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What KFJC has added to their library and why...

Mezzacappa, Lisa – “AvantNOIR” – [Clean Feed]

Unknown

A great record. It may as well be subtitled “People Up to No Good in Sketchy Locations in San Francisco at Night” because that is exactly what it sounds like. A high concept record–music composed by bassist/bandleader Mezzacappa as accompaniment to (and extension of) noir literary works and films that she found intriguing and inspirational. Her detailed liner notes lay it all out. The music is skillfully realized by an ensemble of first-rate local jazz/avant-garde players. It twists and turns, making the listener wonder what is waiting in the next dark alley. Snippets of film dialog pop up here and there, and I like the way the electronics of Tim Perkis add a sense of subtle unease throughout. An evocative ride through nighttime SF more than a few decades ago… Fillmore Street, Army Street (not Cesar Chavez), Green Street, etc.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on October 17, 2017 at 9:36 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Luxury Apartments – “Luxury Apartments” – [Dead Cert]

    luxuryapartments

    Not the hideous live/work condos that they razed your favorite venue to build, but the lost experimental explorations of Dave Tyack, painter, mathematician, and indie rocker turned sound artist.

    Before forming this project in 2002, Tyack played in the Manchester indie pop groups Misty Dixon and his own Dakota Oak Trio, one of the first bands on Badly Drawn Boy’s Twisted Nerve label. After listening to these groups and then to this strange record, I can only conclude that Tyack must’ve had some sort of creative epiphany of “discovering KFJC” proportions. So it’s all the more tragic that a few months after finishing this album, he went missing for two years and was later found to have died in an accident in Corsica. Tyack left behind a large collection of unreleased material, and fortunately, Dead Cert shares some of it with us on this 2015 LP that holds two sidelong recordings. The A side finds Tyack’s wandering playing – a distant accordion, that beautiful, collapsing guitar sound that reminds me of Bill Orcutt, a clock’s tick-tock rhythm accompanied by chimes – lost in a dark ambient haze. Flipping the disc, the sounds shift from scattered to structured, with sweeping synthetic orchestration setting the backdrop for energetic passages, one with almost-techno rhythms and post-rock grooves like a fast-moving Tortoise, and another with a glitchy minimal beat, that finally dissolve into distorted darkness.

     

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on October 16, 2017 at 8:47 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Een, Robert – “Mystery Dances” – [Starkland]

    Robert Een (b. 1952) is a composer, vocalist, and cellist best known as part of Meredith Monk’s ensemble. Sounds like Philip Glass playing belly dance. Several of the works were composed for a 10-man dance ensemble. Dirge for Julius is for Julius Eastman.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on October 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Grill, Stanley/ Diderot String Quartet – “At The Center of All Things” – [Innova/American Composers]

    String quartets of the American composer Stanley Grill performed by the Diderot Quartet on gut-stringed instruments. Grill was raised in the Bronx and went to the Manhattan School of Music. Recalls Early Music vocal harmonies. Contemplative, peaceful, and beautiful.. quartets were composed 2012 and 2013, recorded July 2016.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on October 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Converse, Bill – “Shape of Things to Come, The” – [Dark Entries]

    de158-bill-converse-cover

    Bill Converse loves Detroit techno and he doesn???t care who knows it. Seven tracks of analog bliss spread across four sides of vinyl, this album is a sonic tribute to the Midwest warehouse raves of his youth. Recorded with no overdubs using an array of mostly vintage hardware, this album pulsates with the urgency of the dancefloor. The full range of the 303 is on display here, from gently gurgling basslines to squelch freakouts to psychedelic comedowns. Each track reveals a hidden beauty as it evolves, no doubt the result of many hours of solitary knob twiddling. Timeless body music. PLAY LOUD.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on October 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Unholy Triforce – “Cru/cifict/ion” – [Auris Apothecary]

    R-10876804-1505785649-3801_jpeg

    I don’t know why the hell we are adding this to the KFJC music library. Clearly it does not WANT to be added. It’s a limited edition (61 copies) one-sided clear plastic square with eight little black nails driven through it, and a ninth glued across the spindle hole in the middle. If no one ever plays it, who could blame them? If nothing else, it serves as a cool, fucked-up piece of art, but what the Auris Apothecary people really want is for you to figure out some way to play it. Disassemble it or whatever. Don’t just admire it–use it. Nothing worth having comes easy is the message I get. This thing–the nails have been removed for your convenience–has one track (1:30) of PURE NOISE lathe-cut into it. Yes, one brutal track that is a mere minute and a half long, but it ends in a locked groove, so the playing time is actually infinity.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on October 10, 2017 at 11:10 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Kucharz, Larry – “Piano Etudes: Imitations & Tracks” – [International Audiochrome]

    piano etudes

    This might look like a harmless modern classical record, but it scared the living shit out of me, maybe more so than anything else I’ve ever reviewed for KFJC, and that’s really saying something. I’ll explain.

    Larry Kucharz is a classically trained pianist and minimalist composer who has been working in NYC since the 1970s and releasing music under his own label International Audiochrome. But I didn’t know any of that when I first put on this CD while alone in my apartment. The disc opens with a long piece of atmospheric synthetic strings (“Imitations 1″, T1), kind of a Badalamenti feel. The next track is the first in a run of four piano etudes, that focus on lively repeating figures (T2), slowly unfurling arpeggios (T3), dark waves rolling up and down the keyboard (T4), blinking broken chords (T5). The electro-orchestral ambience returns in “Imitation 2,” a more dramatic version of the first track that focuses on a descending scale (T6).

    At this point I felt like I had a pretty good sense of what the CD was all about: a hybrid of traditional and electronic sounds in fairly traditional modern classical pieces. So when I wandered back into the living room during “U343″ (T7), I thought someone had broken into my apartment and swapped out the CD for a different one. I panicked as a pulsing techno beat shook the floor, then became frantic that maybe I somehow fucked up the CD as the energy climbed higher during the drum-and-bassy “Highway 37″ (T8), with its quick electric piano melodies like a distant reminder of the earlier piano exercises. I finally figured out, sometime during the final pachinko-core track (T9), that Kucharz got into electronica sometime in the 90s, bringing a classical influence to the pieces – T8 for example is inspired by Corelli. So don’t freak out like I did, and check out the many different styles featured on this album, as well as the others we have from Kucharz in our library already.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on October 10, 2017 at 8:54 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • DeKoven – “DeKoven!” – [Amphion]

    Found in the Classical library.”Very little musical talk,” reads the librarian’s ballpoint on the reverse. Seymour DeKoven’s home station was WFUV Fordham University. Some listeners found his quirky mannerisms annoying: he played exclusively music from the baroque and rococo eras, omitting the slow movements, characterizing it OTW, Out of This World, or OTG, for Galaxy or OTU for Universe. He called his style Barococo. Play this if you hate the listeners. I know some of you hate The Listener because I’ve heard your shows.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on October 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Classical
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  • Centazzo, Andrea/ Sakata, Akira/ Fujiwara, Kiyoto – “Bridges” – [Ictus]

    162fr

    Reeds/drums/bass exploration recorded in Milan in 2012. Although Sakata has worked with both Bill Laswell and DJ Krush, he stays well within the free jazz idiom herm, with a soulful, searching sound that recalls both Ornette Coleman and Steve Lacy. What really makes this album special, however, is the near-telepathic communication among the band members, all the more remarkable given that this was their first meeting. The first track begins with the players quietly testing each other, but they quickly cohere around a common thread and move through a variety of spaces. The second track is quiet and contemplative, with Sakata switching to clarinet, Centazzo dazzling us with an array of bells and chimes, and Fujiwara drawing out tones with his bow. Track 3 picks up the pace again, and then on track 4, we’re in for a treat as Sakata puts down his horn and grunts and growls his way through a Damo Suzuki-esque dirge. The last track is based on Stella by Starlight and sees the drums and bass play it (relatively) straight while Sakata blows over the top. Overall, well worth your time if you’re into this sort of thing.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on October 4, 2017 at 6:12 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Rodrigues, Ernesto/ Greenlief, Phillip/ Swafford, Tom – “Sidereus Nuncius” – [Creative Sources Recording]

    The track/album name comes from a 1610 astronomy work by Galileo. Sidereus Nuncius is often translated as “Starry Messanger”. Here it is a highly improvised musical work for viola, violin and tenor sax. Very breathy, wispy, fluttery and delicate. Recorded live in Seattle in 2006.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on October 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Winslow, Conrad – “Perfect Nothing Catalog, The” – [Innova Recordings]

    Conrad Winslow is a composer working in Brooklyn from Alaska and has studied at NYU and Juilliard. The group is violin, flute, cello, and percussion. It’s got that fun silence silence silence then crash John Cage feel I personally enjoy. The whole thing is also a performance piece with costume and candles and choreographed ritual-like movements. Very brainy High Art kinda stuff.
    -Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on October 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Vibracathedral Orchestra – “Live At Total Inertia” – [Vanity Case Records]

    Side one is skronky improv. Side two is more springy and fairly-like. They have been jamming together since the 90s with founders being Neil Campbell, Michael Flower, Adam Davenport and others coming in and out. Real trippy pleasant sounds. This was live at the Total Inertia Festival in Leeds last year which is an experimental music festival. I can’t tell if it’s annual or not but last year the festival also had sometimes VO collaborator Bridget Hansen as well as Richard Dawson, Apostille, and FCKN’BSTRDS among many others.
    - Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on October 4, 2017 at 2:34 pm
  • Filed as 10-inch,A Library
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  • (D)(B)(H) – “Masterpieces of Objective Reporting” – [Faux-Pas Recordings]

    dbh

    (D)(B)(H) is an an improvisational ensemble from Indiana that has changed its name (you may have come across them as Dinosaurs, Baseball and Hopscotch, recently added to our library) and its lineup many times over its ten year existence. This 2011 LP, co-released by the labels Faux-Pas, Friends and Relatives, Gilgongo Records, holds two sidelong works from Jay Kreimer, Marty Belcher, John McCormick, and core (D)(B)(H) member Justin Rhody. The pieces were created during a stay in a 19th century log cabin in the woods of Indiana, with the quartet summoning sounds from the dark corners of the space: creaking floorboards, deep rumblings from beneath the planks, rising fog, pins and needles, chimes and chains, trumpet valves releasing slowly or in broad bursts, fragments of melodies, the scrape of a cymbal, dark smudges of electronic feedback. The pieces unfold at an easy pace – not so slowly as to provoke impatience or so frenzied as to inflict whiplash – like slipping into the heavy sleep that only comes during nights in the remote wilderness. If you enjoyed the darker and more abstract moments from Ima’s latest release, give it a spin.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on October 2, 2017 at 8:29 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Conjoint – “Conjoint” – [KM 20]

    R-62080-1166447752.jpeg

    Purveyor of groovy ambience David Moufang (perhaps better known as Move D) adds live guitar and vibes to the mix and… nothing much happens. But perhaps that???s the point? The album meanders through the sleepy back alleys of dub, electronica, jazz, and trip-hop. Highlights include Tee Dum (T5) which marries Bill Evans harmonies to an exceedingly chilled electro beat and the beatless Boards-of-Canada-esque closer Concessions (T9).

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on October 2, 2017 at 8:04 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Extreme America 3 [coll] – [Knot Music]

    extreme america

    Compilation 7″ showcasing the wide variety of extreme sounds emanating from the West Coast (of Michigan) during the late 90s. From power electronics to skronk-rock to more power electronics, this little record has it all!

    Each song has a distinct feel, but they all track together. Good luck playing just one!

    A side.
    OO Species: Sirens, grinding metal, wailing static.
    Walled Lake: Low-frequency rumblings, train blues, Americana guitar, hypnosis. Bonus fact: Walled Lake is named for the backwoods town where Louie C used to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and fireworks as a teenager.
    Flutter: Pure electronic cacophony, oscillator scribblings, overloaded circuit bending.

    B side.
    Lockweld: More distorted electronics and machine noises. Liner notes indicate “vocals” but they are unrecognizable.
    Audible XXY: Semi-cinematic samples, electronics, and ominous tape loops. Like walking down a long dark hallway.
    Better Disease: Good old fashioned Michigan skronk-rock. The best kind. Guitar, drums, sax, and screams.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on October 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Cotillion Soul 45′s [coll] – [Cotillion Records]

    cotillion.jpeg

    Oh what fun it is to open a box of 10 7″ discs recorded in 1968- 1970 on the Cotillion label and dance to the soul sounds of artists including Darrell Banks, C and the Shells, Moses Smith, and Lou Johnson. There are ballads on here, too, and the liner notes are a must-read for cool background info. Covers of “Ain’t No Sun” and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” are highlights. Pick any disc and get your soul groovin’!

  • Reviewed by humana on October 1, 2017 at 2:29 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,Soul
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  • Reutoff – “Gute Nacht, Berlin!” – [Hau Ruck!]

    Reutoff_berlin CD

    Reutoff is a post-Industrial trio from Russia. An occult approach (somewhat similar to Coil’s), combined with a sinister inscrutability, makes them intriguing but also difficult to describe. This 2003 release came out on Hau Ruck!, the Tesco sublabel curated by Der Blutharsch. It’s a unique take on dark Industrial, with a strange and lasting appeal.

    The music is very abstract, sometimes verging on ambient techno. The second and third tracks are the most beat-driven, the rest is hazy (especially near the end). Loops upon loops of noise and synthesizer. Cinematic bummer atmosphere. Understated melodies. Pulsing machine sounds. Martial salutes to the host label. Steam hiss. Voices: some of them are historical samples, some of them may be from a band member, it’s frustratingly difficult to tell in some cases. I don’t speak Russian. There is a historical theme, I’d wager centering on the Russian sack of Berlin in 1945. Like a lot of Reutoff’s work, there seems to be a riddle here, but I’ll leave it to someone else to figure it out. A spooky album.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on September 28, 2017 at 10:37 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Machine Listener – “Sentient System” – [No Part of It]

    a3962298146_16

    A wide range of sounds across the Noise spectrum. There is a sort of “musical” element to some of the tracks–musical as in minimal melodies and drones and repeating patterns of notes, and Tracks 4, 5, and 7 are probably more power ambient than noise. You’d still want to file this under Noise though. The first track starts off gently with a soft drone but not long after the one-minute mark the thing suddenly jumps the rails and starts throwing alarming noises at you. Machine Listener is a solo project by Matthew Gallagher. It’s quite interesting, actually.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on September 26, 2017 at 9:12 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Post Mortem Klinik – “Human / Filth” – [Distorted Press]

    pmk

    Post Mortem Klinik is one of the many projects of formerly Virginia-based, now local musician Chad Davis. His work spans a variety of genres: doom (Hour of 13), psych (U.S. Christmas), death industrial (Subklinik), black metal (Set, Anu), komische (Romannis Mötte), and more. P-M-K seems to be closely related, in name and in concept, to his 20+ year old Subklinik project, but under this newer alias, Davis forgoes the quieter, dark ambient elements of previous work for the extremes of electronic noise. This 2015 cassette EP from Distorted Press holds six tracks, each a heaving mass of degraded sound, like the collective filth of all humanity as it is flushed from our millions of disgusting hovels, coursing through rusted pipes, spilling into rivers, pouring into the oceans. Voices and screams surface and disappear, pulled under by the current of raw sewage. Squalid sounds for a society circling the drain.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on September 26, 2017 at 6:53 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Odyssey Cult, The – “Vol. 1″ – [Silver Current]

    Ethan Miller from Oakland! This album just came out. He also writes Sci Fi poetry.
    Sounds like wailing guitar and jamming drums in a big empty echoey container. If one were to label the genre one might pick the word psych. Second side is very chill. Whole thing is excellent. On delicious cherry red vinyl.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on September 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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