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Miller, Jacob – “Each One Teach One” – [Rockers International]

  • Reviewed by selector on October 20, 2014 at 3:21 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,Reggae
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  • Led Bib – “Good Egg, The” – [Cuneiform Records]

    ledbib

    Described by Wikipedia as a modern jazz group from London, this quintet performs fantastic jazz composed by Mark Holub (also the drummer). It is utterly accessible, and the standout instruments for me are the saxes (played by Pete Grogan and Chris Williams). Of course the keyboards by Toby McLaren and bass by Liran Donin are stellar and absolutely crucial to the energy created by the whole. It is invigorating, upbeat jazz, and a must-listen.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 20, 2014 at 11:25 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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  • Collings, Matthew – “Splintered Instruments” – [Denovali Records]

    collings_2
    What I know about Matthew Collings is that he is a British artist who enjoys collaborating with most excellent musicians. He composed and performed the pieces on this album, and they are cathartic. Take “They Meet on the Subway.” The percussive undercurrent that mimics the subway rushing along its tracks ties together the hazy vocals and other instrumentation. The instruments themselves don’t sound especially splintered, but there are many great ones, including violin, piano, contrabass, clarinets, trumpet, trombone, synth…the sounds are sometimes bordering on noise, but mostly they surround you and make you feel good. Everyone’s “Routine” should have the soundtrack on this album. The music moves you, and is anything but routine.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 20, 2014 at 11:05 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Middlemarch – “Wolf Hall” – [Time Released Sound]

    Middlemarch is Dimitris Avramidis (piano) and Ross Baker (electronics). Inspired in part by Hilary Mantel’s novel “Wolf Hall”, this is a very nicely done melodic, atmospheric, electronically treated and overlaid piano ambiance. Subtle drones, rumbles and tone manipulation throughout the September 2014 release, though at times it may just sound like solo piano. “Master of Phantoms” has more elements involved, as it is full of birdsong and submerged melodic smudges.

    Middlemarch_WolfHall

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on October 20, 2014 at 6:58 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Raison D’etre – “Requiem For Abandoned Souls” – [Cold Meat Industry]

    With the toll of church bells heard here and there throughout this 2003 release by Raison D’etre, you will also hear chimes and strings with distant echoed drums, drones, metallic clanks, discordant chimes, haunting chorals and sub-orchestral movements, all in only five tracks that are basically dark ambient and industrial. Sounds like a bleak place populated by shadowy souls abandoned of all hope or perhaps some beautiful and haunting story being told. Tracks can also be played continuously, but #5 ends one minute early.

    RaisonDetre_RequiemForAbandonedSouls

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on October 20, 2014 at 6:55 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Zeek Sheck – “Joinus” – [Resipiscent Records]

    zeek_joinus
    Holy guacamole! Can this really be the end of the Zeek
    Sheck saga, it must be a trick or a trap or some part
    of the battle between Beepers and the Cloud People
    (for further investigation : http://zeeksheck.com/ )
    The goddess behind this cosmic comic book, Rose
    Perkin-Meyers has assembled some like-minded brain
    washers and sound scrubbers, including the mightee
    Liz Albee, our friend Moe Staiano, Matt Ingalls
    and more. As a result the music here is never
    airtight, the concluding side long piece (behind
    the green door?) “The Mind Will Travel” works
    its way from bachelor pad to volcano sacrifice
    (or is someone tied in front of an oncoming train)
    before fritzing out on synth blitzes, and then
    this gorgeous piano (are spiders playing it?)
    trickling underneath a soliloquy of pain and pride.
    That’s just one song. Is this double LP a game,
    there’s a maze in lyrics and concept…and if
    there’s a way out, I don’t want it. I’m going to
    call the Red Door an opening to a pop album in
    another universe, Sure, it ends with “we’re all
    going to die” and isn’t that the feeling most
    pop music elicits? The blue side has weirdness
    and Sheckian martial pound percussion. “Slow
    Walking” hits hard, keep on moving. Whirls of
    gunfire on “Joinus” in case you though this battle
    wasn’t real. Meyers tweaks her voice and themes,
    on “Son” she’s gotta hayseed delivery (the
    country chart-topper?) and a sweet tale from a
    dying loving father? Possible euthanization?
    Open the side-long yellow door and “Notch Your
    Stick” odd ball intro leads into a pointilistic
    jazz-like game of tag in a forest between Ingalls
    and Allbee. There’s a heavy synth vibe, but if
    you weren’t into Zeek Sheck before (she’s visited
    KFJC in the past, but that only added to the
    confusion) then now is the time to Joinus. There
    must be more, Dot Dot Dot…

    One of thee albums of the year I suspect!

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on October 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Ellard, Tom – “80′s Cheesecake” – [Dark Entries]

    TomEllard_80sCheescakeJacket-300x300
    Culled from two 1982 cassettes, Ellard was a brain working
    outside the body of the Severed Heads. Jump to today and a
    modern meme, Ellard had seen copies of the original Cheesecake
    eBaying about for horrific prices, so that helped spur him
    to reissue the work granted with some help from Josh of Dark
    Entries, who thankfully also persuaded Ellard to include
    some of the trashier passion (plenty of barking dogs to
    bite off the second side). Samples are strewn throughout,
    radio and TV speaking tongues; all captured (and not so
    easily) with tape and splicing, and panning/potting and
    other mad scientist work. Things today that might have
    an app on your infant’s iBib, were a lot messier then.
    (And to be fair, it appears Ellard may have post-processed
    three of the tracks on the first side, although post-milennial
    equipment was fed only vintage sources. Willful drum machines
    and other analog anicents, get hammered into herky-jerky
    rhythms, built from scratch. Ellard may have found his own
    Bush of Ghosts in Australia. It’s not just the samples, but
    the clutterfunk, and dirty sweet industrial. “The Ritualistic”
    features a detached lecture juxtaposed with a wafting siren
    snippet. Ecstacy in clinical and more physical forms! Another
    contrast between the end of side 1 and the start of side 2,
    both jump-cut upbeat, but “These Are The Words” more smooth
    and sinewy, with bassline and some coherence, while the “Word”
    on side 2, blitzes and fritzes out excellently. Even before
    the big thick quick oscillations strike, it’s a scattered
    series of torn transmissions. “Cross” speaks to the danger
    and promise of accidents, “almost hit by an ambulance.” Ellard
    manages to dodge a similar risk here, in rescuing old sounds,
    he did not kill them at all. Didn’t remember the 80′s
    tasting this good.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on October 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Darvaz – “Failure Is Possible” – [Chambara Records]

    darvaz
    CDR from San Francisco duo, Dereck and Emily Donohue
    (on Dereck’s Chambara imprint). Dense and dark
    claustrophonic pieces, should work well as Halloween
    creeps up on us. Speaking of which, their band name
    translates as “the door to hell” Check out
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOsBa7BXYHc for a look at
    a 35-year gas-burning crater in Turkmenistan). Much
    of the loops here are lava slow, Emily (nee Trixy
    Grace) gives the heavier dronework more buoyancy
    with disembodied vocals floating on #1. Male moanage
    on #2, possibly with refracted violin! Sampled vox
    intone the title “Neck Wood Rail” on #5, chittering
    electrobirds made more sense on that to me. Kinda
    Conet project from the underworld? #4 has a whistle
    while you work almost happy start (I said *almost*)
    later that gets trimmed to the opening trill, that
    sample slows down becoming like a sad question.
    Pitchwheel follies follow, it hypnotizes you over the
    flames below. Many tracks bleed that deep, distorted
    bass buzz burrowing. Bought and possibly conceived at
    Amoeba Music..

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on October 16, 2014 at 6:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Odd Nosdam Featuring Jessica Bailiff – “Untitled Three” – [Anticon.]

    333

    god damn is this a collaboration to write home about. Odd Nosdam stands at the helm of hip-hop’s avant-garde with his crooked, broken, bottom heavy beats pickin hard at the heart strings; add Jessica Bailiff’s distant dream-laden vocalizations to open and close and a lethal injection of instrumental beauty from herself and her partner in pageantry Jesse Edwards (not to mention local cat Dax Pierson cutting deep with the melodica and other goodies on a particularly moving track), and you get some of the most gorgeous production I’ve heard on anything that can claim street cred. passionate, raw, but dare i say ethereal? definitely not

  • Reviewed by abacus on October 15, 2014 at 11:02 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Hip Hop
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  • Astreinte – “C’est Pourquoi Il Importe, Aux Epoques D’Adversite, De Dem..” – [Nashazphone]

    what do you get when some crust punks meet some hippies and a jazz fanatic in a run-down industrial warehouse around southern France? loose collective of nobody noise disturbers deliver deafening black clouds of shit influenced by such terrorists as C.C.C.C. and Hijokaidan. distant lo-fi recordings of guitar, bass, voice, a couple synthesizers and some electronics with drums that don’t sound like any of the above. rumbling crumbling sonic barricades of monochromania to tickle your ear hairs.

  • Reviewed by abacus on October 15, 2014 at 10:39 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Happy Wags – “Happy Wags” – [Asian Man Records]

    What do punks do when they become parents? They make a children’s record of course. Such is the case with Jesse Wagner of agro reggae band the Agrolites. His project, the “Happy Wags”, is a current punk parents dream. Songs in the key of ska, reggae, light punk, Ramones style rock…. you get the picture of the sound. Well done musicianship sets the tone for songs that kids would love. Or beginner S&M participants. The titles made me question what this thing was really about. I mean, come on. With titles like “Don’t Touch the Buttons”, “Use Your Words”, “Pee Pee Potty” and “Firefighters”, doesn’t it sound like a doms guide book to beginning submission? But it isn’t. Kids will learn about liking animals, adding numbers, lions, snakes and monkeys, and about not touching the buttons. Dance away with your inner child.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 15, 2014 at 6:15 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Half Japanese – “Overjoyed” – [Joyful Noise Recordings]

    Wahoo!!! After waiting patiently for 13 years it is finally here. Half Japanese’s new album, “Overjoyed”, is out for all to hear and cherish. If you don’t know, Half Japanese is one of the top bands of the last 40 + years. Influencing more bands and individuals than will ever be known, Jad and David Fair started their project in 1974. Full of quirky beats, skips, plonks, crazy time signatures, whiny and nasal vocals, Jad and David twisted the head of rock and showed just how great lo-fi can be. The current project continues in this vein. Produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, the sound is smooth and a bit more produced than the usual scratchy itchiness that is loved, but it is still off the chart good. Jad has been doing this for a long time and he deserves to smooth it out a bit. He can do whatever he wants, actually. And he does. This may be the most punk rock anti-punk rock album in a long time. In an age of writing and singing about all that is wrong and dark and bad, it’s pretty kickass to do the opposite. Davidless Jad (though David is helping to promote this one) writes and sings and warbles about love and hopefullness and how if you just listen to Half Japanese, it’s all going to be okay. And there is not one bit of irony in the tone. It is heartfelt and honest and just so pure. The guitars still jangle. The beat is pounding off and around and all over the place. The singing is off key and nasal. As it should be. You find yourself tapping your toe, then bouncing around and then just spazzing out. Spazz out and enjoy.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 15, 2014 at 5:58 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Deison & Mingle – “Everything Collapse[d]” – [Aagoo]

    April 2014 release. Second this year from these two.
    CD 8 tracks medium length one long at end. Track five has a respirator and EKG beeping. Droney buzzy piano and sound effects, an ominous kind of beauty. All very layered and intricate. Occasional spoken word but nothing distracting except the end of the last track when its a samples a line from Psycho. Some really quiet places. Last track, about half way through it gets quiet then really loud. Followed by some singy songy vocals that are really creepy.
    Deison is a long time noise musician collaborating with Italian artist/pianist Mingle aka Andrea Gastaldello. He has his own label Loud! and Final Muzik. He’s also created works with Candor Chasma and Sara Galan and the duo Cinise. And he’s experimented with independent radio. We have one other CD from him. Mingle has collaborated with other experimental musicians in Italy as well as making documentary film soundtracks and remixes.

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on October 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Habibi – “Habibi” – [Burger Records]

    This self-titled LP is the first from this rock band from Brooklyn. Habibi means “my love” in Arabic. Reverb guitar and Motown-esque girl band vocals. This could be in the next Quentin Tarantino film. Sweet and salty.

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on October 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Drumcell – “Sleep Complex” – [CLR]

    Sleep-Complex-Drumcell8.29.13
    aka Moe Espinosa, founder of the Droid Recordings Label. Espinosa is an LA native, suprising given the overall dark gloomy quality to this release, this is deprived of sunlight. Yes this is considered Techno but definitely more dark electronics along the lines of Empty Set, Kangding Ray, Pansonic etc. Dark churning beats, somber rhythms and industrial moments. Along with that there are a few straightforward non scary techno/beat tracks (trk 4 & 7) but I much prefer the former. And if you don’t like any beats, track 9 is a cinematic soundscape featuring a recording of a police radio or the intro track which is a short but sweet creepy cavernous loop. This is amazing.

  • Reviewed by Belladonna on October 15, 2014 at 2:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ladd, Brian – “Tramps” – [Ladd-Frith]

    Brian Ladd, of the Psyclones, a band that’s been around for decades, whose electronic angst has guided the political tensions of it’s lyrical philosophy, Brian Ladd has come up with something a bit different. This two CD set of 29 solo guitar and effects tracks is named “Tramps” because these are cast offs. Noodlings, I like to say, but very effective to be sure. Ladd states that some of these are worthless, and, okay, you have got to give the artist his/her feelings and interpretation. These are things Ladd has been playing around with in the studio but that have not gone any further than that. Until this self released set. It’s not finger picking or fancy strumming here. Rather, it is single strums with lots of echo. It’s drone and ambient and a bit metal. I can only imagine the number of effects pedals lined up on the floor. But the pedals are put to great use. The experience of listening to a CD straight through is like taking a sonic journey of an almost psychedelic nature. Guitar sounds bounce and wave, float or crash, push and pull. The sound is hypnotic At times it is disorienting, but in a good way.
    the Congratulations for keeping the cast offs. The joy of listening and surprise continues on with this set.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 13, 2014 at 11:48 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Ladd, Brian – “Tramps” – [Ladd-Frith]

    Brian Ladd, of the Psyclones, a band that’s been around for decades, whose electronic angst has guided the political tensions of it’s lyrical philosophy, Brian Ladd has come up with something a bit different. This two CD set of 29 solo guitar and effects tracks is named “Tramps” because these are cast offs. Noodlings, I like to say, but very effective to be sure. Ladd states that some of these are worthless, and, okay, you have got to give the artist his/her feelings and interpretation. These are things Ladd has been playing around with in the studio but that have not gone any further than that. Until this self released set. It’s not finger picking or fancy strumming here. Rather, it is single strums with lots of echo. It’s drone and ambient and a bit metal. I can only imagine the number of effects pedals lined up on the floor. But the pedals are put to great use. The experience of listening to a CD straight through is like taking a sonic journey of an almost psychedelic nature. Guitar sounds bounce and wave, float or crash, push and pull. The sound is hypnotic At times it is disorienting, but in a good way.
    the Congratulations for keeping the cast offs. The joy of listening and surprise continues on with this set.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 13, 2014 at 11:48 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • E Gone – “All The Suns of The Earth” – [Sunrise Ocean Bender]

    egone
    E Gone is Daniel Westerlund of Sweden. This is his debut solo album. Two of the songs feature his voice, which is pleasant enough, and the others are instrumental, involving percussion, banjo, guitars, organs, and other unidentified (by me) objects. Seldom is it noisy or jarring, but it is often quite rhythmic and ear-catching, tending toward folk/rock. “Blind Tribe” (A4) is my favorite. Enjoy.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Slow Poisoner, The – “Ever Been Chewed Upon By Teeth As Sharp As Knives?” – [Rocktopus!]

    slow poisoner
    Just in time for Halloween, we are fortunate to add this entertaining release from San Francisco’s own favorite, The Slow Poisoner. Each song title is depicted on the back of the creature pictured on the CD sleeve, and you will enjoy listening to the tale of the car-driving worm, hypno-hog, screaming mandrake, and many others (13 to be exact). It’s rock with tambourine, guitar, fascinating lyrics by Andrew Goldfarb, and sometimes there’s even blues. The title track (11) is my favorite, but you decide for yourself.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Stilluppsteypa – “Interferences Are Often Requested: Reverse Tendency As Parts” – [Ritornell]

    The abstract, experimental duo from Iceland originally started as a guitar-bass-drum trio. In this 1999 release recorded in Amsterdam (where Stilluppsteypa is based), you’ll hear shimmering electronic, experimental, and abstract tones that feel three-dimensional. Some tracks are pretty much quiet soundscapes while the others are fairly loud and harsh. The electronically tweaked trumpet playing of Andy Diagram and the voice of Japanese singer Hanayo are folded into the hum as naturally as any other sound source.

    Stilluppsteypa

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on October 13, 2014 at 8:08 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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