Debacle Records' March Madness Sale and Hobo Cubes' Apex Ideals
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM
Seattle experimental-music label Debacle Records is having its annual March Madness sale now. Run by Sam Melancon, with help from Rachel LeBlanc, Debacle boasts a catalog bristling with excellent, left-of-center music. It’s been on a serious hot streak lately, with releases by TJ Max, Biosexual, an Expo ’70/Plankton Wat split 12-inch, and Hobo Cubes.
Here are the deals: Get all 36 CDs and six LPs in Debacle’s catalog for $100 + shipping. If you only want Debacle’s 2013 releases, you can get them for $50 + shipping. If you’re a vinyl purist, you can score all six items for $50 + shipping. If you already own a lot of Debacle output, you can go to its Bandcamp, use the promo code “madness,” and get a 30-percent discount on all orders, physical or digital.
I’ve been especially digging Hobo Cubes’ Apex Ideals LP, which was expertly mastered by Seattle studio guru Scott Colburn.
Hobo Cubes is Montreal musician Francesco De Gallo, and his debut for Debacle is a cornucopia of deep, enigmatic ambience.
It has a somewhat similar feel to Moolah’s Woe Ye Demons Possessed and Mnemonists’ Horde in that it eludes commonplace signifiers of dark, instrumental, and mostly beatless music.
Apex Ideals hints at illbient, industrial, and horror-film soundtracks, but it never comes off as obvious or corny. Rather, it subtly alters the mood in the room with attenuated shifts in the high and low frequency spectra and a kind of detached, poker-faced intensity in the sound design that conjures minute but effective gradations of chillingness. If you want a little rhythmic heft in your nightmarish soundscape, go right to “Fluidity” and “Infatuation.” Mostly, though, Apex Ideals rarely goes anywhere conventional music does, and that may baffle and bother listeners. But if you’re into music that enters the weird zone from the start and never stops triggering eerie visions in your mind’s eye, though, this album delivers the goods.
Here’s hoping that the Debacle, Substrata, and/or Decibel festivals take a chance and book Hobo Cubes.