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

Long Distance Poison – “Twin Lights Twin Lights” – [Prison Tatt Records]

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Nathan Cearley and Erica Bradbury have been composing analog synth works as Long Distance Poison since 2010. Most of the releases from this Brooklyn duo are on cassette (though the only one we have so far is a 12″ single) including this 2015 tape from Prison Tatt.

Each side of Twin Lights Twin Lights holds a sidelong track. “Mosa” (T1) immediately swells into a vicious surge of sound. At the center of the piece are heavy, earth-shaking pulses, but as it unfolds, subtler details begin to emerge. There’s tones twisting outwards, insectoid flourishes, bizarre melodies that hiss, crawl, breathe. The piece includes hydrophone recordings of the East River. “Infra Viam (Live At Death By Audio, 9/19/12)” (T2, Cearley and Bradbury are joined by Casey Block on a Micromoog), a live track from the now shuttered NYC studio/venue, feels like the afterimage of the first side: we hear settling dust clouds, smoldering remains, piano-like notes blurred beyond recognition, glowing embers, droning echoes, absence. Recommended if you enjoyed getting lost in the void of Zaimph’s latest work.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on June 20, 2017 at 9:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Marchetti / Noetinger / Werchowski – “Marchetti / Noetinger / Werchowski” – [Corpus Hermeticum]

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    Live recordings of two half-hour performances of improvised electronics and violin, released in 2000 by the New Zealand label Corpus Hermeticum (run by Bruce Russell of the Dead C). Lionel Marchetti is a French musique concrète/electronic composer who creates studio pieces and improvised live works. This release is an example of the latter, with Marchetti using microphones, tape recorders, radios, and loudspeakers strategically placed to complement the acoustics of the performance space. Jérôme Noetinger is also a French sound artist; both he and Marchetti were students of Xavier Garcia, and have been frequent collaborators since the early 90s. Here they are joined by violinist Mathieu Werchowski. The CD includes an essay from guitarist Michel Henritzi that casts the performances as radical acts: “two concerts that are imploding limits within which our listening is held by the dominant discourse of our market-led era.”

    The Lille performance (T1) opens with a sweep of the tuner dial on an antique radio – sometimes the hint of a broadcast fades in for a moment through the static and woozy, theremin-like feedback. When Werchowski joins in, it kicks off an ongoing exchange between the violin and electronic sounds for a place in the foreground. His frantic, repetitive bowing builds into a fury; later, blares of microphone feedback, blotting out everything around it, dominate as Werchowski brushes on muted strings. An extended lull gives way to another build-up with long pulls of the bow on dissonant double stops and wild electronic chaos. The Turin performance (T2) has many of the same elements, but it is the darker and queasier of the two pieces, with high-pitched whistling and droning feedback creating a persistent tension. Intense listening.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on June 12, 2017 at 9:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Maldur Atai – “Borgata” – [Autarkeia]

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    Formed in 2010, Maldur Atai is a three-man industrial ambient project that comes from an emerging experimental scene in Lithuania. This 2012 CD, their fourth album, was released by the Vilnius label Autarkeia.

    Borgata is a concept album that takes its title from a biography of Italian intellectual and director Pier Paolo Pasolini that explores the mysterious events surrounding his murder on a beach in Rome in 1975, just before the premiere of his infamous film Salò. I can’t find anything about this biography other than the lengthy synopsis from Autarkeia. But if it does exist, it sounds like a pretty decent read: it reveals that Pasolini was killed by operatives of a secret global conspiracy, that includes high-ranking members of the Vatican clergy, whose goal is to prevent the unfolding of ancient prophecies of an obscure Buddhist cult called the Maldur Atai, the details of which Pasolini planned to expose in his next film.

    The album follows the twists and turns of this convoluted story. It opens with beautiful ambient sounds mixed with samples – grim news reports, screams of horror, discussions of psychedelics, voices of possessed children. These clues deepen the mystery, and the sounds follow, becoming darker, hollow and expansive. As we near the truth, the tracks become heavier, louder, and distorted, almost sounding like a noise record (T5, T7, T11, T12). Finally, we arrive at some kind of solution to the puzzle, with a guitar-based Italian folk ballad, Apollo 11 flight recordings, (T13) and a mystical vision appearing at the close (T14).

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Dommert, Frank – “Kiefermusik” – [Pacific City Sound Visions]

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    Frank Dommert began experimenting with tape music as a high school student growing up in Cologne in the 80s. He reached out as a fan to Christoph Heeman of H.N.A.S. (Hirsche Nicht Aufs Sofa, their early work came out on United Dairies) and soon became a collaborator. After releasing a string of cassettes on his own label Entenpfuhl, Dommert made this record, his first LP, in 1990, with Heeman as producer. The circle of musicians Dommert encountered during this period went on in the 90s to form the group Kontakta, the Sonig label and a-musik, which became the center of the experimental scene in Cologne. This 2016 reissue of Kiefermusik (“jaw music”) comes to us from the now Belgium-based label Pacific City Sound Visions, run by madman Spencer Clark (he’s calling himself Typhonian Highlife lately, also known as Fourth World Magazine, half of the noise duo The Skaters with James Ferraro, the Monopoly Child Star Searchers, and more).

    Kiefermusik contains two sidelong tape experiments that warp and wind fragments of recorded sound into a seamless dream sequence. In “Neum” (side A), dueling cycles of sound, one a loop of tape static churning in a constant rhythm, and a parallel loop fluctuating in pitch and volume. Echoing conversations, a distant accordion serenade, blistering noise, a ticking second hand (I had a traumatic flashback to Clocker, now finishing up its rotation in our current bin), and end-of-the-cassette crackles all move into awareness before the tape flies off the reel. “Uwverschmuschupi” (side B) begins with a sample of sped-up circus music (perhaps the roly-poly fish heads on the album cover?) that returns like a chorus throughout the piece. Voices and their chemtrailing echoes, planes flying overhead, radio news reports rumbling underneath, comic book laser beams, clips of film dialog and violin solos. Totally demented and sublime.

     

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 16, 2017 at 8:51 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners, The [coll] – [Sub Rosa]

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    Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) was an Italian Futurist composer, occultist, and designer of a family of musical instruments called the Intonarumori, or “noise intoners.” In his 1913 manifesto The Art of Noises, Russolo argued that traditional music could no longer capture the senses and imagination of the modern listener, a city-dweller surrounded by the constant cacophony of “noise sounds.” He envisioned a new kind of orchestra, composed of purely mechanical instruments – the Intonarumori – that each created a sound from one of six “families of noise” (roaring, hissing, scraping, etc.) that resembles the sounds one encounters in modern life. The first orchestral performance in Modena in 1914, perhaps the first noise show in history, ended in a riot. Since then, many of the instruments were lost over the years, or destroyed during World War II.

    In 2009, Luciano Chessa (composer, multi-instrumentalist, and friend of the station – his most recent visit to The Pit was in Dec. 2016) resurrected the Intonarumori in a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Italian Futurism, in collaboration with Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Working from Russolo’s original designs, Chessa’s team constructed 16 replicas of the Intonarumori devices, large wooden boxes containing intricate mechanical noise generators operated by an external lever or hand crank, with a phonograph-style horn to amplify the sound. Chessa then invited his colleagues and friends to compose new works for the orchestra, to be performed alongside Russolo’s original compositions. The works were performed at several locations, including the Ex-Alumix factory in Bolzano, Italy, by the Trento Risuona Improvisation Orchestra (T.R.I.O.).

    This 2X LP from Sub Rosa collects the recordings from this 2010 performance. Blixa Bargeld contributes a driving, droning piece (T1), Pauline Oliveros has the sounds scattered as they rise up from silence (T2), Margareth Kammerer offers a night-shift blues tune with female vocals (T12), Pablo Ortiz creates a wild, dissonant tango that you could almost dance to. Several pieces incorporate operatic vocals (T3, T5, T7, T11). Extensive liner notes are included inside the gatefold. In the hands of such brilliant musicians, these century-old instruments sound fresh, and somehow, from the grinding-gear sounds, they are able to generate a surprising variety of textures and moods. It’s all the more impressive that there isn’t an amp of electricity flowing. Russolo’s words resound today as strongly as ever: “Today noise reigns supreme over human sensibility.”

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • X Eyes – “X Eyes” – [Kitty Play Records]

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    X Eyes is the LA noise duo of Corissa Viveros and Travis Fargher (aka rehgrafsivart, also in Bastard Noise). They’re occasionally joined by their two talented kids, as in their live performance from the KFJC pit in February 2017. This 2015 cassette from Kitty Play Records finds the pair bending circuits to generate a warped interpretation of a Deep South tent revival. Bubbling up from the muck of swampy synthesis are swarms of giant buzzing cicadas, visions of snake-faced preachers (T1), a sermon from His Holiness Ornette Coleman (T3), the relentless sound of a downpour during a thunderstorm, blasts of crackling ringing and pulsating feedback. Press play and be healed.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 2, 2017 at 5:52 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Viper, The – “Art For Pain’s Sake” – [BUFMS]

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    Richard Streeter is associated with Butte County Free Music Society, the collective of Norcal noisefreaks that brought us the Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble, the great Bananafish zine, and other local underground institutions. As The Viper, Streeter brings us his straight-to-boombox recordings saved from his teenage years growing up in suburban Livermore in the late 70s. Noisy tape doodles (T2, T3, T4), a lo-fi drum spazzout with sis on backup vocals (T1, dredged up a memory of one of my old favorite Space Ghost numbers), a truly sweet little instrumental hippy dip folk pop tune with lilting piano and violin (T5), and a band practice outtake with strange, clashing chords and bluesy riffs (T6). Former high school weirdos that burned time until graduation nerding out over music (I’m assuming that’s all of us) might be delighted by this weird little mixtape.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on April 23, 2017 at 4:51 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Those Who Walk Away – “Infected Mass, The” – [Constellation]

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    The Infected Mass is the first release from Matthew Patton’s project Those Who Walk Away. Patton is a composer from Winnipeg, whose previous works include the score for the 1988 dance performance Speaking in Tongues. This new work deals with the grief surrounding the death of Patton’s brother, who was killed in a plane crash. The pieces feature string and choral arrangements performed by players from Winnipeg and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, who are credited as the “ghost strings” and “ghost chorus.” The strings are slowly bowed, creating reflective harmonies (T2, T4, T6), while distant voices echo in a mournful chorus (T1 and T7). Filling in the empty spaces, there is a quiet roar, like an icy wind, made from the sounds of circulating blood. And then, jarringly, we are presented with the black box recordings recovered from two fatal plane crashes (T3 and T5). “The recordings are very disturbing,” Patton says, “as we listen to these cockpit voice recordings, real people are about to die. I don’t know why I am doing something that feels so wrong. But I am.” Maybe it’s also wrong to drop art that is so personal and so harrowing into the middle of a dumb radio show, but I’ll leave that for you to decide.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on April 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Den Arkaiska Rosten – “Tzigah Idhe” – [Cloister Recordings]

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    This Cloister Recordings cassette is the second release from Sweden’s Den Arkaiska Rösten (“The Archaic Voices”), the project of Girilal Baars and Per Åhlund. Baars is a professionally trained vocalist who has previously worked with the vocal group Äijä, a composer of operas, and a sound engineer. Åhlund has several solo sound art/electronic projects and has worked with Sophia, among other bands.

    This cassette holds two sidelong pieces in which the sounds of the voice, in all of its many forms, are used to create a twisted, haunting landscape. Sounds of mouths, tongues, teeth, saliva, and breathing become howling winds and falling water. Deep utterances that resemble traditional throat singing rise from the lowest register, and a chorus of droning chants builds and closes in. Individual voices can be heard singing melodies or wails of regret, but soon disappear back into the fray. While vocal sounds are the main focus, weird electronics and drum beats can be heard humming beneath. The overall effect is like the spirits of everyone that’s ever lived rising from some ancient burial site to deliver us this cryptic message: it was like you said / it was not like you said.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on April 9, 2017 at 6:07 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Aquarius, Rene – “Blight” – [Utech Records]

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    Blight is the first solo album from drummer René Aquarius, of the Dutch free jazz duo Dead Neanderthals, and it’s another excellent addition to our collection of releases from Milwaukee’s Utech Records. The only instruments played on these eight pieces are drums and cymbals, but Aquarius uses closely placed microphones, reverb, and an equalizer to create a varied collection of dark, unusual sounds. We hear low drones, deep rumblings, metal meeting metal, metal catching light, a dying heartbeat, the long lingering after-echoes of a cymbal crash. Even through the effects and other technical tricks, the tactile feel of Aquarius’ playing remains, giving the tracks a rich quality that I usually associate with expertly recorded jazz albums. From this material, Aquarius crafts a quiet, slowly shifting air of mystery. The original concept and skillful execution make this an intriguing listen for those of us (all of us?) that are into dark ambient sounds.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on April 9, 2017 at 5:56 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Kleistwahr – “Music For Zeitgeist Fighters” – [Nashazphone]

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    Kleistwahr is the solo electronic project of Gary Mundy, of the legendary industrial/power electronics band Ramleh; his work under this name dates back to a pair of Broken Flag cassette releases from 1983. Mundy has returned to this project in recent years to create a series of intensely beautiful noise records that share a common theme of modern despair, including 2014′s The World Is Not My Home, 2016′s Over Your Heads Forever, and now this 2017 LP from Cairo’s Nashazphone label.

    Music for Zeitgeist Fighters holds two sidelong tracks, “Music For Dead Dreams” (T1) and “Music For Fucked Films” (T2), composed from relentless guitar feedback, ghostly voices straining to be heard through the distortion, hazy piano melodies, droning organ, and blistering noise. Blasts of harshness coexist with tragic beauty in a way that is so effortless and so authentic that it is immediately clear that this is work of a master. Philip Best wrote of this record: “Really don’t want to ruin the fun and generally I’m up for anything but this fucking shit cannot go on, can it?” In these deeply fucked times, music this blazingly powerful stirs the will to keep fighting.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on March 21, 2017 at 5:56 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Marta Mist – “Scavengers” – [Time Released Sound]

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    Marta Mist is a trio from Leeds, and there’s not much more information out there about them than that. This 2015 release from local label Time Released Sound is their first since 2012′s Industries. We received our copy when Naysayer hosted the label’s founders on the air in January 2017.

    The album contains two ~20-minute pieces, each divided into three sections that move through a variety of styles:

    “Scavengers” (T1) begins with a duet between strings and an echoing piano; later, angelic choral vocals join in. A drum beat surfaces followed by distorted guitars, (~6:00), and the piece takes on a darker, more menacing tone. The third section (~13:00) introduces a brilliant drone and electronic rhythms, and before fading away, returns to the sound of the piano.

    “Hunters” (T2) begins similarly, with a string-focused section – think Philip Glass meets Dirty Three – while a subtle beat lurks in the background. Then, the string arpeggios turn into bold strokes in the dramatic second movement (~7:00). Finally, jazz-inspired drums lead into a guitar section (~12:00) that reminds me of all those post-rock bands from the 90s, like Tortoise or especially Do Make Say Think.

    This is beautiful work – play an entire track, or scavenge excerpts for your show.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on March 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Becker, Rashad – “Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. II” – [Pan]

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    Rashad Becker is best known as a master of mastering engineering at Berlin’s Dubplates & Mastering. Over his 15+ year career at D&M, Becker has mastered over 1600 albums for an impressive list of experimental artists that includes many KFJC favorites. In 2013, Becker released (and mastered) the first album of his own, “Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. 1,” a collection of compositions for the modular synthesizer (and other electronic instruments and software). This 2016 release is the second volume of this project, and it is extraordinary.

    As on the first volume, the album’s tracks are divided into “themes” (T1-4) and “dances,” (T5-8) each running under five minutes. The tracks have the duration and structure of songs, in contrast to much of the current work coming from artists working with this medium, which usually inspires words like “soundtrack”, or “soundscape,” or something else apart from traditional musical forms. It’s a pleasant surprise to hear these instruments used to create a very focused statement. This is not to say that these works resemble any songs we’ve heard before: they’re composed from strange sounds, arranged in encrypted time signatures. At times, the sounds have character of something familiar, like a bell (T1), gong, or a human voice (T7, T8). But even when the sounds have a electronic, wormy quality, there’s a expressive feel that gives them warmth, like they were produced, maybe not necessarily by a human, but some sort of living, breathing species. As you might expect from an engineer, there is an incredible attention to details of the sound, from the smallest changes in dynamics, to rhythm, to sequencing, that I can only begin to wrap my head around. The more I listen, the more it pulls me in – is this the music of the future?

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on March 5, 2017 at 7:10 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Ssab Songs – “Ssab Songs” – [Omplatten]

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    SSAB Songs is Brian Degraw (who would go on to form Gang Gang Dance) and film director Harmony Korine (just after the release of julien donkey-boy). On this 1999 album, the duo’s sole release, they’re joined by Tim Dewitt, Josh Diamond (both in GGD, Diamond later did a stint in Jackie-O Motherfucker), Gabriel Anbruzzi (The Rapture) and someone named Grimey (as he likes to be called?). Before disbanding, SSAB Songs performed once, opening for the Red Krayola in New York in 2000.

    This album is one 27-minute sound collage. I kind of wanted to hate it – that last paragraph cited way more 90s/00s hipster cultural references than I’d ever thought I’d write in a KFJC review. And parts are definitely annoying (crusty drum circle jams, banjo) and dated (lo-fi Daniel Johnston/freak-folk warbling). But the sounds shift so often, that it’s not long before it moves into something interesting, like atonal folky guitar strumming, recordings of ballads, opera, or orchestras, buzzing drones, blasts of noise, free jazzy rumblings that sound influenced by No Neck Blues Band or the aforementioned JOMF – strange, inspired moments that make the whole messy thing worth it.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 27, 2017 at 9:53 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Zaimph – “Between The Infinite and The Finite” – [Yew]

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    Zaimph is the solo project of Marcia Bassett (also working with several bands including Double Leopards, GHQ, Hototoguisu, Un, all in our library). This release is her first studio LP, and we were lucky to get a copy when Bassett came to perform live in the Pit in February 2017.

    “Between the Infinite and the Finite” holds three powerful pieces. In “Absence and Presence” (T1/A1) we hear the dueling sounds of within and without: a dark drone opens and deepens, pulling in everything in its reach – the recorded voices, melodies, echoes of the world. In “Equinox Reprise” (T2/A2) metallic clashes and dissonant vibrations, like a building threatening to collapse, are confronted by an assured piano figure (this one reminded me a bit of Black Spirituals). The final sidelong track, “Entropic Horror” (T3/B1) is a searing tone that moves into a repeating progression, frays at the edges, contracts, expands again, and finally dissipates – the shifts and sounds of pure free energy. An ambitious and impressive work.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 19, 2017 at 6:58 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Murmer – “Songs For Forgetting” – [Gruenrekorder]

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    Murmer is the project of Patrick McGinley, a sound artist working in Estonia. On this 2016 release from Gruenrekorder, McGinley constructs four compositions using fragments of found sounds, including field recordings collected over nearly a decade, and improvisational music played with unusual instruments (mainly of the stringed variety: a Ukrainian bandura, a kora, various zithers) or objects that McGinley discovered on his travels, such as an old radio antenna played with a bow. “Song for Forgetting” (T1) is a quiet piece centered around the crystalline plucking of strings. “Another Song for Forgetting” (T2) weaves soft drones, vibrations like a teacup rattling in its saucer, and field recordings of falling water. “The Third Song for Forgetting” (T3) brings sounds of crashing waves, deeper tones from strings, round reverberations. “A Fourth Song for Forgetting” (my favorite) begins with the wandering plucking of strings and sounds of objects being placed, dropped, thrown, shattered; slowly, it all builds into a weird, wild confusion, with a fireworks display as the grand finale. Like the music, the album’s artwork is also crafted from materials at hand – the cover image is a leaf McGinley found in the woods, and enclosed in the sleeve are faded pages from notebooks from a abandoned mill near his home. Together, this thoughtful work reminds us of the surprising beauty that can be found in everyday experiences that would usually be forgotten.

    There’s much more from Murmer in our library.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 12, 2017 at 7:21 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Nitsch, Hermann – “Das Orgien Mysterien Theater: 25 Aktion” – [Cien Fuegos]

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    Hermann Nitsch is an Austrian painter, composer, and performance artist. Among his most notable projects is the Orgien Mysterien Theater (“Theater of Orgies and Mysteries”). Staged from 1962 until the present, this is a series of over 100 performances, or “aktions” as Nitsch calls them, that dramatize mass human gatherings centered around violence. The performances, sometimes lasting for days at a time, display scenes of extreme brutality – crucifixions, disemboweled animals with their entrails splayed, buckets of blood poured over bodies or splattered on the ground – and extreme decadence, with flowing wine, lavish spreads of fruits and meats, and ecstatic music and dancing. Nitsch describes the aktionen as his attempt to capture both “the tragic aspect of suffering and instants of extreme ecstasy” that make up our lives. (See one here).

    This LP is a remastered tape recording of 25 Aktion performed at Gallery Pakesch in Vienna in 1982 (a restaging, the original performance was in 1968). The recording opens with piercing whistles, leading into a wild chorus of dissonant horns (T1/A1, T2/A2, T3/B1). While listening, the first thing that came to my mind was the nonstop drone of a stadium-full of vuvuzelas during a football game (our own modern version of the violent spectacle?). Drumming, followed by human voices, join in; first, the sounds are lost in the fray, but later the chaos is organized into a chant (T2/A2). The final track is the aftermath of the ceremony, scored with solemn, droning organ chords (T4/B2). Naysayer suggests we create an aktion at the station – maybe for our next Listener Appreciation Party?

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Blind Spring – “6″ – [Manatus Musicus]

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    2016 debut cassette from Cleveland’s Blind Spring, featuring members from several other groups, including the Red Sparowes, Terminal Lovers, Keelhaul, and the experimental jazz project Lost Head.

    Deep sea divers experience a condition called nitro narcosis, an altered mental state that arises from breathing air in a high pressure environment. This cassette sounds what that must feel like – a strange, hallucinatory aquatic voyage. “Pilotage” (T1) opens with underwater echoes and distant melodies; later, electronic sounds appear from the depths like fluorescent sea creatures. “Open Circuit Buoy” (T3) is a 15-minute piece that begins with a dark beat-driven section that opens up into a gorgeous jam, with layered guitars, steady drumming, and an abrupt sample at the end. “Rebreathe” (T4) is another long-playing (25 minute) highlight that plunges to the darkest depths – there’s haunted piano, theremin-like bubbling, electronics with the bends. The cassette ends with “Nitro Narcosis” (T5), with drumming, bells, and electric keys finding a quiet, unhurried groove before fading away.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on January 23, 2017 at 9:25 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Sophia – “Unclean” – [Cyclic Law]

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    Sophia is Peter Bjärgö and his collaborators from the Swedish neoclassical band Arcana (and others). Formed in 1998, the project has been an outlet for Bjärgö to explore darker themes and more aggressive industrial sounds. On this 2016 release from Cyclic Law, Sophia confronts “the folly of man’s self destructive tendencies” – how our worst selves reach their full expression when we withdraw from others. This isolation is depicted in the album’s cover images – empty rooms in a ruined house, strewn liquor bottles – while the album’s sounds attempt to reach inside these miserable spaces. We hear deadbolts unlocking, rusted hinges swiveling open, and grand choral sounds like light piercing stale darkness. Drums are struck – the rhythms are “martial,” but that word hardly captures the feeling – it is the sound of time advancing deathward. That urgency is echoed in the spoken word lyrics (included in the booklet), a plea to examine our selfish actions. The album’s final three tracks show what awaits us if we refuse: in “Where the Steel Meets the Flesh” (T11), we hear the faint beeps and buzzes of a hospital room, another miserable space, where we will (likely) face our final moments, alone.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on January 17, 2017 at 9:42 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Listing, Clint – “My Father, My Keeper” – [Autumn Wind Records]

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    Clint Listing is an Arizona-based musician, working on many projects (solo as As All Die and in several drone, dark ambient, and metal bands, including Long Winters’ Stare) and overseeing Absolute Zero Media. This 2008 album, released by Autumn Wind, has the familiar dark ambient sounds – cold synths, foggy echoes, metallic drones – but Listing brings strange and unexpected elements into the mix. Saxophone sounds drift through T1, T2, and T3 like memories of old jazz tunes. Sirens wail in the distance of T1, vocals fade in on T4 and T5, and a white noise blizzard descends in T6. The album ends with “The Snow Ghost” bonus EP (T8-T10), three tracks that sound like the stillness of winter.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on January 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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