Features

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... 

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... 
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