Program Schedule

Download PDF Version
On Air : Listen

Decibel – Stasis Ecstatic

Thursday 29th November / presented by Adam Trainer

Review by Adam Trainer

Heartless Robot

Decibel continue their work at the forefront of new music and compositional innovation with this lovingly packaged and gorgeously presented gatefold LP. With comprehensive liner notes explaining the processes behind each piece, Stasis Ecstatic offers further proof of Decibel’s ability to create previously unimagined sound worlds through patience and restraint.

On Cat Hope’s ‘Longing’ the gently ascending and descending strains of string and wind instruments, and Hope’s own voice create a brooding, unsettling journey. Painting some desolate landscape through drone, the piece works itself into a puzzling staccato section before returning to the elongated drone dynamics with which it began, albeit in an even darker and more disturbing manner.

If Hope’s piece kicks things off with a somewhat sinister tone, Malcolm Riddock’s piece ‘Variations on Electroacoustic Feedback’ works within a slightly less bleak sonic palette, even if it’s just as foreign. Like the sonic equivalent of an alien atmosphere, on Riddock’s piece cello, flute and feedback jostle back and forth, with each claiming its own distinct place in the frequency spectrum. The resulting piece is ghostly, haunting and exquisitely hypnotic.

Lindsay Vickery’s ‘Ghosts of Departed Quantities’ offers a more playful and lush incantation on the themes and atmospheres delivered on the first two pieces. More random, organic and unpredictable than either of the two pieces that open the record, the audible clicks of clarinet rub up against barely there piano notes as well as the persistent buzz of a flute and various other forms of ephemeral feedback.

Julian Day’s ‘Beginning To Collapse’ starts side two with the least immediately recognizable thing on the record – a huge rolling ball of sound that much like a massive moving structure is monolithic and imposing. Its structureless massmakes great use of the stereo field before an insistent random pulse breaks through the gloom.

Stuart James’ ‘Particle 1’ is arguably the most obtuse piece on the record. Gently oscilating sine waves give way to random percussive bursts that break through before melting into a rumble of electro-acoustic feedback. Meanwhile ‘Alan Lamb’s ‘The Infinity Machine’ offers swooping and craning electrical tones that hover like magnetic birds before descending into mechanical buzz.

It’s safe to say that there’s no one in the country, perhaps the world doing the kinds of things with traditional instrumentation that Decibel are doing, let alone with new compositional structures and methods of sound generation. Stasis Ecstatic is an exemplary collection of pieces illustrating the sheer limits of sound, and the rewards that can be reaped by those with the requisite patience and open-mindedness required from such exploratory approaches to sound.

Tags In This Story

All live musical performances are included in our podcasts with the express permission of artists, who reserve all other rights in their music. All music used in our podcasts is licensed under an APRA Community Broadcasting license agreement.

Latest Stories

Understorey: Learning the Nuclear Lesson

Wednesday 16th October

Understorey: Learning the Nuclear Lesson

Another nuclear energy inquiry, this time held by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the […]

Farmerville: Episode 2

Wednesday 16th October

Farmerville: Episode 2

What actually is pop culture? In the modern West, pop culture refers to cultural products such as music, […]

Wednesday 16th October

Slightly Odway: Nerve Quakes V The Scientist

“Ever since I was a kid I knew of Kim Salmon, he was a guitar god […]

Swamp Stompers stomp around the world

Wednesday 16th October

Swamp Stompers stomp around the world

The Swamp Stompers stopped by Spoonful of Blues on Monday night in between travelling around the […]

Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is Full Sikh

Wednesday 16th October

Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is Full Sikh

There couldn’t be a better name for Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa’s play Fully Sikh. Everything she’s worked […]

PREMIERE: Kopano

Wednesday 16th October

PREMIERE: Kopano

Known for her strong fashion aesthetic, as well as her incredible production and vocal skills, Kopano has […]

Scitech Collaboration with the Australian Research Council

Tuesday 15th October

Scitech Collaboration with the Australian Research Council

Our beloved science, maths and technology institution, Scitech, is collaborating with The Australian Research Council’s Centres […]

TAFE Fees Cut for our Future

Tuesday 15th October

TAFE Fees Cut for our Future

Joining Tom next is Pat O’Donnelly from United Voices who is discussing the cut on TAFE fees […]