Debacle's Best of 2014 - Shows (Rachel)

2014 was a helluva banner year for Debacle/MOTOR: Dreamweapon was a fucking force in the bunker-like confines of Kremwerk, our new home base for our parties here in Seattle. We took a trip down to Portland to hang with our MOTOR core there. Powell flew all the way over from the UK to demonstrate his selecting prowess, and hello--Container! We also had our dreams come true, hosting none other than Wolf Eyes for one our biggest crowds yet. Speaking about big crowds: Debacle Fest blew our minds with not only practically all the weirdos of the NW coming out of the woodwork to rock on some of the finest shit we could book, but it was just set after set of the best sets we've seen from those artists. Anyway, enough self-congratulation, this list is for the top stuff I witnessed over the past year, and while I could pat myself on the back all day for the great year we had, many others are also making cool shit happen:

Swans (Showbox Market, September 14th

Do I really need to say anything more? I'm sure you can surmise why they'd be at the top of my list, so let's just keep in mind: Michael Gira is 60 years old and continues to be more enthralling than people half his age, and I doubt a tighter band exists. They also played for practically a week straight yet no one left halfway thru and there was zero banter or breaks. 

Neutral Milk Hotel (Neptune Theater, April 4th)

This show sold out within three minutes, and not just because it's novel they came out of hiding. Like Swans, the band was extremely tight, there was very little bullshit banter to fill up space (as expected with as bashful a frontman as Jeff Mangum is) and they rocked out for hours. No hitches, all hits. 

Diane Cluck (Gallery 1412, March 6th

What a dream. Pretty sure I died and went to heaven. I'll just put this here:

Vanessa Skantze, "Radiant Poison" (Teatro de la Psychomachia, October 11th

Wow. A one-woman butoh performance (though scored by a band) boasting as much weight and emotion as a full production, using little more than expressive movements, powder, and dramatic lighting. This piece had me on the edge of my seat the whole time as it evoked pretty much the entirety of the human condition in a succinct vignette. This one had me feeling like I was watching a thriller. It's not surprising to learn Vanessa has been host to many a workshop teaching this piece to others. 


White Gourd (Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, March 14th

Dressed up like The Devil, and with a large backdrop of the tarot card looming above her, White Gourd gave one of the most mesmerizing performances this year. Many have done, and will continue probably forever, the whole solo performance helped by a chain of loop pedals thing, but dude! This had gongs! And chanting about how "the devil made me do it!" And just when it got real freaky, she made it rain on the audience with fake money bearing anti-capitalist messaging. Hell yeah. 

Thunder Grey Pilgrim (private party, September 20th)

Okay, this one is cheating a bit because it was a private backyard autumn equinox party, but those can have some of the best intimate performances. This one was extra special, as the "chamber doom" trio treated us to a set around a bonfire that was so on-target I don't think anyone watching breathed the whole time. 


Disemballerina & Kvndry Sings (Gallery 1412, August 17th

On the topic of chamber doom, get yourself to the nearest site sharing Disemballerina's music and listen NOW! So beautiful, it's no wonder there's a good swirl of press around this band. Also touring with them was Kvndry Sings. Are you a fan of Antony Hegarty's? Well, look up this Oakland fellow whose voice bears a striking resemblance to the singer's heavenly falsetto, but does it dressed like a hellish metal head (complete with painted on forehead upside cross and mirrored upside down cross earrings.) 

Lori Goldston and Julie Baldridge (Hothouse Spa, March 11th

Another unconventional show to make the list--hey maybe there's something to shaking up the program with a different setting? But how does a heady duo of unplugged cello and violin floating through the air as you soak naked in a hot tub and sauna with only 19 other lucky attendees at an RSVP-only evening sound? Yeah, that's what I thought. Amazing. 

Li'l Debbie (Crocodile, April 20th

Alright, alright, alright. Why is she on this list? Though my phase with her lasted all of about the month surrounding this show, I'll tell you why: girl plays a CHARACTER and plays it well. I mean, it's debatable if she knows she's still a parody or has let her minor amount of fame get to her head now, but the show was entertaining as hell. And it was on "420!" People were throwing blunts AT her, pinging her in the face while she rapped about being able to "bake" a cake and just being ridiculous. Here's a blurry photo of me rocking out to her. 

Fever Witch & Knifecream (Cairo, March 8th

Two extremely tight sets from two very talented buds; Fever Witch being from Oakland and Knifecream being our Debacle bud Mitch. 

Notables and people/events you should try to catch in 2015: 

Mynameisann!, Briana Marela, Funky Photos, The Gods Themselves, Exploding Daydream, Interracial Sex, Noise Yoga, Pent-Up Fest, Wind Burial, and Slates. 

-Rachel Leblanc, Event Coordinator  

Debacle's Best of 2014 - Albums (Sam)


The Big Four

SHXCXCHCXSH - Liner S Decoded (Avian)

"Shoegaze Techno" of the best type. I liked this bands previous albums, but Liner S Decoded is out-of-this-world good. 

Ian William Craig - A Turn of Breath (Recital) 

Heartbreaking beauty. I can barely stand to put this album on just because the emotional roller coaster. 

Vessel - Punish, Honey (Tri Angle)

I don't know how to classify this album. Slimey electronic industrial sex jams? Gothic electro strut?  

Sylvan Esso - S/T (Partisan)

I will listen to anything Amelia Meath sings, over and over and over again.


Things I also enjoyed quite a bit:

Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band - Intensity Ghost 

Container - Adhesive

Rrose - Monad XVI

Lakker - Mountain Divide

COH - To Beat

Powell - Club Music

Bing & Ruth - Tomorrow Was the Golden Age

The Bug - Angels & Devils

Jo Johnson - Weaving

Ela Stiles - Ela Stiles

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Guillotine - National Razor

Objeckt - Flatland

Kerridge - A Fallen Empire

Perc - The Power and the Glory


I also was criminally late to the party on:

Giant Claw - Dark Web

Low Jack - Garifuna Variations


Things I was sad I didnt connect with for one reason or another:

Aphex Twin - Syro

Lee Gamble - Koch

Call Super - Ecto

Dean Blunt - Black Metal

Also I really was out of the loop on what looks to be a fantastic year of metal albums.

The State of the Label Address 2014

Hello folks,

To celebrate 2014 we are kicking off our annual End of the Year sale on Small Business Saturday, use the code "2014" for 35% off everything, physical and digital, in our bandcamp! Good for the rest of the year! 

As is our tradition as we roll towards the end of the calendar year, we'd like to take a moment and reflect on everything that happened this year in Debacle land. Not only did we release 7 records on Debacle and 3 on our sister label MOTOR, but we put on 10 amazing MOTOR parties, including a trip to Portland, our best Debacle Fest yet, and numerous other shows and events including a great Wolf Eyes blazer. All of which barely scratches the surface of all the stuff that went down. We are so very proud of how much we packed into this year. Thing is, we ain't done yet!

We just let slip a brand new CD release from Minnesota newcomer Dågur, a phenomenal EP of filmic drones and dark electronics. This one is going to be for the true Debacle heads, instant classic status. Only 100 made, pick it up up now.

Also for our Seattle friends we have one more phenomenal MOTOR party to round out the year. On December 11th we will be hosting Best Available Technology (Left_blank, Opal Tapes, Further) at MOTOR XIX!

So, remember, use the code "2014" for 35% off everything, physical and digital, in our bandcamp

Sam & Rachel

Hayden Pedigo - Five Steps

Five Steps is an impressive lesson in the snowball effect. Though the Texan, Hayden Pedigo, has rarely left his panhandle home of Amarillo and is barely of drinking age, his many influences are internationally renowned, some with careers spanning longer than Pedigo’s been alive--yet with his well of talent and tenacity, he’s now had the pleasure to work with several of them. Debacle Records is excited to be a part of this next chapter in Hayden’s musical career, presenting his full-length LP out October 28th.

As Hayden recalls: “I had an idea to make this album something entirely opposite of my debut album and attempt to make it a full blown acoustic/experimental album and collaborate with people who inspire me. I recorded all the music that summer and when I finished, I decided to start asking some of my heroes to add to the pieces I wrote for the album.” And, as he puts it, “The results where incredible.” Figuring maybe a few people would respond to his requests, Hayden reached out, coming back with the likes of Danny Paul Grody, German composer Steffen Basho-Junghans, and Tompkins Square alum, Mark Fosson and Nick Jonah Davis. The resulting A side is an expansion of his debut effort (Seven Years Too Late), one that alongside friends like Daniel Bachman and Kyle Fosburgh was hailed as ushering in a new generation of primitive Americana-style pickers by NPR’s Lars Gotrich.

This kid barely looks 17, but definitely has the technique down and an unfocused, yet infectious approach.
— Lars Gotrich, NPR

Emboldened by the response from his acoustic brethren, Hayden tested the waters with his experimental heroes, hoping to flesh out the surreal, REM cycle-sourced ideas he’d been developing using field recordings and electronics. Through happenstance and a flush of luck, Hayden found himself working with This Heat’s Charles Hayward, Robert Rich, and English multi-instrumentalist and improvisor Fred Frith on the four B Side tracks titled “Dream Theory Parts One-Four.” Hearing that Faust’s Werner “Zappi” Diermaier had contributed to “Part Three”, Acid Mothers Temple’s Kawabata Makoto asked to be a part of the action, contributing to the creeping track that creates an eerie atmosphere of the unknown which lurks in dark corners.

The result is an 11-track stunner, melding the worlds of rollicking, warm acoustic guitar compositions and dark, unsettling ambient experimentations. Each side could solidly stand on its own; however together they represent the precocious ideas of a small-town artist on the edge of breaking out. Next up for Hayden: Curating the revived Imaginational Anthem series for its seventh edition for Tompkins Square.

Physical Release Date - October 28th, 2014

Digital Release Date - November 4th, 2014

Side A

L’hannah feat. Mark Fosson

Across the Pond feat. Chuck Johnson

Be Thankful feat. Nick Jonah Davis (Digital Only)

Five Steps feat. Steffen Basho-Junghans

Stray feat. Danny Paul Grody

Ramble for Peter Walker

If I Could Go Back

Side B

Dream Theory Part One feat. Charles & Merlin Hayward

Dream Theory Part Two feat. Fred Frith

Dream Theory Part Three feat. Werner “Zappi” Diermaier & Kawabata Makoto

Dream Theory Part Four feat. Robert Rich