DECAYCAST Reviews: Bonnie Baxter “AXIS” (Hausu Mountain, 2019)

Ok so once in a while something so twisted, mutated, alien and sinister lands in the inbox and what a rare joy this situation is, and that’s exactly how we would describe the new album “AXIS” from Brooklyn based producer Bonnie Baxter, which, by the way is out NOW on the esteemed and never disappointing Hausu Mountain imprint, and you should go buy it right now! On “AXIS”, Baxter blends chaotic electronic blasts of sputtering, broken IDM rhythms with chopped and mutated alien vocal transmissions. The pacing and intensity are both set on high as Baxter belts forth a scattering array of tempo, time, and timbre changes seemingly on the neckline of a dime, all while creating a dark, unsettling yet unifying and coherent collection of tracks. This is maximalist music for an alien invasion where the beings slice open the ear, amplify it and reconfigure the soud intake structure; it is now inverted and begins omitting violent, brooding, and cynical laugh tracks for the apocalypse. Some tracks such as, “Spirit Enema” focus on more minimalist, albeit twisted takes on IDM/House music percussion with ominous shifting tones backing childlike vocal tone poems. Despite the often whimsical yet twisted vocal presentation, the electronics hold their own and never stalemate, every sound within every track is a now sonic discovery that adds depth and complexity to the album overall and the track within itself.

Other tracks like the later “Celestite” offer lush undulating muffled brass like textures which give breadth to complex yet minimal percussion tom lines as well as wells of elegantly placed reverb and delays, all sitting beautifully and elegantly in the mix. The sheer range of sonic explorations sound wise, percussion and vocal wise is impressive in itself , but the fact that composition wise, this album flows so well, despite it’s wide chaotic reach and conceptual points of entry, drops it in the highly recommended category for us, don’t sleep on this, A+ twisted electronic jams!

DECAYCAST Reviews – Witches Of Malibu – “The Grand Crucifier” (Dead Media Recordings, 2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews – Witches Of Malibu – “The Grand Crucifier” (Dead Media Recordings, 2018)

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Witches of Malibu is the project of underground  industrial / harsh noise / psychedelic master Skott Rusch also of Hunting Lodge fame.  For this  release Skott’s playing under the WOM moniker and this one is released by  Dead Media Recordings, out of Ontario, CA. “The Grand  Crucifier” opens up  with a distant noisy, slow,  industrial rhythmic thudding which slowly grows with frequency, intensity and  terror.  A violent, shuddering call and response pacing develops between cold, clanging metal blasts of  metal and high pitched, unrelentingly harsh, static-filled, spikes of noise and chaos, however it never morphs into anything that could be construed as carelessly random. One thing that sticks out of these tracks is the the  tension, intention, and focus remain focused on their own bleak starkness which only serves to make the sounds that much darker and menacing. These cuts are super intentioned, and never fade into the realm often visited in harsh noise of unconnected,  random and selfish sounds, each  section possesses its own structure and harsh intentionality,  and with each sonic shriek, stab, or inverted  explosion comes a heightened peak of anxiety and uneasiness,  again and again until that is the listener is meant with deafening silence upon the tracks completion. Not to fear though, as dark soup will be served at the table all night, and the bleak, misty, cavernous  alienating sounds of WOM aren’t going anywhere, at least for the duration of this cassette.

The second track, Strike Strikes (04:11) is perhaps the  album’s most static offering in terms of movement, but  still provides a grating, hellish, scraping soundtrack to the days  activities of  gently knifing out your eyeballs and rolling them down the hill as they collect dirt and eradicate the last bits of light folded into your brain. The track builds with volume, form and intensity and by the end, a dark psychedelic confusion sets in and you can neither see nor hear nor feel where you have ended up, the pulsing has eclipsed all of your senses and the deafening shrieking has taken over. 

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The third and probably strongest and most dynamic track, “The Shine Cannon-Hectic Parasite”  starts with an almost inaudible hum for a  few seconds and then quickly turns into a buzz saw like cacophony of synth engine  destruction, slowly shifting and pulsing to bleed out the last bit of orientation one may have had at this point in the listening experience. The buzzing  goes from a constant square like jagged, aggressive, but relatively static,  sound to  morphed , twisted, swirling  sphere of sonic memory failure, blending into the next wave of  aural destruction. The cassette closes out with a slightly more minimalist, barren, percussion  forward track with some  subtly shifting whirling string like synths which sound more like a bowed saw than  synthesizer, blending perfectly with the choppy, blown out, mangled and twisted percussion. Rhythms pound and shake and eventually fade  away. The cochlear is now a dark, barren hole into the center of nothingness, and the  white noise blasts, high shrieking oscillators and garbled transmission ensure you won’t be making it back up the hill- you are forever  trapped in the  bottom of this pit and the sound  of  scraping, clawing, clamoring blasts of  sonic slag is the last sound that will  ever  pressurize your  ear  drum. Good bye. The end. Buy this TAPE HERE  or pretty much anything by this project.

 

– Michael Daddona

 

Decaycast REVIEWS: ZONE TRIPPER / FALSE FLAG split Cs (Fiorever Escaping Boredom Records, 2012)

Decaycast REVIEWS: ZONE TRIPPER / FALSE FLAG split Cs (Fiorever Escaping Boredom Records, 2012)

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I like this cassette before I even pop it in. The cover artwork , like a lot of stuff from this label, FOREVER ESCAPING BOREDOM Records, has a clean, intentional design to it . The artist uses provocative dark imagery, without being overly sensational, or shocking “for the sake of it”. Zone Tripper occupies the speakers right off the bat with a dense, yet well mixed dark synth backing track with rhythmic high patched pitched noise stabs over the top, creating a dark, slow hypnotic , minimal industrial landscape, the chaos keeps building and tension rises and next thing you know, your on your back with a shaking maniac screaming in your face through a seemingly endless tunnel of manic shivering reverb. The sound is as if someone is shaking your body so violently that the ears begin opening and closing ago fast that the brain becomes disoriented to the helicopter like air pressure change in the sonic stew. BUILDING, building and building, the yelling vocals begin to build atop pillars of their own decaying existence into and nauseous, menacing swell, and then its over, it feels unnerving and wrong, a stellar short offering from the ZONE TRIPPER project.

The B side is JML of Rainbow Bridge’s under the False Flag moniker, COPS are exposed for the stuck pig knife in the brain in the system that they are – and the baton comes cracking against the listeners ear fresh out of the cell- and disorientation, fear, and distrust begin multiplying by the second. Harsh, industrial pounding, and growling barely audible rhythms of everything that’s wrong with authority , and that’s everything. Super dense, dark, evil zones of sonic corruption on this tape of bloody evidence gone bad. No silly squealing or squelching, just dark punishing oscillators sonically soaked in pigs blood. Thick, evil sounding walls of motorcycle engines rearing their output to light a sonic molotov cocktail of screaming noise- DARK DARK SOUNDS, the HOPE YOU HAD IS GONE ; a sonic manifestation of the failed system . Toward the end, yelled  manic vocals pulse in, but  still give the mix  it’s space; a nice touch.  I don’t know what else to say but this tape SLAYS. Two really strong sides of murky, fuzzed out fascist killing industrial noise works. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

FOREVER ESCAPING BOREDOM RECORDS