DECAYCAST Reviews : GRST “Container​+​=​object EP” (2021)

DECAYCAST Reviews : GRST “Container​+​=​object EP” (2021)

GRST ‘container​+​=​object EP’’s pleasingly adjunct description states only that it relies upon  ‘a variety of electro-acoustic techniques and physical modelling’, eschewing any form of wild conceptual structure in favour of a more detailed sonic study. Connoisseurs of physical modelling synthesis will no doubt recognise its presence – we’re not dealing with bold new territories here, but rather some extremely pensive, rhythmically free wanderings that travel from additive washes to organic plucks and rattles. The absence of any measurable pulse is perhaps ‘Maracaibo’s’ strongest feature – its textures are allowed to ebb and flow between various synthetic states without ever feeling pressured to reveal a defined compositional logic.

In contrast, the second track, ‘aruba’, invokes a distinctly modular tact, tying bursts of reverb to the gestating clangs and urgent bounces across glass and metal. We get some nieve stabs at melody, too, meandering repetitions that dance back and forth like the song of a sinister, cartoon music-box. Theres no development proper, nor does there need to be – ‘container​+​=​object’ works precisely because it sets up a limited palette and then proceeds to meekly explore its affordance, the listener invited to observe as GRST tests the sonic properties of each corner in turn. 

Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully

Daniel Alexander Hignell-Tully is a composer, video and performance artist from the UK. He produces work under the Distant Animals moniker (www.distantanimals.com), and runs both the production company 7000 Trees (www.7000trees.com) and the Difficult Art and Music label (difficultartandmusic.bandcamp.com). He holds an actual proper grown-up PhD in contemporary music, and currently lectures at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. 

DECAYCAST Reviews: STERILE GARDEN “Winter Rituals” (Basement Tapes, 2021)

Basement Tapes has released a collection from noise/sound artist Jacob DeRaadt’s STERILE GARDEN project titled “Winter Rituals” celebrating the fifteen year birth of the project- four cold alienating and low meditations on the ripping cold and isolation of the darkened winter. STERILE GARDEN has always carved out a sonic style all their own and although this release spans many years of rituals, the tones and vibe are unified in their chilling barren presentation. Harsh, creasing walls of crumbling icebergs create cavernous of Shining like chase scene slow motion decay.

White noise gusts envelop hidden textures as glacial distortion melts out of the earths crust. Dark, haunting, and meditative, “Winter Rituals” is isolationist sounding noise/drone for an endless season of frigid messages drying up frozen on an archaic stone. Hauntingly meditative and warmly rewarding for such a dark and sinister meditation. Highly appropriate for the season, now is the perfect time to order “Winter Rituals”. Beautiful cold music.

https://basementtapeseureka.bandcamp.com/album/sterile-garden-winter-rituals

DECAYCAST { New Track} Reviews : Wobbly “Lent Foot” (Hausu Mountain, 2021)

WOBBLY Popular Monitress“to be released on cassette, CD, and digitally on 2/5/2021

Brand new high intense edit explosion from Negativland member, longtime radio show plunder-host/criminal, collaborator of hundreds near and far from People Like Us to Matmos to Thurston Moore, to now an army of touchscreen IOS nano bots- Wobbly aka Jon Leidecker. “Lent Foot” from his forthcoming album on Hausu Mountain, out 2/6/2021 titled Popular Monitress . the album’s lead single, is an explosive electronic sandstorm fused together with textbook Wobbly-esque precision maneuverings amidst controlled chaos. Bloop alien-explosion tone poem comes etched into frantic speaker cones channeling an army of puzzling and buzzing IOS midi war-machine events from the future. “Lent Foot” then blasts into hyperdrive 8-Bit Stevie Wonder bass collapsing down the rear stairwell, as arches of folding warped cartoon glitched foley pillars roughly and jitterly try to prevent the full tumble all the way down the mental metal twisted staircase of synth and beat chaos. A perfect express of the Haus Mo sound and ethic-electronic explosion of the highest and densest order. Once again Wobbly does not disappoint for the maximalist sound-horder and psychedelic ear fiend

San Francisco-based multimedia artist, composer, and improviser Jon Leidecker makes music under the pseudonym Wobbly. He is an active member of both the seminal experimental group Negativland, and with the Thurston Moore Ensemble. Over the course of a varied musical practice that began in the mid-1980s, Wobbly has collaborated with artists including Matmos, Dieter Moebius (Cluster), Tania Chen, Fred Frith, Tim Story, David Toop, Zeena Parkins, and People Like Us. 

Highly recommended.

PS. While you’re here check out this GUEST MIX Hausu Mountain busted for us last year. Ripe for a new listen.

Preoder Order Popular Monitress now from the Haus Mo bandcamp page.

DECAYCAST Reviews: Laura Luna Castillo “Tuberose” (Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Laura Luna Castillo “Tuberose” ((Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

Ohio’s Whited Sepulchre Records brings us another underground gem with the hauntingly moving and inspirational new album from Laura Luna Castillo exploring themes of time/place, fragrance and experience, and the sound waves a wonderfully complicated line between all of these. The sounds present on “Tuberose” evoke unknown histories as worlds with a dash of familiarity, like a distant world buried deep within the subconscious rhizome. The sound is both ethereal and cinematic, often holding a powerful tension both compositionally and within the sounds themselves. It’s the music for a slow growing tree; it stretches only inches between the time we are born and when we die, yet we can still be transfixed on it’s beauty, power and growth.

The natural world. and it’s sights and sounds, isn’t something foreign to the artist and her practice. Castillo states, ““I was inspired by the book “The art of perfumery, and method of obtaining the odors of plants” by G.W. Septimus Piesse from 1857 in combination with the exploration of the study of time, memory loops, ephemeral and elusive memories.

Oscillating in sonic zones akin to Terry Riley, Meredith Monk, A Silver Mount Zion/GYBE, the ambient sections of Neurosis, and early Wendy Carlos, Castillo blends experimental compositional techniques with stunning epic, over-arching movements in sound and space. These compositions hold great tension in many different moods, which Castillo stitches together flawlessly, as they shift between haunting, and reaffirming, morose, and explosive. Huge moments happen with the space of a few seconds, and yet, we have to dedicate our mind and ear to the entire journey and it’s slower changing moments as well, as they necessitate their own timelines of experience. A vastly complex and interesting album for so many different reasons which are better heard than read about . Castillo’s sounds, like nature, are complex, complex in detail in the most rewarding ways, at times unsettling even, but overall present as an abundance of sonic beauty. Powerful powerful music, hard to classify, and what’s even the point, just go buy it here.

Highly highly recommended.

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 Reviews: Woven In “”Profess” (Grimalkin Records, 2020)

Decaycast is back from the catacombs just before halloween to share this special release day review of the newest release from one of our favorite labels, Grimalkin Records who are always bringing important, under-represented artists into the forefront. One of their newest releases is “Profess” from GR-artist Woven In, which continues the strong presence of GR releases that bridge genres in really interesting and innovative ways in 2020, and since they have started really, and Woven In is no exception.

Woven In “Profess” is the 9th album from Woven In, the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Mariah Fortune-Johnson (she/her). Twenty-nine year old Mariah has been releasing music under the name Woven In since 2013.

On her newest offering, Woven In builds a sonic bridge across multiple styles to create a cloak of warmth, discovery, humanity and information through minimal electronics, voice, and movement. Fortune’s voice glides across the honest, minimal , rhythmic glassy synthesizers which create a perfect back bone for her to enrich the meaning of these relatable, warm compositions through the speakers and into our waiting consciousness. Pulling from early Kraftwerk with the intimacy of Wizard Apprentice or Arca, Fortune has created both a sound a a space all her own, while referencing a relatable and inviting composition style.

Tracks such as “Spoken From The Heart” offer an honest and intimate look into the album’s mantra perhaps “No it’s not very nice, but it’s spoken from the heart”. The phrase repeats as a dark heavy buzzing synth backed with looping synth arpeggios create a beautiful and heartfelt nod to 90’s Euro dance and late 80’s minimal electronics, all while accented through her lush, in the pocket, hauntingly elegant vocals; absolutely my favorite track on the record.

This record isn’t just for feeling good at the club or inside you perfect personal space however, this is a record connecting her own struggle as a Black Women in America as a central theme throughout the record;

“It’s social commentary on being a Black woman in America,” says Fortune. There are other themes within the album, including love, kink, and a couple of contemplative instrumentals. Digital only proceeds will be split evenly between Black Land Ownership and the Black Creatives Redistribution Fund founded by Mariah Fortune. The Black Creatives Redistribution Fund’s website is here

Through a powerful combination of voice electronics and percussion, Fortune has created a minimal pop masterpiece which will grow on the listener as it did me, beginning as a minimal pop record and blossoming into a contemporary minimalist electronic masterpiece. This record is honest in that it keeps on giving, it keeps letting you in with each listen, opening up new portals of meaning and new orientations to sound and meaning, and that is not an easy thing to do. “Profess” is out today and you can buy it here

DECAYCAST Premieres: Ezra Feinberg “Castle and Sand” & John Kolodij “Beyond the Fragile” streaming now! (Whited Sepulchre Records, 2020)

Ezra Feinberg & John Kolodij share the first two tracks off of new LP on Whited Sepulchre Records. , 

The preorder is live now and the LP comes out August 28, 2020.

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Ezra Feinberg shares “Castle and Sand”A beautiful, warm, introduction to a slowly shifting, bending, humming soundscape, unfolding inside the ear, setting off a trigger of washed out humming strings, a caucophanous silence, a briightly lit star millions of miles away, these. tones escape the source and paint a distant hum that grows brighter, and quieter. John Kolodij’s “Beyond the Fragile” escalates the listener to fever pitch psychedelic hums of bending light across a plush, dimly lit, mist cloaked forest.

On his side Feinberg compliments Kolodij perfectly with warm strings resonating and shaking across a barren sea. drenched in reverb, archaic strums pluck broightly across a sea of glass. Friction like a creaking ice tray about to crack Feinberg’s music is relaxing bt holds an intensity that could erupt at any moment but never quite does, leaving us on the edge of bliss and loneliness.

from the label:

“Bless whatever cosmic winds brought together this split between NYC guitarist and composer Ezra Feinberg and multi-instrumentalist John Kolodij. Traveling deep blue highways of the mind, their split LP opens up the stunning vistas that link these two artists in sound and texture.”

Preorder the LP HERE,  scope out W S R  vast and eclectic discography  HERE

DECAYCAST Reviews: Tristan Welch “Asset / Defect” (Self Released, 2020)

 

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On his newest EP, “Asset / Defect”  Tristan Welch explores a timeless dichotomy  of positive and negative expansions and contractions through space, silence, time and sound. Through glassy, shifting drones and tone poem movements ringing present, like a warm blanket after a cold night adrift on the nights moon last beam.  The album opens up with beautifully articulated  mid tempo oscillating synth pulses,  a faint buzzing underscored with a warm bath of tones; a calm yet slightly unnerving  respite; a rest for the restless, for the anxious, and for the forgotten.  This is slow patient, music, for one in a process of uncertainty, as well as one of discovery knows  that things can change, and every once in a great while, for the better, and maybe this time they will, that is the question this music asks, what is  change,  and when will it be cast upon us?

‘Given the inherently political nature of most of his music, “Asset / Defect” is a rare turn inward for Welch. As a person in recovery, “Asset / Defect” is an audio/visual accounting of sorts, a result from tallying up the ledger of negative character defects and positive assets. An accounting feat that is musically reflected in the clear balance between beautiful, ebullient tones and grainy distortion held at tension within the work.”

The A side  “Asset / Defect” seems a bit brighter in sound presentation overall but across the twenty minute EP, Welsh offers two movements which compliment each other in a dichotomy of undulation.  Wet delays and thick intertwined braids of reverberated strings cast doubt to those casting doubt, give hope to those giving hope, and push us all to look inward to a change of fresh air and relief.  The B side offers a similar, more contemplative, introspective place where the listener can identify with these living breathing wave manipulations, like a warm bath, tingling the skin, but never fully encapsulating the full dynamic of touch and pressure. Beautiful music for complicated times.

 

Highly recommended.

 

-Dr. Decaycast

 

 

Decaycast Essential Listening : Grimalkin Records Statement Of Solidarity + Resources + Micro Reviews

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Grimalkin Records or GR has released a collective statement of solidarity with the global uprising in support of All Black Lives and ways folks can contribute to fighting anti Black racism, transphobia, and xenophobia and all forms of oppression through music, art, poetry, fundraising projects, transparency, compilations and performance. GR boasts an impressive roster of artists working at the forefront of everything from rap to bedroom folk, with social justice projects and grassroots fundraising campaigns rooted in anti oppression at the core of their beliefs and conceptual underpinnings. Check out a few releases we’ve selected below from their Bandcamp page  as well as some infographics provided by the label’s collective members.
A few of our favorite releases:
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ABSOLUTE LEGEND IN THE MAKING. Backxwash is one of the most forefront artists of our time, do not sleep on her, this album goes into so many different places, a true tour de force of modern Rap, industrial,  and experimental.
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Fantastic sampler spanning all of the unique genre bending hits of the GR family, another essential release in the catalog which you should not miss, a little something for everyone on here, plus many exclusives as well.  From the somber, blissful  acoustics of Elizabeth Owens , to the funky, Prince inspired, experimental R&B from Quinton Barnes, this is a beautifully curated eclectic mix and showing of the sonic diversity of the collective.
Here’s a few infographics provided by the collective to elaborate on ways folks can practice anti racism in music and art communities and grassroots organizing efforts, something that is much needed, and long overdue,
Gr Statement 1Gr Statement 2Gr Statement 3Gr Statement 4Gr Statement 5
“Grimalkin  is music & zine collective & record label comprised of artists from all over the world to raise money and support social justice & civil rights organizations locally in Richmond, Virginia, USA & worldwide”

Preview YouTube video Cardinality – At the Dinner Table

DECAYCAST Reviews RXM Reality “Blood Blood Blood Blood” (Hausu Mountain, 2020)

DECAYCAST Reviews RXM Reality “Blood Blood Blood Blood” (Hausu Mountain, 2020)

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Midwest mind bender juggernauts Hausu Mountain are at it again with a seemingly endless stream of twisted cuts and RXM Reality “Blood Blood Blood Blood” is no exception.  Splattering Synth, pummeling percussion fly around the room, ricochet roadblocks inside the mind rattle around like drum sets crashing down an endless stairway. For his third Hausu cassette, RXM Reality explodes into dense layers of break core madness,  using sputtering percussion,  accelerated synth tone poem destruction,   alien death accelerated.  Time compresses and expands in a never-ending array of spastic shuttering, clipping, squeezed rhizomes of inexplicable sound. BBBB is an anxious,  rattling machine shedding  it’s parts like cyborg gone awry. Bass drum explosion sets a sudden pressure change inside the skulls abandon, hollow cave, and you feel things begin to crack. Voices undulate to  short sputtered screams truncated by  delayed pitch shifting schizophrenic madness. The sound of  “Blood Blood Blood Blood” is textured and layered in a way that resonates with many of the other  Haus Mo releases, fitting into the labels sonic archeology quite nicely.  At times, referencing a  distorted, acid fueled take on footwork, other times, on “Queen Tiki” – twisted  and turning, mangled interpretations of  trap, and yet again, at other times (seconds later)  frantic  truncated noise walls cascade upon layers of warm tone poem backings referencing early Wobbly,  Autechre on acid in reverse, is that  something that can be referenced, we don’t know, but we do know that we love this tape.  Throughout the entirety of BBBB the  sound continued as the perfect mix of insane, chaotic, pleasing, and indescribable;  a maximalist sonic gem, Haus Mo can seemingly do no wrong. Pre order the album here: