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The Decayes biography
A curious footnote in the annals of post-punk, the Decayes were an American experimental rock group based in Long Beach, California. The Decayes were less a band and more a collective of the friends and associates of Ron Kane, an insatiable record collector and multi-instrumentalist who handled guitar, bass, keyboards and clarinet, among others. Between 1978 and 1983, the Decayes self-produced and self-released five albums, blending psychedelic post-punk, new wave, avant-garde electronics and tape manipulation, embodying the combined irreverence of Lard Free, Faust, Art Bears, Can, Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, and the artists of Ralph Records. While the Decayes never achieved more than a cult following (playing only nine live shows during their tenure), they remain of historical interest for their bizarre music and limited edition, hand-made albums.

The concept of the Decayes began in roughly 1969, when ten-year-old Kane began recording original songs and warped covers of artists like the Rolling Stones and Donovan, heavily inspired by Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. Amassing an encyclopedic love of krautrock, Canterbury, RPI and kosmische musik - along with underground and pop music from New Zealand and Japan - Kane later discovered a newfound inspiration to bring the project to life in the mid-1970s in the wake of a breakup. Armed with tape recorders provided by Ron's brother in the Air Force, the Decayes' first official lineup consisted of vocalist Darrell Rose and Kane, with fellow multi-instrumentalist Paul Sakrison later joining as a performer and producer. A collaboration between Kane and Sakrison formed the basis of their Stockhausen-inspired debut LP, Ich Bin Ein Spiegelei, released on the bands' own Imgrat Records label - just in time to catch the ears of British sound artists Nurse With Wound, who included it in the legendary list issued with their 1979 inception Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella.

1979 also saw the Decayes alter their style following a trip to Europe and meeting formative influences, among them Holger Czukay, moving from the meditative minimalism of their debut to the eclectic middle-class silliness that defined their next four LPs. Rose departed around this time, and the Decayes' ever-morphing lineup would come to involve a wide array of musicians with varying degrees of skill, including guitarists Mike Van Winkle and Warren Bowman, percussionists John Payne and Ca...
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THE DECAYES discography

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THE DECAYES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Ich bin ein Spiegelei
3.00 | 1 ratings
Accidental Musik
3.00 | 1 ratings
Not Yet!
4.00 | 1 ratings
4.00 | 1 ratings
Ten Guitars
3.00 | 1 ratings

THE DECAYES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE DECAYES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE DECAYES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE DECAYES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ich bin ein Spiegelei by DECAYES, THE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.00 | 2 ratings

Ich bin ein Spiegelei
The Decayes Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

4 stars THE DECAYES has been one of those cult curiosities that remained well hidden in the weirdo underground of the musical world during its existence. Basically the brainchild of Ron Kane, this Los Angeles collective was not really a band per se but rather a rotating cast of similar minded musicians that enjoyed the stranger side of music. THE DECAYES had two distinct phases of its tenure, the first finding primary inspiration from the world of Krautrock with bands like Faust, Lard Free, Can and other free flowing psychedelic masters of the late 60s and the early 70s. This debut album ICH BIN EIN SPIEGELEI was the only album to venture into the world of Krautrock influenced minimalism before the band shifted gears into the world of post-punk influenced by the likes of Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and other out of the box thinking musicians of the day.

This debut ICH BIN EIN SPIEGELEI may be the odd album out of the pack but is surely the reason why Nurse With Wound added THE DECAYES to its underground weirdo music shopping list which has surely given this obscure band more attention than it ever would have otherwise. Sounding more like Faust's debut from 1971 than anything that came in 1978, this album featured two long tripped out tracks that each exceeded 21 minutes. ICH BIN EIN SPIEGELEI features only two musicians: Ron Kane (electric & acoustic lead guitars, electric bass, clarinet, voice, bassoon, loops, organ) and Paul Sakrison (drums & percussion, clarinet, effects, electric rhythm guitar, voice) and was limited to a quantity of only 100 copies, each with customized spray paint patterns on the cover. The album has still never been re-released beyond its original vinyl handmade pressing therefore extremely collectible but thanks to the internet anyone can hear it these days.

If you ask me this debut release sounds most like Germany's Annexus Quam which displayed a similar mix of continuous psychedelic rock streaming in the vein fo the most tripped out Krautrock of the early 70s with heavy doses of electronic free improvisation and a continuous monotonic rhythmic drive. Both tracks are very similar in structure, totally instrumental and saturated with reverb, echo effects, tape manipulations. Despite two tracks on board, the album is more like a stream of consciousness experience where the emphasis is on the meditative repetition of the beat while various sounds ooze in and out of the musical procession. The music is very minimalistic and even though many instruments are on display, none tend to overlap and wax and wane unexpectedly.

This album is every bit as experimental as the best of the freakazoids doing this kind of stuff around the 1970-71 timeline with heavily edited tape recordings that were run through feedback devices and then spliced and overlaid with bizarre mishmashes of sound effects in order to craft almost alien soundscapes that sound like no one else, which was especially rare in the Los Angeles area of the USA at the time (think Van Halen as the biggest thing when this was released!) Considering the album's title and two tracks are all in German, it's not hard to tell where the primary influences came from at all! The creepy ambience of this album has also been compared to Kraftwerk's earlier albums but i think THE DECAYES did a better job achieving this trip to the stars. Overall this is an excellent slice of American Krautrock which as far as i know wasn't attempted outside of Europe. Any way you slice it, for those seeking the farthest out trips possible then you can't go wrong with this DECAYES debut. It didn't end up on the Nurse With Wound list for nothing!

Thanks to gordy for the artist addition.

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