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Nerftoss – “Maiden Powers” – [Ehse Records]

Nerftoss, the solo project of musician John Jones is a pleasure from a variety of styles pulled together to make a unique, infectious sound. “Caliber” one of the few tracks with vocals, feels like post-shoegaze, with the vocals quieter than the bass, indistinguishable yet domineering. Many of the tracks are a type of loop of rhythmic beats or hypnotic drone and psychedelic patterns, pumping, pumping, pumping forward while odd rhythms and chords pop in and out commenting to each other while the loop continues forward.
New Psychedelia transforming your head. Turn on.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 19, 2017 at 10:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Morgen Wurde – “Brach Auf” – [Time Released Sound]

    Morgen Wurde is Wolfgang Rottger from Kiel, the German port city on the Baltic that was a major manufacturer of subs and boats during WWII. It was also mostly destroyed by bombing during WWII. Does this matter? I think place and history affect artistic creation one way or another. With references to fire, whether it be destructive or transformative, the 11 tracks present a fluctuating tone of electronic swirl and percussive tone reminiscent of Tangerine Dream and other such groups but with an obvious 21st century bent. Propulsive yet ambient, electronic in a space journey type of manner. Flow over, through and beyond the space portal.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 19, 2017 at 9:50 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Mezei, Szilard / Guazzaloca, Nicola – “Lucca and Bologna Concerts” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

    A brilliant recording by Hungarian viola player, Szilard Mezei and Italian piano player, Nicola Guazzaloca. These master musicians pair up for recordings at 2 concerts and give performances of improvisational bliss. From slow and quiet almost silence, to loud bursts of volatile sound, Szilard bows, scratches and engulfs his viola, nursing and cursing a rich array of sounds, even bits and hints of Hungarian folk tunes. Nicaola, plucks and strums the inside of the piano then moves to eloquent chords, patterns, trills and other innovations on the piano keyboard. The interplay between them is thrilling to listen to, hearing the two shadow and mimic each other, then explore around the other’s sounds. Serious for sure, but fun. Lots of fun from these improvisers.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Angels In America – “Narrow Road to The Interior” – [Ehse Records]

    Wiped out, stoned, addicted, dusty, dirt, heat, squatting in infested broken down buildings: these are the feelings I get when hearing Angels In America’s “Narrow Road To The Interior”. Don’t get me wrong. I actually LOVE this sound, like walking through tar or muddy snow after eating something you shouldn’t have or didn’t know you had. Moppy Pont and Merv Glisten are the duo that make up this Baltimore based project, creating echoing vocals, kind of mumbled, sometimes just too tired to get the word out. Harmonies stumble through the sound infested background, filled with drones, lost choral repetitions, the sounds of detritus and wind, electronic surprises and irritants with guitar and maybe bass accompaniment, broken up beats, then a wail or scream. God, I love this so much. Kick back on your filthiest couch, listen and indulge in what feeds you. AIA rule.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Perkis, Tim / Walton, Scott – “Applied Cryptography” – [Pfmentum]

    Upon hearing the first notes of this 2016 work by Tim Perkis (electronics) and Scott Walton (piano), I felt I was experiencing something bigger, something grander than many of the unique pieces of which I have the privilege of hearing. Perkis’ instrument is things electronic. Walton is a multi-instrumentalist, on this release performing piano. They are both skilled, knowledgeable and experienced performers. On this CD, something clicked, at least for me. An interplay of piano interludes, improvisations, arpeggios, and chords play with, around and against the electronic soundscape of blips, skronks, squelches, buzzes, hums and more. The piano is fully explored, even inside as wire is pulled and scraped. Or is that the electronics mimicking the piano? The quality of interplay between the two musicians and their instruments is stunning. The playing is shared with one not overwhelming the other but playing along side and in conversation with the other. Both may settle into quiet or one will dominate while the other supports or reacts. Sometimes they go in different directions, but they never get lost. Alas, the sound of experience and skill and creativity. If we did a top ten of the year, this would definitely be on my list.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 15, 2017 at 9:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bag, Alice – “Alice Bag” – [Don Giovanni Records]

    Alice Bag is a punk rock icon, hailing from East Los Angeles, one of the original LA 100, the original punks from the mid 1970′s LA punk scene. Her original band, The Bags, was a major influence on what was to come in the punk scene. She was also a member of many other bands including Castration Squad and the amazing Cholita! the Female Menudo fronted by one of a kind Dr. Vaginal Creme Davis. Alice Bag has continued her career in music as a performer as well as author, activist and teacher. This 2016 release showcases Bag’s power punk/ power pop energy in 11 numbers that vary from old school punk sound to 60′s girl group shoo bop. Lyrics are direct political statements about abuse directed towards women, cultural and racial prejudice, inequalities in education, feminism. It’s all powerful stuff in simple language with a continuous beat. The musicianship is solid with a rotating cast of musicians who understand what Bag wants them to play and how it should sound. Many have worked with her in different projects so their is a solid, family feel to the recordings. This is not retro: it is a continuation of an artist who pushes herself on and on. A great addition to the collection.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 4, 2017 at 10:03 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Rotten Fux – “Rotten Fux” – [Six Weeks]

    Rotten Fux. The continued comment on many sights is will they last more than a year before they all OD. Not sure if they made it but this 2006 release on Six Weeks Records assured them some infamy with 9 tracks of hardcore punk energy. Bay area punkers from the now defunct Burnt Ramen club scene, taking names like Filthy, Smelly, Inbred and Steve’s Little Brother, one can guess the sound, speed and quality. But that’s the fun of it. They meant it, I’m sure, maybe, I don’t know, but with song titles like “My Rules”, “Sick of Life”, “STD Song” and “I Like Drugs”, you know a good time is guaranteed. Sometimes you just have to sit back and let it happen, not worrying about quality. Just enjoy. Each song under 2 minutes, so commitment is not an issue.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 4, 2017 at 8:30 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Higgs, Daniel – “Fools Sermon, Part 1, The” – [Editions Mego]

    Outsider artists are a unique breed, difficult to define, hard to acknowledge, challenging for many to listen to. Once in awhile there exists an artist considered outsider more than outsider, yet whose vision is so complex and unique as necessary to be reckoned with. Such is Daniel Higgs. A member of Lungfish and participant with Skull Defekts as well as projects with Asa Osborne of Zomes, Higgs has a respected calling card. His solo work has often been stripped down, haunting, lyric heavy about mystical topics and other. “The Fools Sermon, Part 1″ is a 35 minute sermon, a sermon intoned, not sung, by Higgs as fool, seer, visionary, nonsense maker, mystic, outsider in that he knows something more than most of us may be able to grasp. Maybe balanced with Sufism, Christianity and revelations about the Before (before it started), Higgs enunciates his poem with such specific authority that his unique voice becomes the instrument that will carry you away even if you do not grasp his meaning. Eli Winograd accompanies on bass and bass keyboard, Fumie Ishi plays drums and voice, Higgs plays banjo and speaks. Other sounds float in and out of the recording: Zen like and mystical. This work takes effort from the listener but with it might come a new understanding. Stunning.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 4, 2017 at 6:11 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Schimscheimer Family Trio – “Boken Home” – [BAG Production Records]

    This is the second album by the Schimscheimer Family Trio, the fake sibling musicians this time accompanied by their fake uncle (Ben Goldberg on Bb and contra-alto clarinet). “Broken Home” is a sort of concept album musically describing the families semi-traumatic family experiences, their fake relatives, and some animals that could cause problems. All instrumental, Jon Arkin (drums, percussion, electronics), Michael Coleman (keyboards) and Kasey Knudsen (alto sax, electronics) are working in Henry Cow territory, sort of, with a lot of other ideas floating around. Songs might start out with a straight ahead jazz riff and then change into a series of repetitive notes, jumping into a tappable rhythm which then gets covered and challenged by another rhythm. Tempos change, time signatures change. The sounds twist and bend. Yet it sounds light and humorous. The quality of the musician’s skills is superb. They are putting so many sound ideas in to play, yet in this enjoyable almost bouncy way, with out letting you forget the sinister underneath. A truly enjoyable experience and a great listening surprise.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on August 21, 2017 at 12:44 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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  • Lil Bub – “Science & Magic” – [Joyful Noise Recordings]

    I can’t stop laughing about this one. Some background info for those not in the know. Lil Bub is a cat, from outer space, who is an internet sensation like LOL Cat and Grumpy Cat. She has her own Youtube talk show with guests like Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Albini (Big Black, music producer). So Lil Bub was born with a serious bone disorder that would have made her paralyzed. But amazingly, she pulled through and now walks fairly well (probably because of her roots from outer space). She does have her tongue continually hanging out and a unique meow which are some of her selling points. BUT…. Lil Bub is also a music composer who has channeled or “guided” her human persons through the process of composition. Matt Tobey, her person, says she guides him continuously and Andrew WK experienced her power, first hand, in the studio. The 10 tracks are electronic lounge styled tunes with guitar and strings with drum beats, very fitting for what is being made by other musicians today. It’s cat cocktail music from space. And Lil Bub meows and purrs vocals, but not in that ostentatious white trash cat, cat’s meowing “Jingle Bells” sell out style. Lil Bub is the real deal: not overdoing it, knowing how a little of her goes a long way. No ego for Lil Bub. A sincere true artist. Enjoy and dance away.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 31, 2017 at 11:31 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Bricusse, Leslie and Newley, Anthony – “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” – [Universal Music Enterprises]

    C’mon! It’s Willy Freakin’ Wonka. The 45th Anniversary edition. On GOLDEN VINYL!!!!!!!! Iconic. The songs of several generations. Even kids today say it’s better than the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version.
    Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley hit a home run with this soundtrack about the poor boy who makes it big. Songs about spoiled brats, psychedelic boat rides on chocolate rivers, orange little people singing oompa loompa, songs about the near death of children by some of the most diabolical methods that out-Saw the “Saw” franchise. There’s the most unhappy song about cheering up, “Cheer Up, Charlie” and, of course, “The Candy Man”, made famous in a rocking funky version by Sammy Davis, Jr. Oh, and did I mention Gene Wilder. Gene Freakin’ Wilder!!!!! PLAY IT and all you dark heart naysayers can go jump in a chocolate river.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 31, 2017 at 10:58 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Soundtrack
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  • Pennington, Eddie – “Walks The Strings… and Even Sings” – [Smithsonian Folkways]

    This is a true treat: 20 tracks, mostly instrumental, by the stunning guitarist, Eddie Pennington. Hailing from Kentucky, he plays in the parlor movement style of Kentucky thumbpicking. (Read the booklet for an in depth explanation.) His skills are ever apparent. The notes float by ever so delicately, with intricate twists and turns that captivate the listener. His playing in so smooth, so perfect it is almost unreal. You can just see him sitting on a porch, picking away, telling stories, singing, and playing for hours. A joyful listen.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 30, 2017 at 10:57 pm
  • Filed as CD,Country
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  • Pinguim, Astronauta – “Zeitgeist/Propaganda” – [Pineapple Music]

    Life is good when folks like Astronauta Pinguim exist. Luckily he “landed” here, his words, specifically in Brazil. He is of the folks who find great joy in recreating sounds with vintage 60′s/70′s synths, electric organs, drum machines and voice modulated vocals. So good. Each song is a joy of moog, synth, electronique and robot vocals. Great beats, smooth sounds, and rockin’ titles. You can’t go wrong when one song is named after the iconic 3 words said in “The Day The Earth Stood Still” – “Klaatu Barada Nikto”- even if he spells the first word wrong -Kaatu. Do “The Robot” with this one. I will.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Infinite Plastic Internal – “Skyline Session” – [S/R]

    Mark Pino’s solo project Infinite Plastic Internal continues on the journey of modern day mantra with “Skyline Session”. Six instrumental tracks of percussion and drone, filled with many moments of silence and pause, this time. Sometimes the sound is what sounds like the hiss of a tape recorder. Other times, Pino’s drumming takes over guiding the listener through an array of rhythms and beats. Exceptional, as always.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 30, 2017 at 9:42 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Baraki – “Colony Laspberry” – [Worm Interface]

    Baraki: a Pashtun tribe, a village in Afghanistan, a village in Poland or Iran, a commune in Algeria, a Belgian insult for a slob.
    This Baraki, wherever the name comes from, is an accomplished musician out of Kyoto. “Colony Laspberry” is his master class in many styles of electronic dance music, so well done that on a continuous listen, one wonders if this is many groups/projects instead of just one. It’s just one: Baraki.
    Each track is a unique sound: “rock “n job” starts off like classic Japanese electronica pop from the 80′s/90′s. From there it takes off. We get IDM, drill ‘n bass, environmental ambient, rave pounding beats, freak out spinning electronic bouncy mumble, squelch. All the sounds are here. Wow wow wow. Head spinning yes please.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 14, 2017 at 12:03 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Orb, The – “Alpine” – [Kompakt Schallplatten]

    Does it get much more lovely than this? Maybe, but grasp this while you can. Three pieces of mood by the dynamic duo of Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, one piece – Dawn- selected as part of Kompact’s POP AMBIENT 2016. The stunning cover of the Matterhorn as double sets the mood for these three contemplative selections. “Alpine Morning” is a meandering electronic soundscape with backward tracked voices, like music for getting ready for a stroll in the great outdoors. “Alpine Evening” sets the beats, distorted sounds and even some squelched yodeling, for a dance club in Zermat, looking out on the famous natural attraction. “Alpine Dawn” starts out with cow or sheep bells, just what one would hear in the small farms surrounding the alpine fixture and then floats, twists and turns luxuriously – music for watching the sun rise? Or maybe it has nothing to do with the Matterhorn at all. Whatever, it’s gorgeous.
    Enjoy.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 13, 2017 at 11:31 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Fall, The – “Wise Ol’ Man” – [Cherry Red Records]

    It’s the 21st Century and The Fall still push forward. This 2016 EP features 2 new songs, the title track plus “All Leave Cancelled”, alternate takes plus remixes of several songs from 2015′s Sub-Lingual Tablet plus a rare live version of “No Xmas For John Quays” recorded in 2014.
    Impressive stuff. Visceral and tight instrumentation pounding forward and driving the repetition which never seems to feel redone. But Mark E. Smith. WOW! As we age our voices change, our manner along with it. Smith is still Smith but boy that voice. His classic shout not sing style of thick accented vocalizing has turned into mumbled spewing, garbled growls and some of the most frightening yowls, howls and old man scream shouts. What is beyond rage? That’s the sound. Amazing. Keep your kids away, but it is superb.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 5, 2017 at 11:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Oliveros, Pauline & American Voices – “St. George and The Dragon/In Memoriam Mr. Whitney” – [Mode]

    This early 1990′s recording of Oliveros comes during her deep listening period. Having gone to the Pomfret School in Connecticut on invitation from American Voices director Neely Bruce to lead a Deep Listening Training, Pauline took time to sit in the Chapel on the school grounds. It was known for it’s interesting acoustics which interested Oliveros. It was here that the two selections on this CD were formed. “St. George and the Dragon” is inspired by the statue of the same name which sits in the Chapel. Oliveros, playing accordion, evokes the spiritual battle between Saint and Dragon. Her long phrases, held out to mysterious length, reverberate within the Chapel. Listeners must take time with this 47 minute piece of meditation and beauty. “In Memoriam Mr. Whitney” is a heartbreaking work performed with American Voices. Accordion slowly plays while the vocalists, including Oliveros, call out the names of their loved ones who have passed on. The vocalists were encouraged to walk about the Chapel while saying the names. We hear their movement throughout. It is haunting to hear someone call out “Mamma”, “Grandad”, or nicknames of people. The intimacy along with Oliveros’ accordion are sometimes staggering in their quiet. A unique gift to our station.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 4, 2017 at 9:43 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Rothenberg, Ned/Feldman, Mark/Courvoisier, Sylvie – “In Cahoots” – [Clean Feed]

    Nine wonderful tracks of “free jazz” exploration tempered with continuous references and returns to meter, rhythm, repeated phrases of almost melodic quality. Sylvie Courvoisier on piano and Mark Feldman on violin had recently teamed up with Ikue Mori and Evan Parker for an album, so they come from experience and skill. Adding Ned Rothenberg on clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet and shakuhachi makes for an interesting, challenging and lovely trio. No drums. Fascinating for a jazz album. And not missed in the least. These pieces explore so many dimensions capable with this list of instruments. For instance, when Feldman bows his violin it’s more shocking and head shaking than when he plucks, which would seem to make more sense. Songs start off and seem to explode, a rhythm played which begins to twist then loose itself in pure emotion. Pushing the definition of what is jazz, this collection of sounds positively broadens that idea.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 4, 2017 at 12:36 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Northern Soul Weekender [coll] – [Charly Records]

    Russ Winstanley is a DJ who spun Northern Soul sounds at Wigan Casino in England from the 1970′s to the early 80′s. This compilation, on the Charly label, is a collection of some of his favorites from his personal stash. Northern Soul was so termed as a way for the north England soccer fans visiting London, who loved the specific American soul sound, to find the specific American soul records they wanted at record stores. The sound is not Motown, but it is definitely Soul. It’s history in England is steeped in the Weekender when all night clubs played Northern Soul to the masses. 2am to 8am was when it fully kicked in and the Wigan Casino was one of the shrines of Northern Soul Weekender dancing and partying.
    The 27 tracks on this collection have some familiar names but more often than not some rare finds. The stomping beats from each number keep the listeners happy and moving, with tales of love lost, love wanted, love gained, love grown pale. Tight instrumentation and lush strong vocals carry us from one tune to the next, keeping up the rhythm and making the body move. All songs shine but some standouts for me are Loleatta Holloway singing “Mother of Shame”, Big Daddy Rogers’ “I’m a Big Man” and Ruby Winters testification on “Better”. The Sharpees’ “Take Me to Your Leader” has a bit of alien fun. Joe Tex has the strangest, most difficult tune, “Under Your Powerful Love”, where he describes a night in his hotel room intentionally listening to the couple in the next room. The woman finds herself in a situation she wants out of and is trying to convince the man to let her go, all while Joe listens in. Wrong.
    But everything is super danceable. Enjoy.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 3, 2017 at 10:38 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
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