DECAYCAST Reviews : Bran (…) Pos “Cosmic Mushmouth”  CS (Planetary Magnetics, 2020)

DECAYCAST Reviews : Bran (…) Pos “Cosmic Mushmouth”  CS (Planetary Magnetics, 2020)

Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 3.57.26 PM

Bran(…)Pos‘ new album “Cosmic Mushmouth” may be the most complete overview of Jake Rodriguez’s multi-faceted soundscape composition to date. With his signature vocal-triggered electronics buried under layers of modular and effects, “Space Gelt” seems closest to a lot of the recent live performances I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Jake do. I first saw Bran(…)Pos in the late 1990s in SF and seeing how different each
performance could be and the many concepts that Jake has tried over the years has made him a favorite of mine and many in the Bay Area. It’s great to see him team up with Tyler Harwood (who produced this for his label (Planetary Magnetics) and did the artwork) who you may have seen perform as Anti-Ear or together with Rodriguez as ‘Beandip Troubadours,’ fully engaging both of their hilarious stage performance skills.

The crowning tracks here are the 20+ minute composition “RxR (rocket crossing)” which slowly builds into a stuttering modular synth rhythm with some of Bran’s trademark acoustic tympani playing. The final track “Martian Brine Pool” features an amplified cello;  another instrument that Bran has used off and on and in many configurations over the years.

Rodriguez is now heavily entrenched in the Bay Area theater scene, doing sound and composition. It will be exciting to see what lies ahead for this polymath and true SF original. Albums and acts like this that make me excited to be living and working still in SF. Come aboard!     – Derek Gedalecia

DECAYCAST Guest List: Bran (…) Pos “EOY TOTALE 2019” Bay Area Multimedia Artist Chooses His Favorite Mind Bending Media of 2019

DECAYCAST Guest List: Bran (…) Pos “EOY TOTALE 2019” Bay Area Multimedia Artist Chooses His Favorite Mind Bending Media of 2019

 

0017631283_10

EOY TOTALE 2019

some of things that flicked my tick this year by bran(…)pos

Headboggle “Polyphonic Demo”  – Ratskin Records

40+ one-minute diddies catchy as fuck, and always weirdy. Then the dude practiced the pieces and toured them and they got better and deeper. Each live show I saw of Derek this year topped the last. Bubble machine finale at the Dildo gave me the creepy-happy chills.

 

Patrick Cowley “Mechanical Fantasy Box”  – Dark Entries Records

https://www.darkentriesrecords.com/store/vinyl/lp/patrick-cowley-mechanical-fantasy-box/

This got a lot of spins from me and combined with the release of the same-titled “Homoerotic Journal” creates an amazing document of a period of San Francisco that is increasingly becoming as lost as one of those self-driving cars stalled in a SOMA intersection.

 

Sahra Halgan Trio “Waa Dardaaran”  – self-released

Sahra has an incredible voice and energy and this trio combining her song stylings from her native Somaliland with a tight rockish energy brought by French musicians Aymeric Krol and Mael Saletes puts big smiles on my face every listen. I wore out their 2016 EP “Faransiskiyo Somaliland”, and was super excited to see they had a new release on Bandcamp this year.

 

XUXA SANTAMARIA “Chancletas D’Oro”  – Ratskin Records

Haven’t stopped playing this record. Sits right in the 2019 groove for me. Poppy, hard, sexy, smart as hell, and just a really fucking well-produced record. Won’t be surprised when this band blows way the fuck up. I promise I won’t be a hater when that happens.

 

Ed Balloon “The Dubs”  – Deathbomb Arc

Like nothing else I wore out this year. “Dreamworld” may be my favorite pop song in many years, and this tape was certainly my summer soundtrack of 2019. I’ve yet to see him perform live, and I’ve heard he brings it. Excited to see/hear more in 2020.

 

Dos Monos “Dos City”  – Deathbomb Arc

Another tape I played to death and memorized. I love these fools’ energy and sharp vocals riff on each other like the jazz samples they so well-employ in the production. Fun as hell and got me through some bike rides I have no business putting my knees through.

 

WAXYTOMB “Imminent Fold”  – Gilgongo Records

https://gilgongorecords.wordpress.com/tag/waxy-tomb/

Strange and gorgeous futurewrong electronic rhythms and vocals LP packaged alongside a 10-inch glossy “visual lyrics book” with amazing computer art by JulesLC, this is hands-down one of my favorite new weirds of 2019.

**** You can also read our review of the album here 

Sir Artful Cornhole Doily “Sings the All-Time Greats”  – Planetary Magnetics Corporation

http://www.planetarymagnetics.com/music-1

Imagine The Frogs slapping a baby around with a rubber fish covering the best/worst songs of your ok-boomer life. Yeah, this fella has more musical ability in his damp palms than any of us deserve, and we should be so lucky that he is putting music out in 2019 and beyond. Good luck finding this tape, but try contacting Planetary Magnetics hq in New Orleans direct.

 

The Residents “Mole Box”  – Cherry Red Records

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/the-residents-mole-box-the-complete-mole-trilogy-preserved/

A longtime favorite set of music from a longtime favorite band came out this year collected, remastered, and filled with tons of extra material and documentation. The Residents alongside Cherry Red Records have been firing out reissues of all their classic material lately, but none of the pREServed editions have been as exciting and revealing to me as this set. A runner-up would have to be the Record Store Day BS reissue, filled with ancient Rezzy material I had never heard. Residents 4ever.

 

Chromatics live at Mezzanine SF June 12, 2019

Chromatics

I’ve been a casual fan of Chromatics, but this live show put me over the edge. So great to see this unit form the music live and fill a club. This being the last show of their first tour in many years, there was real emotion on stage and in the audience. Their new record “Closer to Gray” has been on repeat play for me, but nothing recorded from this band has quite captured the energy of the live show in my opinion.

 

Evil Moisture/Thomas Dimuzio/Demonface/Ava Mendoza/Hobo Sonn live at Peacock Lounge December 18, 2019

hqdefault

https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1360084

James Decker/Resipiscent Records has been putting on monthly experimental shows for a few years now at venues around SF, but the much-needed SF series has really found a home at Lower Haight’s Peacock Lounge. I had the pleasure of working sound and sitting front row for this particular gig, which really brought a fantastic close to 2019 with solid to spectacular sets from every act, including maybe my favorite solo Ava Mendozaset ever.

 

RaffyTaphyASMR “ASMR raffy’s 3 hour video”

The king of tingles is back! After a lengthy break from any new material, Raffy came back strong in 2019, and his 3-hour video of all new good sounds quietly blows out the competition. Other ASMRtists have trouble coming up with a continuous 20-minute session without looping, and here Raffy remains strong and relaxing with unique content all the way through a full 3 hours. At least, I think that’s the case. I’ve never made it through the whole thing awake.

 

Biggest Crock of Shit 2019

“Cambodian Rock Band” by Lauren Yee with (some) music by Dengue Fever at OSF

Remember those Cambodian Rocks comps from the 90s? How about that 2014 documentary “Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten? Cambodia’s Lost Rock ‘N’ Roll”? Playwright Lauren Yee and band Dengue Fever hope that maybe you have forgotten about artists like Yol Aularong, Ros Serey Sothea, and Sinn Sisamouth as they front this disingenuous music play about the Cambodian genocide. “With music and songs by Dengue Fever” blasted all over the promotion and program with little to no information explaining that about half the songs are cover songs from this classic and tragic period of music and history. Dengue Fever has made a career of this kind of charlatanry and unfortunately theater folk are as susceptible to this kind of shortchanging of history as anyone I know. This play is a HUGE hit and will be produced everywhere in 2020. Almost every theater person I’ve talked to about it loves it. Every music person I talk to about it gags. I have way too many thoughts but suffice to say nothing in the arts irked me more in 2019.

 

Late entry (direct into my veins): Follow Your Heart “Siracha Vegenaise”

unnamed

The Belgian concept of mayonnaise on fries has always disgusted me. After trying this incredibly addictive vegan spicy sauce during the recent holidays at Follow Your Heart’s longtime Canoga Park home, I have to revise all former thoughts on the matter. In 2020 you will find me dead of heart failure with an empty bottle of this shoved direct in my throat. I will have died happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

bran(…)pos is the ongoing audio-visual-performance-noise-musique-brain-bend of Jxxx Rxxz from San Francisco, CARodriguez has been performing and recording under this moniker since 1996 with releases on C.I.P., Resipiscent, Ratskin Records, Animal Disguise, and Chitah! Chitah! Soundcrack

You can follow Bran (…) Pos at:

www.soundcrack.net

https://branpos.bandcamp.com/

DECAYCAST Reviews : GLUE “II” Cassette (Zazen Tapes, 2019)

a2019930123_16

Another anonymous submission goes under the gun. This is pretty straight forward guitar noise/ harsh noise from GLUE  titled “II”. Lo Fi scraping and a  distressed engine revs over and over grinding the outer ear off with a feedback-induced haze, spiraling headache of a toxic grin, GLUE does exactly that, seals the ear canal as we run for cover from the sharp, cascading blasts of grumbling noise.

The B side is a gust of wind, slowly encapsulating the listener, like a boat  ripping through the beachfront, mauling unsuspecting tourists through VHS style fodder. This is a tour of low-style crunchy, ripping noises, nothing totally spectacular, but a  solid first release for the label ZAZEN Tapes and  A+  for alienation with the  ringing, piercing wind/ cloud cascade,. Fun sonic ride.

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

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

a1197365856_16

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 Premieres: Watergate Sandals Releases “Presidential Bootleg” via Under The Counter Tapes. Listen to “Ukranian March” Below!

DECAYCAST Premieres: Watergate Sandals’ Releases “Presidential Bootleg” via Under The Counter Tapes

 

watergate_sandals_FrontJCard

Here we have a genre we haven’t really covered before on Decaycast and what better way to bridge this gap then with a fantastic new release from underground mainstays Under The Counter Tapes. For their newest release, they present “Presidential Bootleg”  from Watergate Sandals. W/S excavate their twanged, fuzzed out, up beat, four to the floor garage rock sound to it’s fullest extend on “Ukrainian March” which you can listen to for the first time below. The track combines thick distorted guitars, driving basses, and cavernous drums accented with vocals oscillating between a fed up, accentuated yell and blown out howls which perfectly complement the sound and vibe of this upbeat, but heavy  track, perhaps the standout on the album.  Ukrainian March is like an old beat up machine inching down the road  toward  uncertainty , exhaling billows of smoke behind it’s rusty, decaying exterior, but it keeps going and going and going until the job is done. in a  seemingly oversaturated genre, Watergate Sandals offers a unique and refreshing take on garage rock / power pop, not something we have covered much here in the  past, although this offering is  both uniquely refreshing and captures a sound well those  familiar with the genre can appreciate and understand.

“Light” offers a more upbeat, slower and more controlled take on expanded garage rock / blues  with more out front vocal harmonies gelling with the guitars and drums perfectly. Light still has a garage rock feel but  defiantly oscillates into some straight classic rock territories as well. The cassette ends with “Chilly” the perfect combination of up beat guitars and vocals while acting as a crescendo for the album. This was  explained to us more as a compilation, but the flow to beginning to end and  consistent recording style lends itself as more of a complete album, energetic and fun listen, also check out the beautiful J card art below. Order this today!

 

Presidential Bootleg pulls together all 20 of Watergate Sandals recorded songs, from the 8 featured on Pick Apart the Jewels and Gems, the 5 featured on their final digital-only EP, 4 newly mastered former demo recordings, and 3 never before heard recordings to form the ultimate document of the Santa Cruz band’s history. Watergate Sandals notably went through a few distinct shifts during their run, starting as a noisy punk blues band, then moving towards more power pop oriented garage rock and then finally landing on psych rock influenced by the Paisley Underground. As such, none of their previous works quite captured a true picture of the band in isolation. Presidential Bootleg is arranged not as a chronological compilation, but its own album released (and not released) in bits and pieces over the years, flashing back and forth between the eras in a way that feels as though it were always meant to be and lending immense range and dynamism to the 70 minute runtime. Shockingly seamless transitions from the destructive force of the newly mastered “Landlord” into the soft, floating “Ways Away” paint a perfect picture of the band’s uncommon deftness and versatility.

Thanks to the efforts of Jesse Nestler (Watergate Sandals bassist) and Kevin Percy Linn (owner of Paisley Shirt Records and genius behind Sad Eyed Beatniks), we’ve been able to put together an incredible package honoring the band in celebration of the 4th anniversary of their previously only physical release, Pick Apart the Jewels and Gems. Featuring a stunning double-sided 7-panel j-card collage including archival photography, old gig flyers, and satirical American and presidential iconography, Presidential Bootleg is not only musically comprehensive, but visually as well.

UTC is absolutely thrilled to bring this incredible band’s catalog to true fruition in the form of Presidential Bootleg.

Presidential Bootleg releases April 26 digitally and on limited edition cassette bundle. Bundles are limited to 50 worldwide and include a chrome cassette tape with a double-sided 7-panel j-card, and 3 release specific collector’s pins. A portion of sales through UTC will go to Planned Parenthood.

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.

DECAYCAST Reviews: CONCRÎT “Far” (2018)

DECAYCAST Reviews: CONCRÎT “Far” (2018)

0015325871_10

Madrid, Spain outfit CONCRÎT blends decayed out ambient textures with atmospheric howls, delicate, haunting, creaks and bends in sound and tension, mixed with dark industrialized rhythms, and heavy field recordings ranging from disaster to psychoactive terror/tragedy.  CONCRÎT takes the raw field recordings at a great value, using the voice as a sort of lead guitar over the top of the dark, churning, mechanized rhythms of catastrophic failure with  dissonant rhythms. “That’s the way freedom is and we wouldn’t change it for a minute”. The music could be higher in the mix, though it does afflix the listener’s brain on the tension and caustic nature of these events blended with such mechanized, alienating sounds, though at times the voice does become so dominating we almost forget we are listening to “experimental music” though it’s not for the worst effect.  The ambient sections prove to be some of the stronger work on “Far” though the whole album holds it’s  weight in dissonance, and minimalist looping  rhythms. Closing with “0000” an unknown field recording of  chatter and a detuned, decaying piano rhythm slowly spins the listener into the end of this dark and morose sonic offering.


“FAR is the first EP of the dark ambient/industrial act CONCRÎT, based in Madrid, Spain.
The EP moves between soft programming and noisy mechanical rhythm mixed with historical speeches and ambient sounds, FAR is inspired by the human need to reach further and the consequences of exploration and conquer, the hope and the horror; Inspired by the voices of Amelia Earhart, Ernest Shackleton, Neil Armstrong, and the accident of the shuttle challenger and the attack to Hiroshima, with American presidents Reagan and Eisenhower’s speeches. The last piano piece is inspired by airports as non-places, where even travellers on their pursuit to the most remote destinations remain anonymous.”