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Trashies, The – “Octagon, The” – [Fine Concepts]

The place where the spastic stuck is where The Trashies
spot-welded their sound on your heart-shaped ears. They
step into the album like Chuck Norris into a rap battle,
in-it-to-win-it. The opening title track gives you
a little taste of the waste floating in the Trashies
stream of conciousness. Rhyming slang to put your mind
in a sling, and not afraid to play the Buttafuoco card.
Is this where hip hop meets gunk rot? Music escapes from
the drum machine circus, with an array of guitar moves
that might bust out twin-lead Thin Lizzy, or might break
off some thick and stumbly Beefheart chunks. Just because
the dork-o-meter is set on 11, doesn’t mean these itty
bittie ditties aren’t big on style. Of course most songs
come at your quick like a UFC round, 2 minutes is a long
one. This sure scratched my old Uzi Rash itch, sure enough
mighty Max Nordile is in the dumpster band. Erin Allen plays
something too, probably lots of somethings. Album
finishes strong, that “I’m Uh Stayn” and “Shovel” tag
team is a killer. Crazy choruses on both, “Shovel” offers
a sing-along for an asylum, while “Stayn” almost sounds
like he’s saying “Namaste” while a voice over like like
the Weatherman corrects the phrasing. “Fresh Hunny”
drips with sweat of a 100 Prince impersonators. Steel
dum-drums (sampled?) on “Rhinoline” are just fine, and
“Dumb 2 B Smart” is a loaded potato for this old spudboy.
5 Thumbs Up, and venom in my eye! -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Tapes & Topographies – “Fathoms” – [Simulacra Records]

    Ambient exercises out of Dallas, TX. Todd Gautreau is
    the mixmaster and electro-navigator aboard this one-man
    sonic submarine. Standout track “The Trouble With Dreams”
    features waves of tone mingle with washes of antenna
    signal squiggle, and even some vox mermana drift by as
    well. Death by water never felt so good. Buoyant chimes
    and gentle climes. Bathysphere organ and actual sized
    bubbles rise on “Theory of Impossible Shapes.” Mystic mists
    for the noise-sick KFJC-serpents? Based on the name,
    I wonder if there are more field recordings nestled into
    the songs? By the way his earlier project “Tear Ceremony”
    has a darker Agent Cooper bent, though still soothing and
    KFJC has two of those fine releases worth revisiting. All
    on his own Simulacra imprint, along with the Crushed Stars
    project that he fronts for some Slowdive-y pop pastels.

    Gautreau is one busy being, but this is the project to help
    him, or you unwind. Sink into the syrup synth sea.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ibsen, Henrik / Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center – “An Enemy of The People” – [Caedmon]

    Heard a fine superimposition mix of this back on


    then the DJ donated this 3 lp set to KFJC! Thx, Sluggo
    Brothers square off against each other, Mayor vs Doctor.
    A town prospers off the illness of visitors but at the
    cost of the health of the townspeople. The individual
    is pitted against the majority, but that majority is
    quickly relabeled authority. Meanwhile in the battle of
    science and politics, corporations and the press have
    their own maneuvers. This Caedmon (!!) release includes
    a post-game side-long chat between Harold Clurman and
    Arthur Miller, whose adaptation was used for this recording.
    Miller astutely predicts future relevancies for this work,
    the river that runs through this album ran through Flint MI
    all too recently. Giving a different taste to the line
    “We’ll go to America and this whole thing will be like
    a dream.” Recorded in 1971, adapted by Miller in 1950,
    originally written by Ibsen in 1882. Awaiting your KFJC
    experimentation now…

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Pesteg Dred – “Years of Struggle Against The Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice” – [Dark Entries]

    Teenage DaneDream of Damaged SynthPop
    Does any label time travel better than Dark Entries?
    This was recorded back in December 1981, but apparently
    only availale wth a Danish magazine as a cassette in 1985.
    Inge Shannons vocals are featured to lead off the album
    in isolated fashion and layered, on “Untitled” (A2) they
    are draped in echo, droning over a churning pace but
    hit a break where they go wonderfully cuckoo. “Superior”
    has a proto-Motorik bassline with some new wave synth
    waves but then is that a toy piano or a ukele, and later
    it sounds like some skittering violin. Inge sings sorta
    pretty on this near anthem. Something’s rockin’ in
    Denmark? By the end of side A, she’s got a fierce femme
    Peter Murphy rolling for “Impressions.” And drums on that
    and through-out are well slugged by Martin Hall. Check
    the interview with him in the booklet, he’s still creating
    to this day, he and Inge were in SS-Say that turned up in
    a retro collection on Minimal Wave, but this really does
    not mope much in minimal waters. A dingy darkness, and
    some sick synths and electric “treatments” from Per
    Hendrichsen do demand attention. Hall’s bass playing can
    be brutal slappy in a fine way, like on “Light, More Light”
    And who tortures those horns on that elongated piece!?!
    Second “Untitled” is a haunting ghost piano soundscape.
    Hard to pin down this LP, def’ an attractive neuroticism
    Killing Joke-y, but different? For a bunch of teenage Danes,
    really well-assembled. It got lost for a while, and even
    after Dark Entries uncovered it in 2010, it must have befuddled
    some KFJC’ers, but it’s well worth the wait. Skilled and
    skittish stuff.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Sondheim – Carter – Damrosch – “Limit” – [Public Eyesore]

    Recalling my first reverse echo takes me back (forward?) to a Whole
    Lotta LedZep, which at the time amps up the anticipation like deja
    vu on demand. More to KFJC tastes, Alastair Galbraith used to have
    tricks up his sleeve and in his dinghy to float sounds back and forth.
    On this release though, Alan Sondheim’s stated goal is to push such
    processing to the Limit. So Luke Damrosch the torpedoes and sets
    up his chop ‘n’ flop algorithms to fly at unreal speeds in real-time
    CPU’s. Often you can feel their little glitch points pop up in the mix.
    You can read more theory in the liner notes, to me Sondheim’s way
    with strings and things remains the focal point of this trio. He’s
    quite the dazzling dervish on say “longsazb” (Check “Longsaz” from
    their previous release.) That, like a lot of Sondheim’s playing
    looks East, another form of back or is it forward? The following
    “movement*” track feel like a Sudanese surprise, and then another
    more involuted “movement” after that. Does the processing illuminate
    or obfuscate? “Prelude” succeeds with more subtle volume-pdeal like
    processing, and as one of the rare vocal tracks featuring Sondheim’s
    partner in sound and more : Azure Carter. She pops up on #2 and #7 as
    well, singing in a Emo style (I mean Emo Philips the comedian not
    the Emo movement.) Hard not to picture her singing with eyes wider than
    her mouth. Her very pure voice is a nice contrast to the slither and
    scuffle sounds of Sondheim. Her songs are they all about becoming songs?
    Overall impressive ideas and a more impressive array of instruments. How
    the final track consumes or feeds may vary on you and where you fit in
    the soundtime vortex (their “Threnody” also had a cataphoniclysm to end
    as well.) Cool Rhode Island brainwaves by way of Brian Day???s Public Eyesore.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Nutimbre – “Cycles” – [dEN Records]

    Label-leader and dEN-master Stefano Ferrian assembled
    this five piece, with a decidedly electric timbre
    although his spinning sax and Vito Emanuele Galante’s
    trilling trumpet cross paths a lot. The album’s title
    is the musical mantra for Ferrian’s compositions here
    with heaps of arpeggiated arrays and hopped up cycles
    of sound. Sometimes like on “Sharp Colors” they move
    at a measured pace, but even that drops out and
    let’s Simone Quatrana finger flip a solo on his keys,
    as Fabrizio Carriero drum punctuates. “Closed Walk”
    has a plodding gait, Luca Pissavini getting thick
    with his electric bass (it feels like an acoustic
    tree trunk.) Ferrian’s first solo sparcs nicely,
    I get a little lost in Quatrana’s closing riffwork.
    But I like the down Chicago feel to that piece. The
    title cut has a more frenzied fusion feel for me.
    I do like Ferrian’s kind of zig-zag melody use.
    Another extended round from Quatrana on the closer
    with some nice muted trumpet by Galante. Cycles
    that are dizzying and perhaps refreshingly
    Gillespie-ing? 2014 release, at least I found it
    before Discogs has! -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 6, 2017 at 10:41 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Baby Dee – “Regifted Light” – [Drag City]

    2011 release, almost feels like it could be a
    Christmas special (maybe cuz we’re adding it in
    Dec 2016?) But there’s a consistency to this,
    sealed in like a shaken snowglobe with beauty. Baby
    Dee has a cagey stagey voice, something between
    gentle and forceful, verily both at the same time
    as befits this self-professed “bilateral hermaphrodite.”
    Ornate piano, oft featured on instrumentals (and
    friends with a bassoon!) flourishes. Check out the
    perky “Yapapipi” which feels like the epiphanous
    soundtrack selection for a coming of age movie,
    or maybe a nature documentary when hibernation
    is over. “Horn Pipe” is jaunty but a bit hesitant,
    perhaps like Baby Dee during her days as a tree
    climber. There’s a quasi-religious aire, what do
    Church of England hymns sound like anyways? Dee’s
    vocal transformations are more transfixing for me
    than any gender bending…swinging from a gutty
    mutter to almost soaring sacred. Her voice sheds its
    John C. Reilly american bland talking and gets a high
    British rebirth. Amidst all this there’s goofballs
    wrapped in furs like “The Pie Song” and the snail
    hailing lead-off to the B-side (the latter possibly a
    free David Tibet dedication?). “On the Day I Died”
    hits some high and hallowed notes. Cleveland does
    plenty more than rock thanks to this artist and
    this lp. -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on December 30, 2016 at 7:29 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Bookstaber, Rafi – “Late Summer” – [Woodsist]

    Seasonal sounds that I slept on, sorry. One or two
    chord mantras, with some psych guitar noodling,
    but drenched in belt-gaze (shoe-gaze cranked up to
    your waist) production. Songs are like jammy
    pajamas for the nudist colony at the beach. Loose
    fitting. The lyrics slip away into the shimmery
    mix, but printed out so you can at least read
    the third generation hippy strain if you don’t
    actually feel it, man. A mellow that can only
    be harshed by some severe mixology? We don’t
    have any of Rafi’s other stabs at sound, but
    from what I’ve checked out, fans of this could
    take an easy chance with Death Chants. And hard to
    resist the Woodsist gist.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on December 30, 2016 at 7:28 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Chatham, Rhys – “Harmonie Du Soir” – [Northern Spy Records]

    2013 release from seminal No Wave string-thinker.
    Like his contemporary Glenn Branca, Chatham was drawn
    to the concert hall thrill and thrall of an orchestra
    pit packed with electric guitarists. Minimalist music
    for maximum force. We have many of his older releases.
    He has evolved as a modern composer (trumpet apparently
    was his primary calling card) but we find him here still
    with that kind of post-rock, or punk-driven-drone vibe.

    #1 The title piece launches with a minimal tick tock ear
    sweep, one note electric pinging on a Dreyblatt-itude. Six
    guitars, so his roots music doubling down on his early
    Guitar Trio action. This song often feels like a post-rock
    precision boogie suite but it finds its power 7:40 in with
    definite No Wave homage crescendo chord strikes spaced out
    then accelerating then bass beats alive and angling guitar
    swipe-by’s create a nice Interference pattern.

    #2 Almost feels like a bagpipe early, the alignment of player
    (nearly 70 on this piece, an apparent soundtraco to a French
    mountain town – Rhonabwy ) a dinosaur heavy stride follows for
    nearly 12 minutes, then we encounter these arabesque woodwind
    flourishes. They blow in with a hint of dilithium crystal method.
    Add in minimalist call and response over orchestral drone, the
    orchestra swells and rises while percussion marches back in. We
    wind up in a shimmery pool of sustained sound. Helluva town.

    #3 Bonus piece, a mere 10 minutes. Noisier and less stately than
    the two vinyl cuts. Crushing blender of guitars like the original
    version of “Drastic Classicism” updated with dizzy blurts of Chatham’s
    trumpets sprinting through the center. Drummer Ryan Sawyer doesn’t
    just keep time, he kicks it in the gut. Noise surf.

    Hey he’s coming to town to cut it up with Bill Orcutt


    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on October 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Pure Panic – “C’est La Guerre” – [Blue Cat Music]

    Oakland trio, before “garage band” was a piece of
    software, it was a way of life. I suspect all
    three guys in this band harken back to that, and
    as they contemplate maybe retiring in a couple
    decades, that teenage waistband stretches the
    tune-age wasteland of commercial radio. So prop
    yourself through the day job, and why not self
    release a CD. The music here is not garage rock,
    (well “The Ride” is kinda) more of a gentle psych.
    Despite their name, the band is certainly not Pure
    (thank Hendrix!), and their Panic is less urgent,
    maybe a creeping existential dread fits. Someone in
    the band likes a good sea shanty (Larry Luthi?) and
    someone’s love of Frank Zappa is mostly kept in check
    (Ed Lundell?) and someone thinks in limericks (Cyrus
    Crafft?). Yeah, I could be wrong on all three accounts,
    but if KFJC folks dug their “Planet Thief” (and a lot
    did), you’ll be slippin’ this disc while reading your
    old collection of vintage Mad Magazines. Speaking o’
    comix commingling with musix, this band reminds me
    of Devin Gary & Ross. More power to guys who keep
    those ol’ garage band dreams alive, even if they
    don’t have a garage anymore!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on October 20, 2016 at 6:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Porest – “Modern Journal of Popular Savagery” – [Nashazphone]

    First world problems breaking down the fourth wall and some
    catchy third world melodies. Porest is no stranger to KFJC,
    a Sublime Freak who tripped from the land of Molam to
    Syria, remember? Trapping us with Neung Phak and stomping
    us with the unstoppable Mono Pause before that. And
    he built a Sham Palace along the way. Many of his friends
    from those incarnations are summoned here. This album could
    be what would have happened if Stan Freberg freebased with
    hop hop? Or if Ken Nordine got stopped for a full security
    cavity check EVERY time he thought about flying. Porest even
    gets the band back together (not Conheim/Bishops/Albee)
    but those secret agent quasi-NGOs-in-the-know Tourrorist
    cloaked in computerized voices to protect the guilty.
    Check out “The Field Recording” for their latest hits and
    democracy operations. Or dig the family drama on “Schalked.”
    Other cuts are infectious like the Agit Pop of “Diplomat Smile”
    and “Some Law” and “Au Revoirs of Blood.” There’s fuzzy b
    ellybutton slink on “Your Vertebrae” that is mostly an
    instrumental so you can be safe, or can you? Hey, the album
    has kazoos, karaoke jingles of hate and lyrical nods to
    Negativland and Public Enemy, so enjoy the revolutions of
    this disk, those at least are real. Ko Ki!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 19, 2016 at 11:12 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Ferrari, Luc – “Interrupteur / Tautologos 3″ – [Blue Chopsticks]

    1999 re-issue of pieces from 1967 and 1970 respectively.
    Each composition is carved up into segments for the CD
    (or anxious DJ). Anxiety is at a premium on “Interrupteur”
    hovering half-notes rising like steam, strings sawing
    and lighter-than-air French Horn make up the soup,
    percussion tumbles in at times then subsides, also a
    trumpet occasionally hits like Batman and then rest. The drone is uneasy and the attacks
    make the listener lurch even more. “Tautologos 3″ (KFJC
    has renditions of 1 and 2 on another album) sounds like
    a game piece, set in motion by rules, and not without
    its humor. Like the “Interrupteur” there are sudden
    spasms of sound, but no soup this time, instead a
    background series of instruments that sort of volume-pedal
    in a note at a time, like sheep bleating. Segment two
    starts with a gallop, the electric guitar though often
    stops the fun like a frustrated substitute teacher. On
    segment three, faux sirens clear the orchestra for a
    spell, then build a see-saw before something like a
    mazurka breaks out. But it jump cuts to bouncing
    twinkly organs. Tape splice delights. All of this back
    when attention spans were long and uncorrupted by
    TV/internet and the fly buzzing aroud in your skull.
    Two very different tonnes of 12 tone fun! -Hunger

    On the life and death tip, this reissue was the birth of
    David Grubbs’ “Blue Chopsticks” label and RIP Luc 8/22/2005

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 19, 2016 at 11:10 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Hyperculte – “Hyperculte” – [Les Disques Bongo Joe]

    Geneva vivre! Perky poppy stuff that could have been
    cooked up in a Stereolab or come from the overflow of
    Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Like that Swiss
    band, this album has a full sound, with merely a dynamite
    duo (including the actual bassist from OTPMD). Vincent
    Bertholet’s upright bass lines are what keep this in the
    pop zone, he frequently nails the nerve from ear to toe.
    In addition there’s plenty of weird warpage via outer space
    synth. One track, “S.O.S.I.” sounds likes a nod to Glenn
    Branca (or at least the Theoretical Girls). There is also
    un hommage du the incredible Brigitte Fontaine, apparently
    on “Cholera” but on “Le Tyran” it almost sounds like lady
    Fontaine herself. That voice and the drummer and yin of this
    duo comes from Simone Aubert. She has a nice “sweet scream”
    of a voice. On “Resigne” it’s a candy, on “Le Feu” it’s
    a flamethrower. The duo vox interplay is cool when paired
    up, she might yodel while he speak-sings, or they might
    trade off moves closer to a Ye-Ye way. They’ve got an
    immaculate knack for producing catchy songs. Tres cool stuff
    I want to hang with these two, although maybe not in the
    furry cosplay from the cover. (Is that a “Revenant” nod for
    bear and skunk?). Let’s track down some Massicot, a side
    project for Ms. Aubert. Art rock lives!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 10, 2016 at 6:23 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Abatzi, Rita – “I’m Burning, I’m Burning” – [Mississippi Records]

    The Greek Urban Experience with Turkish delights by way of
    the town of Izmir, just prior to WWII. Rita singing the
    rough and tumble rebetiko scorchers. Her voice lights your
    cigarette, fiddle follows her striking sparks alongside.
    Slow and smoldering at its best, but not without fits of
    flancy check the “Blond Jewish Girl” for a nice romp, or the
    syrto “Little Calliope” which gives this collection its
    title. All lyrics translated in a nice booklet (the
    Mississippi way!) allowed me to wonder about Paradosiako’s
    words for “The Doe.” Specifically the lines
    “Generous wife of the priest 2X
    The tough guys you don’t talk to “2X
    Most of the songs skirt the anguish of amor, The harm (or
    is it haram) of the harem, girls from the other village
    called out by name, even twice Rita sings of herself.
    And I think I heard the backing musicians shout her name
    in encouragement (or perhaps a tricky love triangle).
    I prefer the scrapier numbers, where a slithering fiddle
    reminds me of the film Latcho Drom, but other numbers
    bounce in balaika or flutter in clarinet (“Girl from
    Aigio”). The recordings are well-preserved, Rita less
    so (RIP 1969). At least we revive Rita’s varied voice
    and her name, the talented musicians (check out the
    interplay on “Mercy Little Anna”) wander nameless
    and amorphous, vanishing like the smoke from those
    long ago underground dens.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on August 10, 2016 at 6:23 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,International
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  • 75 Dollar Bill – “Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock” – [Thin Wrist]

    Man, I so want to enter this into KFJC’s “blues library”
    although it also looks well past our own country’s
    muddy deltas and Bo Diddley beats to points much further
    east. Some of those mantra riffs are akin to ancient gnawa
    spirals from Africa or a breeze off the Sahel Sounds
    (desert scorched electric guitar). Che Chen who has summoned
    Tony Conrad and other power players on violin in the
    past takes up the sizzling six strings here. His rudimentary
    and insistent playing does feel raw and instant, so maybe he
    didn’t just disassemble Agadez djinns, but stumbled upon ‘em
    himself, either way it’s just great. The faster, the more fury,
    for me the better (“Cummins Falls” and “Beni Said” woohoo!).
    Rick Brown is on the other side of this funky bill, with home
    slapped together percussion and some handbuilt horns which add
    a charge to Chen’s guitar. Sometimes Brown fits right into the
    overdriven halo of sound so tightly that you have to listen
    twice to pluck the horn out, other times it sounds like Brown
    is wounded over behind a mountain as on “I’m Not Tryting To
    Wake Up.” Despite the comparisons, Chen and Brown have their
    own brand of beauty going on, and while it will hit bliss for
    fans like me of Joshua Abrams’ guimbri bumblebees, I love the
    idea of some Junior Kimbrough fans swarming to this modern
    duo by way of KFJC’s buzzing hive and archives.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Frightening Lights, The – “Frightening Lights, The” – [Bruit Direct Disques]

    Why wasn’t I informed earlier that Eartha Kitt was
    reincarnated? That’s not quite fair to Elizabeth Downey,
    the Australian mastermind and mistress vocalist guiding
    these darkling Lights, she does sing a nice minxy mix of
    demure dizziness and seductive strength. Mic’d up so
    devotedly, you can sometimes hear when her lips press
    together. Her voice is accentuated by the typically stark
    accompaniment, Downey on acoustic guitar, peeling
    chords off like petals from a flower augmented by
    Dan Hawkins, on a host of instruments most notably a
    breathy and sometimes shimmering organ. Never any
    percussion, and these ballads move like tumbleweeds on
    a slow breezy day. Whatever they scratch, her voice is
    the salve. The last track “Pretty Things” drops the most
    bombast, all others drift in and out, feeling like
    a woman singing alongside her OD’d partner. Is it
    a lullaby to bring back to life, or a farewell
    funereal folk hymn? Each side starts with a powerful
    number, and the tracks following feel like they were
    cleft from those lead-off and deepest cuts. From the
    band SIR without love? A mesmerizing release here, do
    not miss. -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on June 18, 2016 at 11:41 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Synthetic ID – “Impulses” – [Castle Face Records]

    Tight SF punk four piece. Shouty vox from Nic Lang and
    grindy guitar from Jake Dudley fit/spit well together.
    Post-PIL thrills, that then collide nicely with a
    brotherly rhythm unit of Will and Paul Lucich on
    drums and bass respectively. For some reason I suspect
    Paul as a closet power-pop fan. Often his basslines
    are a bit peppy for the sound and lyrical visions of
    elusive dreams, “ciphers-missing words”, “throwing
    shadows, casting doubts.” Abstract anger is an
    energy. Dudley’s guitar-work is well-manicured, gets
    a little slippery and nice on “Is the Day Done?”
    Usually it’s built on glass-chip lines and slashing
    chords. Some synth flickers through on “Silhouettes”
    and “Replacement Parts” and “Forced Exhalations.” Those
    titles alone capture the band’s flair for alienation.
    Lucid nightmares with that crack Lucich accompaniment.
    By any means, stay punk, pony boy. -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on May 29, 2016 at 11:35 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • J. Marcloid – “Shenpa” – [Subruckus Collective]

    Name-shifting, shape-shifter, noise drifter. Depending
    on how the Jelly Moonlit Light shines, you might see
    Justin Marc or an Angel or various other incarnations.
    What you will hear here are two sidelong noisy explorations

    Each side clocks in at 21:30….

    A fax machine dreams of playing the bag pipes? That’s the
    opening pull on “Hook” it follows with a lot of mechanically
    bounced sounds, like rubber bands made out of some really
    pliable metal, and then wired into your sense of balance.
    Things thing out 11 minutes in and we eavesdrop on a short
    demon phone call and then some weird ceremony in an empty
    underground reservoir. Almost sad, almost singing? I really
    liked that section but then lava rupture ended it.

    “Shenpa” includes distorted voice feeds over a pulsing
    slave unit to the servo-rhythm. I’m a sucker for anything
    that triggers a “Prince of Darkness” movie memory and
    the chopped dialog here did so. After awhile something
    that sounds like a broken Buddha box chirps in (apparently
    that might be no koan-cident as Shenpa is a Buddhist term
    of confining attachment, like a hook to a fish perhaps)
    Bells and blips ring on and then broken voices for broken
    people return at the end.

    Even if the mind is not sharp, the sounds here are often
    are, piercing one’s stream of consciousness.
    -UnThurston UnHunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on May 29, 2016 at 11:34 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Bennani, Abdelhai/Oki, Itaru/Silva, Alan/Sato, Makoto – “New Today, New Everyday” – [Improvising Beings]

    Tenor saxman Abdelai Bennani Moroccan-born, then French-fed, creates
    some tasty spaces that would feel right at home in Chicago. There’s
    an Art Ensemble vibe here for me, pacing and spacing with some
    eathy ancestral vibes (there’s even a track called “Tribes”)
    You might recognize Alan Silva’s name on here, the bassman of
    ESP and other lore goes spaceman with synth on the second of the
    two disks. But the connection Bennani has made with Makoto Sato
    on drums and especially Itaru Oki is fantastic. Oki mostly on trumpet,
    adds some bugle and notably windy flutes. Oki is given a lot of solo
    space, and while both he and Bennani can scorch things up, they excel
    in gentle ways. Pieces are often dreamy, Sato then eases up and will
    roll along on toms. Both horns at times seem to brush up against
    classics for a bar or two, maybe quoting some recognizable material
    to help launch an improvisation. Bennani gets a sweet hum on slow low
    notes and on both disks his work with Oki is touch and glow! Silva’s
    synth on disk two is also mellow and mildly galactic while anchored
    in the deep end like a contrabass, it sort of pushes the group into a
    more fusion zone. on “Take Time, Play the Game” but towards the
    end really elevates. On “More Is Different” Silva’s delivers more
    mind-bending pitch-bending tweaky key tinkle. Martian blues almost?
    More great stuff from this vibrant label, personally I need to back
    and uncork some the Oki releases KFJC has corralled. -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on May 29, 2016 at 11:33 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Heimat – “Heimat” – [kill shaman]

    If Nico was your last cigarette, is Heimat your first
    lollipop? Armelle Oberle’s vocals have that shouty Teutonic
    chill, like someone warning you about an avalanche (and
    maybe actually triggering the avalanche) but in a weird way
    much more playful. Olivier Demeaux (from the excellent Cheveu)
    creates keys and sample-laden soundscapes that while synthy
    are more microwave popcorn than chill wave sunglasses. On
    “Dein Arkitekt” he mixes a rollicking gamelan sample with
    some happy marching barks. Singing in German, but thinking
    in French maybe is what makes this a sort of fun outing. For
    KFJC insiders, if Belladonna hosted Neung Phak would it sound
    like this? There are beats and the songs are kinda catchy, but
    I don’t see a lot of dancing happening. “Trocadero” has a
    sassiness that’s not far off Klaus Nomi’s sensibility. The
    instro after that “Flutath” flutters by too quickly. “Pompei”
    is the band at its most ostentatious, and Armelle soars and
    almost yodels on the choruses, while Olivier’s sound is
    Cecil B. Demille sized. Heimat translates a “homeland” but
    this strange duo will be strangers in most land’s though not
    our fine museum of audio oddities. Don’t miss!
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:08 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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