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Photon Band – “Pure Photonic Matter Volume 1″ – [MVDaudio]

Psychedelic rock, with lots of cool fuzzy chords and spacey stuff mixed in, albeit with the lyrics being a bit poppy. This record released in 2013, but Photon Band has been around since 94, with long absences. Fronted by Art DiFuria. Many of the tracks have sections of quiet melody and mellow vocals, sandwiched between heavier guitar-laden psychedelia. Track 6, the instrumental Found in Space, leans into hippyland with analog electronics. My favorite: Track 12, Thought Crimes (Part 2), with lots of guitar wrangling, stands apart from the slightly poppy feeling of the rest of the tracks. Instrumentals: Went to the Space Bar, Found In Space, Soundings In Fathmos, But I Wanna Know, Thought Crimes Pt 2, Repose.

  • Reviewed by selector on April 16, 2014 at 7:34 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • World Domination – “Solar System Domination 2012″ – [Feeding Tube Records]

    solar

    2014 vinyl release of a 2013 demo tape by this solo project of US hardcore scene vet Anthony Pasquarosa. It’s dark, eccentric space rock/heavy psych/punk. The most obvious influence (mentioned several times in the liner) might be Hawkwind, but I also maybe heard hints of Suicide, later Swans, The Velvet Underground (A3), Alien Sex Fiend (A4), Rudimentary Peni (B1) and Joy Division (B2) (some of these may have just been me, I don’t know). The recordings are extremely low-fi, and possibly use a drum machine. Vocals are usually effected and all instrumentation (guitar and keyboard mostly) is distorted. The thematic inspiration (ironic or not I don’t know) seems to come from new age spiritualities/conspiracy theories expounded by nitwits like Terence McKenna (sampled on A5) or David Icke, but with a perverse dystopian sci-fi twist that reminded me of Grant Morrison’s ‘The Invisibles.’ A1 is an intro sample about testicle harvesting or something. The second half of B2 is mostly guitar effects noise. The rest is repetitive, driving acid punk. Claustrophobic bad-trip jams here to remind you how small the universe really is. “Plant a seed, it’s time to grow outside of time…”

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Les – “Echo” – [Skrot Up]

    No, not a French band that forgot their full name, Les
    is the Russian word for a forest, and this is a duo
    of Mi Croevkhas and Eugenie Galochkin. Repetitive
    electronics typically at the forefront of the first
    few pieces, the opening number has a gentle jackhammer
    through to your limbic system. It reminds me of reverse
    mixes where that “noise” is up front and you have to
    listen past it to hear the more interesting variations
    at play. It’s like being in a building with an alarm
    going off, but you stop and hear some angels playing
    keyboards on a floor above, do you leave or stay? Can
    you make the industrial insistence vanish. By track three
    it dies down from the initial drilling pattern to settle
    into an oscilloscope slide through static, almost like
    a hearing disease or a loose wire, but beneath it
    the drifting downtempo electronics cascade nicely.
    On #4, “Teaser” we get a monotonic robotnik voice,
    perhaps speaking to an empty factory? I could not quite
    pull the words, but #5 has a sonic birthmark with a
    speaker reciting Gorbachev’s name pacing left and
    right, again the static interference is present, but
    dialed back, mixed with slow techno tropical imitations.
    More processed spoken slovee follow on the ochen
    intesting #6, the foreground noise has vanished but
    the songs are just as puzzling. It’s a big world, but
    this track made me wonder if Post-Materialists and
    Les have crossed paths and wires in Moscow. “Echo”
    revives the staticky noise but like Pan Sonic makes
    it the rhythm track, while a synth orchestra swells
    around it and eventually engulfs it and the piece
    becomes a kind of an homage in Curved Air to Terry
    Riley. The last track is the most forest-like, with
    electric winds wooshing through a nice vanishing
    point (with a door closing) for a fine release.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Walizadeh, Omar – “Modern Persian Speech Sounds” – [B|ta'arof]

    Two side-long slabs from Omid, a hiphop producer from SoCal, that
    honor his parent’s homeland, Iran. My Farsi fails me, or more truly
    I have failed her, so I cannot spot a thematic connection from the
    words. Well towards the end a sample of a young boy saying farewell,
    Khoda Hafez, with two inflections sampled Omid makes a cool stutter
    rhythm. Apparently Omid has gone to great lengths to connect sounds
    from Iran, mostly pre-revolutionary, most of the time he just dishes
    up a dash, and sometimes loops it tightly (a gorgeous woman’s voice
    gets Max Headroom’d around the end of side A). Overall it wouldn’t
    surprise me if he had well over 100 samples knitted into the final
    project here. There are tight moments where a KFJC DJ could jump in
    or out of the mix, but mostly these tracks march relentlessly towards
    the dancefloor. Speaking of which, I found the drum samples very dominant
    through-out just heavy thumps of nearly martial force. Political
    commentary, or just a fondness for industrial strength woofers that
    can shake a car out of one lane and into another? There are a few
    English samples, like the title showing up early on side A, and
    on the flip a commentary about Iranians loving to party. Hopefully
    they can eventually in Tehran with this on the turntable and young
    men and women together in the same room… As a side note, please
    check out http://www.btaarof.com/ the “label” that released this
    is really a fledgling magazine devoted to the arts and aesthetics
    of the Iranian diaspora. While I look forward to future music
    coming fresh from Iran, appreciating the past is always a pleasure.
    Speaking of which, Omid was the man behind “Beneath the Surface”
    a stellar hip hop compilation KFJC added a few years back. I
    wonder if he will hook his fathers’ friends’ lps and cassettes
    up with Sublime Frequencies or another label to stretch out some
    of the songs he sampled here in a series of compilations. In’shallah.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 16, 2014 at 6:33 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Dreamsalon – “Dreamsalon” – [Skrot Up]

    Seattle trio (we’ve got Evening Meetings which was an
    earlier incarnation with an additional guitarist). Actually
    these guys have frequently infiltrated KFJC with bands
    like A Frames, the Intelligence, Factums, Love Tan,
    Le Sang Song and Yves/Son/Ace. The album has a dizzy,
    sweaty kinda New Zealand (Plagal?) grind to it. Guitarist
    Craig Chambers and drummer Matthew Ford share vocals
    (nicely on the somewhat peppy and echoplexy “In The Air”)
    About half of the tracks here were re-recorded/tidied up for
    the bands 12″ on Captcha (this is often the Skrot Up way,
    get their first and then watch vinyl arise). The recordings
    here are more raw, sounding like they were recorded live
    in an empty bar except for Skeeter passed out over
    on the pool table. Min Yee provides an insistent bass,
    some secret agent moves. Chambers’ guitar work, even in
    the underground muddy-fi shines through as snaky, rattling
    and catchy in non-obvious ways. Really good, and Ford’s
    got that kinda of tribal, no wave tom-filled drumming.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Mika Vainio & Joachim Nordwall – Monstrance [Touch]

    Monstrance: piece of Catholic ceremonial paraphernalia. This is ambient drone – minimal electronics, guitar, organ, metal percussion. Dark, ghostly, organic, unsettling yet varied.

    Alternative track titles: (1) Sex dungeon intruder alarm (2) Howling wind and ocean spray (3) Zombie lab glass shards (4) Making coffins for dead songbirds (5) Night Watchman by the dock (6) Hatchlings in the abandoned incubator (7) Levitation sermon

  • Reviewed by fox on April 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Drid Machine [coll] – [Drid Machine]

    Just played the Drid Machine lottery and picked 14 winners in a
    row. Killer collection out of Norway by way of KFJC ally Noxagt
    (they contibute a track and Kjetil Brandsdal from that band
    is the chief druid behind Drid.)
    1) noise concrete goes dub to start, to shart…
    2) Anders Hana (still way too underappreciated
    with some kind of goth Jezebel vocals in the swirl)
    3) percussion theme continues Gaute Granli with the
    martial snare rhythm before guitar crescendoes
    4) Anders returns as a drumming half of Pokemachine, aiming for
    the ears and shooting Lightning Bolts in ‘em. Pogo Voco Mania!
    Gets kinda stony Thronesy at the end.
    5) With that the drummer dies and an Imaginary Rock Band arises
    a pretty flickering oasis of electronics
    tight segue coming up, DJ you’ve been warned
    6) the drummer revived for the might Staer, heavy as any Daughter
    and instrumentally set for slaughter. Great drums on this
    Possibly the heaviest of the songs on this!
    7) Witchface comes to rescue you pure impure punk fans with
    a sleazy slider, drunk on seventh chords and pineapple vodka
    with the distorto-phonic vocals you need

    And that’s one side, you could call it a day and be good but

    8) robot with hiccups or Christian Marclay in two persons or maybe
    if techno were all gritty and oily and not just clean wires?
    kicking off the experimantra side in fine style
    9) farting hovercraft built with a tuba and alien metal
    the lady pilot (Urd J Pedersen) sings in English
    parks on the dance floor, flirts or taunts or both?
    boom Boom BooM BOOM!
    hey mangled guitar wizardry at the end
    METT may be my favorite, this is their KFJC debut!
    10) Freddy the Dyke, I am going to guess this is a Norwegian
    cartoon character for kids TV.
    turns out this art damaged pop breakfast ends up
    being a massive meal
    11) Banking rock guitar off the invisble forcefields
    Ultralyd Ultrahits the Ultraspot again
    quick and gone
    12) manic math rock with the space phasers to close
    baby’s gpt them high speed Brutal Blues
    13) Noxagt – not angst – got axe – now exacting
    Jackson Pollock splatter almost felt like two songs
    fighting over one, nuff said, but not enough played
    14) Abuseman is back after an initial Greatest Hits
    pygmies on pluto? bokonon no 1?
    I’m not sure where the field recordings stop
    and the layering starts or vicer versa, but
    international noise conspiracies are great

    This record is a good argument for broadcasting a Stavanger
    festival, the album splits sort of into two halves, the first
    drum-driven heavy but not slow rock, and the second a more
    tweaked, twisted take with still heaviness. There’s a unifying
    element to the fine diversity here. Stavanger sound? Even the city’s
    name, Stavanger… starve for anger, stay anchor, scavengers
    rings in my mind after this excellent comp.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Tunabunny – “Kingdom Technology” – [Hhbtm]

    Two and a bunny? Turner Bunny (as in Mike Turner who runs
    Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records?) Not sure why I can
    hang (barely) with a band named “Child Abuse” but “Tunabunny”
    gives me pause. They’ve been around for a while (2009), and
    this is evidently their fourth album, the first for KFJC to
    add. Hmm, their debut has a shot of Monica Vitti on it, so
    that’s gotta count for something. They give a tip of the
    top pop hat props to Python (like Python, Tunabunny was
    spawned in Athens, GA). In my ears, their sound connects
    wires to Broadcast, two female vocalists: Mary Jane Hassell
    and Brigette Adair Herron have a friendship that dates back
    to middle school apparently. They also play guitars, keys and
    probably have shared a ouija board too, communicating with
    dead British vocalists one imagines. Jesse Stinnard on the
    skins (more importantly he lived in a treehouse apartment!)
    Plus Jesse records their stuff, and doesn’t let the girls
    naturally pretty voices get too airbrushy, he takes sonic
    pictures of them without their audio make up on. Crucial!
    Scott Creney plays bass. And does nothing else. Why do the
    girls hold him back? By the way at this point can we just
    refer to Noise Pop as Pop? Hmmm, legal says no. T-bunny make
    their noise bookends clear, the opener a kind of space ride
    for warming up wordless vocals, and the closer a sad pop
    march that then morphs fuzzily into a fine exercise in paranoia
    (Saying “I don’t want to go out, might get eaten by a cop”
    and later “Three bloody fingers and a big stick”…man I
    hope that’s a reference to the old popsicle…gives me
    red, yellow and orange chills). Warning pop repeato vox,
    “I use my anger in a positive way” on #3 almost brought out
    my anger in a negative way. Christopher Nelms album cover
    is beautifully twisted, and at times so is the music here.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Soar Trio – Emergency Management Heist [Edgetone Records]

    Avant garde free jazz, which is to say, music for rolling in catnip. Melodic and tranquil meanderings, improvisational tension and turbulence. No drums but plenty of rhythm. Entirely instrumental.

    Thollem McDonas (b. Palo Alto, SJSU alumnus) on piano, Skeeter CR Shelton on sax, Joel Peterson on bass.

  • Reviewed by fox on April 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Coward – “Dragged On Asphalt” – [Idiopathic Records]

    cowarddoa

    Pretty much what the title says. On this 2013 CDr the Los Angeles duo bring you one hour-long track of industrial guitar drone interplay, buzzsaw static and factory noises; and I listened to it all of it for you. The first ten minutes of torture are a little percussive (though not necessarily rhythmic) and the last twenty or so are on the minimal side, but otherwise it’s grade-A straightforward harshness built from feedback, delay, metallic scraping and much gain. When both guitars are ‘droning’ it produces an impressively thorny wall of sound; elsewhere one guy ‘drones’ while the other plinks out mutated melodies on prepared strings (this happens more frequently during the second half). There are no easy listening moments, and it’s hard to get through the whole thing, but it’s certainly not mindless noise. I think either it was to some extent composed, or the two players have a really natural musical rapport. How long can your privilege protect you from the horrors of real life? How long until you, too, are dragged on asphalt?

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 15, 2014 at 8:22 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Long, Jesse Kyle – “Eclipse-A-Fact” – [Self Released]

    jessekylelong

    A 23 minute EP of weird bedroom recordings. Everything performed by Mr. Long as I understand it. The foundation seems to be guitar, as there are lots of them coming in and out of the mix, balanced nicely with programmed beats, kitchen-utensil-style percussion, talking/mumbling, squiggling/squawking, and unexpected pockets of electronic strangeness. The music gets a bit guitar-riffy from time to time and that’s fun. It sounds as though he doesn’t know quite where he wants to go with this project but he doesn’t let that stop him from laying the stuff down. And he is creative, I’ll give him that. Worth an open-minded listen or two or three.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on April 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Defeatist – Triac – Asra [coll] – [Deep Six]

    Defeatist_Triac_ASRA 3-way split

    2010 three-way split 45 featuring east coast grindcore bands. Defeatist (A1-A2, B1-B2) are from NYC, Triac (A3-A4, B3-B4) are from Baltimore and Asra (A5-A7, B5-B7) are also New Yorkers. The three groups more or less share a vision (kinda complex, spastic grindcore), but each seems to have a specific area of interest within the genre. Defeatist are on the Crossover Thrash side with a bit of a Voetsek sound. Triac draw on Hardcore and Crust and end up sounding somewhat like Buried at Birth. Asra bring in more death metal, especially in the vocals department (there are pig squeals), for an early Brutal Truth sound. Each band has its moment here, but Triac emerge victorious to my ears, even if one of their tracks (B4) is a couple covers from Black Flag and The Cherubs. Guaranteed to turn any enclosed space into a circle pit.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 15, 2014 at 2:17 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Off! – “Wasted Years” – [Vice Records]

    Off! is Keith Morris, who has hosted his own punk station on Grand Theft Auto, and is joined by Stephen Shane McDonald, Dmitri Coats, and drummer Mario Rubalcaba. This punk band is known for its 90 second tunes, and in fact, all tracks on this album are only about 1-2 minutes each. One of the most scorching punk groups the modern world has seen in a decade. It’s complex and mind-boggling tracks that will blow you away, but beware of FCCs in the majority of this album.

    Off_WastedYears

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on April 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Wright’s, Rik Fundamental Forces – “Blue” – [Hipsync Records]

    Here we have a rare intersection of very accessible and very original jazz. Excellent work from Seattle guitarist Rik Wright and equally good sounds on reeds, bass and percussion. Melodic, a bit funky, often beautiful, it will have appeal to non-jazz fans as well

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Bultmann, Nils – “Troubadour Blue” – [Innova/American Composers]

    Violist and composer Bultmann is certainly virtuosic in his performances on this CD. The first 10 tracks are viola duets with Hunk Dutt; tracks 11-14 are duets with Stephen Kent on didjeridu; 15 is Bultmann on solo viola; and tracks 16-20 feature Parry Karp on solo cello. All the works are composed by classically trained Bultmann, whose music is both through-composed and improvised. This is a treat for sure.

  • Reviewed by humana on April 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Beyond The Planets [coll] – [Improvising Beings]

    This is a 2-disc release. The first disc is my favorite because of the harp, courtesy of Delphine Latil. She and Sonny Simmons (alto sax, cor anglais) wrote the music that they both perform. There are four medium-sized tracks and an ending one of 47:03. Disc 2 features Simmons and Thomas Bellier (electric guitar), so those of you who prefer different strings may prefer this CD. Again, the musicians composed the songs they perform. Definitely worthwhile endeavors.

  • Reviewed by humana on April 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Grimm, Joe – “Brain Cloud” – [Spekk]

    Joe Grimm (better known as the Wind-Up Bird) is an interdisciplinary artist working mostly with light and sound, utilizing harmonics as the source and structural framework on which each sequence builds. There are no special electronics on these recordings, but instead humming sounds resulting from the acoustical interaction of ghostly voices, violins, horns, and ultimately the piano. “Brain Cloud III” was recorded live at Grant Hall in Providence, RI and done on three pianos, each played by three musicians. A great masterpiece!

    JoeGrimm_BrainCloud

  • Reviewed by Paulsky on April 10, 2014 at 7:26 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Heads, The – “Tilburg” – [Rooster Rock]

    Four guys from England: Paul Allen (guitar, vox, audio generator), H.O. Morgan (bass), Wayne Maskell (drums, sonic attack), and Simon Price (guitar vox). This is a live album from a July 2008 European tour with Wooden Shjips. This recording is from a night in Tilburg, Netherlands at a place called 013 Poppodium.

    As I dropped the needle on the first side of this double LP, I could feel the room slowly filling with smoke as the psychedelic haze began. You can feel the energy of the live show, in the guitars mostly, the wailing lead, and the heavy riffage as it slowly turns into a more spaced out atmospheric experience. The last track is the entire D-Side “Spliff Riff,” and it cooks! What starts as an assault slowly mellows out, but the beat speeds up, moaning guitars, thumping drums, gutteral bass.. cool electronics at the end? Or is it feedback noise?

    Sides A-C: 3 bowls, Side D: 3 bowls by itself.

    FCC: At the very beginning of the B-Side, he says, “We’re The Heads, thanks and SHIT”

  • Reviewed by mickeyslim on April 9, 2014 at 10:40 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Hooker, William – “Heart of The Sun” – [Engine]

    WilliamHooker_425

    Trio under direction of thunderous rumble drummer William Hooker with David Soldier on violin, banjo and guitar and Roy Campbell on trumpet, pocket trumpet and flute. The instrumental interplay presents a classical/folky sort of aesthetic that hearkens to Ayleresque sort of traditions, with simple motifs of warm melodies played with a fiery spiritual fervor. Cerebral but not challenging, not shrieky sort of jazz but a more primordial, universal human feel to it. The cultural flavors range from Mesopotamia to Iberia, with a time-span about the same. Soldier really drives the spice with the different instrumentation, injecting Spanish influence on 5 with the fluttery flamenco guitar that draws out Campbell’s matador trumpet flair, or on 3 really driving that old-timey feel with banjo while still sitting comfortably in a jazz setting. Hooker’s tumult of ancient tribal drumming fills every ounce of space with rolls and rolls of tom thunder, maintaining a visceral raw energy while never blasting away. This definitely strays far beyond the conventions of most modern jazz, straight or not, and because of this, not despite, I think it could be accessible to all listeners, jazz or not.

  • Reviewed by abacus on April 9, 2014 at 9:57 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Cat Shit/Newtdick [coll] ??? [Nutzz Recordzz, The]

    cat

    Nutzz Recordzz brings us another tiny little disgusting phlegm of a gem: split release between Newtdick from Redwood City and Cat Shit from your litterbox. Cat Shit side don???t make no kinds of sense, featuring down on the farm Cowcore and a deflatable rubber ducky wake-up call. One solid fart rips the pants and releases one way-too-long broken signal grindfart. Ouch. The Newtdick side presents Hair-raising-heaviness-shit-Metal, like blobs of it bobbing around in a steel toilet tub, gurgling and blubbering and all. The vocals are far too flatulent to be intimidating and the riffage is too clean to be nasty, but I still call it goregrind, but if the gore was all shitstains on the back of your tight leather pants. Wake up and smell the roses sweety!

  • Reviewed by abacus on April 9, 2014 at 9:46 pm
  • Filed as A Library
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