Features

Heavy-Ass Freaks: An Interview with CCR Headcleaner

April 22, 2015

Heavy-Ass Freaks: An Interview with CCR Headcleaner The San Fran weirdo quartet CCR Headcleaner have been making their mark in the sonic mire of the Bay Area since 2008 via various projects — they run Pollen Season (a label/collective), and have played in Long Legged Woman, Waste Rig, and The Hospitals, among others. They’ve also had releases... 

At the Fringe of the Caldera: An Interview with Ariel Kalma and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

April 16, 2015

At  the  Fringe of the Caldera: An Interview with Ariel Kalma and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe Though they pursue their recordings in much different environments, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe from his current home in Brooklyn and Ariel Kalma at his Main Arm studio outside of Mullimbimby, Australia, both were in fact born to city life. Lowe was born in Kansas City before first moving to Chicago, while... 

Translating Daniel Wyche’s ‘The Last Flight of the Voidship Remainder’

April 14, 2015

Translating Daniel Wyche’s ‘The Last Flight of the Voidship Remainder’ In autumn of 2014, guitarist Daniel Wyche took the stage at The Burlington, a noise-friendly Logan Square dive in Chicago, with drummer Ryan Packard, which opened a series of collaborations between the experimental musicians. The duo worked together on a blistering debut performance of his composition,... 

The Poet and The Worker: A Q&A With Tim Olive

April 9, 2015

The Poet and The Worker: A Q&A With Tim Olive Canadian ex-pat Tim Olive manages to wrangle a seemingly endless variety of sounds from a single steel guitar string accompanied by the simplest of electronics. Lightning storms, enormous resonant bodies, damaged machines, oceanic roars, and primal animal calls all emanate from his spartan set-up. It... 

It Sounds Cheap: An Interview with Kai Hugo on Palmbomen II

April 2, 2015

It Sounds Cheap: An Interview with Kai Hugo on Palmbomen II When I first streamed Dutch producer Kai Hugo’s latest album, Palmbomen II, I was transfixed. In my notebook, I scrawled cryptic notes to myself as I pored over the new LP, the accompanying promo films, episodes of The X-Files, and Hugo’s 2013 album Night Flight Europa (a product of the Hugo’s... 

Ever Hopeful: Tracing the Lineage of San Francisco’s Tiaras

March 26, 2015

Ever Hopeful: Tracing the Lineage of San Francisco’s Tiaras San Francisco’s Tiaras released their self-titled album last month on Sacramento boutique punk and garage label Mt. St. Mtn. Tiaras is a shimmering debut, ever-hopeful like much of lead singer Ryan Grubbs’ past work in Ganglians, and marks a turning point for two songwriters aligned since 2008.... 

From the Archives: Motion & Soundlessness – Lawrence English’s The Peregrine

March 25, 2015

From the Archives: Motion & Soundlessness – Lawrence English’s The Peregrine Originally released in 2011, Lawrence English’s The Peregrine saw the Brisbane, Australia-based producer and Room40 owner poised at the precipice of a long and hallowed discography, including revered works of processed sound on Touch, Line, Immune, Autumn, Baskaru, and his own Room40, among... 

Blood: A Look Inside REIGHNBEAU’s New Album

March 19, 2015

Blood: A Look Inside REIGHNBEAU’s New Album When I called Bryce Fletcher Hample of REIGHNBEAU, he was in his Albuquerque studio, painting. The musician was preparing for a show exhibiting seven of his newest paintings at The Harwood Art Center alongside a handful of other New Mexico-based visual artists. Hample’s career as a visual artist is... 

I Want It All: Blake Butler On Music & Writing

March 17, 2015

I Want It All: Blake Butler On Music & Writing In the last ten years, who in the world has listened to strange, crazy pieces of music obsessively, over and over… and written a widely published novel influenced by those experiences? Survey a few 21st century authors and their musical influences, and you might get some intriguing but unsurprising... 

Modular Republic: An Interview with Sam Prekop

March 12, 2015

Modular Republic: An Interview with Sam Prekop For the better part of two decades, Sam Prekop has been something of a household name in indie rock. Serving as a member of late-80s, early-90s darlings Shrimp Boat, recording jazzy pop with Archer Prewitt, Eric Claridge, and John McEntire as the Sea and Cake, or issuing dichotomous sets of pop and... 

Consciousness is a Tricky Machine: A Q&A with Jan St. Werner

February 27, 2015

Consciousness is a Tricky Machine: A Q&A with Jan St. Werner Jan St. Werner has been actively deconstructing electronic music since the mid 1990s, initially as half of the monumental Mouse on Mars (with Andi Toma) and Microstoria (with Oval’s Markus Popp). His solo material, originally recorded under the Lithops banner, is slightly more intellectually stimulating... 

Reclaiming Ordinary Rooms: Q&A with Insect Factory

February 25, 2015

Reclaiming Ordinary Rooms: Q&A with Insect Factory Getting to know experimental musicians is a bit like reading a superhero comic in reverse. One first observes them performing extraordinary feats of superhuman skill, improvising and innovating beyond the realms of our imagination; then when you meet them offstage, more often than not, they’re unmasked... 

Romantic and Corrosive: An Interview with High Aura’d & Mike Shiflet

February 19, 2015

Romantic and Corrosive: An Interview with High Aura’d & Mike Shiflet Collaborations can be tricky beasts to tame, for both players and listeners alike. From the musician’s viewpoint, walking a sonic tight-rope between an implosion of battling egos or dissolving from each player’s mutual over-appreciation is a narrow and perilous route to traverse. As a listener,... 

Psychocandy and Vertigo: An Interview with Jóhann Jóhannsson

February 5, 2015

Psychocandy and Vertigo: An Interview with Jóhann Jóhannsson Jóhann Jóhannsson has built a staggering body of work that lends itself a certain freedom that many other modern classical composers are either too “academic” or “dry” to achieve. Through film scores, music for stage work, and albums on various experimentally-minded labels... 

Dwight’s 2014: Last Year, What Year? Just Say Hello

January 30, 2015

Dwight’s 2014: Last Year, What Year? Just Say Hello As I wrote in the introduction to yesterday’s label feature, 2014 looked like a good year for labels — we admittedly see and try to treat with a large number, but isn’t that any aspiring capitalist’s ideal vision of shopping? A world of choice, with access to varied experiences.... 

Gestures in Directions: Labels on the Move in 2015

January 29, 2015

Gestures in Directions: Labels on the Move in 2015 If 2014 was a good year for labels, it was because the wherewithal still exists to start one, and continues growing far afield; there are the same old hotbeds but growth is clearly across the board. For this feature we ended up mostly looking at American labels for the sake of a focused but still far... 

A Smattering of Outtakes and Ramblings: Bobby’s 2014

January 21, 2015

A Smattering of Outtakes and Ramblings: Bobby’s 2014 2014 hosted the most incredible highs and devastating lows in my personal life, but  writing and editing posts day after day here at Decoder always kept me looking up. Here’s a list of stuff that got me through a long and stressful year in one way or another. Cheers to everyone and everything. And... 

Call it “The Other World” or “Various Turds” – Phil’s 2014

January 16, 2015

Call it “The Other World” or “Various Turds” – Phil’s 2014 My grasp on music in 2014 came largely through windows, colored by an experiential and narrow outlook into the music world, and largely in terms of how music related to me. With the impending arrival of a daughter in May, I shot off as many attempts at whatever could keep music alive for my life, should... 

Best of 2014: Defending Generational Music with Nicholas

January 14, 2015

Best of 2014: Defending Generational Music with Nicholas Music Ain’t A Crime On one hand, my musical year could have started and ended in mid-January when dispatches from New Orleans emphatically announced that a noise ordinance was killed by the city council. Opposition to that ordinance promptly staged a Jazz Funeral for the doomed measure, raising... 

Demolishing Particles: Making Sense of 2014 with Bryon

January 12, 2015

Demolishing Particles: Making Sense of 2014 with Bryon I’m in my late thirties. For me, a year begins and then in the blink of an eye I’m looking back on it, writing about it.  When I was younger, I disagreed that time flew by quicker as one got older. Now, I’m not so sure that my younger self was right. But by reflecting at the end of... 
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