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Isan – “Plans Drawn In Pencil ” – [Morr Music]

Two chaps from the UK since 1996, ISAN (Integrated Services Analogue Network)
is often compared to Boards of Canada. Hearing the album reminds me of the soft electronic tracks from Radiohead. PDIP features short digestible pieces for easy access into their world with a quick escape hatch. The melodic and warm electronica stays simple and dreamy Tracks are quite similar and feel orchestrated in the way the melodies play off of one another from beginning to end. For instance, track 11. Seven Mile Marker uses the same 4 notes of the melody of Track 1. Look and Yes, just in a different key. There are no harsh sounds on this disc. Tracks are made completely of manipulated electronic sounds that mimic soft bass, afro/cuban style drums, bells, metronome (Yttrium) and finger-snapping (Corundum). The album has a bit of white noise feel to it even becomes borderline New Age with track 10. Stickland. The good thing about plans drawn in pencil is that they can be constantly changed, the drawback that it all can just as easily be erased.

-johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on November 8, 2006 at 5:22 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ratos De Porao – “Homem Inimigo Do Homem ” – [Alternative Tentacles]

    Led by Brazilian MTV VeeJay Joao Gordo (Fat John) Ratos de Porao (Basement Rats) have been assaulting ears since the early 1980′s. The band isn’t just another metal band, as this album successfully merges many elements of skate-punk, and hardcore/thrash. Two singers give the band the range to genre blend, focusing mainly on fusing punk and hardcore with metal vocals. Tracks stay around 2 minutes each, longer and more meloic than grind by The Locust, yet shorter and less free than thrashy Converge tracks. Enjoy blast beats, a few hardcore breakdowns, high-pitch sceams, rushed tempos, gang-vocals (Track 6. H.I.D.H.), punk drumming intros and guitar wails, and even some early Metallica-esk songs (Track 3. Expresso Da Escravidao) I’d love to read the lyrics and although Alternative Tentacles assures me they sing about day to day life in Sao Paolo, Brazil, I tend to think otherwise with tracks names like Pedofilia Santa. The bands website offers translated lyrics, however the site would not load. Perhaps try again at (www.ratos.com.br/lyrics).

    -johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on November 8, 2006 at 5:21 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Sailor Winters – “Monolith ” – [Tsunami Records]

    Noise record solo project by Sailor Winters featuring loops and analog “black noise”. Combine side A and B to make the whole track. Play it on 45 rpm! Side A opens with a haunting drum beat echoing a hellish drone and joined with curdled, monotonous grunts, so distorted that one message becomes clear: It is coming from the seediest pits of hell! Tracks like this should replace the phony ‘scary’ soundtracks of alien videogames like Doom and Halo. Try to imagine a lawnmower running over a high school marching band stuck in a pit of tar, sluggish and sticky but constant in its carnage. No samples were used on the album, and lyrics accompany the 7 inch insert.
    -johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on November 8, 2006 at 5:18 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Akimbo – “Elephantine ” – [Seventh Rule Recordings]

    Recording in 2003 and released on a small vinyl only label Seventh Rule in 2004, Elephantine (LP) is a special 180 gram record that is complete in its analog nature on vinyl. (cd version by Dopamine/Amalagate). The album is very hardcore heavy with stoner doom guitars and slowing tempos. Often compared to early Cave-In and Botch, with influences from the Melvins and Black Sabbath. While not vocally related at all, comparisons to math-y Hot Snakes can also be made. Now on Alternative Tentacles, Akimbo keeps the Math rock influence alive with its ’06 album Forging Steel and Laying Stone. Heavy in guitar riffs and anti-hardcore instrumental breakdowns, expect lightning tempo shifts and dueling single note guitar ditties. Its difficult the pin the band down into the hardcore genre completely but you can count on an extreme performance that grooves like rock.
    -johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on November 8, 2006 at 5:16 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Blowfly – “Blowfly’s Punk Rock Party ” – [Alternative Tentacles]

    Blowfly, who has been pushing the nasty parody envelope of soul and hip-hop records since the 70′s, turns rock with Punk Rock Party, full of foul-mouthed punk parodies. Bands Parodied include: Devo (Suck It), Stooges (I Wanna Fuck Your Dog), The Ramones (I Wanna Be Fellated), The Clash (Should I Fuck This Big Fat Ho), Billy Idol (Playing With Myself), O’Jays (Suck and Fuck Train) with the most obscure cover coming from Rocket From The Crypt (Fucked With A Dildo). Other tracks show the strong influence from Jello Biafra with parodies of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Antiseen, Offspring & Dead Kennedys tracks. Sadly the vocals are quiet & hard to hear and the worn-out punk tunes & backing band aren’t quite enough to carry the release all the way thru 19 tracks (20-25 are clean versions), yet listeners will find humor in at least one track guaranteed. Check out the donut on booklet art. Tasty!

    -johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on October 25, 2006 at 5:09 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • to Live and Shave In L.a. – “Horoscopo: Sanatorio De Moliere ” – [Blossoming Noise]

    This album is a compiled remix of old works to get fans ready for the upcoming album: “Noon and Eternity” which will finally feature TLASILA as an octet with newest band members Andrew W.K. Don Fleming and Richard Russo. These reworked tracks span 15 or so albums from 1991-2006, beginning a new chapter for the band who has not released any original material since the original trio ended in 2002. Cuts are loopy grainy and crunchy with a mechanical robotic feel to them. Imagine being in a factory with robots shooting laser pens into your eyes. Frequent high pitch beeps keep your hands close to the volume controls with sound clips approaching unbearable levels at times. Some keyboard/piano clips accompany looped and half/eaten vocals, always surrounded by static, buzzing, churning and cyclical moving part sounds. The chaos & complexity of instrumentation makes sci-fi seem low-fi and empowers people who push buttons. Tom Smith and Thurston Moore could very well be the descendants of men who had to manually sound the alarm. Fine production and use of frequencies often create the sense of real world sounds occurring whirling around our heads. And then you realize its just Andrew WK bashing a bottle on your dome.

    -johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on October 25, 2006 at 5:09 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Davignon, Matt – “SoftWetFish” – [Edgetone Records]

    Improv electronic experimental soundscapes, tracks range from chirping like insects, ringing, drum tones, keyboard ambience, click and pop, static and underwater ears plugged. Unlike loop or minimalistic music, Davignon engages attentive listeners to become lost in the relentless jams. There is no meter nor harmony, as tracks realistically represent the chaos of nature. Pieces tend to be echo heavy, with minimal looping giving the listeners a much more intense interaction. Production-wise, some intentional cd-skips are left throughout the disc and no fade-outs have tracks ending with a harsh aikido assassination. Track 4 has a great wet cave feel for the spelunker in all of us. The first 3 tracks reminds me of the noises that the tree branches make on your windows at night, or the clawing of zombies into flesh, harsh sandpaper toilet paper, like a cats tongue must feel on their orifices.

    - johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on October 4, 2006 at 7:57 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Matt Davignon – “SoftWetFish ” – [Edgetone Records]

    Improv electronic experimental soundscapes, tracks range from chirping like insects, ringing, drum tones, keyboard ambience, click and pop, static and underwater ears plugged. Unlike loop or minimalistic music, Davignon engages attentive listeners to become lost in the relentless jams. There is no meter nor harmony, as tracks realistically represent the chaos of nature. Pieces tend to be echo heavy, with minimal looping giving the listeners a much more intense interaction. Production-wise, some intentional cd-skips are left throughout the disc and no fade-outs have tracks ending with a harsh aikido assassination. Track 4 has a great wet cave feel for the spelunker in all of us. The first 3 tracks reminds me of the noises that the tree branches make on your windows at night, or the clawing of zombies into flesh, harsh sandpaper toilet paper, like a cats tongue must feel on their orifices.

    - johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on October 3, 2006 at 10:23 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Flying Luttenbachers – “Cataclysm ” – [Ug/Explode]

    Led by drummer Weasel Walter, Oakland’s instrumental band The Flying Luttenbachers enter their post brutal-prog era with blast beat happy “Cataclysm”. The album is themed as a battle between the biblical Behemoth and ‘The Void’ (2004 album), ending with the “celebration of the inevitable self destruction of a tyrannical, non-sustainable system”. Alas, the Republican Party lives on. Perhaps capitalism or the USA is a more appropriate parallel. I say that Weasel knew what was seen the Behemoths dying eye was our own eventual demise. Musically, the albums aggressive and heavy bass, perfectly dissonant jazzy guitars and unrelenting beats are all neatly produced (much like the new Hella album). The tracks on the album clash circus, metal, & horror-movie, each one a separate nightmarish sedative-invitation to pain. Guitars & drums frequently revert to a call & response system. This conceptual album thematically transverses ancient times, greek mythology and finally bludgeons Western music to a pulp with cover “L’Ascension”, by French composer Olivier Messiaen.

    -johnny darko

  • Reviewed by johnnydarko on August 13, 2006 at 11:12 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment


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