Features

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... 

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... 
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