DECAYCAST Reviews: Flesh Shuddering “Heroin​-​Hooked Hound” (Cruel Symphonies, 2022)

This album is packaged with great intention and effect, complete with a chic track booklet (I actually handed these out in middle school at a mall once with a Christian youth group), fold out poster and liner notes inside a medium sized garbage bag with a picture of said opiate crazed canine displaying full doggo junkie madness.  Excellent use of silence and quiet interruptions of the harsher bits. Synth, blasting harsh noise, fucked up tape loops and samples dancing around one another. Whispering maddening phrases in the apartment above you, while other parts are fillies with wanton bashing of scrap metal as screeching vocal loops disintegrate into violent thrashing feedback tones.  

This album gets psychedelic with the tape editing and post production effects guiding the recorded sessions into interesting and unexpected directions. Lots of approaches and moods presented on both sides, some tortured vocals that sound like they were recorded in the ventilation system of an insane asylum shine through in rather awkward ways, whether it be one of the three members of the band or a sampled phrase. Side two gets into some demented surrealist darkness of slurping synth tones and acoustic sounds.  But right back into piercing harsh noise squelching, the hound needs more and is coming back for more .  A real highlight from this project. I expected marconympha worship and instead find this collective making an extremely music concrete album with elements of harsh noise and industrial synth and tape manipulation driving things into odd spaces of fragmented chaos this one come highly recommended for the weirdos.  – Jacob DeRaadt

https://cruelsymphonies.bandcamp.com/album/heroin-hooked-hound

Advertisement

DECAYCAST Reviews : PAN DAIJING “TISSUES” (2021)

DECAYCAST Reviews : PAN DAIJING “TISSUES” (2021)

Let’s go ahead and call this ‘noise-opera’, though enthusiasts of both disciplines will no doubt balk at the suggestion. This is not a lazy application of a loose monikor, however. ‘Tissues’ is a rarity in so far as it seems to engage with opera – and specifically the libretto – in a manner that extends far beyond pastiche, with a precise, meticulous vocal engaging with recognisable operatic techniques and extending them. The voice is used here both as a traditional instrument and a versatile sonic tool, not shedding the past but embracing the wealth of avant-garde composers – the likes of Maricio Kagel, or Esa Pekka Salonen – whose work has managed to puncture the future and straddle the past simultaneously. Nor are we treated to a cursory, dumbed-down invokation of noise-aesthetics. Between the driving, angular synthesis, and the muted distortions that underpin them, the listener is left with a pleasingly refined soundworld, and whilst it is by no means ‘noise’ music proper, it certainly calls upon that horizon, forging a hidden intensity from elements that might simply be functional in the mitt of a lesser composer. Theres probably loads going on here that I’m not picking up, and probably loads I’m getting wrong, but I don’t care – this whole album is awesome, inspiring stuff, the sort of thing you don’t want to get, or might never get, such is its fundamental depth and beauty. If it sounds like I’m smitten, I am. ‘Tissues’ walks a very tricky path – a journey littered with sonic devices that are used often and badly in incalculable inferior works, yet rendered here with precision and granduer, succeeding by virtue of an audible dedication to the minutiae of its material. It’s all excellent, but Part 3 in particular soars, with angry, staccato piano chasing a measured howl through a windy terrain, a brewing storm of buzzing distortion rising to euphoric crescendo, broken only by the emergence of the voice, descending into a dense fog, monotonous and playful, theatrical staccatos balancing against the dying ebb of a fractured tone, the artificial labour of a cello or broken radiator. No one description fits any given sound, each part bleeding into the next, a constantly evolving intensity. 

– Daniel Hignell (Difficult Art and Music, Distant Animals, 7000 Trees)

Decaycast Reviews: MARLO EGGPLANT “head​/​rush​(​ed)” (Vaux Flores, 2018)

Decaycast Reviews: MARLO EGGPLANT “head​/​rush​(​ed)” (Vaux Flores, 2018)

by Dr. Decaycast

 

Momentus sound artist, label head of  Corpus Callosum Distro, longtime noise queen, and curator and  founder of the  legendary Ladyz In Noyz compilation series,  UK based  Marlo Eggplant offers her  newest work via Travis Johns VAUX FLORES imprint (who also happen to make some  fantastic pedals and homemade  electronic instruments). Eggplant’s newest offering, titled  “head​/​rush​(​ed)”  enacts a wide array of  sonic offerings through short but powerful tracks.

From minimalistic, low keyed crawlings of static plumes, plucks  and voice breaths, such as highlighted  in tracks such as  “one1one“,to  spacious, prickly, washed out hills of dark reverb swells of  distorted, orchestral style string drones to  harsher, more rhythmic and  industrial leaning works such as my personal favorite on this release, “Premeditated”; Eggplant covers a wide but cohesive range of  experimental styles.

The album’s standout, “Premeditated” blends  droning sawtooth synthesizers,  high frequency, high tension noise walls of static fuzz, and  screaching, crawling voice  stabs spike out  from out of the darkness of confusion.  This track could easily hold a torch to early Kevin Drumm, Chelsea Wolfe, or even Diamanda Galas without even a  sonic flinch of  disorientation, but offers yet again so much more for contemplation through it’s own aural and compositional strategies.  Nothing on “head​/​rush​(​ed)” come off as flat or static works however, they are short intentioned sonic offerings of  sacrifice of self, weight, brevity, and sonic deconstruction. Eggplant has never  strayed too far away from the  harsh side of noise, however these pieces, while harsh, hold a cinematic and even musical  character to them without  losing a single percentage of intensity, and abstraction; a line that is  rarely toted this  successfully  by any contemporary artist, and this album is no exception. Eggplant has clearly mastered the high tension model of  dynamic composition and uses this to her favor  with no end in sight. These tracks could easily be scenes to a yet imagined film and yet hold so much narrative within themselves that the listener is almost forced to imaging the physical and etherial  spaces that Eggplant sonically articulates throughout “head​/​rush​(​ed)”.  The record crescendos with an equally intense, albeit more musically and slightly less noisy and possibly deeper and more personal offering titled onmyown ” which features a vocal and  chord forward morose and sad ballad in the vein of Tara Cross or an early more subdued Daniel Johnson,  which focuses on the erasure and heartbreak of  not being seen. A beautiful and humble ending to a strong, sharp and intentional offering from Eggplant, always honest, present and esoteric, Eggplant remains one of the most  interesting and unique unsung  heroes of contemporary noise.