DECAYCAST Reviews: Philipp Bückle “Paintings” (Moving Furniture Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Philipp Bückle “Paintings” (Moving Furniture Records, 2018)

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“Paintings” is the newest work  from Germany’s  ambient/drone maestro Philipp Bückle via Moving Furniture Records on LP, CD, & Digital.  “Paintings”  offers forty plus minutes of minimalistic, thoughtful, introspective drone compositions spread  over  twelve tracks. The album’s intro, titled “Elegant Company In Front Of A Palace” opens with a  soft,  pillowed muffled wash of static and barely audible clicks of voice and potential movement. Slowly, carefully and intentionally the  album’s intro  crescendo’s in volume and intention with lush, sine waves, akin to the decay of a  distant call for  help, or love, or  compassion, or  companionship,  The  track  builds and  swells and  before you know it we are left  with an ancient, beeping, buzzing, nothing.  This theme of  a lost communication, reaching out across a barren empty landscape continue throughout the record, which apparently is the  third in a trilogy of  similar works recorded in the  artists vacationing spot  of Copenhagen, Denmark.

 

Some tracks offer more musical stringed resolve, where as other  occupy a noisier more abstract space, but the  tension holds  well  across the  album as a whole, although the noisier passages  seem to build the tension which is  often released and resolved through the more  string based, musical compositions. This isn’t  100% experimental, but it’s  also somewhat indescribable as it  does oscillate seemingly well  intentioned between what some would call noise, ambient, and drone  while still offering the listener points of  resolve with  fairly standard musical  compositions so to speak. The more ambient tracks  stand out as the  album’s stronger and more interesting experiments though Bückle manages to carry forth  his themes of loss, isolation, and occasionally comfort and  discovery in a continuous and intentional way, which acts as a glue for the  varied structures and  styles of  compositions presented on, the  aptly titled, “Paintings”, as many of the  songs feel like vignettes, posters, experience in of themselves each wearing a slightly augmented form of  sorrow on it’s sleeve.

Of the more traditionally musical tracks, a quaint cinematic effect is achieved, especially on the vocal forward tracks such as Figures On A Road Through The Woods”  and  A Seascape. The Coast Of The Island In Evening Light” which both boast a rather lush, decaying, middle  range voice  drone which blends carefully and intentionally with the slowly evolving, churning string and piano drones which lay delicately and  subtly underneath the more  forward, punctual voice based sections.  These are breaths in the cold air of loss, gain, confusion, and clarity, These are paintings, nothing more and nothing less. Take from that what you may. Overall a strong release from a longstanding, musically diverse, and persistent imprint, who you  will be hearing more about in the future.

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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.

 

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë (Biodiversità Records, 2018)

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This collaboration shifts  honestly between many many different  sonic spaces; in the least contrived blending of  beat oriented synthesis and, well plants.  Riffing off a  theme of the releasing label, Biodiversità Records, Katatonic Silentio / Tremco / Neurosplit / Oromë create a dense, special world of  sonic possibilities in a structurally rhythmic call and response ping pong of tense, delicate, and complicated sonic events.  Oscillating between dissonant beat oriented electronic music which the  artists admit could be  considered “techno” but the  four to the floor mindless speed comedown hooks are  left  by the wayside for a more atonal, arrhythmic, deconstruction of traditional “techno”, “dubstep” or whatever step” you take away from these quaint but pungent sonic exercises.  “Pteris Variata” unduates  between slower, cold, tense pulsing rhythms, occasionally backed by more straightforward  percussive  voices, however the  ambient  swells and  tense array of  noises never  allows this to become too much of  a  unique sound; the tracks and  sections move  swiftly and  articulate their space and move on, nothing forces the listener into a corner relentlessly, rather  creates a dark and interesting space for the listener to crawl into if they choose and explore a lush, dark, cinematic sound.

Background  swells of anciently articulated sawtooth waves  swell and wobble under a filter noose and offer an ambience which the percussion rhythms can dance around without dominating the mix.  Overall the  vibe is minimalist, tense, cinematic, ambient. Clickity, tapping, bass drums drive the  rhythm exercises through a  full workout of  sonic possibilities ending with perhaps the  EP’s strongest track, ” Oromë – Athyrium cantem” which speaks to  early Phaedra era Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos and  even references current producers such as Cloudland Canyon or Peaking Lights.

Will be  digging more through this  Italian based label’s catalog and seeing what other dark, pulsing treats we can find hiding in the brush.

DECAYCAST Reviews: BLEEDERS “We  Hate Men”  Cassette (Crass Lips Records, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: BLEEDERS “We  Hate Men”  Cassette (Crass Lips Records, 2017)

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Anti patriarchal pro femme photo punk from the PA outfit, BLEEDERS. from Miami’s Crass Lips Records  Intro track “I Hate Men” starts out in the perfect foot  forwad for smashing the patriarchy, Angular guitar, punchy, punded drums, and  screamed / yelled “crew style” on the  chorus of  “I Hate Men” prove  you do have to bash a man in the side of the head about  fifteen times  before you get a small enough crack for anything to sink in, but when it  does, for  4/4 punk, this is the type of ear blood  you want  dripping into  your  brand new headwound. Super fuzzy and  distorted sounding recording, but the playing is phenominal, and for the style  its done super well and interesting. Straight up all women/non pinary proto punk stylings churn out three  heavy and guitar/vocals forward tracks of pure misandry! It’s  fantastic!  Other track titles such as “Backstabbing Scumfucker” and “Forced  Vaginal Ultrasound”  don’t let the  listener map their own confused musings into these tracks, they are  exactly what they are and don’t need to be interpreted, if you have an ear, you’ll get it, if  shit  clogged canal is how you roll then move right along and await the eight am ding of the churchbell for the  three thousandth time (to go away)

DECAYCAST Reviews: GRAVE MOSS “Mosswave” Cassette (Crass Lips Records, 2016)

DECAYCAST Reviews: GRAVE MOSS “Mosswave”  Cassette (Crass Lips Records, 2016)

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Grave Moss play fuzzed out psychedelic lo fi synth punk/rock/death/doom/comedy/sludge.  But it’s not really that, but it kinda is? The label whom released this short little ripper of a cassette, Crass Lips Records, is just as all over the map in a great and eclectic, but uncontrived way. Sabbath mock band? Perhaps, but it sounds damn good? I think? I can’t tell my mind seems to be altered by some gooey, slippery off blue fungi, that could only be described as one thing; mosswave. Borrowing equal parts from Chrome, Black Sabbath Volume 4, Sisters of Mercy, and a broken Yanni answering machine greeting, Grave Moss create a style of deathrock that is both comical and serious, lighthearted and menacing, heavy yet gurgling with comic relief, nauseous yet satisfied. Drugged out, fuzzed out, mold puffed riffs, cavernous percussion, and angrily sneered vocals are the go to weapons of Grave Moss. The hammering guitar makes you split your head open like the village wino running circles until he spins out his blood and collapses from disorientation.

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Oscillating between synth-driven death rock, dirged -out pop power chord progressions, scraping their way to the bloody tip of the mix, flustered with doubly duty screeched/howled vocals to boot. The falsetto voice it’s so low oscillates sub bass gurgle for an accentuated evil grin. Almost sounds like it could be mocking early Christian Death in the laugh out of the side of your mouth smile slicer. This is fun music to discuss how much Death in June is not that interesting, whilst keeping awake at the wheel to the next five-hundred-mile marker of death. Driving music to vomit to all whilst still head banging, this appears the aesthetic of Grave Moss Probably a laugh-treat live if they play it up to the absurdity of these recordings. The thickly churning bass lines and bass/lead synth parts glue the low end perfectly together to belch to thick, quivering sound, a tonal, dissonant, and slightly comical versions of alienating guitar and synthesizer riffs, pummeling bombastic percussion chugging away like the ergot beneath the old wooden keg nobody would dare drink out of, sans the drummer. Infected sound, stitched side to side through the singer’s flanged out, chopping, angsty barking fits which are hurled at the listener like a rickety crossbow, and with a creaking, sinking, smelly, ship collapsed into a swamp of disease and mutation, the sound of GRAVE MOSS is complete.

DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: SPORE SPAWN “Ochistuitara” Cassette (Oxen Records, 2017)

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Spore Spawn is a nearly decade old project based out of Japan, and also happens to be an end level boss in the  popular fan favorite video game, Metroid.

The project name choice is Probably not an accident based on the title and  aesthetics of the artists imprint, 16 Shots Per Second   but this cassette is released by Leah and Matt’s imprint OXEN, based out of LA.  “Ochistuitara”, from Tokyo’s underground legend SPORE SPAWN, boasts a twenty minutes’ sacrifice of masterfully crafted, exciting, kinetic, dynamic harsh noise, and supposedly is made from a myriad of homemade joystick synthesizers and crude noise devices. While essentially existing in the harsh noise realm, “Ochistuitara” actually covers a rather wide and refreshing array of harsher sounds, compositional strategies and dynamics, and even musicality at times, almost a virtuosic approach to harsh noise. Spawn creates dense walls of feedback that violently and aggressively cascade into spacious vignettes of ambient drone, expertly blended field recordings, slow rhythmic pops, and chirps like a glitched- out, off-kiltered, dying alarm clock that fights the plug to stay in the wall when it’s angrily yanked out.   The walls of blistered, busted out, serrated chaotic mayhem crescendo into utter sonic chaos, and just as the ear bleeds for mercy rescind into a cold, alienating, isolating hum.  At times, the ambient sections act as a break from the unrelenting mountains of noise, and other times, function as matrix of brain mutes with respect to the ear fatigue. Loud is only loud when quiet is quiet, and on “Ochistuitara”, the artist is no doubt conscious of this strategy in respect to the timing and composition of this EP.

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Things never stay the same to become predictable or flat, Spore Spawn is constantly shifting though wavetables of disorientation, fear, chaos, tension, and even a few brief moments resolve. The tones themselves have a cold, digital body, while swells of analog chaos modulate themselves and the sharp digital pillars of extreme sonic swells and decays, and the start /stop style of aggressive noise, on more than one occasion even function as a “drop”. What was  dropped  we don’t know,  however it carved a  deep impact into  the  ear canal, even noted on one of CLIPPING‘s year end  best of lists! In short, this is a must have for fans of ASTRO, K2, early MERZBOW and even some of the work of CLIPPING themselves.   OXEN continues to remain at the forefront as one of America’s most aesthetically and conceptually consistent harsh noise labels.   Grip this fantastic tape before it’s too late.  Here’s a few world from OXEN that represent the complexity and brevity of this EP flawlessly,

Ochitsuitara brings any fan of modern harsh noise (nostalgists won’t be disappointed though maybe not specifically catered to) closest to articulating what it is that sets Spore Spawn apart from decades of legendary noise pioneers, his modern myth building utilizing swirling loops of cacophony and squelching stabs, uncompromisingly outpacing any modern competition in his unique patterns of ecstatic jarring drunken fervor and (sometimes) vocal delivers closely woven into and through electronics culled from homemade disused gaming controllers. Just harsh as fuck. All measurements of harsh noise enjoyment of this genuinely gifted noise artist will be vastly rewarded and on abundant display on Ochitsuitara.”

OXEN LABEL 

ORDER THE TAPE HERE 

SPORE SPAWN Soundcloud

 

DECAYCAST Reviews: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

DECAYCAST Reviews: V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE 8 Cassette Boxset (Chthonic Streams, 2017)

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With the rise of accessibility for artists and producers to create sound, music, art and the ability for those artists to contextualize, and re contextualize their work in a seemingly often dizzying whirlwind of labels, sub-labels, sub-labels of sub-labels, through, you guessed it, the INTERNET; questioning the role or necessity of a small independent record label in these weird, confusing post-post modern days of malleability of meaning, format and intention, seems like probably a good idea. How many of them are genuine, how many of them truly put the artist first, and in priority, how many of them believe and stand behind their “product”, behind both the “artist” and the “artwork”. Derek Rush‘s New York – based imprint, Chthonic Streams does just that, and they do it with style, focus, and intention, as exemplified by the labels’ most ambitious and potentially most conceptual release to date, at least in its packaging and  form, is the “No Workers  Paradise” boxset. You should keep reading, but what I also recommend is that you  stop what you’re doing and instantly ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

We  are  fans of  boxsets, we are fans of conceptual art, and we are fans of toolboxes and  ridiculously ambitious projects here at Decaycast, and Chthonic Streams exhaustive 8 hour cassette boxset titled, “V/A: NO WORKERS PARADISE” covers all of these bases and more, in one, mechanical, maniacal offering. Boxsets are awesome, and they’re even more compelling when they actually contain new material, by, gasp, even living artists. No shade on the myriad of Miles Davis and John Coltrane CD reissue boxsets that we have all seen and probably purchased, but eight hours of new material, from eight heavy hitters in the noise/industrial/power electronics scene enclosed in a matte black tool box, accompanied by a zine and customized time card to boot, is not really something we could (or should ignore). We received a rather large media mail box from New York and upon opening, the “No Workers Paradise” boxset emerged, a sleek matte black toolbox with a shiny chrome latch and basic font that reads “No Workers Paradise” is affixed to the top. Its interior reveals eight 60-minute cassettes and a zine/accompanying booklet for the release, and customized time card emerge as the tools for the job, so to speak. It was time to clock in.

As with all of the labels’ releases, the artwork is done by label head honcho Derek Rush who also books shows, is an active DJ, and works in graphic design and photography, so it comes as no surprise that all of the artwork included looks stunning and professional, accented by the printed booklet and cassette artwork itself. We haven’t even gotten into the sounds and this is already worth the $75 price tag without question, a truly beautifully put together collection. Now into the meat and bones of these disgruntled, bloody and beaten-down workers, we will delve into the sounds in reaction to the  tormented work day!

The boxset starts with the label owner’s project, COMPACTORoffering a strong, mechanically styled “old school” feeling industrial track with clanging rhythms, backed with the tick tock tick tock of the overlord’s clock. The panopticon is omnipresent and the worker must continue. Wake up. Work! Time To Work! Until you DIE, and DIE, until you can clock out at the end of the day and do it all again. Compactor’s sounds generally fall within a more mechanized style of industrial, there is soul, but it’s the soul of a robot programed to destroy itself, through repeated, violent, senseless rhythms, yet Rush’s sound and sample choices are powerful and intentional. The, slow, churning blown out percussion blends perfectly with the  high squelching feedback of industry/insanity and  multi-layered, multi-timbral synth workings. Compactor’s offering is the perfect opening to the project, cold, alienating, mechanized, and dense; the perfect ramp up to the more  fuzzed out, abstracted works of some of the other contributors to the boxset, The Vomit  Arsonist,  Redrot, Gnawed, and Filth, amongst others.

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Another  standout sound work in this massive offering comes from Denton, TX’s FILTHwho offers up his own interpretation of an hour slice of the standard american work day. Rob Buttrum’s FILTH project is known for his menacing cacophony of industrialized noise, power electronics and analog psychedelic compositions. FILTH brings his A game to work for with a dark, brooding, menacing stitching of fuzzed out, psychedelic noise and drenched in feedback power electronics, in what can only be described as the  FILTH sound, which we have covered in the past HERE in an interview with Buttrum and his label OUT OF BODY RECORDS.  Buttrum does offer a rhythmic backing at times, but in a different, slightly more diffused, muffled style than COMPACTOR, but don’t skimp on the manual,  because there is a harsh reality in store if you don’t, and  you’re likely to get gobbled up into the machine and  spat out as puny remains, but FILTH’s sound is  not exclusively harsh, tripped out noise, there are  abstracted broken rhythms, there is intention, it is planned, and panned, it IS the sound of the second hour of the day forcing itself into the  negative space of your brain, that may in fact, prove to be your  last of the day, of your life. FILTH is the sound of a  rusted, dilapidated, unstable, harsh machine taking its unknowing operator with it to an early grave.  Planned obsolescence, like user, like machine.

Michigan’s REDROT (Chondritic Sound, Bloodlust, Slaughter Productions) aka Ryan Oppermann offers another standout track on “No Worker’s Paradise” with one of their tracks titled, “Work Release Program Terminations”. REDROT is blackened, harsh noise/PE, with slices of  blown out  beats, and angular rhythmic structures over a sea of  dense power electronics and industrial. The machine has already regurgitated the  one time worker into a mess of fleshy, red, sacks of rotting remains, and REDROT is the  absolute perfect soundtrack to the coworkers slowly and confusingly sweeping the bloody bits into a bag for disposal. Redrot carries a white noise sword which swiftly and steadily shaves away at the listeners  inner ear  canal, until a drop of blood leaks out, and starts a mechanical frenzy leaving the  workers, along, confused, and  scared as the  drop turns into a red pool where music dies.

Another standout offering on this project is Minneapolis, MN’s  GNAWED, aka  Grant Richardson. We’ve covered one of GNAWED’s previous releases HERE on Decaycast. 

GNAWED‘s track for “No Worker’s Paradise” is similar to  his other industrial, harsh noise, power  electronics hybrid funeral stylings; chaotic, yet restrained, busy yet articulate, harsh but at times even beautiful. Much like  FILTH, GNAWED  uses homemade analog electronics to create a brooding, dark, cavernous sound all of his  own. His “Terminal Epoch” album from Phage Tapes, would be the closest style wise that I’ve heard for the track for this boxset. GNAWED is a master of tension through intentional and articulate dynamics, balancing sharp, harsh sounds with lower, more  brooding under swellings of terror; the track slowly and painfully oscillates between violent shudders, chaotic, dense, noise blasts and distorted, broken voice swells.

THE VOMIT ARSONIST, EXISTENCE IN DECLINEBLSPHM and WORK/DEATH  also punch in with powerful sound works blending industrial, harsh/blackened noise, power/electronics and dark, experimental moods of the harsher, angular  style.

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The boxset as a whole is a lengthy listen clocking in at the 8 hour mark, but when one thinks of the  slow, grudging, unrelenting time clock of the american work day, this tour de force of harsh industrial / PE  serves as a warm, relaxing day on the beach as a vacation, even for a day, from the  alienating, hellscape robotic world that is American capitalism. Rush does right by all of the artists involved with stunningly beautiful and appropriate artwork and  packaging as with all of the labels releases. A must for any noise collector, and/or hater of  capitalism.

ORDER THE  BOXSET HERE! 

Chthonic Streams Online Store 

Label Website 

 

LIMITED TO 50 NUMBERED COPIES
(additional 16 go to artists only)