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: 

http://youtu.be/SyETsd-rKP8

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. 

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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. 

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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)

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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
 

Cheers!
Sam & Rachel


Announcing Four New Releases!

L.A. Lungs - Rrest

Rrest is the first vinyl release for Olympia, Washington-based L.A. Lungs. Known for creating deeply personal connections with their audiences, the married duo, Afterthought Lung and Leeward Lung, are longtime mainstays of the capital city’s storied underground scene, as well as an integral part of the Debacle Records story. With two previous CDs in our back catalog, amid several releases from other NW labels, the pair have won the hearts of those in the local underground scene since 2005, particularly through their involvement with Debacle Fest and Olympia Experimental Music Festival.

Debacle Records is excited to share the best kept secret of the Northwest with the larger world; it’s time for L.A. Lungs to step into the light.

L.A.Lungs have the ability to, in a single track, evoke both a dusky summer evening and the white, white light of a winter morning. Employing an army of instruments such as guitar, violin, Roland Juno 60, plus toys and noisemakers, L.A. Lungs are able to move from disquieting cryptic sound fields to warm embracing drones. Their songs would be home next to those of Motion Sickness of Time Travel, Mountains, and Lau Nau.

Rrest is the most faithful representation of the L.A. Lungs we know from stage. Hushed conversation at one in the morning, shaking pine needles, condensation on glass, creaking floorboards, sunning cats, puddles filling from heavy drops--Rrest feels like all of these things yet without the aid of field recordings. Empty spaces hold on to your attention. Clicks and strums brush up against you and retreat. Tones that had once felt disconnected and stark, sneak and braid into crescendos of dreamy urgency.

We’re pleased L.A. Lungs will be once again be gracing the stage of Debacle Fest May 31st at LoFi Performance Gallery in Seattle, an event at which they’ve performed nearly every year since 2008, often giving us their best moments. They will also take part in the Olympia Experimental Music Festival later in 2014.

$18 LP & Digital

$8 Digital


King Tears Bat Trip

After tape and digital editions of the album on Hanged Man and Table & Chairs, respectively, Debacle Records is proud to release the King Tears Bat Trip album as a limited edition picture-disc, with art by KTBT member Kristian Garrard. The album has been remastered by Scott Colburn, who has produced albums for Animal Collective and Sun City Girls. We’re also ecstatic to present a rare performance by the septet at this year’s Debacle Fest, on Saturday May 31st in Seattle.

A favorite among the emerging bands of the Northwest DIY scene, King Tears Bat Trip is the vision of Seattle bassist, guitarist, and composer Luke Bergman. Performed in two massive compositions, KTBT’s self-titled debut album is a torrent of sound from the get-go, featuring Thomas Campbell, Kristian Garrard, Chris Icasiano, and Evan Woodle on drums; Neil Welch on distortion-heavy tenor saxophone; Luke Bergman on de-tuned noise guitar; and Brandon Lucia on the Chango, a computer-generated sound interface created by Lucia himself in April 2011.

KTBT can be a ferocious, power-violent beast, but their catchy song forms and hypnotizing beats make this music extremely approachable. The folksy melodies seem as much like Haitian Vodou music as they do an Albert Ayler spirit song. Barking saxophone improvisations shout over Bergman’s washed-out, metallic guitar lines, and twangy, rolling percussion instruments sound in the radius. The band’s tightly-woven rhythmic patterns and careful control of pacing sound both raw and fully assured. King Tears Bat Trip was recorded in unedited, live studio takes, retaining all the energy of their adrenaline-inducing shows.

$18 LP & Digital

$8 Digital


Chris Davis - Live at Post Terrestrial

Chris Davis is a member of Seattle’s kraut-synth jammers Brain Fruit, also a key member of the psychedelic dance collective MOTOR.  This release is the first under his given name, and the first to dive into his abstract improvisations on modular synthesizer.  Taken from a performance at the local experimental meet-up series Post Terrestrial, this new CD is Davis stepping away from the tightly controlled and clever structures of Brain Fruit and out, even further from the improv techno of his MOTOR live sets.  This is live improv synth work in the recent tradition of Greg Davis, Matt Carlson or Keith Fullerton Whitman.

Note: Chris has decided all forthcoming work in this vein will retain the Chris Davis moniker, while Chris will return to MOTOR shows and releases with a new project name.

Mastered by Phil Petrocelli

100 copies - Limited Edition

$8 - CD & Digital

$5 - Digital


Timm Mason - The Lost Levels

You may know Timm Mason from his work in psych overlords Midday Veil, disco strategists TJ Max or most notably his long running solo project Mood Organ.  The Lost Levels is his first release under his own name, having decided to take Mood Organ into the direction of his recent “Missile Silo Disco” sets for MOTOR and forthcoming 12” EP.  The Lost Levels could be seen as a sequel to his early release on Debacle Records Visiting a Burning Museum.  Like that release The Lost Levels trades in slow moving and slightly tension filled drones. Unlike his previous release, the album feels much more diverse in sound sources and features almost a cut and paste style of composition that reminds me of a darker Sean McCann. There is a dramatic narrative tone here that is rare in most sound sculptures like these.

Mastered by James Plotkin

100 copies - Limited Edition

$8 - CD & Digital

$5 - Digital