Features

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... 

The Miscreant’s Favorite Things: Jeanette’s 2014 Wrap-up

January 9, 2015

The Miscreant’s Favorite Things: Jeanette’s 2014 Wrap-up I learned a few things in 2014. I learned that computers break, that jobs are hard, that you can’t hurry love. I learned how to get un-lost in Queens, the names of every host on The Today Show, and that I continue to be allergic to shellfish despite my best efforts. Most importantly, I learned in... 

2014: Adam’s Year Of The Sweaty Rock Song Blanket

January 7, 2015

2014: Adam’s Year Of The Sweaty Rock Song Blanket This year I am putting together a “list” but with a slightly different constraint than what most music journalists do. Instead of the “Best Albums of 2014,” I will share my favorite non-2014 musical discoveries. I’ve listened to a lot of memorable, new music this year, but I do not need to... 

Trials, Troubles, Tribulations: Jeffrey’s 2014 Wrap-up

January 5, 2015

Trials, Troubles, Tribulations: Jeffrey’s 2014 Wrap-up 2014 was an immense learning year for me. Oftentimes, looking back upon one’s own accomplishments (or perhaps lack thereof) can prove to be an anxiety inducing experience filled with plenty of self-doubt and regret. However difficult, this year I’m attempting to complete my self-review process... 

Side-by-Side: Fall Guitar Releases from Cabin Floor Esoterica

December 19, 2014

Side-by-Side: Fall Guitar Releases from Cabin Floor Esoterica Cabin Floor Esoterica has had ample opportunity to impress this year and many of their releases were standouts, but as winter swung into full gear a few of us at Decoder picked up on one particular presence in their catalog this year, that is, their trio of beautiful guitar releases from mid-fall.... 

Of Making Deliberate Music: A Line in the Sand project

December 4, 2014

Of Making Deliberate Music: A Line in the Sand project To think that A Line in the Sand – one of the year’s more ambitious and noteworthy projects headed up by core musicians Nathan McLaughlin, Joe Houpert, Josh Mason, and Cody Yantis – all started because of a surplus of empty tape cases lying around seems somewhat comical, but the creative spark... 

Seattle and the Sahel, or, How your favorite rock star is really just a modern-day shaman

November 26, 2014

Seattle and the Sahel, or, How your favorite rock star is really just a modern-day shaman The art of music is so inherent in man that it is superfluous to have a particular name for it. —Francis Bebey, African Music: A People’s Art (1969) trans. Josephine Bennet What do you do after a record knocks your socks off? Silence seems like the best compliment one can afford. You are speechless,... 

Bedhead pt. 2: Remembered

November 13, 2014

Bedhead pt. 2: Remembered Much has been said about the sense of perfection in Bedhead’s music. With an appreciation of restraint and arrangements that were de-cluttered to the point utter austerity, the Dallas-based band’s approach fell in line with the encroaching “slow core” tag. But Bedhead’s songs... 

Bedhead pt. 1: Interviewed

November 12, 2014

Bedhead pt. 1: Interviewed While bands across the United States spent the 90s trying to make big money off variations of belligerent and ironic rock, a handful of artists quietly followed paths away from the wreckage. Lumped together under nebulous genre names like “slowcore,” these artists recast the term “rock”... 

Catching Up With Silent Land Time Machine

October 29, 2014

Catching Up With Silent Land Time Machine Since 2008, Austin based Jonathan Slade has been recording and performing as Silent Land Time Machine in addition to playing in other projects such as Lumens and AMASA•GANA. After the release of his critically lauded debut, &hope still, he has kept busy touring and co-running Austin’s... 

Here for the Outsiders: An Interview with Odawas

October 17, 2014

Here for the Outsiders: An Interview with Odawas With their new album Reflections of a Pink Laser, Odawas have once again shown themselves to be one of the best groups in contemporary music. Deeply underappreciated perhaps due to the subtlety of their music or the rarity of their lives shows, the band deserve a wide audience for their honest and deeply... 

Philadelphia Dreaming: A Conversation With Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler

October 9, 2014

Philadelphia Dreaming: A Conversation With Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler In 2013, following a lengthy stint as a member of Thurston Moore’s touring group, Philadelphia-based harpist Mary Lattimore sat down with recording engineer Jeff Zeigler to craft her solo debut, the lush and lovely The Withdrawing Room for Desire Path Recordings. One track from that album –... 

Breakfast With My Laptop: An Interview with The Phantom

October 2, 2014

Breakfast With My Laptop: An Interview with The Phantom UK bass music has and continues to be very influential in Poland. Our deejays and producers have often been hypnotized by the likes of Hyperdub, Night Slugs, and other English labels. Yet only few local artists managed to develop their own idiosyncratic style as unique as The Phantom. Bartosz Kruczyński... 

Beyond the Celestial Din: A Conversation With Garek Jon Druss

September 9, 2014

Beyond the Celestial Din: A Conversation With Garek Jon Druss Seattle’s Debacle Records has cast a mighty shadow over the city’s experimental music scene, from the noise, drone, and glorious weirdness that comprises the annual Debacle Fest, to the wild and bleary techno that comes out of the regular MOTOR nights. Many groups in the area claim affiliation... 

Dramatic Starts and Epic Endings: An Interview with Ensemble Economique

September 5, 2014

Dramatic Starts and Epic Endings: An Interview with Ensemble Economique Around 2008, Brian Pyle became personal with the title Ensemble Economique via Digitalis Recordings’ releases At The Foot Of Nameless Roads and No GPS. Three years prior, he and his close pal, Merrick McKinlay began their dynasty as Starving Weirdos. Since the start of these two projects, Brian... 

Otherwise, What’s the Point? An Interview with Kat Bee of Summer Bummer Records

August 27, 2014

Otherwise, What’s the Point? An Interview with Kat Bee of Summer Bummer Records In a time where it seems like many labels are known for their own name-recognition rather than the quality of music they push out, Summer Bummer is one of the most important record labels out there right now, putting the focus and attention back on artists. The label gives “special attention to... 

Carnatic Radio: Your 24/7 Source for Krithis

August 13, 2014

Carnatic Radio: Your 24/7 Source for Krithis Over the past few months, I’ve developed an addiction to CarnaticRadio, a Singapore-based online stream of Carnatic music. I became obsessed with Carnatic songs, the Southern style of Indian classical music, after taking an incredible student-initiated survey course taught by Stanford students and... 
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