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Kingsley, Gershon – “God Is a Moog” – [Idelsohn Society]

Idelsohn Society For Musical Preservation (or in this case, Reboot Stereophonic label) continues to amaze with its focused and in depth look at American Jewish music and its influence on others. This release, “God Is A Moog” is a full collection of “the electronic prayers of Gershon Kingsley”. Kingsley is best known for bringing us the electronic pop culture AM radio wonder “Popcorn” as well as co-writing, with Jean Jacques Perrey, “Baroque Hoedown”, the theme of Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade. But like many intensely creative people, he is much more than the sum of his parts. The book included in the double CD package gives incredible depth and insight into Gershon, his influences, his knowledge, his expertise, his values, his politics and his drive. “God Is A Moog” is heavily driven by all of these things, but with a uniqueness of character that makes these pieces so entertaining. Mixing his love of Moog and his love of Jewish prayer and holiday ritual, Gershon creates a Moog modern take on prayer and worship.
Sometimes the mix sound is kitsch (which I approve of HIGHLY), but others go deeper. It is hard not to smile at someone chanting, singing, or talking about God and religious rituals while the Moog blips, bloops, bleeps all around through and about the texts. Possibly one of the most avant-garde things we have in our collection purely for its attempt to be mainstream. Shalom aleikhem.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 13, 2017 at 11:20 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Hoosier Hot Shots – “Everybody Stomp/Hot Lips” – [Proper Records]

    The Hoosier Hot Shots were a four piece swing, jazz, cornpone, hillbilly country outfit from Indiana. Steeped in the tradition of vaudeville, the group took parts of the U.S. by storm with their weekly radio broadcasts, their stage presence, their prolific recording career and their continued appearance in Hollywood westerns. This collection, “Everybody Stomp” is a 4 CD set of 100 Hoosier Hot Shot delights. The guys were multi-instrumentalists, playing a variety of brass instruments as well as guitar, string bass (various), clarinet and some unique handmade instruments including the Zither and the Wabash Washboard. It consisted of a corrugated sheet metal washboard on a metal stand with various noisemakers attached, including bells and a multi-octave range of squeeze-type bicycle horns”. Also, slide whistles are in most numbers. The Hoosiers selected many standards and familiar songs of the time to cover with a jaunty, silly twist. Vocals include conversation between the musicians, with some of the singers using this hight pitched kind of hillbilly accent. And don’t forget the penny whistles. Once beyond the goffiness, though, take a listen to the amazing musicianship between the members. It’s quite impressive. A fun addition, fitting many of the styles of our station’s shows.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Price, Florence – “Oak, The, Mississippi River Suite, Symphony No. 3″ – [Koch International]

    Florence Price is an early, lesser known 20th Century composer of classical music, whose style is often referred to as being in the nationalistic style. This recording, by The Women’s Philharmonic, shows off three of her works. At times sounding like Aaron Copland and Tchaikovsky, with hints of southern spirituals, these pieces offer a full symphonic range of sound and feeling. At times there are melodies that seem like they could be used as early soundtracks to cartoons, where the tunes do not flow quite so simplistically. Why she is an important addition to our collection is because Florence Price was the first African American woman to gain acclaim nationally for her music and to have it played in symphonic halls. At a time when racism and sexism held back and destroyed millions of people, acceptance and appreciation of her and her music was a profound action by a country divided. Listen and celebrate our elders.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • La Compilation [coll] – [Golf Channel Recordings]

    Hangouts come and go but nowadays someone always has a recording to bring back the memories. Between 2006 and 2012 in New York City’s downtown, the restaurant/bar/hangout Mangiami (Eat Me) was THE place for clubsters, models, cool neighbors, freaks. losers and those in the know to hang out. On Monday nights local and international dj’s would spin records on the old Technics turntables set up at the bar and the place would supposedly ignite. This compilation of 8 tunes gives the listener the feel of what it was like. Dance tunes, some with simple vocals, create a constant beat to help you slug down the drink of the moment. Hinting at futuresynth ideas, also pulling from dance rhythms of the 1980′s and 1990′s, infused with a contemporary sensibility, this was the sound. The constant thump gets under your skin and soon your head starts rocking side to side. It’s a medium cool kind of beat, no HI-NRG here. Drop ins of electric piano riffs, vocal samples, bells, high hat. A little too slow for a jog around the reservoir, but perfect for strutting through the Village. On canstant play in my 1997 Lexus.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Tender Buttons – “Forbidden Symmetries” – [Rastascan Records]

    Tender Buttons is the exquisite project from Tania Chen, Tom Djll, and Gino Robair, three masters in the field of experimental electronic and acoustic improvisation. “Forbidden Symmetries”, their first full release, on Rastascan Records, are two full side pieces of electronic exploration. Influenced by Gertrude Stein, Fluxus, Kling Klang studio, among other things, Tender Buttons’ improvisational style is filled with electronic blurbles and bleeps as well as subtle hums, reverberations and echoes. Playing alongside piano, the trio is not afraid to use space and silence as an integral part of their performance. So John Cage is also an inspiration. Each piece is a journey of sound eliciting visual and auditory memory, carrying the listener to a variety of places guided by the interplay of piano and electronic noodling. Like the gorgeous cover of guidelines and map design and directions exploded, the sounds fly around, stop, pause, restart, continue, redirect. A glorious auditory journey.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 4, 2017 at 12:05 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Gibson, John – “Traces” – [Innova/American Composers]

    John Gibson is many things: musician, composer, multi-instrumentalist, professor, winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship among many other awards, academic. He is interested in electro acoustic sounds and their interplay. “Traces” is his recording looking at 12 years of his work and ideas. The seven selections are like listening to a kaleidoscope, if that was possible, with shards of sounds flashing past or gently merging into one another. At moments it may pause, affording a look, a listen to grasp what is heard. Then it moves on again, unique but with a connection to what was heard before. The selections use a variety of sounds, some from piano, trumpet, strings, trombone, the electronic manipulation of these sounds and fragments of these sounds or fragments of sounds interplaying with the acoustic instruments, electronic glitches and swooshes. There are samples from nature and from urban settings mixed in and played along with. It is all so very complex, sharp, crystal like. Pristine in its haunting beauty. Superb.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 3, 2017 at 11:16 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Collezione [coll] – [Edizioni Mondo]

    Italian music is strange. From giallo soundtracks, to Italdisco, and mondo soundtracks, things are always just a bit off center. “Collezione” from the label Edizioni Mondo is a collection of four artists/groups who are playing a 21st century type or style of electronic experimentalish cocktail lounge music, some with the sounds of animals howling and birds chirping as well as ocean waves gently crashing. Electronic beats guide each piece while background sounds fill out the lounge quality. It’s very chill, but Italian chill. It reminds of this Italian disco I went to in Firenze in the mid 1980′s. The Italdisco beats were pounding, fog machine was on, VERY chic well dressed Italians sat around sipping cocktails until it was time to dance: a very controlled, stylish sweatless dance. So amazing to watch. Like this. Great to listen to. Great for beds or just kicking back. Sweatless kicing back.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 1, 2017 at 11:53 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Foxes Fox – “Live At The Vortex” – [Emanem Disc]

    Excellence sometimes hits you directly in the face, or in this case, in the ears directly to your heart. Jazz improvisation has a big field of players. Many do it but few do it superbly. From the first few notes of this cd of three sets by Foxes Fox, the listener knows this is the real deal. Evan Parker on saxophone, Steve Beresford on piano, John Edwards on double bass and Louis Moholo-Moholo on percussion do not hold back for a moment. There is no leader here. All are on a par with and sounding comfortable with each other. There is rare pause. The instrumentation is TIGHT. The musicianship is superb. All instruments perform together with rare moments of solo work. Each is a supreme example of mastery of that instrument and could be a solo piece in and of itself, but put together is a sound so rich and so full. Beresford pounding out the low and high register at the same time with equal force gave me chills. Parker’s sax floats, punches, jabs around and through, while Edwards works his own logic with bass lines coming form everywhere. Maholo-Moholo’s percussion work does not hold down the work but makes it explode even more. How many ways can you say outstanding?

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on January 1, 2017 at 10:29 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Pets – “Get Turned On” – [Sacramento Records]

    Life is good sometimes. Simple things: good cheese, the car starting right up, Pets. “Get Turned On” by Sacreamento’s Pets is a fuzzed out, pounding rock pleasure that even my partner likes, and she hates most music. Allison on vocals and guitars and Derek on vocals and bass have been doing this since 2003. This album has Lucy Giles (Dog Party) and Kepi Ghoulie joining in on drums on all the songs. Sorry for the comparisons but when I first heard this I thought, “oh my goodness, Jesus and Mary Chain and The Vaselines”. Wahoo! Fuzzy fuzzy guitars. Big guitars. Bass sometimes strummed. Echoey drums. Boom boom boom boom. Sometimes monotone vocals which switch back and forth between gal and guy. Lyrics about many things, often dark, but good, you know, like: I’m dead, You bow to my orders, You think it’s love but it’s hate under green eyes. Not so simple. A reference was made to them sounding like they came out of the Brill Building. I hear that. Dark pop rock you can trust. Soooo good.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 24, 2016 at 10:57 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Brel, Jacques – “Infiniment” – [Universal]

    Jacques Brel is an institution. Initially a French institution, by the 1970′s the passion was worldwide. Brel sings chanson, that very specific impassioned French song style which tell tales of love, loss, the trials of the worker, the beauty of one’s home, the loss of one’s home, patriotism, etc, etc, etc. Brel’s voice is rich and full of emotion, leading the listener down his path. Accompanied by bold orchestrations to smaller musical couplings, Brel is able to maneuver the terrain brought by each production. On the few live recordings in this collection you can feel the intensity of the audience as he sings. The audience breaks out in near riot when he finishes. In these instances, one realizes this is more of a movement than just some guy singing French standards. Let go and fall into his magic.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Brel, Jacques – “Infiniment” – [Universal]

    Jacques Brel is an institution. Initially a French institution, by the 1970′s the passion was worldwide. Brel sings chanson, that very specific impassioned French song style which tell tales of love, loss, the trials of the worker, the beauty of one’s home, the loss of one’s home, patriotism, etc, etc, etc. Brel’s voice is rich and full of emotion, leading the listener down his path. Accompanied by bold orchestrations to smaller musical couplings, Brel is able to maneuver the terrain brought by each production. On the few live recordings in this collection you can feel the intensity of the audience as he sings. The audience breaks out in near riot when he finishes. In these instances, one realizes this is more of a movement than just some guy singing French standards. Let go and fall into his magic.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Brel, Jacques – “Infiniment” – [Universal]

    Jacques Brel is an institution. Initially a French institution, by the 1970′s the passion was worldwide. Brel sings chanson, that very specific impassioned French song style which tell tales of love, loss, the trials of the worker, the beauty of one’s home, the loss of one’s home, patriotism, etc, etc, etc. Brel’s voice is rich and full of emotion, leading the listener down his path. Accompanied by bold orchestrations to smaller musical couplings, Brel is able to maneuver the terrain brought by each production. On the few live recordings in this collection you can feel the intensity of the audience as he sings. The audience breaks out in near riot when he finishes. In these instances, one realizes this is more of a movement than just some guy singing French standards. Let go and fall into his magic.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Brel, Jacques – “Infiniment” – [Universal]

    Jacques Brel is an institution. Initially a French institution, by the 1970′s the passion was worldwide. Brel sings chanson, that very specific impassioned French song style which tell tales of love, loss, the trials of the worker, the beauty of one’s home, the loss of one’s home, patriotism, etc, etc, etc. Brel’s voice is rich and full of emotion, leading the listener down his path. Accompanied by bold orchestrations to smaller musical couplings, Brel is able to maneuver the terrain brought by each production. On the few live recordings in this collection you can feel the intensity of the audience as he sings. The audience breaks out in near riot when he finishes. In these instances, one realizes this is more of a movement than just some guy singing French standards. Let go and fall into his magic.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Surachai – “Aeon” – [Make Noise Records]

    Two glorious sides of chaotic electronic blips bleeps blonks. Surachai makes a sort of gloom electronic music.
    With this project from Make Noise Records, Surachai created the two pieces using the Make Noise Shared System modular synths made by the independent synth makers. The list of oscillators, pressure points, wogglebugs etc. etc. used is huge. Complicated sounds bending in and out with pitches shooting back and forth in and out. Tweak out.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 18, 2016 at 11:23 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Terminus, Dan – “Wrath of Code, The” – [Blood Music]

    YAHOO WAHOO!!!!! Just speeding around at night in my 1980′s Pontiac Trans Am, going fast and just crazy. It’s all dark, mysterious, dangerous and so good. Speed. Dan Terminus is synthwave/futuresynth godhead, cranking up the orchestrated melodies to a darker intensity than usually found in this genre. The connections to 1980′s synth themes like “Knight Rider” are just a stepping stone for Terminus’ exploration into intense, dark, throbbing, pulsing synth outrageousness. There are so many layers to these pieces one could get lost in their headphones, and that would be all good. It does take you to a place that seems familiar but then isn’t. It’s just more dangerous. 13 tunes of such pounding synth bliss. Man the drum machine. Pound it out on your leather steering wheel. Chop a line and hit the nearest aerobics class.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 18, 2016 at 10:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Infinite Plastic Internal – “Music for Waiting Rooms” – [S/R]

    Mark Pino is a drummer and electronic sound experimenter extraordinaire, performing with numerous projects, especially in the bay area. Infinite Plastic Internal is his solo project of electronic drone and percussive sounds.
    “Music for Waiting Rooms” is like a series of 21st century ragas for the waning blue collar middle class. Electronic drones set the stage and mood for each piece. Enter clanging metal like chains being rubbed or jangled, scraping against metal objects, muted and slightly distorted tabla like drumming. It is all so oddly soothing
    like the new post-industrial. Kundalini John Deere meditation music. Ohm.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Go Right- Jazz From Poland 1963-75 [coll] – [Jazzanova Compost Records]

    “Go Right” provides an interesting look at a period and place for jazz musicians and fans: Poland 1963-75. A LOT was going on in Poland during this time, including a very controlling government that watched out for cultural “appropriateness”. You can’t rock the boat that hard, or you need to be very subtle about it. The groups on this compilation are extremely talented, playing strong, solid, pretty straight ahead jazz. With the occasional title about revolution. A lot of it sounds like great soundtrack music or the best of studio musicians which requires superb musicianship. But the centerpiece of the collection is the introduction of the Novi Singers to the rest of the world. WOWSA. I mean, quality. The first thing I thought was The Double Six of Paris and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, classic jazz vocal groups of such power and skill. Novi Singers rank equal with them. A quartet of vocalists, one female and three male, the outcome is so stunning, so smooth it gives me goosebumps. Lots of scat singing, in harmonies that break my heart, with amazing jazz instrumentation accompaniment. It might sound kitschy to some. It is not. It’s a tradition of singing that many attempt but few can pull off. Plus there is that wonderful 1960′s feel to so much of it. Stellar and just so enjoyable. Bee buh dee do wop yah.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Psychic TV – “Force The Hand of Chance” – [Angry Love Productions]

    What becomes a legend most? This is the true question to ask of this 34 year old work which some call a masterpiece and the best Psychic TV album. For me, Psychic TV have always been the band I love to hate. I’ve seen them perform four times, all during different stages of their journey. They have always scared me. The hardcore fans, who are like post punk Deadheads, have scared me. I always feel a bit overwhelmed by the feeling that to fully appreciate them I have to give in to them 100%. I don’t care enough about anything, nor trust anything enough to give 100% and hence my feelings of being an outsider when presented with PTV. But….
    Listening now in 2016 to “Force the Hand of Chance”, their first album, I may be able to understand it. At least appreciate it. This came out one year after Throbbing Gristle quit (the first time). PTV were one half of TG – Genesis P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson plus Alex Fergusson. TG fans were desperate for more industrial, but what a surprise. The first track on “Force…” is this sweet folk lullaby to Genesis’ new baby daughter. WHAT? Where’s the screaming and metal, as in machinery. And it continues in this way. English folk influences. Nods to spaghetti western themes. Orchestrated strings. Lush instrumental pieces. Songs that are almost ballads. Genesis actually sings. The listeners went bonkers. Some were pissed. Others embraced. And for good reason. This was something so new and challenging in it’s approach and style. Today, it’s hard for me not to get a chill at Marc Almond’s guest vocals on “Stolen Kisses” and “Guiltless”. My foot starts tapping at the pre-Acid House PTV dance number “Ov Power”. The lyrics tell stories. Underlying darkness is there, for sure, but the beauty of the whole production is stunning. The spoken word piece, “Message From The Temple”, is read by Mr. Sebastian, notorious London S&M and body manipulation practitioner. It is the manifesto for PTV’s Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth. This is all essential stuff, for understanding PTV and much of the music played at this station. Stunning. I finally get it.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Din a Testbild – “Programm 1″ – [Mannequin Records]

    Germany. 1980. Dieter moves. Electronic. Synth. Drum machine. Duo. Serious. Angular. Robotic. Wear gray.
    The past is always present. And pertinent. The first of the Din A Testbild Programm projects. It was dance. It was performance. It was industrial. This is still so enjoyable. Old machinery makes for great backgrounds.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 15, 2016 at 9:09 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Herndon, Holly – “Platform” – [4AD / Beggars Group]

    Holy holly cowabunga! If this is the future of “pop” music as many are saying, let me in and get the hell out of the way while I push you down. Herndon hails from CCRMA out of Stanford University. A composer, electronic musician and sound artist, “Platform” is Herndon’s second album. It comes with much critical praise, and well deserved, but possibly not a huge listenership, unfortunately. New is difficult for folks. Ten compositions, eight with lyrics one of which is a spoken word ASMR type experience (“Lonely At the Top”), two instrumentals. Production values are supreme. Tweaked twisted turned around glitch click blurp electronic madness. Lyrics may start out smooth but become blasted, distorted, split apart. Sound bites bytes spin pppunch in and speed out quickly. Vocals get distorted. Electronic beats go on then explode. Herndon’s child like voice may be punctuated by shards of glass of metal bits scraping. Breathing. Feet pounding. The future is now and it is full of information that fills our heads, ears and hearts. Quality.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 26, 2016 at 11:11 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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