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: Crank Sturgeon “Archives Anti of the Bad Triangle Wearer Anthropomorph” (Detachment Program) 

Crank Sturgeon: Archives Anti of the Bad Triangle Wearer Anthropomorph (Detachment Program) 

Crank S(t)urgeon of magnetic confusion, people of the universe.  Mr. Sturgeon is in full dissect and microsecond edit collage on this whopper of an oxide document.  I own about 30 or 40 releases by this project (which is still about a third of what’s been released over the years), and this easily ranks in the top five favorite recordings.  Pissing in a toilet bowl of NWW Sylvie and Babs styles, early Smegma, John Cage, vocal gab, and other pop music fragments, I find myself lost in the rapid-fire juxtapositions that only CS can carry off with pure modern dada flavor.  Certain fragmented speed-change edits brought to mind passages from The White Mice Load Records LP that I obsessed over when it was released in the mid 00’s.  This audio salad is topped with sparkling trash textures,howling feedback, and interspersed with contributions from numerous guests on a bygone radio show, A Butte for Huso, that was on WMPG in Portland, Maine from 1997 to 2004.  Later edited and reassembled with found sound, shortwave, and vocal bitties in April 1999, this recording was found in 2020 and released earlier this year on Pennsylvania label Detachment Program.  Nice liner notes and explanation of the process and contributors(a bunch of unknown names, Sickness was the only name I recognized).  People can complain about projects that release copious amounts of material all they want, but Crank Sturgeon ignores all noise trends and laughs at your pretentious noise board comments, offering sonic freedom and (gasp) fun on this short release.   – Jacob DeRaadt

No online presence for this release.

Check out Crank Sturgeon

DECAYCAST Reviews: B L A C K I E “Face The Darkness” (2020)

B L A C K I E: Face the Darkness reviewed by mynameisblueskye

“What is freedom to the average person?”

How ever you answer that question, the one thing you should know is that it probably doesn’t mean the same thing as does to art-punk auteur Michael LaCoeur aka B L A C K I E. To those who have ever listened to B L A C K I E, you will release that his album represents a natural freedom. The freedom to just be the man he was made to be without the world seeking to destroy him or cage him in. Nomadic by nature, nonconformist by choice and perhaps even by nature and unafraid to encourage it for others in his position. The opening lines of “While They Try to Kill Each Other” outlines one of his overall thesis of being B L A C K I E over electric drums better than any of us could ever try.

“Children laugh while they try to kill each other/at least the blood returns to the earth where it belongs, and out of the hands of in power”, bellows Michael in his dry and world-weary town crier scream. With danger everywhere in his wake, it would make sense that he finds silver linings here…if that is what you want to call it. On “There Is No Light”, he reports the history of laid waste in front of and committed towards the people. “There was no food, there were fists/there were no light, there were fists” all to come back to the devastating line. “We use to eat each other!” Entrails wrapped in crimson blood line the periphery of wherever B L A C K I E looks, even amongst those who towards those who call themselves allies and heroes. His second overall thesis “I am not you’r nigger!” is delivered in an angry tone only punctuated by a deep sense of pain and sorrow.

B L A C K I E’s mind may be a mass of continuously spinning wheels, but he will be damned if it ever spins for you. Even as he tackles topics such as suffering from a crippling addiction (“How to Let It Control You”), toxic “patriotism” (“Wave Your Flag”) and fascism/fake empathy (“Uncounted”), Michael knows that even HE is not above occupying the hot seat. Painting a picture of anxiety through a descriptive lens, “Meet the Demons” is claustrophobic in its description of not being able to think and feel freely.

Not being able to just be without judgment. So, after all of this, hearing him emerge free and ready to escape on “It Can’t Define Me” feels not only heartening, but like an anthem written to those looking for their own escape. B L A C K I E’s Face the Darkness may start off as B L A C K I E in the slaughter line witnessing victims meeting their end in HD and plotting his escape from such slaughter, but it sees to it that he isn’t his own cause of danger to himself. In the midst of this, B L A C K I E emerges with one last message (clue, rather) that overall defines not only the entire album, but the world and the philosophy of B L A C K I E: “Look around/Don’t look down”.

– Mynameisblueskye

Mynameisblueskye is a singer, songwriter, poet, and occasional blogger. An American-born Renaissance man who loves music so much, he has too many videos in his Watch Look after list. His bandcamp can be found here:

DECAYCAST Guest Mix : HausMo Mix

Hausu Mountain is a record label founded in 2012 by Doug Kaplan and Max Allison. They release music on vinyl, cassette, CD, and on Bandcamp. Haus Mo was kind. enough to. drop us a mix of inspirations and a few HM tracks snuck in for good measuere. We’ve covered their releases fairly extensively here, so without much further delay, dive into this deep “zone” as it were, gems galore, or and be sure to pick up the new Quicksails LP which you can order now!

1) Osamu Sato – “City Lights” – Collected Ambient Grooves 1993-2001 – (Mental Groove – 2020)

2) Ka Baird – “Symanimagenic” – Respires – (RVNG Intl. – 2019)

3) Loraine James “So Much Time” – Bangers and Mash – (Self-released – 2020)

4) DJ Screw / 20-2 Life – “Inside Looking Out” – Bigtyme Vol II All Screwed Up – (Bigtyme Recordz – 1995)

5) Brett Naucke & Ryley Walker – “Clay Scored in Dizzy” – I Am Aware We Do Not Save One Another Very Often – (Self-released – 2020)

6) Matchess – “For Lise” – For Lise – (Mexican Summer – 2020)

7) Xinlisupreme – “Seaside Voice Guitar” – I Am Not Shinzo Abe – (Self-released – 2017)

8) Arnold Dreyblatt – “Point Rotation” – Animal Magnetism – (Tzadik – 1995)

9) Armando – “Land of Confusion” – Trax Classix – (Trax Classix – 1995 [og. 1987])

10) Euglossine – “Balloon 1995” – Psaronius – (Orange Milk – 2020)

11) Rhythm & Noise – “Lapse” – Contents Under Notice – (Ralph Records – 1984)

12) Endon – “Love Amnesia” – Boy Meets Girl – (Thrill Jockey – 2019)

13) Sunwatchers – “Brave Rats” – Brave Rats – (Amish Records – 2020)

14) Killd By – “Leave Pompeii” – Neotropical – (Noumenal Loom – 2020)

15) Nídia – “Nunun” – S/T – (Principe Discos – 2020)

16) Maggi Payne – “Gamelan” – Ahh-Ahh (Music For Ed Tannenbaum’s Technological Feets 1984-1987) – (Root Strata – 2012)

17) Greg Fox – “From the Cessation of What” – Contact – (RVNG – 2020)

18) Le Révélateur – “Followers” – Extreme Events – (Root Strata – 2014)

19) Tidiane Thiam – “Yeery-Mayo” – Siftorde – (Sahel Sounds – 2020)

20) LEYA – “INTP” – Flood Dream – (NNA Tapes – 2020)

DECAYCAST Label Spotlight: Turmeric Magnitudes – San Francisco, CA

Found this unpublished review from a few years ago, so here it is….

Picking up the pace is a new label started by Greg Garbage of Von Himmel /Donkey Disk fame. Turmeric Magnitudes have been belching out limited-edition home dubbed cassettes of microsounds, tape collage, voice, tape loops, and almost everything under the sun, seeming to come out of the gates blazing with fire. All of the releases thus far are cassette only (a preferred format of Mr. Garbage) and the label, as well as in download formats, in fact, why don’t you go check out some.

The imprint has only been around a few months but has been rapidly belting an eclectic, yet consistent array of audio recorded works, many of his own projects, Black Thread, Dark Spring, Vibrating Garbage, Ester Chlorine, and other local bay area stalwarts such as under the radar artists like Fslux, The Heroic Quartet and much more.

Many of the cassettes I’ve managed to grip this far all focus on the microsound side of things, both in presentation and execution, but this is a good thing. One of the first cassettes I jammed, the self-titled Dark SpringImage

the cassette is a real charmer for the inner ear. This little number may not be ripping loud, or distorted, but it still holds ships worth of weight. The main theme of this cassette seems to be tension and relentless ambiance; as all recording artifacts are left in the mix to boot, contact mic ground hum, globs of tape hiss, play button fumbling, flying four-track faders hitting the roof, subtle moans of frustration and clarity all are given a breadth in the mix. Subtle tape and voice manipulations, crawling, scraping microtextures, subtly crafted ambient textures of a micro drone bug picking at the walls of your inner ear, slowly sucking grey matter out and forcing it back in through different pores and portals. As the tape progress, Dark Spring breaks into richer, fuller walls of ambient hum, weaving an intricate, yet minimal tone poem of tape loops, voice, and field recordings all supporting themselves forthright in the mix. The sources never really quite reveal themselves, and they are obscured through a musique concrete lens of churning cassette motors, the ambient sounds of an imaginary city in the artists mind etched into a 78 rpm record played through a tape head record needle. This Dark Spring could have been recorded in the early 1900’s or 2023, the listener doesn’t quite know or need to for that matter, but despite it’s timeless, old-world style recording techniques and mysticism, Dark Spring is a patient, well-done offering of ambient collage.

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Another release frequenting our ears from the label is the Bonus Beast / Vibrating Garbage “split” reissue, both splits between these two artists (previously not on label) are combined for extra dirge and pleasure in this little package. Bonus Beast tracks range from high anxiety tape collage and arpeggiated washed out analog synth mastery to rolling tape and dense beat mischief. Dense, dark, gangs of oscillators form archaic pillars of menacing tape and synthesizer printed on tape hiss, the out sound of analog debauchery fuzzing brain modulation techniques. There’s a strong presence of masterful edits, one of Bonus Beast forte’s on this little number, and the second track is more representative of his current work. Dense, heavy beats, squirling synths, modulated, mashed, mangled tapes, and four track wizardry. The Vibrating Garbage tracks range from clustered, textured, ambient offerings to masterfully crafted analog influenced EDM/Minimal synth tracks-creating an obtuse offering of the artists chops. , Pre-dating the nostalgia train of Tangerine Dream and Aphex Twin style drum hits engaging in bondage routines, Vibrating Garbage knows what he is doing with these tracks, and more importantly WHY. Each drum hit is accompanied by synth and vocoder textures, unheard in the traditional sense offering of the earlier VG works, but still displays the artists fondness for low fi recordings and analog drum machine mastery. A wonderful complement to each other, this reissue packs some gold gems from each artist. A must have.

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The third tape I’ve procured from the label is the FSLUX / BLACK THREAD split cassette. The A side is an allusive project from Oakland, CA titled FSLUX. dark, delicate homemade electronics, voice loops, scraping sounds, and alalog drone doom meld together a ninteen minute track of top notch drone/musique concrete goodness. Lots of textures and carefully considered track breaks elevate this from just being a drone track, but rather an elequently crafted amalgamation of dark, confusing, electronic sounds mixed with voice. “Lyrics” are unintelligible, but the voice acts as a great backbone for the slow churning, dark, hellish loops. There’s a distinct unique tension between voice, strings??? and electronics in this composition unheard on previous FSLUX recordings, a new and unique direction for the artists. DARK, ALIENATING, TENSION.

The Black thread side opens up with a beautifully minimal drone and scrape composition reminiscent of ENO’s airport works run in reverse through a micro-cassette player, and this is POWERFULLY DYNAMIC AMBIENT SPACE, just like that surreal moment when the plane leaves the runway. The B side slowly builds up into a distorted beautiful caucophany of distorted tape, strings, and field recordings offering a harsh contrast to the ambient swells of the first track, but never strays too far aesthetically to the vast sound that is Black Thread. Top notch tape, highly recommended.

This offers just a small glimpse into the sonic world of the Tumeric Magnitudes imprint, based out of San Francisco, CA, so be sure to keep an eye and ear peeled for more stuff from this busy, unique imprint. You can catch one of their recording artists, Ester Chlorine on an upcoming east coast tour, from 9/4-9/16

TURMERIC MAGNITUDES

DONKEY DISK

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 : 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 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 #031: GUEST MIX – HEADBOGGLE “Spill and Spell 1”

DECAYCAST #031: GUEST MIX – HEADBOGGLE “Spill and Spell 1”

Fresh off the heels of his recently released synth exploration album on “Polyphonic Demo” Headboggle’s Derek Gedalecia crafts up a sonically diverse mix of archaic and contemporary experimental sounds for DECAYCAST Guest Mix series, enjoy!

Gedalecia: “I started open format college radio DJ-ing in the early 1990s and took a break when I moved to the west coast in 1997. From 2011 to 2013, I had a weekly show on Radio Valencia called “Greek Mind” where I would play the rare records from Blu Ray soundtrack transfers to flexidisc dubs while also featuring live remotes and on-air appearances by experimental noise artists. Spill and Spell starts a new era for my open format selections by way of a modern mix. These hourly episodes will be airing soon via New New World Radio in Moscow as well as select blogs and websites.”

00:00 The Shaggs – Sweet Maria (unrel reissue 7”, 2016, Light In the Attic)

02:20 The Outlaws – Crazy Drums (Valley of the Sioux 7”, HMV, 1961)

05:08 F.C. Judd – Children Playing (Background Sound Effects 7”, Castle)

06:33 John Davis – Idly Sit The Sun excerpt (Bimodal Press LP, 2018)

07:32 Pierre Henry – Difus (L’Occident Est Bleu reissue LP, Aurora Rising, 2016)

12:57 Moebius – Rattenwiesel (Tonspuren LP, Sky, 1983)

15:59 Gilles Racot – Subgestuel excerpt (Archives GRM CD box, 1991)

20:07 unknown jukebox song (TúLan Vietnamese Cuisine, S.F.)

23:06 GIlles Tremblay – Fleuves excerpt (Tremblay LP box, Radio Canada International, 1983)

23:57 Brian Wilson – Shortnin’ Bread (Adult Child unreleased LP)

26:27 Flanger Magazine – Untitled (Breslin LP, Sophomore Lounge, 2018)

27:48 Imaginary Softwoods – The Rocky River excerpt (The Suncoast Digest LP, Mineral Disk, 2017)

28:48 Earle Brown – Hodograph I (Feldman / Brown reissue LP, Doxy, 2013)

32:15 Anti-Ear – Sulphur (Robutts CS, self-released, 2018)

34:20 Ryan King – b-side excerpt (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Bomb CS, self-released 2019)

35:20 LSD Underground 12 – b-side excerpt (s/t reissue LP, Lysergia, 2014)

36:15 Krzysztof Komeda – Main Title (Fearless Vampire Killers reissue OST, Polonia, 2000)

38:25 Attilio Novellino & Collin McKelvey ‎– b-side excerpt (Metaphysiques Cannibales LP, Weird Ear, 2018)

39:25 Bruce Haack and Miss Nelson – Little Brown Jugs (Funky Doodle LP, Dimension 5, 1976)

42:38 Un-Kommuniti – Winterkill Organa (Black Dwarf Wreckordings ’83-’85 reissue LP box, Vinyl-On-Demand)

48:33 Raymond Scott – Cindy Alternate (Pop_Rock) (Three Willow Park reissue)

49:58 Steve Roden ‎– a-side excerpt (Lines & Sp Aces LP, self-released, 2006)

50:58 Peter Hansen – If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep (Trajectories CD, Slask, 1996)

56:35 Adrian Rew ‎– b1 (Slot Machine Music LP, Hanson, 2014)

57:35 Sebastian ‎– b-side excerpt 45rpm (Sebastian Speaks! Your Watchdog On A Disc LP, Grr-r-ecords, 1980)

DECAYCAST Track Reviews: GOLDEN CHAMPAGNE FLAVORED SWEATSHIRT “Human Animal Chimera”

GOLDEN CHAMPAGNE FLAVORED SWEATSHIRT “Human Animal Chimera”

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With “Human Animal Chimera” GOLDEN CHAMPAGNE FLAVORED SWEATSHIRT offers a blistering, slow-building rhythmic forward synth and drum track with various unheard and unique textures churning heavily in the background to create a thick, warm, but  slightly unsettling blanket to cloak your ears in as the track progresses into a darker, more sinister climax.  The drums are sharp and steady, militant, and pummeling, sitting perfectly in the mix to create a high tension blend of industrial, dubbed-out industrial forward banger. The bombastic drums create a stabbing and calculated backbone for the synth and other sonic parts to rattle this heavy and brooding sonic machine just as it’s ready to attack. Pummeling bass drums and toms   hammer away as a symphony of buzzing synthesizers creating a refreshing concoction of dissonant, yet unified and very well gelled sound. The sound of GCFS is both dark, and complex, while retaining a unique cinematic edge, which is often missing in more traditional forms of dance and industrial music. Sputtering and groaning synthesizers,  chirping sharp noise blasts and mangled voice samples create the sounds of animals and humans being glued and stapled together in a twisted, primitive lab, which sounds morbid, and yet, I can’t turn it off, I just want to hear more, and this is the fifth go around for this track for me in writing the review. This sounds great in headphones, but I can only yearn for this  track to be blaring in a club akin to the blood rave scene from Blade. I wasn’t able to find much on this project but follow their bandcamp and pick up the tracks that are there, you WILL NOT be disappointed. Heavy electronic music tracks are a dime a dozen, these days, but  Golden Champagne Flavored Sweatshirt bring hope for those of us who want our dance music, dark, heavy and uniquely heavy. A really refreshing listen, will be back for everything this project releases.

-Monier Watson For DECAYCAST