DECAYCAST Reviews : HAPPINESS FOREVER “Primitive Dimension” Cassette (Mondo Anthem!, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : HAPPINESS FOREVER “Primitive Dimension” Cassette (Mondo Anthem!, 2018)

a0452602068_16IMG_1900


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.

Advertisements

DEAYCAST Reviews : MONOCHROMACY “Living Posture” CD (Stay Strange SD. 2018)

 

DEAYCAST Reviews : MONOCHROMACY “Living Posture” CD (Stay Strange SD. 2018)

a1622977524_10

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.

 

0012926183_10
Monochromacy “Living Posture” CD (photo from artist)

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.

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

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

a1353232914_10

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 : Expose Your Eyes “Brain Pan” Cassette (Aphelion Editions, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Expose Your Eyes “Brain Pan” Cassette (Aphelion Editions, 2018)

a2755363399_10.jpg

 “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… “

fullsizerender

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 Reviews : Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem, 2018)


Happiness Forever “II” (Mondo Anthem)

Washington’s longstanding experimental stalwart William Rage returns with a heavy, cinematic offering for the Mondo Anthem imprint titled “II” or “Mondo Anthem II“. On this release, Rage crafts two slow, churning, heavy, dynamic works blending what sounds like synthesizers, field recordings, and noise sources to an interesting and unique sonic end. Overall, the sound of Happiness Forever is heavy, yet varied, textured yet articulate. A low ominous drone oscillates throughout the first side while seething, weighted atmospheric textures glaze over the drones in a hypnotic nuanced mixing style. The A side quickly builds with intensity as sine wave communications cast themselves far beyond the listener into the inner workings of the brain; something is wrong, I’m feeling uneasy.

The B side, titled “I Left My Electronic Heart In San Francisco (Recreation Of A Live Recording Of A Performance That Never Happened)” begins where the A side left off so to speak, with dense, field recordings and ominous crawling synths, which seem to sputter in and out like a rumbling, thirsty dying motor. Slow arpeggiations sing next to a thick, resonated clicking with background swells which create the perfect texture; the perfect song of alienated confusion. Mutated and garbled voices peak through the murky swamp, enveloping atop themselves and then decaying into the darkness, a different, warped experience every time. Truly beautiful sound composition.

“II” never becomes too much of one feeling, it’s always mutating while maintaining an overall fluency to its sounds and composition that make “II” a dense and refreshing listening experience for fans of many styles of electronic music. From musique concrete, to drone, to more cinematic styles of electronic composition, Happiness Forever is a which heavy fog we all must get lost in for the duration of this tape.

Follow MONDO ANTHEM HERE

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)

a3076439674_16

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

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SHADOWS “KnightsEnd” Cassette (Polar Envy / SKSK, 2018)

0013140401_10
SHADOWS “Knight’s End” (photo: Polar Envy / ASR)

Cleveland, OH mainstays SHADOWS is David Russell and Wyatt Howland (and at least for this release are assisted via the sonics of Roman J. Leyva) crafting their  dark, horrific, take on the legacy/story of Batman  through mastered techniques of harsh noise, drone, percussion and dynamic  mixing and editing techniques. The sound of SHADOWS seems go evolve with every release and “Knight’s End” is no different. Beginning with a murky, distorted rhythm we are  quickly whisked away into a harsh symphony of ringing, clanging, scraping; attack on  the ear and the “fearless”? The sound of shadows is physically manifested through the  black clad, pointed eared upside down man of the night. “KnightsEnd” fuses longer drone sections, which contain a rather cinematic arch to their presentation, slowly beginning as a low, slow sine wave and over the course of a few minutes, escalate into a cavernous,  yet detailed sonic explosion of harsh noise, voice, and percussion, a masterfully blended evil sonic stew leaving the listener with a tense, uneasy feeling, which for my ear canal is just perfect.

.The B side “KnightQuest”  follows a similar compositional format, beginning with stark, alienating percussion, resembling the swaying of an old, cursed sinking ship with hundreds of  piezos placed within it’s weakest structural support system and signing a hum of the  druid through mangled cassette tape, as it creaks and rips apart all whilst bombs fall from an unknown sky above.  We hear a parade of  dissonant sounds slowly dragging themselves closer and farther away to the ear canal, like a slow, pulsing infectious disease spreading through an unknown human cavity, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The blending of all of the different sonic elements that compose the sound of SHADOWS is perhaps one of their strongest elements as the  tension seems to build throughout in a subtle, yet  important way, dragging us down and down into the sea of sonic mayhem until the  last air bubble pops at the  surface, the ship has sank, their are no survivors, only the harsh, alienating tortured sounds of Shadows “Knight’s End” As of the time of this review, according to the label’s bandcamp page there’s just, ONE copy left and you should GO HERE AND BUY IT.

POLAR ENVY 

SHADOWS