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

Schifrin, Lalo – “THX 1138″ – [Film Score Monthly] CD

Lalo Schifrin’s score to George Lucas’ first feature film is not easy listening – though a few tracks were designed as such – but are keeping more in tune with the bleak Orwellian future presented in the film. The music feels like they mostly plays as background to the scenes, completely opposite from the later Lucas-Williams collaborations. Many of the pieces could even be incorporated – perhaps effortlessly – into a layered soundscape of your own design. Some of the tracks on this limited release were cut from the film – including the Zoetrope Studio fanfare, and the Be Happy Again jingle. I sure almost everyone can find something to play from this disc.

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on June 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soundtrack
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  • Ye Olde Maids – “God Blesses Us, Mother Dresses Us” – [Heart Worm] CD

    Fuzzy, noisy, simple, poppy, dirgey… Just a few of the impressions I get from listening to this disc. Ye Olde Maids is Wesley Eisold, who apparently is both halves of the duo heard on the songs – handling both the male and female voices. The first 10 tracks are what was released on the 12″ version, which were recorded between 2005 and 2008, and tend to be more synth-poppy in nature. The remaining 14 tracks seem to be more crudely recorded tracks consisting of whatever was handy to record. A little something for most everyone at KFJC.

    I caught some forbidden language on track #15, and there’s a gap in the middle of track #22.

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on June 1, 2011 at 11:48 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Cortez, Lula – “Rosa De Sangue” – [Time-Lag Records]

    Lula (aka Luis Augusto Martins) Cortes’ third and final solo album, originally released in 1980. A mix of Brazillian, middle eastern and folk – with a touch of classic psychedelic and a little I don’t know what. I really had a hard time trying to figure out what to say, but thoroughly enjoyed the record over multiple sittings. Give it a spin – it won’t kill you… – pi2r

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on April 27, 2011 at 10:22 am
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Fern Knight – “Castings” – [Vhf]

    You may judge this book by it’s cover – or record by it’s sleeve – as you would be mistakenly led to believe that this is a reissue of some folky album form decades past. Even after dropping the needle onto this mysterious slab of vinyl you would be forgiven the notion that you might be listening to some ’60s/’70s folk-psych-prog-cult-rock band, mixing the sounds of ancient Celts and the wailings of electric guitars more commonly heard in early times of Genesis or King Crimson (whose song “Epitaph” is lovingly recreated here).

    Instead this delightfully moody collection of Tarot inspired songs represents the fourth album by the contemporary DC-Philadelphia area band Fern Knight entitled “Castings”. No single track can be made the highlight of this 2010 release, the majority of which were recorded in a gothic mansion in the Brandywine valley in Pennsylvania. Instead pick a track and settle in for some beautiful sounds as conspired by Margaret Ayer (nee: Wienk) and her fellow musical time travelers.

    I can’t think of many KFJC shows that this would not fit into, and tracks range in length from the more pop-like to the prog-sized that can accommodate anyone’s needs.

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on March 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Berger, Robin – “Euston Sampler, The” – [Robin Berger]

    48 tracks of short electronic compositions from American composer Robin Berger that are reminiscent of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and those old psycotronic educational/industrial films of the ’60s and ’70s. Anyone can find a reason to use this CD: You can throw a quick one in a set (they range in size from 0:36 to 2:23) maybe as your show’s theme, or even as a bed under your mic breaks or your next production.

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on March 16, 2011 at 11:50 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Mountain Man – “Sun Dog” – [Underwater People's Records]

    From Vermont, we have three talented women who sing folk harmonies with minimal to no accompaniment. This is just a taste of this delicious trio’s talents, with only five songs to whet your appetite (a full length release has also been released, which include variations of the songs from this EP). What I can come up with in terms of a comparison, and perhaps a little unfair, is an acapella Neko Case times three. The songs are sweet and – sadly – short. So if you’re even marginally inclined to play folk, or acapella, or women singers then you should definitely give this a go. If you’re not so inclined, then just play “Honeybee” as it’s the shortest…

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on February 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm
  • Filed as 10-inch,A Library
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  • Mittoo, Jackie – “Wishbone” – [Light in the Attic]

    What happens when you transplant a musician from Jamaica to the great white north? In this case, you get a fusion of reggae, soul and funk with a 32-piece orchestra to back it all up.

    Founding Skatalites keyboard virtuoso Jackie Mittoo emigrated from Jamaica to Canada in the later part of the ’60s, where he joined a burgeoning West Indian community in Toronto. Despite his fame back home, he just managed to survive as a gigging musician – playing a myriad of different styles, in a myriad of different clubs. As luck would have it, another Jamaican transplant had managed to convince the media company he was working for to start up a record label where – after a handful of other releases – they approached Mittoo to record for them. The rest, as they say is history – except that (despite the quality of the music and recordings) the fledgling record company didn’t have the distribution mechanism to back it up, and the record’s sales failed to make any money and the label folded after only three years.

    After thirty-five years, this pioneering Canadian reggae album was rereleased allowing us the opportunity the relive a long-lost treasure from a musician who left us way to early.

    Jah mon, eh?

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on January 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm
  • Filed as CD,Reggae
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  • Kashmere Stage Band – “Out of Gas But Still Burning” – [Kram]

    Between 1968 and 1977, Conrad Johnson lead varying groups of kids from a high school in the Houston area – known as Kashmere Gardens – into a wonderful musical world of jazz, funk and soul. During this time, the Kashmere Stage Band competed in forty-six contests, winning all but four of them. They had a sound comparable to many of the contemporary professionals bands – being compared to the likes of the JBs and the Bar-Kays. Since the band’s final year, they have been rediscovered by hip-hop artists who have sampled many of their tracks, and have caused a renewed appreciation – and rerelease of material – from this impressive ensemble.

    “Out of Gas But Still Burning” is the class from 1974′s album. Contained within it’s tracks are notable covers – Rhapsody in Blue, When I Fall in Love, amongst others – plus a couple of original pieces – Kash Register (performed with Cold Fire) and The Zero Point (composed by Conrad Johnson himself). All the tracks, with the exception of Angel (which features the vocal talents of Afro Love) are instrumental. While half of the tracks also appear on the CD set Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974, this appears to be an original pressing

    Thirty members of the band reunited in 2008 – at a time when their alma mater was considered to be a “dropout factory” and threatened with closure – to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the bands creation and pay tribute to Mr. Johnson. The story of the band, and the reunion concert are the subject of an award winning film called Thunder Soul

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on December 14, 2010 at 7:09 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Soul
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  • Miller, Lloyd and The Heliocentrics – “Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics” – [Strut]

    If you’re looking for difficult jazz, you may want go somewhere else. This collaboration – between UK jazz collective the Heliocentrics and multi-ethnic-instrumentalist jazz pioneer Lloyd Miller – isn’t at all difficult, or challenging, to listen to. At times it feels like a standard western jazz recording that could easily have come out of the ’50s and ’60s, but then easily switches to eastern infused arrangements – which isn’t surprising considering Lloyd Miller’s 60-year history in the industry, and his love of Eastern music traditions. Lloyd even raps (in the classical sense, not in the bust-a-rhyme sense) over the track appropriately named “Lloyd Lets Loose”. An enjoyable release, that should easily find a home on most shows.

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on October 6, 2010 at 10:32 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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