was absolute pure joy and lots of snacks. If we collaborate, I will feed you.
So in a way, the work under your own name is less tied to multimedia works? Are you still working in other mediums, and if so, will they work their way into these newer works under your own name?
I don’t have plans for Green to become a large scale performance project, but I did make music videos for “Mountains Gold Rivers Green” and “Maintenance in Loving” and they will be premiering this week! In terms of my other work, I continue to do the Sagittarian most. I am currently in a group show in Oakland at Dream Farm Commons with a bunch of amazing peeps including my longtime collaborator and friend Grace Rosario Perkins. I have plans to collaborate with The Creatrix for a special residency with Practical Records in Berkeley in November. I am also working towards my next experimental sci-fi opera premiering in 2019 which will have holodeck-inspired mixed reality experiences and space cult vibes!
Wow, thats a lot of projects in the works How do you manage to balance so many projects at once in so many different mediums? Do they all inform each other, or do you attempt to operate in different mind sets for the work flow of each project?
To be honest my flow often feels like a sporadic and heavy gas pedal / sudden brake situation but I thank my lucky stars every day for my completely nonsensical & non-linear process because it usually comes into focus at some point. Not always but that’s ok. I mostly just follow my intuition, make lots of mistakes, and try not to get anxious thinking about it all by doing lots of self-care. You seem like you are doing a million things, and supporting not only your own work but so many other people’s work who are all very unique. What’s your secret?
Honestly I’ve always respected you as an artist for many reasons, but one of them being you seem to have so many different projects going, but they all are fully realized and it seems as if you’ve successfully cloned yourself. I am doing a million things, but i have so much unseen support, mostly from women of color, and all of the amazing radical art that gets produced by folks that have exponentially less privilege than i do is a constant inspiration to do better, and do my part in documenting all of the amazing work thats being produced right now, also strong weed.
Is there anything else you’d like to talk about within either the context of your practice, or the world in general lol?
Thank you! I totally feel you and resonate with what you are saying. I have so much seen and unseen support from friends, family, and history in general! There’s a long lineage of artists who came before and after, and had/have it way harder than me! Grateful is a small word to describe a big feeling. Can’t wait to see you in Oakland! Take care
DECAYCAST Reviews : Witowmaker “Feather” Cassette (Sleep On Dreams, 2018)
Witowmaker is the project of Bay Area electronic producer and internet cult personality Christopher Danko, also of Stable imprint/collective, and Religious Girls fame. On “Feather”, Danko crafts ten lush, dynamic, emotionally present, fun and heavy electronic “dance” tracks which float the listener to an oscillating plane of lush tone poem arpeggiations, thick walls of decaying synthesizers, heavy, dynamic drum programming, atmospheric flutterings, and concisely layered, and intricately mapped vocal samples. The overall sound of Witowmaker is, at times, surprisingly warm and ‘positive’, with a tinge of sarcasm, and at other times, darker, more dissonant, and even emotionally confusing in an interesting and uncontrived manner. Tension is sonically available throughout the wide range of aural moods on “Feather”, one track is accentuating the bent light sunshine across crashing waves, while the next track descends into another layer of cosmic hell, unsure of the outcome. Refreshing; this is a fun and important release in the arch of bay area electronic musings.
“Feather” offers complex, lush, delicate sonic textures while still retaining a pounding, thick, four to the floor heaviness which pulls from Acid, Dub, IDM and a dense warped version of straight-up dance music. Remnants of influence from Aphex Twin, FKA Twigs, DJ Spooky, Art Of Noise, and later Carl Cox can be heard in the glistening, bright, affront production, yet Witowmaker offers a unique style of dance based electronic music all their own! The B side begins with a fast tempo, funky bass arp track titled “Trick Me Twice” which rings back to 90’s NRG/bass music with an experimental flare all it’s own. A classically trained arp machine spits out climbing cascading rhythms while lush pads provide a warm backbone for chopped and glued vocal slices, offering a dense, warm, funky dance floor banger. Plug my ears with a drill to extract the earplugs that have been stuck for centuries at the club, ‘cause this is the high tempo, low bullshit dance music I’ve been waiting for.
This little tone machine gets funkier and more dynamic with each spin! Other tracks like the B side’s “Contamination” offer a darker, more evil-grin means of electronic stylings, which perhaps might be the darkest and most warped track on the album, pleasing the listener as the acid kicks in and everything changes. Witowmaker is refreshingly honest, dark and delicately crafted dance music for the jokester in all of us laughing to the trap door of life until the doors spin open and we’re left wandering through a world of confusion not knowing what we’ve seen nor heard. Look for more from this project, we will be. Side note: this is one of the best sounding and best LOOKING tapes we have received in some time, and it’s refreshing when the visual look and sound unite to create a beautiful package of lush electronic presentation. Order this tape, now!
DECAYCAST Premieres : Mathieu St-Pierre ” These Elephants”
Slow, bubbling, long-form settle yet creatively present aural shifts of ambient swells from Canadian visual and audio artist Mathieu St-Pierre.Lush, warm tones slowly pulsate to give the listener an soft and gentle tone poem, displacing place, space, and sonic orientation. St-Pierre paints lush portraits of barren Canadian landscapes losing the listener over and over and over into a foggy, shimmeringly vibrant yet thick sonic haze. Chirping arpeggios give breath to layers of buried, shimmering, textured sound explorations. Phase out and take a deep listen. Also don’s sleep on their extensive array of expended glitch art here : http://www.mathieustpierre.com
“Mathieu St-Pierre is a Canadian experimental visual artist, specialized in the fields of video art and photography and morespecifically in glitch art. His passion for experimentation within a multitude of video manipulations stemmed from a lifelong passion of cinema. Since, he has refined his passion for visual art to focus on the creative medium of digital glitches, generative art and net art”
‘This is the first album by visual artist Mathieu St-Pierre. In this musical venture he explores the relationship of ambient sounds with the medium of the internet. More specifically by incorporating Google Maps’ Street View to his musical vision and therefore creating a new interactive experience.’