Specials and Events
Donations and Swag
Music and Playlists
KFJC Music Reviews
KFJC On-Line Reviews
What KFJC has added to their library and why...
2013 split between two Black Metal bands from North America. Akitsa are from Montreal and Ash Pool, fronted by the prolific Dominick Fernow (see Prurient, Vatican Shadow, Taylor Bow, Cold Cave, others), are from New York. Both sides of the split have the same (grammatically awkward) title, but Akitsa’s renders it in French and Ash Pool’s in English. Akitsa’s side is fuzzy, punky, dipsomaniacal forest mysticism with veins of Burzum and Ulver and a suggested kindship with newer bands like Urfaust or Bone Awl. Burzumic loyalties are especially apparent in the instrumentals (A2,A4), which are classic low-fi war-march death-jangle walls of gain. It keeps a nice mid-tempo and all three of its main tracks (A1, A3, A5) end in psych-rock solos that are so out of place they fit perfectly, while also feeding a comparison to Enslaved that gets reinforced again by A3′s folky clean singing. A4 is sort of like a six-minute Motorhead song where Lemmy is possessed by a demon– which is awesome. All tracks on Akitsa’s side run together. I read just enough French to tell you that the lyrics make aesthetically appealing use of the lexicon of militarism, but not enough to really say what they’re ‘about.’ Ash Pool, meanwhile, were a band I had dismissed (without hearing!) as a vanity-project of Fernow’s, but no– these guys can really fucking play! Unlike Akitsa’s, their side picks up the more aggro (but no less icy) Northern-Euro threads of a Darkthrone, a Mutiilation or a Katharsis, conjuring a surprisingly apt facsimile of the Nordic school’s melodic gloom, upon which they throw a slightly progressive spin (and a higher production value) before dashing out to meet Pale Chalice for drinks. Their side has very intellectual, kind of tasteless lyrics that seem to explore theology and the notion of sexual violence as a religious and philosophic abstraction, emerging incomprehensibly as ever from Fernow in shrieks befitting the best of Bergen’s bedroom-suicides. Big-ups to Kris Lapke, too, for knowing how to play blast-beats real good. Despite a certain ‘studied’ quality, things were looking up for Ash Pool until B4′s second half, when melodic vocals drop into the mix that can only be described as ‘nu-metal-indebted.’ Congratulations, Akitsa!
Eery interdimensional post modern-classical dreamscapes. This is Part 3 of a trilogy of albums that chart the nonsensical journeys of a fantastical lemon girl through oneiric lands. Inspired by Homer, Lewis Carroll and James Joyce, Philippe Petit provides a wide ranging sonic palette through a variety of acoustic and processed instruments that all complement the narrative and thematic framework. Our heroine is slowly drifting back to reality through post-industrial piano preparations tinkering with phantom dances on dulcimer string serenades. Hidden outer-universe film score orchestras and interstellar folk ballads lurk amidst the pulsating cosmic drone clouds of stardust pollution. Delicate textures washed with corrosive layerings, this is equally accessible and alienating.
Mr. Wilcox, on his self titled CD “Mr. Wilcox”, comes from Oakland via Virginia and Vermont. He is a one man band of sorts because he writes, performs, produces, engineers and self releases this work. All of this “me” focus is often a red flag but not in this case. These are eight musical experiences which play like tone poems with observations and poetry recited over the sounds. The sounds: real and falsified field recordings, drumming, electronic dabbling and guitar strokes all create strange, sometimes unclear emotional settings for Mr. Wilcox to talk about…. relationships, of course, but also family, nature, time, change. These are poems more than lyrics so it is all a bit obtuse (and his voice, with it’s Virginia accent adds just the oddest inflection.) He states that in the last six years he has “endured bouts of cancer, bankruptcy and homelessness” and the CD encapsulates that time. Definitely. This is truly DIY at it’s most interesting, experimenting with different ways to express ideas and create moods.
Pan Gu hatched from an egg comprised of yin and yang, just as the music on this album exploded into being during the second improvisation between noise musician Lasse Marhaug and guitarist/singer Leslie Low. Low tempers the harshness of Marhaug in ways that make this an exquisite (and yes, pain is part of beauty) listen. 3 and 5 are particularly worth a listen, especially as you contemplate the cover art depicting death, which leads to life, in a neverending cycle. There is noise, and there is quiet, and the interplay is where the charm lies.
There’s something oddly comforting about the sounds emanating from what I believe are printing presses (thus the album title “Offset” that compose these field recordings from Meursault. Granted, I love the printed page, but I’ll bet you a baby would nod off to this in no time flat. It made me appreciate the artistry of knowing what sounds would make for interesting listening. It also made me respect even more those artists (like Cactus) who create the sounds/noise they play from scratch. A whole new dimension opens!!!
This 1999 compilation album collects rarities from one of the most compelling beasts in the storied World Serpent stables of yore: a very angry then-couple from Austria who entertained fixations on war, Satan and Medieval Europe, paving the way for some of the ‘less fun’ acts of the so-called ‘martial industrial’ genre. The band split up when their romance split up: Alzbeth (words) is now a reclusive far-right ‘anti-immigration’ activist (not cool!) and Albin (music) is now drunk, also occasionally taking the time to release records as Der Blutharsch (creepy but kind of cool!). Yes, while you probably wouldn’t see them at a neo-Nazi rally (they preferred, bless them, to play in abandoned churches and castles) various interviews show them as a pair who at least HAVE held somewhat, ahem, ‘fringe’ views; thankfully it doesn’t really bleed into their music. As has been observed elsewhere, TMLHBAC’s genius lay in their ability to create musical textures that sounded absolutely organic by entirely ‘industrial’ means. This was accomplished with a lot of looping and sampling, a great deal of it drawn from Medieval music and instruments. Albin’s anachronistic compositions may be excellently menacing (t.s 5, 8 + 15 are awe-inspiring even as instrumentals), but Alzbeth’s vocal presence cannot be understated, and is ultimately what makes this work: at various points she’s an evil Queen gleefully sending young men to their deaths (t.1, 9, 10), a crazed nun chanting at the altar of nothingness (t.2, 12), a bloodthirsty Nico (t.3, 6), a withered witch calling up the Dark One (t.4, 7, 13, 14), and a hard-assed sergeant marshaling troops for the next assault (t.11, 16). The texts, some maybe drawn directly from Medieval sources, express a morbid fascination with (mostly Medieval) nationalism, superstition and war. Several songs deal with The Crusades, although (I hasten to add) not in an approving light: the picture painted is not of some questionably glorious European victory over Islam, but rather of wretched hordes of rabble, brainwashed by an evil Church, going pointlessly to their dooms in foreign lands. T.12′s unbearably spiteful narration of the infamously disastrous Child Crusade of 1212 is a good example of this. The only 20th-century war story we hear actually seems to be told from the point of view of British soldiers (t.11)– but if you think that somehow makes Alzbeth ‘less fascist’ you should probably brush up on your British history. Cited as an influence by everyone from Dispirit to Menace Ruine, TMLHBAC present a deliciously nihilistic vision of a world plunged into darkness that should seduce all fans of evil music, be they jackbooted or Birkenstocked.
Like the plant after which this band is named, the four tracks on this CD are thorny and not at all comforting. Each lasts about ten minutes, and each is guitar noise in pure form. Although I know nothing about the noise genre, I tried hard to make sense of what sounded to me like a head-splitting version of the spin cycle on an industrial washing machine. At times I could make out rhythms, but mostly I just wished I could watch the music being performed live, because I would have more appreciation for what goes into its making. I may not love this, but I do respect it.
Let me start by saying these are short, fun garage/punk tracks that occasionally sound pretty 60s retro (see 4). “Woodland Creature” (7) clocks in as the longest track, but even then it’s still short enough to leave you wanting more. Bobby Hussy on vocals, guitars, keys, and Heather Hussy (no apparent relation other than great musical chemistry) on vocals, drums, percussion. Really cool walking guitar and tambourine. Lots will like–I sure did.
There’s nothing more relaxing than the soothing sounds of water. Tomoko is a Japanese sound artist currently living in Paris. For this release, she’s filled various porcelain bowls with different amounts of water, and began experimenting with their sounds. Droplets dripping, ripples, bubbles, echoing, resonating… using wooden spoons and metal wires. Has the beauty of singing bowls with the bell-like ambiance, and the charm of wind chimes. The bowls are multi-tracked, along with the occasional field recordings she made from South India. I could easily take an afternoon nap in the meadow, listening to this while making shapes with the clouds.
“Gravetemple is a sacred metaphor & psychedelic spiritual abstraction”.
Pronounced aranyosh, from Bohemia (now Czech Republic).
Bay area saxophonist and composer.
From that, guitarist Masami Kawaguchi shows up here on #2
Demonic duo of doom deconstructionists originally from Providence, RI and relocated to Portland have been belting out their broke-down, volatile, spare monolith of metal for a few years now. Overblown air-raid alarms over shredded sludge slop subduction wrought with tortured wretch vocals. Trk 2 starts with haunted choirs and voices creeping out the back of your head (FCC?) and settles into some disjointed drum machine blundering and blunderbuss blasting. Trk 3 is a Maori feedback war party ritual that induces some more delusional digressions and eventually explodes into one final outlash of fury before retreating back into trembling paranoid psychosis. Some truly disturbed music for supremely disturbed souls!
Some say it’s an alter ego, I say it’s his genius. In 2011, RJD2 released this album as the Insane Warrior. It is supposedly inspired by 70???s sci-fi and horror flicks. The insanity may be the full indulgence , a head on leap into the lap of cheesy, whipped up, superr sick synth. I consider this more of a concept album. It has to be. The synth takes the spotlight. And when it does you get everything from blacksploitation, Beverly Hills Cop(3), 2001 A Space Oddessy(4), (1)Steve Wonder???s album, The Secret Life of Plants (one of my personal SW favorites), nearly the stairway to heaven on xylophone with rainsticks? NO? NO.. (6), yacht rock(7). Still RJD2 sounds are ever present(2) Six months ago this album was near rejection but second and thirds listens really made this album stick. AllI had to do is wait for it. All tracks instrumental.
What does the midwest and Halifax, Nova Scotia have in common? First, they are both light years from Hollywood. Second, it seems that the decca decade has yet to invade the culture. Hermit of the Woods, is Canadian rapper and spoken word artist who, in my opinion, cherishes the isolation from consumer culture. There is a mix of dark interludes with spoken word raps that will throw you back to the early aughts. The album is not perfect and it is better off for it. Track 2 reaches a place where it seems Busdriver met theDeftones in a smoky bar. But it works, only because it wasn???t the whole album AND there are music lovers who cream over that shit. Fortunately, other tracks may reminisce of Tricky, Sleep, and for that it???s a fair release. If Hermit stays in the woods, I expect it will just get better.
This is the first in BPitch Control’s “Camping” collection series, celebrating their 100th release and focusing on artists from their inception in ’97 until 2002. Great stuff here and quite varied. Beats range from upbeat dance oriented like Sascha Funcke and Sylvie Marks & Hal2000 to the more contemplative like quirkiness of Ellen Allien and IDM-ness of Modeselektor, Paul Kalkbrenner and TimTim. “Blutenspab” starts off with an interesting country style into and morphs into a Kraftwerk with female vocals (very Miss Kitten, except German), Housemeister’s “Do What You Wanna Funk” is totally Peaches singing about not being a midget, Smash TV “What About Me” has vocals about sunbeams and rain falling with all processed vocals/autotune, its interesting and the disc ends with a not quite expected TimTim doing a folksy track with slide guitar. Something for everyone!
FCC: Housemeister “Do You..” “Bitch and possibly a muffled “Fucking” in a thick German accent at the beginning
Next Page »
Copyright © 2013 KFJC 89.7 FM