DECAYCAST Reviews : NEGATIVLAND “True False” LP/DL (Seeland, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews : NEGATIVLAND “True False ” LP/DL (Seeland, 2019)


If “True False” doesn’t destroy the world, it might just save it. I’m not one bit sure which would be worse. I dare anyone to listen on headphones walking through San Francisco’s Twitternob at twilight as socialmedia workers disperse and sidewalk-blanket markets roll out. Embracing the eviscerated stupidities of consumer society and then fighting to get free of those same idiot entrails now draped across your brain could make Negativland your solo silentdisco dance craze. Inside your head will be not only the sounds of marketforce lunacy, but the ghost traces of three Negativland members who’ve already shuffled off this mortal coil, Ian Allen, Don Joyce, Richard Lyons, kicking their heels at the Earth, the butterfly’s butterfly effect, and members still enfleshed, Mark Hosler, David Wills, Peter Connheim and Jon Leidecker with contributions from Ava Mendoza, Nava Dunkleman, M.C. Schmidt and Prairie Prince but their work is swept into a torrent of sampled language and sound, the electrocuted-elephant effect.


Since we’re all of us asleep all the time and find ourselves only occasionally awake on top of that, it occurs to me Negativland works the same way the human subconscious does. Both are made of always-on memory and an involuntary urge to chew up whatever isnt already pink slurry, gnawing in search of that single calorie of nourishment. The transcendental moment may be when you recognize it’s all going down the hatch anyway, out of sight, out of conscious mind. Like the gut, the subconscious isn’t built to chuck things back up for inspection. But barfing is underrated. Like food industry slurry, the ideology industry perfected its methods, designed to evade inspection, no eyes on the kill line, packaged for volume consumption. Negativland is underrated, their music serves as spectacular emetic, geysering your feed to sandblast the monolith of fiat happiness.


“It is Californians’ God-given right to water their lawnsYou know, there is no way to argue with thatPrint the manifesto print the manifestoDo you own research.No way to argue with that.Except with explosives.”


Of the multiple contexts Negativland evokes, mid-20th century ad-man polish has become their arch brand. The smiling voice that locates us in inert collective conscience, situating us in the vacuum space of capitalism’s dominant cultural mode: the con. Having seized pop music and advertising’s means of production, Negativland have long been masters of the weaponized ear worm. Each wriggler is impaled on a barbed hook of dense wordplay, segmented samples sourced from the mediasphere are always-already persuasive, wriggling mashups that compel close-reading at first just to hear the slogan, but then to anchor the preposterous and political contexts from which each source has been sampled. Unabashed about dense language and conceptual complexity, those who refuse to listen will still find their minds on the hook. They may suffer, commercial jingles rendered undigestible by semantic clusterbombs, their preferred identities and rationalizations perpetually stranded between disbelief and stalled rebellion. Close listening requires a doubling of cognitive dissonance, the line, the sources of the line, infrasectionality with the world before you. This doubling is itself a survival strategy for life under late capitalism, to ditch habituated scripts and act in the incomparable present.


“My life in the woods has been ruinedStand by.Pending final test.This noise!Wonderful isn’t it.The sound of American inventiveness.I may go mad.But think of the future you have. Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about? Stand by. The question is lost in the sound of the explosion. Unfortunately. We. You. We are not destroying anything. We. And the creatures that assemble your phone. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world.”


The album includes a booklet that warns “Play twice before reading.” Inside, the crafted lines are transcribed as lyrics so reading without listening separates each verse from the  aural context of each sample. Pulling sources out of context is the most basic method of propaganda, but Negativland makes poetry from propaganda inviting us to another possibility entirely. The poetry of “True False” asserts a politics that doesn’t need to preach or cancel when it can surpass by wide margins of wit and a call to run, hide, then fight back. “True False” bears vital witness to floundering habitually disingenuous simplistic cons that paralyze collective action. Desire and derision may yet survive the slurry to congeal again, the Golem of post-consumer conscience.

-Pharmar Histamine

DECAYCAST Reviews: “Layers” by BÜCKLE / VOGT (Editions Furioso, 2019)

DECAYCAST Reviews: “Layers” by BÜCKLE / VOGT (Editions Furioso, 2019)

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From French label  Editions Furioso comes a debut mixed electronics EP from BÜCKLE / VOGT, blending lush, morose vocal melodies, shifting, fluttering beats. “Layers” is nostalgic and new at the same time, without compromising it’s sonic palette or compositional strategy. Swift, shuffled percussion skates underneath a swath of warm sine wave tone poems, while a voice will  ascend  into the mix akin to a barrem , shivering, wind  tunnel across your back and up your neck,  in a stark contrast to the warm, humming harmonic synthesizers and strings which uniquely gel into undulating, shifting loops of  ambient, sonic bliss, without losing the rhythm or  pacing of the track overall.

 

On  “Layers” the swing of the drums and slowly escalating synth pads create a lush, but dark forest of  fuzzy confusion, alienation, and sadness, all while not falling into any of the tropes those could represent.  BÜCKLE / VOGT offers a fresh take on mixed style electronica, refreshing, honest, and nuanced in a universally appealing way. Can’t wait to dive into the whole EP and will without a doubt be searching out future releases from the artist.

LISTEN / BUY The  Entire Album Here

– Meniere Zappone

 

 

DECAYCAST #47: DISKOTEKA – Soviet Disco, New Wave and Folk Pop mixtape by Big Debbie

DECAYCAST #47: DISKOTEKA – Soviet Disco, New Wave and Folk pop mixtape by Big Debbie. 
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We’ve  strayed farther and farther into reviews but  Decaycast started as a pirate radio show / radio collages so this guest mix from Big Debbie takes it back to the roots with this  wild guest mix for Decaycast, blending new beat, disco proto punk, and so much more with some seriously cryptic gems hiddin within, take a  deep listen and check out Big Debbie’s newest LP “Ab Ra Ca Deb Ra” out last Nov on Ratskin. Click the cover to listen and read a statement below on the mix from Debbie themself!
“Most of the music on here was officially State sponsored, but couple tracks were underground classics. From Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the songs would practically spread overnight, due to the rapid tape trade culture. Some of these jams I actually grew up with.  They were the mainstream hits, I remember hearing coming out of the crackling, night train radio, as you drifted to sleep. Some of them you had to go out of your way to get. By the late 80’s the music piracy was more out in the open. I used to get my music, from the guy at the grocery store. He had a little set up in the corner that consisted of a chair, some blank tapes and a Boombox.The bootlegger usually had a  “D.I.Y” encyclopedia as well, that you could sift through. Everything from disco and smooth jazz, to punk and death medal. You pointed to what you wanted and the next day he usually had a dubbed copy ready for you. However, to tell the truth, most of these gems I discovered recently through youtube, just in the past year. Hope you enjoy them, at least as half, as much, as me!”

1.Nasiba Abdullayeva – “Lazgi” (Uzbekistan, USSR, 1983?)

2.Rahima Shaloer & Gulshan – “Shiriniy” (Tajikistan, USSR, 1986)

3. Gunesh “Chayhana” (Turkmenistan, USSR, 1989)

4. Sevda Alpay & Zafer Dilek “Kara Kasli Yar” (Turkey, 1974)

5. Grup Akdeniz “Sine, Sine” (Turkey, 1984)

6. Eolika “Karavana” (Latvia, USSR, 1985)

7. Vishnya “Raschoska” (Russia, USSR, 1988)

8. Isabela Trojanowska “Jestem Twoim Grzechem” (Poland, 80’s)

9. Snezhniy Avgust “Fialki” (Russia, 1991)

10. Rusya “Nye Stiy Pid Viknom” (Ukraine, 1991)

11. Dos Mukasan “Barinende Sen Sulu” (Kazakhstan, USSR 1971)

12. Kino “Kamchatka” (Russia, USSR, 1984)

13. Original “Sen Kaydan Bilasan” (Uzbekhistan, USSR, 1981)

14. Biokonstruktor “Teletourism” (Russia, USSR, 1987)

15. ???

16. Murad Kajlayev “Fakir” (Azerbaijan, USSR, 1972)

17. Alla Pugachyova “Sirena” (Russia, USSR, 1987)

18. Glass Wings “This Music” (Russia, 1991

 

 

DECAYCAST  Reviews: Blaine Todd & Andrew Weathers (Houdini Mansions, 2018)

DECAYCAST  Reviews: Blaine Todd & Andrew Weathers (Houdini Mansions, 2018)

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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, throbbing synth number with insect-like rattling pulses 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 traditional Americana psychedelia  rendered  through reverb drenched folk thrusts. Todd skates across a lush and morose pond, blending dripping, cavernous guitar strums, backed with distant unsettled, sad  vocals creating a fever dream style of psychedelic alt-pop. Gentle plucks and minimalistic events within the body of the guitar bloom into lush 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 release  from 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. 

DECAYCAST Reviews: BIG DRUM IN THE SKY RELIGION “Hope In Hell” (Self Released, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: BIG DRUM IN THE SKY RELIGION “Hope In Hell” (Self released, 2018)

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Dozens and dozens and dozens of short audio collage snippets sampling cult preachers, hip hop intros, classical music, dust to digital style folk, guitar strummed outros, zealots, bigots, activists, tv personalities, “sickness in my community”  “suffering is the given” “{why do we suffer” bleeds into the funk arpeggiated bass line. Destroy god, destroy humanity, destroy politics and see what pops out the other end with a sonic audio accident slamming everything together with muscle, yet nuanced ease so to speak.

 

Pulling from John Oswald’s “Plunderphonics” and Negativland’s “Christianity Is Stupid”, “Hope In  Hell” blasts short, dense, collage critique splatter offerings of  religious and capitalistic confusion, alienation, and so much more and less., In  terms of sound art/collage, these  short works are dense, impactful, complex sonic vignettes into a  twisted world of  confusion and alienation, and well,  philosophical blindness. Some of  the  stronger works on this shuffle friendly journey through cut and paste absurdity are “God’s People” > “Transformation Energy” > “Make Me Present”.  This work oscillates between comedy, critique, and absurdist / dada tendencies to create a dense, dark, cut and glued critique of world’s interpretations of the unknown. Dense, fun, well done and sonically interesting collage work.  “The Big Drum In The Sky Religion is a shape-shifting confederacy of dream wanderers, spirit warriors, entheogen casualties and miscreants assembled for the purpose of altering the collective unconsciousness and bringing about the total Ecstatic Awakening of All Sentient Beings and Union of the All and the One through the use of polyrhythms, fuzzboxes and senseless banjo abuse. Dilute! Dilute! OM