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

    Milton, Antony – “Sirens & Where The Coloured Planes Are Rafts ” – [Last Visible Dog Records]

    Christchurch NZ acoustic home recordings circa 1997, with much in
    the way of whisper/speech/song/prepared/unprepared guitar/wheezing
    harmonica/fragmented composition. MILTON has been putting out
    stuff on his label for years, and this is a reissue of same.
    As he is well aware, farm implements (i. e., slick studio production) are
    great destroyers of soil (and song) structure, and soil tilth is created by
    decay, not by implements. Pioneer farmers plowed primarily to rid the
    landscape of wild vegetation ??? and ANTONY MILTON works that same
    bare soil with potash & phosphorus, naked to wind and rain erosion, a
    germination process marrying subsoil and atmosphere. This is mulch
    planting, rather than a rotary plow approach??? with gradual carbon
    dioxide exhumations regulating air, water, and a microbial songcraft.
    MITCH January 2007

  • Reviewed by mitch on January 16, 2007 at 12:39 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Brazda Brothers, the – “Brazda Brothers, the ” – [Void Records]

    Bucolic and pastoral sounds from European duo, as
    recorded in RCA studios in Toronto, 1973. Bystrik
    (B. Gin) and Andy Brazda rolled this entire LP into
    the can in just under six hours (along with five other
    musicians) for a 1974 release on the label;
    ‘Walking in the Sun? b/w ’20th Century? saw a 7″
    release that same year, with LP and single gaining
    but slight airplay (and a bit of a cult following), mostly
    in Canada. With succinct honesty and melodic (often
    political) conviction, this collection of decidedly mellow
    songs showcase a wonder of nature and a belief in small
    (and not always random) kindness; though this was the
    pair’s only album, they resurfaced with a 1977 single,
    ‘Time is Only a Setting Sun?, and were represented in
    the NOW SOUNDS OF TODAY series. Ontario soft
    rock, touched by fuzz and a meditative optimism.

    MITCH July 2005

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:27 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Boyskout – “Secrets ” – [Isota]

    A-side here from band’s debut LP; also found on the
    [Alive] compilation, ‘Sounds of San Francisco? ?
    a by-now familiar tale of lead singer Leslie Satterfield’s
    infatuation re: a girl made known through mutual
    acquaintance, and bartering an infectious playfulness
    amidst undeniable gloom. Bassist Daniel Deitnick,
    singer/keyboardist China Lajczok, guitarist Satterfield
    & drummer Caroline Walker Mills coupled their girl-on-
    girl garage pop with a punk/goth/synth amalgamation
    which originated in SF before relocating to Brooklyn.
    B-side ‘Pictures from the Moon? came about earlier in
    the BOYSKOUT canon (and is unavailable elsewhere).
    Harmonically aggressive & lyrically subversive, these
    tracks are both standouts in the ever-popular, limited
    edition 45rpm format.

    MITCH September 2004

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:27 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Bovine Over Sussex W. – “Solid Space Inverse Universe ” – [Oska]

    Members of Patcham UK outfit BOVINE OVER
    SUSSEX W, ecclecticists all, began their own
    [Oska] label a few years ago as a vehicle for
    releasing copious self-made material without
    hindrance of quality control or label interference.
    To wit, this long playing episodic example of
    sequencer abuse/dubious drum programming/
    synth rumble/treated sounds/jungle chaos/weird
    pulsations/non-linear pastiche & occasional
    groove, all of it spilling over both sides like an
    overloaded tour bus on the way to Experimental
    Freedonia ?. Assembled in 1998 & undoubtedly
    distributed by hand, BOVINE keeps it mysterious,
    paradoxical and perplexing as to chemical in-
    gredients & research techniques – only their
    chemists know for sure. The rest of us can
    only loop and find.

    MITCH June 2002

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:26 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Blue Pine – “Blue Pine ” – [Global Symphonic]

    A posthumous release from British Columbia’s
    BLUE PINE on Vancouver label of whacked
    A LUNA RED, etc.). Roughing up a bevy of
    roots-sources with the rumbling, indecipherable
    Carey Mercer falling apart on lead vocals, and
    featuring Carolyn Mark on a couple of tracks,
    the band meanwhile contributes an impenetrable
    backdrop of tremolo, slide guitars & much
    snare-smashing amid the carnival-fed horror of
    lyrical dementia. Frenetic, howling, non-sensical
    and strangely beautiful in tearful, bloody portions,
    BLUE PINE call to mind a vein that would have
    BOMB, SOUL JUNK, etc., snarling with bizarre
    juxtapositional culture-clubbing, bible-bashing &
    raging melancholy. Some of BLUE PINE have
    formed a band called FROG EYES.

    MITCH July 2001

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:25 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Bloodthirsty Lovers – “Delicate Seam, the ” – [French Kiss Records]

    Savory, memorable and texturally adventurous second release
    from David Shouse (GRIFTERS, THOSE BASTARD SOULS), Steve
    Selvidge (BIG ASS TRUCK) and Kevin March (DAMBUILDERS,
    GUIDED BY VOICES), a trio who seem to radiate outward in
    concentric musical rings, while at the same time eluding easy
    melodic summary. Shouse, who considers the BLOODTHIRSTY
    project as much fun as ‘my rehab stint out of the numbing
    world of major label sickness?, recorded this loose and keyboard-
    drenched effort at home in Memphis, with assistance from pianist
    Ross Rice (JILL SOBULE) and alluring vocalist Katie Eastburn (of
    YOUNG PEOPLE) on # 8’s ‘Medicated?. LANGUAGE # 6
    Spacious, digitally smooth/spontaneous, sarcastic/sincere,
    romantic/self-deprecating and always deliciously amorphous,
    the BLOODTHIRSTY LOVERS successfully combine veteran
    acumen with an eclectic + contemporaneous sense of vision
    that completely ignores genre continence or simplistic
    categorization. Great stuff, this second one.

    MITCH January 2005

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:24 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Bitter Bitter Weeks – “Revenge ” – [My Pal God Records]

    Producer/recording engineer Brian McTear (who of
    late has recorded MAZARIN, CAPITOL YEARS, etc.)
    used to front a band called MARINERNINE; this is the
    second LP from BITTER BITTER WEEKS (following the
    self-titled debut of 2003), again featuring partner Amy
    Morissey. Along too, are a batch of crack Philadelphia
    musicians such as Beth Case (SHE-HAW) & her backing
    voice, pianist Brian Christinzio + drummer Ruth Keating
    (MALARKIES). Romping ( # 3 – LANGUAGE), living for
    the moment ( # 5), pensive ( # 10) and generally quite
    desolate ( # 2, 6, 9, 11) throughout, McTear succeeds
    with a talent for songwriting and sparse underproduction
    (in the vein of Tim Kasher/Jason Molina/Will Scheff)
    that is way above average. Live LUCYS cover ( # 7); anti-
    war anthem ( # 1). Grim & courageous. R.I.P. Sara
    Weaver (SWISHER).

    MITCH October 2004

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:23 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Bird By Snow – “Antlers and The Sun and All The Things That Grow Old and Pas ” – [Gnome Life]

    Sidereal and wintry work hewn by Fletcher Tucker (vox, gtr,
    autoharp, banjo, keyboards, loops, whistle) & Spencer Owen
    (percussion, bass) whilst awaiting the arrival of Spring in Santa Cruz,
    2004-2005. Languid and impossibly spent, musty in antiquarian
    repose, a funereal banjo-[as-ukelele] below blackened skies,
    winter-as-denouement, & sedulous mortality begetting the guile
    inside hibernation?..dead deer & termites, the fern host to bark
    beetles, BIRD BY SNOW is to folk what cave paintings are to
    post-expressionism – a foreshadow of gestalt whose configuration
    is so unified & elemental, that its properties cannot be derived ?
    neither by a summation of parts or even by the detritus of modern
    malaise that made this project necessary?.. blustery and just
    possibly, the New Archaic.

    MITCH July 2006

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:20 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Wells, Bill – “Pick Up Sticks ” – [Leaf Label Ltd]

    Glasgow’s BILL WELLS, whose OCTET & TRIO have been
    crossbreeding floral filmatics & epic rock inside loose
    jazz contexts for some years, collaborates here with the
    famed trombonist Annie Whitehead ( WORKING WEEK,
    German keyboardist Barbara Morgenstern ( a noted vocalist
    & songwriter ) and Dusseldorf’s Stefan Schneider ( KREIDLER,
    TO ROCOCO ROT, MAPSTATION ) in a series of eight warm,
    Intimate and brief improvisations. Armed with a background
    palette of computer sounds recorded with the aid of Norman
    Blake ( TEENAGE FANCLUB ), WELLS met the others in Berlin,
    the sessions running to five days with the engineering expertise
    of Bernd Jestram ( TARWATER ). Wells says, ‘We had a lot in
    common; strong melodic sensibility and a desire to keep things
    simple?.’ Building from synthetic samples & beds of soft
    clicking, Whitehead’s trombone in multi-track (check the ostinato
    on # 3) is a very human and muted set of tones in quiet shift with
    Morgenstern’s keyboards ( # 5 + 8 ) and Schneider’s weightless
    bass (and subtle warmth). Compelling, all in all – and surprising.

    MITCH August 2004

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:19 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Bevel – “Down the Puppet String, Mario ” – [Jagjaguwar Records]

    Via Nuon (MANISHEVITZ, CURIOUS DIGIT) dips backward and
    forward for his third solo release (following 2002’s masterpiece,
    ‘Where Leaves Block the Sun?, mainly with some work began as
    long ago as 1998, remixed & upended with the able assistance
    of Michael Krassner (piano, etc.), Gerald Dowd (drums) & the
    mournful sounds of Deanna Varagona (baritone sax). Included
    here is the DONOVAN cover meant originally for the
    tribute compilation ( # 2) and five other most afferent fragments
    heavy in Day Residue and a memory of a dream-day still immersed
    in its own construction. Nuon’s sense of avoided trauma is, as
    always, heightened by his first line of defense mechanism, which
    is an unfailing sense of melody in the service of art (could Varagona
    sound more like a cellist?) where colors and textures subdue the
    most rampant of fears manifest in his musical subconscious, and
    therein lies the secret – of a gentle soul whose perceptual powers
    address a kinesthetic imagery of tracked thoughts (people & places)
    and tasty guitar licks that are ever >outro in a life of farewells – sad,
    denuded and somehow out of the reach of fantasy or primogeniture.
    Flashing with simple beauty like the purest of gestures, BEVEL is a
    most subtle and inspired genius in his own right. Noncancomparesville.

    MITCH December 2003

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:18 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Cossa, Benji – “Vault Volume One ” – [Magic Marker Records]

    The cream of the crop from ten years of home taping, BENJI
    COSSA gets a proper full-length release at last with these 17
    tracks (recorded between 1995 and 2000). Mostly stripped to
    the bone production-wise, with ukulele/guitar/potluck percussion
    joining bittersweet relationship reveries of the luckless-in-love
    ‘When you said our love was like lightning
    here comes the thunder
    and ‘I’m afraid of the noise?.’

    Written amidst peregrine wanderings taking him from Providence
    RI to Portland OR to Sacramento CA & finally Brooklyn (where he
    currently resides), COSSA bears his heart with unabashed tales
    of melodic misadventures and covetous constraints – all quality-
    crafted, listener friendly & back burner warm. MITCH November 2005

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:18 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Below the Sea – “Les Arbres Depayseront Davanta ” – [Where Are My Records]

    Crucial second release nearly dispels Montreal ‘post-rock? tag
    for instrumental trio Patrick Lacharite (gtr, sampler, keys), Pascal
    Asselin (drums) and Mathieu Levesque (bass) – that is, find most
    of the muscularity in the first 5 tracks, then the trap kit and bass-
    lines solve the disquiet, moving from the wrestling chair to the sea
    where flight soars over linearity in a long series of poignant arcs?.
    dipping here, grieving there (# 7, with Maude Smith Gagnon),
    terminals separated (#10, Sylvain Chauveau piano) and tracing
    the course of a distant and heavenly body (# 12) in desolate orbit.
    Beyond the Valley of ‘The Loss of Our Winter? (2000), this is the
    band’s follow-up – wider, deeper, longer PanaVisions of Patrick
    Lacharite that free themselves from depayse geometry to a per-
    meability less than that of vacuum – magnetism opposite to
    iron – less metal, more diamagnetism in the physics and a class
    of emotional substances wholly subjective. Film music better than
    films, where you make your own. Asselin also in GLIDER with
    guitarist Gavin Baker (BILLY MAHONIE). Opacity finds emulsion.
    MITCH October 2002

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Bella Vista – “Midway ” – [Orange]

    BELLA VISTA was a Washington, D.C. trio whose
    sole output was limited to 7″ vinyl : their first (and
    best) EP for [Matinee], ‘Was the Last? (1998), this
    record [released the same year] and a split EP with
    the BEST WISHES on [Turn Up the Treble!], 1999.
    These three songs recorded in Philadelphia and
    engineered by Ben X. Kim (CLOCK STRIKES
    THIRTEEN), including a surpassing cover of ‘My
    Boy and His Motorbike?, written by the estimable
    Elizabeth Price & found on the final CAROUSEL
    LP (vocal here by Jenny). Mark Powell has since
    moved on to New Cross Gate (South London) and
    become half of PIPAS (decidedly more bossa-pop),
    but BELLA VISTA left much to cherish in the way
    of indiepop taste and leisure, evidenced by lead track
    ‘Midway?”it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning?’
    Tender trappings to remember them by.
    MITCH December 2002

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:15 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Beequeen – “Gund ” – [Plinkity Plonk]

    BEEQUEEN (Dutch duo of Frans De Waard [see
    also his recordings as KAPOTTE MUZIEK, QUEST,
    SHIFTS + CAPTAIN BLACK] and [staalplaat] staff
    member Freek Kinkelaar, publisher of Vital Weekly)
    make with the sonic artifacts here (tracks # 1-4 are
    delicate examples of static drift, recorded back in
    early 1998 for an aborted 12″ release; tracks # 5
    (BEEQUEEN edits MSBR) and # 6 (MSBR edits BEE-
    QUEEN) were originally meant for a collaborative
    project with Japanese noisemaster MSBR (ongoing
    saga of Koji Tano). BEEQUEEN, with many another
    release for [infraction], [korm Plastics] in the
    Netherlands and elsewhere, keep it all distant ?
    letting the low end rustle and thrum in a modicum
    of tasteful, minimal pulsations. These are prolonged
    atmospherics of mid to higher waveforms, filled with
    a sort of atheistic respiration?’? MITCH July 2004

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:11 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Beans – “Crane Wars ” – [Zum Media]

    Vancouver quintet returns with second LP (after
    ‘Tired Snow’EP in 2000), continuing their blend
    of standard/experimental rock instrumentation,
    homemade string/percussion, electronics, turn-
    tables + tape machines. A compelling work of
    studio craft & musical spontaneity, BEANS use
    textural guitars/drums to great effect, providing
    the occasional voice almost as afterthought to
    punctuate the clashes and closures. BEANS
    (Damon Henry on bass, Ida Neilson on trumpet,
    piano & accordion, Andrew Herfst with drums/
    loops/f/x, guitarist Stefan Udell + vox and gtr.
    from Tygh Runyan) have scored two Canadian
    films (‘Red Deer? and ’13 Trains?) and are
    collaborating with David Crompton on a third.
    A multi-media sensibility connects it all, from
    dissonance to blaring horns to running water;
    weariness dashed to bits by dizzying frenzy in
    an unbalance of random tempo & eerie lyricism.
    Courageously confounding. MITCH
    September 2001

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:11 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • E*Vax/B. Fleischmann [coll] – [Audio Dregs Records]

    First release in postcard series couples America’s E*VAX
    with Austrian B. FLEISCHMANN, with fine work from
    both represented. ‘Water to Our Ankles? from the
    U.S. side features complex beat structures rife with
    the usual subtlety. E*VAX has released singles on
    [adr] & [static Caravan]; also appeared on last
    year’s fine [moor Music] compilation. He does
    amazing things with sound manipulation of various
    household auditory sources, inventively twisting
    them into rhythmic patterns. B. FLEISCHMANN favors
    the amalgamation of abstract experimental electronics
    and pristine, wistful melodics. On ‘Le Desir?, he lets
    the slow-motion beat become a rolling mellow organ
    wave, interspersing it with fizz and clicked bits – all a
    bit like a mint sprig floating on ice. Split this.
    MITCH July 2001

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 30, 2006 at 11:08 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Chocolate Genius Inc – “Black Yankee Rock ” – [Commotion Records]

    Craig Street-produced third LP from Marc Anthony
    Thompson is multi-faceted MOR, tapping adult
    contemporary/pop/soul/jazz/etc., elements for
    an eclectic demographic :
    ???It???s a destination ??? more than a sound
    or a statement. Where hair extensions are
    halos. Heaven without a Golden Gate.
    Everybody gets in. All the ashtrays are
    are clean. The wine won???t hurt you because
    the Grapes have no Wrath.???
    It is also well-written and staged, built upon the
    solid & familiar foundations of Black (ISAAC HAYES)
    Moses, the CEO of Unlimited Love (BARRY WHITE),
    guitar astrologists (DENNIS COFFEY) and other
    purveyors of post-coital musical afterglow who have
    favored the laid-back mink glove over the prurient
    flash of the funk ???n bump. CHOCOLATE GENIUS INC
    lives in Brooklyn, scores films, meets MOBY ( # 8),
    exemplifies the art of backdrop & mood. ALL CLEAN.
    MITCH July 2006

  • Reviewed by mitch on July 16, 2006 at 12:48 am
  • Filed as CD,Soul
  • Comment on this review
  • Auburn Lull – “Alone I Admire ” – [Darla Records]

    Quartet formed in Lansing, MI in 1994; this LP
    originally released on Mar. 1999.
    Produced by Andrew Prinz (MAHOGANY), who
    did the honors for AUBURN LULL’s 7″ for
    as well. Full-length debut for Jason Kolb (gtrs),
    Sean Heenan (gtrs & vox), Jason Weisinger
    (drums) + Eli Wekenman (bass, gtrs), this is a
    masterpiece of breaking fog, mist, wet tires on
    asphalt, scattered chorales, oiled rainbows –
    a canvas-swept hydrofoil of shameless tears ;
    all the ‘intrinsic onomatopoeic nature of music?
    to be found in the intuitive subconscious. Much
    external reverberation processing/sampling &
    delay, creating ample beauty and a wordless
    longing somewhere between symbolic dream +
    universal desolation. More psychotropic than
    psychedelic, a contrast medium of encephalogram
    that finds us all as fellow bunker soldiers.

    MITCH March 2002

  • Reviewed by mitch on June 24, 2006 at 7:52 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Auburn Lull – “North Territorial ” – [Zeal Records]

    Lansing, MI quartet (Jason Kolb, gtrs/Eli Wekenman, gtrs/
    Sean Heenan, vox + gtrs/ Jason Weisinger, drums) have
    outlived a once-thriving Great Lakes space-rock scene,
    soldiering on with their own filmic/pastoral/music for heliopads
    approach, a trademark blend of surging, miasmic swells,
    samples, looped guitar/vocals peaking in a slow-cresting
    sonic euphoria of song/soundcraft. Produced by soul mate
    Andrew Prinz (MAHOGANY) and mastered by Brooklyn NY’s
    Jon Chaikin (who has done the duties for every Shelflife Records
    release to date) at Nonstop Sound, this European release offers
    the now-familiar elegant wash inside cartographic cockpit
    somewhere between landscape and ozone. Like all
    AUBURN LULL records, this should come with flight ring and
    instructions for most listeners, particularly those of the Ptolemaic
    Terrascope variety. Additional ethereal vocals from Amanda
    Kolb & Jessica Fuller, a pair of visiting angels. Both sides in
    Afterlife Technicolor, 360mm, eggbeater soft. Whirlybirds.

    MITCH August 2002

  • Reviewed by mitch on June 24, 2006 at 7:52 am
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Attic Ted – “Hemogoblin ” – [Pecan Crazy Records]

    Grady Roper leads his San Marcos TX merry men through
    a fourth go-round of post-apocalyptic gothic carnival
    twang designed to disorient/haunt/enervate/charm
    fans of horror film-style keyboards/costume, lethal lead guitar
    licks (courtesy Wade Driver, also of TACHYCARDIA and
    the HICKOIDS), frantic drumming (Coby Cardosa) and
    blazing sampler (Lance McMahon) action in service to a
    Hammond organ-fueled muse of inebriated masquerade.

    ?’I’m swimming in a lake of fire
    I didn’t wear the right attire
    Flesh melting in my shoes
    This time ‘I’m sure to lose?’

    Members of ATTIC TED feature oversized freakish headgear
    on stage, first pioneered at Halloween show 2002 & now a
    band tradition. This LP features seven studio band tracks,
    and four of Roper’s Tascam Porta-Studio manic creations.
    Crazed & inspired, a wonderful release.

    MITCH February 2006

  • Reviewed by mitch on June 24, 2006 at 7:51 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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