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  • Archives
      KFJC On-Line Reviews
    What KFJC has added to their library and why...

    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
  • Comment on this review
  • 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
  • Comment on this review
  • 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
  • Comment on this review
  • 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
  • Comment on this review
  • Fluwelen Koord – “Luxe Poesje” – [Ultra Eczema]

    Spazzy, strident and a little sweet punk.

    A-side :Boozy guitar, howled vox (he eventually barks at
    the end) and a bassline that wants to be a metronome. Some
    times two notes is enough for a bassist, maybe more than
    s/he can handle. A little synth whispers on what I guess
    passes for a break in this simple art-damaged punk slow-dance.
    Other reverby percussion, not really drums, more like
    dropping a silverware tray nicely. Beasts from Belgium
    and while I thought the title might mean something like
    “the light of poetry,” online translating came up with
    “luxury pussy.” So kinda the same thing? Both are found
    behind a “velvet rope” (which is the apparent translation
    of the band name.) On the flip side, “Ingeblikt Miszprijzen”
    creepy crawls its way to start then moves into a three chord
    charger with more of those yelping vox. Does it translate
    as “Canned Disapproval” or is that just what I had for dinner?
    Love the flat-tire e-string guitar riff to start and then set
    up the climax end of the song.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Big Bang, The [coll] – [Ellipsis Arts…]

    From various drums to your eardrums, stretching expansively
    from insects to ancients to jazz fusion. This came out in
    1994, with sounds spread all over time, adding it to KFJC
    in part as our MD happened across a used copy of this suave
    package (with a booklet thicker than all three discs). But
    also in part to say thanks to Ellipsis Arts (and Jeffrey
    Charno who ran it) for some lovingly compiled releases
    (two of my faves are “Gravichords, Whirlies & Pyrophones”
    and the mesmerizing memento mori “Dancing with the Dead.”)
    Like that latter release, a global perspective comes with
    the program, and as this aims to give the drummer more than
    some, the project is huge in scope. Jorge Reyes’ galloping
    clops and flying flutes nice and weird. Gamelan chimes in
    here and there, and folks with maybe more conventional rep
    like Carl Palmer, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Flatischler,
    Terry Bozzio and ummmm Mickey Hart appear alongside the
    Baka Forest People, Hestra of Chinese Central Music College
    and the LCO Soldier’s Drum. That last one is from a Wisconsin
    reservation, those wavering vox over the insistent hand
    struck drums. So powerful to me. Bernie Krause stitches
    the CDs together with opening and closing tracks, the very first
    leadoff with some Tanzanian Chimpanzees on the mic! Plenty of
    other primal primate singing/shouting/exhorting throughout.
    Ritual rhythms and celebratory sensations, with plenty of info
    in the 64-page booklet to share with listeners. Drop the laser
    anywhere but don’t drop the beat! -Thurston Hunger
    We have 14 of the Ellipsis Arts releases, they stopped back in 2005
    Charno runs guided meditations these days through mindbodysessions.com

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:06 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Bad Luck – “3” – [Tables & Chairs Music]

    Fantastic sax and drum duo from Seattle. KFJC DJ/MD
    aBacus Finch said they are even more potent live which
    is high praise voltage considering this 2014 recording.
    Their album is bristling sharp percussion from Chris
    Icasiano, his snare is crisp and he’s more about tight
    rhythms than florid free-for-all bursts. Iscasiano likes
    to shadow his tenor partner Neil Welch on staircase sax
    runs. Welch’s style is often staccato and sweet, and
    he augments it all with outstanding electronics. A high
    drone sample piercing over the top on “Power Ballad”
    during breaks is one example, it ends in a dark alley
    where you night bump into Der Club of Gore. Most of
    side B has a charged distortion bucking at your ears,
    makes that feel like it could plug right into an old
    Pop Group ditty. “Tour Song” rises and falls, with some
    silence at times, it’s like the duo are playing on
    a nuclear sub during a meltdown. I’m not sure if it’s
    the electronics or Welch’s compositions (quick flicking
    melodies) but this jazz vinyl flat out rocks. More swinging
    than Zu, but it’s got that similar brash appeal. Welch’s
    use of effects is seamless and spectacular. The duo
    ends the album with a short smoldering “Heart Machine”
    and then a cover of the Art Ensemble’s “Nonaah” that
    palpitates and thumps in cycles. If it weren’t for
    Bad Luck our radio station would be a little less lively.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Bookwar – “Obryv” – [Post-Materialization Music]

    Ivan Bookwar or Chitai Bookwar with industrial beaten
    hip-hopaganda. Made from nothing but the finest Soviet
    era instruments (Polivox, Altair 231, Ritm-2) and drum
    machines. You definitely get an abandoned factory vibe
    especially as songs usually start with quite a bit of
    the machines alone warming themselves up before Ivan
    comes in with a very metered flow, lyrics pumped
    po-russkie and delivered with a monotone hammer and
    sickle cycle. “Lapta” (“Bat”) has some cool echolocation
    squiggles flying along the mix (man I wish I spoke
    enough Russian to have a semblance of understanding
    on these tracks, instead every 11th word triggers
    my broken Broca vocabulary like a land mine of
    unintelligible recognition. But the detachment
    of the singer is universal. Fits with dark-wave
    dreary fears quite nicely, but at the same time
    there’s a kind of spirit to the dinginess. The way
    Alan Vega still gave a damn while spitting out
    suicide lines. “Obryv” (like a steep slope I think)
    sways between bass fuzz pulses and eventually
    incorporates disconsolate la-la-la-las behind the
    ironic curtain. “Bezymyannaya Voda” (nameless
    water) could be a Dark Entries find from the 80’s
    but it’s just the drip drop of Xmas 2014. It’s the
    catchiest and shortest of the three tracks, but
    still warped by chords of decommisioned equipment
    (our CD appears to be missing “Crowdfunding” by
    the way) As Prurient goes with a Vatican Shadow,
    Bookwar looks sharp and shattered in Kremlin Mascara.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 15, 2016 at 7:01 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Intersystems – “Intersystems” – [Alga Marghen]

    A spectrum spectacle from max’d mixed media men, Toronto late 60’s,
    produced more than just this triple vinyl hippy trip-trek. There were
    installations and tactile rooms and sculptures, all long gone but are
    ears are still there thanks to this Alga Marghen release. Noise
    concrete chopped with early Moog movements and analog achievements
    courtesy of John Mills-Cockell. Draped in tapes, especially those
    capturing the poetry of Blake Parker (stark intoning, with a delivery
    like a Dalek narrating Fractured Fairytales.) Parker’s poems fix
    your attention, not so much with their content but with their
    clipped delivery (and the clipped feeling of a Dream Machine
    splicing sentences together). That being said there is a sort
    post-modern attack on “Number One” (Ezra Pound and T.S.
    Eliot are summoned, but then so is the sound of the air
    conditioner). On “the second lp, Peachy” that’s where the
    fairytale dust was sprinkled in with the LSD, at times more grim
    than the Brothers Grimm. Guns appears and you know what
    happens when they do in fiction. Parker with an odd cadence
    concludes vignettes prounouncing a malediction of sorts
    “The story has been told it is ended; it is the end.” On the
    third record, “Free Psychedelic Poster Inside” a comic book
    romance/tragedy/assembly line soap opera is unveiled and
    an actual cut-up comic accompanies this glorious package.

    Altogether ear-bending explorations that have fared well
    and will transfix the grandchildren of hippies tuning in today
    via KFJC and dropping out of the internet for a bit Whether
    played raw (you feel some of the chains rattling and taped
    vox humana warpage best that way) or cooked up in a modern
    method with our samples layered on top.

    KFJC was lucky to have the Cortical Foundations first pass at
    gathering some of this material (less lucky was Cortical founder
    Gary Todd as discussed in artist Tom Recchion’s contribution
    to the massive liner book included.) The full liner experience
    sort of torpedo’d my enjoyment after a first pure listen, but it
    connects dots to artists known and not (KFJC has neither
    Syrinx nor Kensington Market but youtube beckons one),
    Reading all those liners I hit a kind of headache harmony of
    the gospels. But I’m sure people connected to the scene at
    that time will appreciate a flashback today to the flashbacks of

    The sounds were clearly ahead of their time, and I suspect this
    record will be a favorite dipped into off and on for years to come.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 5, 2016 at 5:26 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Julius, Rolf – “Lullaby For The Fishes” – [Tochnit Aleph]

    Eerily beautiful instrumentals, originally released in 1985. On
    first listen, there’s a mechanical quality, one almost imagines
    a Rube Goldberg series of devices set up to then generate the
    sounds. There’s not pronounced percussion, but a polyrhythmic
    vibe is created in each little loop of soundscape, and how they
    don’t necessarily line up perfectly. Like a bunch of buoys
    bobbing on the ocean waves. Some other sounds reminded me
    of baby humpbacks singing for their dead mother’s descending
    in a whale fall, or maybe the “fa love pa” squeak-speak.
    Is it a decrepit organ, or a feeble oscillator. The sounds
    are short, clipped and a bit mysterious removed from the
    installations that originally featured them. The 3 Lullabies
    connected to the title are more soft drones, quite short
    and more sonic palate cleansers. “Minutenblues” was my
    favorite, but “Zwergenmusik” (dwarf music) is towering
    in its own minimal method. RIP for Rolf in 2011
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolf_Julius -fur deutsch
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 5, 2016 at 5:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Cross – “Die Forever” – [Sophomore Lounge]

    12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}
    Dark gnashing Nashville rock, midwifed by Ma Turner. Unlike
    his dizzy colorburst porch psych, the sound here is a more
    stark black and blacker. Lyrics laced with death obsession,
    it’s a fresh corpse however, lively drums from Jason Schuler
    and Turner really is a tasty guitar player. At the bleak
    heart of it all is singer R Clint Colburn who doubles as
    an artist
    Clint’s got a stylized delivery, on at least one listen, I
    was picking up a heavy Stan Ridgway vibe. The guitar
    driven songs have a True Crime kind of flair, no real solos
    just churning away, while the grim reaper hides smiling
    behind the amps of bassist Jamie Adkins. “Life Not Dreams”
    and the excellent “Forever” are two songs that suffer
    their own near-death experience before lurching back
    alive. “Urgency and the Breeze” with its desolate
    bass line question mark and stark drums was a highlight
    as the vocals, and lyrics, come sweetly unhinged.
    I know Sophomore Lounge label leader Ryan feels there
    is a common thread running through the albums they’ve
    put out, but I hear a pleasant diversity and new takes
    with homage to various rock/pop forms of the past.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Trio OOO – “Days to Be Told” – [New Atlantis]

    DC trio-o-o. led by Aaron Martin on alto. he’s
    got the spark and fire of Archie Shepp’s tenor.
    Mostly freescaping his way over the rhythm section
    of Luke Stewart on upright and Sam Lohman on drums.
    The lead-off cut has crisp drums from Lohman, a
    quick snare and they are off. “Song of the Sun”
    is the outlier, an indigenous improv, distant
    ancient flute and tuned percussion. Then back
    into new sounds that flow like vintage Village
    Vanguard. Stewart walking and popping the bass up
    and down while Martin sweetly scurries and hiccoughs.
    “I Too” starts with a smokey setting by Stewart
    and Lohman, Martin adds an air of mystery,
    fluttering half-steps as he loops up and back
    on flights, love the smoldering end! Another 10+
    min cut to close, “There is Confusion” has
    Stewart start with some tense jigsaw lines with
    ample silence. Those same lines will be reprised
    later at a much more rapid clip as Lohman rides
    the hi-hat and racks up snare shots and Martin
    veers in and out with solo work. Tasty.
    -Thurston Hunger
    Fun fact: producer Jason LaFarge and drummer Sam
    Lohman were Blue Prostitutes with Steve Mackay.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 8, 2016 at 6:32 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Linear Downfall – “Sufferland” – [PIAS]

    Excellent mix of hazy vox and crazy electronics, for
    a Nashville gnashing of the ears. Hits me right in the
    pleasure pain center, thanks to tweaked out electronics
    and ghost piano (#1) and failing medical equipment(#4)
    and maybe even a smattering of mellotron (end of #7)
    Mellotron on #12 too? Also a gaggle of sax geese on
    that “Over My Shoulder” closer which on the CD then
    has a fake locked groove starting around 4:40 and it
    keeps going till you think about killing your roommate
    and instead shut off the CD. Despite that mechanical
    maniacal industrial repeat-a-thon, someone in the band
    might be wearing Beatle boots, (check “It’s Always
    Ending”) it’s been a while since I’ve heard those boots
    tiptoeing around, kind of nice. But most of the album
    is less moppy poppy, and just artfully twisted, like on
    “No Traces.” Female and male vox, the former winning by
    a pretty hair (a Rapunzel-like strand floating down from
    some high castle). Perhaps just the right number of
    Cooks (brother and sister, Chance and Charlee)
    in the kitchen….hope to hear more from this
    four piece. The album apparently has an accompanying
    film but plays just fine on the drive-in between
    your left and right lobes! -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on December 22, 2015 at 10:30 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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