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

Lyken, Mark / Dove, Emma – “Mirror Lands” – [Time Released Sound]

MirrorLands

This is a beautiful soundtrack written by Lyken and Dove and set in Scotland, home of the Cromarty Lighthouse, to whose last keeper this is dedicated. There are sounds of water lapping at docks, drills, industry, voices, and geese. Minimalist piano weaves in and out of the tracks in a haunting, beautiful way. The atmosphere is chilly, lonely, and lovely. This is electronica and industrial and field sounds. I love it.

  • Reviewed by humana on December 5, 2017 at 9:01 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Squarepusher – “Feed Me Weird Things” – [Rephlex]

    Squarepusher

    Drum and bass and breakbeat–that’s the genre, and this is the debut studio album of Squarepusher, aka Tom Jenkinson. This is a stunning release that is frenetic, shimmery electronica at its finest. The notes on the CD are fascinating, asserting that Squarepusher “gives us the SOUND of SOUND.” Jump into the energy floe and lose yourself. 7 is my favorite track.

  • Reviewed by humana on December 5, 2017 at 8:40 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Alexander, Arthur – “Ultimate, The” – [Razor & Tie Music]

    arthuralexander

    Out of undeserved obscurity comes the clear, smooth voice and stylings of Arthur Alexander, who paved the way for soul with his songs mixing country, blues, pop, and rock. As Paul McCartney said once, “If the Beatles ever wanted a sound, it was R&B. We wanted to be like Arthur Alexander.” The Beatles and Rolling Stones were only two bands that recorded Alexander’s songs. Try any of these gems–they sparkle with feeling and emotion.

  • Reviewed by humana on December 5, 2017 at 8:23 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
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  • Powwow Songs – Music of The Plains Indians [coll] – [Musical Heritage Society]

    powwow

    These songs were written and performed for the great yearly celebrations, called powwows, of the Great Plains Indians of North America. The liner notes describe the particulars of each dance, and the meanings are felt in the hearty vocalizations and drumbeat of both the Northern and Southern Plains Indians. A true slice of social and ceremonial native music.

  • Reviewed by humana on December 5, 2017 at 8:04 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Mouse On Mars – “Instrumentals” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

    mouse on mars

    This music is as cute and satisfying as the name of the band is. Electronica at its best, with beats that get your head bopping and your feet stepping. I particularly enjoy Chromantic, but everything is worth a listen.

  • Reviewed by humana on November 5, 2017 at 7:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Mills, Alan – “Folk Songs of Newfoundland” – [Folkways Records and Service Corp.]

    R-8564324-1466510751-6800.jpeg

    Released in 1953, the folksiness of this 10″ slab is timeless. Newfoundland summons images of cold, ocean, fishing, and Northeast Canadian heartiness. Alan Mills pleasant voice accompanied by a gentle guitar spins yarns fit for a campfire. If you appreciate sailor stories and coastside ambience, you’ll love this.

  • Reviewed by humana on November 5, 2017 at 5:57 pm
  • Filed as 10-inch,International
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  • Four Lost Souls – “Four Lost Souls” – [Bloodshot Records]

    fourlost souls

    “These songs aren’t going to sing themselves” (from “Poor Valley Radio”). And count your lucky stars that Jon Langford (who wrote and sings the songs along with Bethany Thomas and Tawny Newsome) and his band (rounded out by skilled guitarist John Szymanski) found themselves in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to sing the great Americana songs contained on this CD. Yes, the sobering election of 2016 made them feel lost, but they stepped up to the plate and responded with these sometimes rocking, sometimes ballad-y songs. Be sure to read the poem in the sleeve.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 28, 2017 at 4:42 pm
  • Filed as CD,Country
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  • Flamin Groovies – “Fantastic Plastic” – [Sonic Kicks]

    flamin_groovies_fantastic_plastic

    They’re back and better than ever! What a fun and enjoyable collection of brand-new rock songs penned by Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson! These are uptempo songs and smooth ballads by this group whose origins are in San Francisco. Each song is great in its own way, but “She Loves Me” and “Lonely Hearts” are two of my favorites.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 22, 2017 at 3:16 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Seafang – “Solid Gold/ Stardust” – [Emotional Response Recordings]

    R-10787038-1504322793-6471.jpeg

    Of course I love this 7″ dimension of wonder because it’s shoegaze from a quintet in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Solid Gold” is an upbeat, fast-paced number, while “Stardust” is a bit slower, but both are fine examples of lovely haze with Heidi’s pretty vocals backed by the band’s energetic guitars, drums, and bass. Think Go-Gos KFJC-style.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Cotillion Soul 45′s [coll] – [Cotillion Records]

    cotillion.jpeg

    Oh what fun it is to open a box of 10 7″ discs recorded in 1968- 1970 on the Cotillion label and dance to the soul sounds of artists including Darrell Banks, C and the Shells, Moses Smith, and Lou Johnson. There are ballads on here, too, and the liner notes are a must-read for cool background info. Covers of “Ain’t No Sun” and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” are highlights. Pick any disc and get your soul groovin’!

  • Reviewed by humana on October 1, 2017 at 2:29 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,Soul
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  • Demen – “Nektyr” – [Kranky]

    a0752198009_16

    This artist comes from Stockholm, Sweden, and her music and vocals create an atmosphere that is a lovely, murky swirl that makes you feel like you’re inhabiting some kind of cool night world where anything can happen, both good and bad.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Brand, Ulrike / Rupp, Olaf – “Shadowscores” – [Creative Sources Recording]

    23876

    This is an improvisational communication between Brand on cello and Rupp on electric guitar, creating a soundscape in the shadows, where their separate stringed instruments intersect, overlap, and create a nouveau classical sound that opens your minds and inner ears to what happens when two stellar musicians get together.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 10, 2017 at 9:59 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Beresford, Steve / Homler, Anna / Sanderson, Richard – “Berlin Toy Bazaar” – [Linear Obsessional Recordings]

    Berlin Toy Bazaar

    Homler’s crazed vocals and the plinking, plunking sometimes melodic sounds of toys, samplers, electronics, and even an accordion characterize this particularly eccentric music recorded live at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 2003. It’s a musical conversation that requires your own translation, and it’s right up KFJC’s alley.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 10, 2017 at 9:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ilaiyaraaja, Isaignani – “Ilectro!” – [Finders Keepers Records]

    Ilektro

    When I first listened to this CD, I thought, “Bollywood!” But it’s Kollywood with a K! Which refers to Tamil cinema. But this is so much more. Ilaiyaraaja is an incredibly prolific score-master of cinema, creator of “euphoric electronics and robotic funk,” and all you have to do is pick any track to hear the creative energy behind all that this Southern Indian pens. Though the songs have known popularity mostly in Tamil speaking territories, I know this will get a fair airing in Ann Arbor’s show, among others.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 10, 2017 at 9:13 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • New Orleans Funk: Voodoo Fire In New Orleans Vol. 4 [coll] – [Soul Jazz]

    New Orleans Funk

    These songs from 1951-77 get the funk to rise in your blood in the best possible way, and the liner notes explain in a most excellent fashion how this type of music came to be from the earliest days in Congo Square, New Orleans, where “slaves, ex-slaves and free blacks congregated each Sunday to socialise, dance, party…and worship.” From Eldridge Holmes to Norma Jean to Chocolate Milk to Clifton Chenier to Zilla Mayes, this is a not-to-be-missed compilation, meant for more than just Soul Patrol.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
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  • Ferrat, Jean – “Les Annees Barclay” – [JBarclay]

    Jean Ferrat

    These two CDs take you back in time to the late 60s cabaret scene in France, where singer-songwriter Ferrat specialized in setting poetry to music. This very polished sound is easy on the ears, mellow and romantic, and, as the liner notes say, pop in the best sense of the word. Track 3 made the 2013 BBC list of 20 songs that most changed the world. Each song will transport you to the environs of France and all its boutique glory.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 10, 2017 at 6:17 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Salamander Wool – “Lunarsophic Somnambulist” – [Ehse Records]

    R-4161798-1357325474-5474.jpeg

    Salamander Wool’s music is by Carso Garhart and Twig Harper contributes electronic elements and production techniques. The first track is probably the best, with its field sounds (recorded over time in West Baltimore) and bells. Vocals join the sounds partway through the track, and are present on the other tracks as well. These are an acquired taste, but the music itself is pleasant enough, with its guitar strumming that is Americana-esque. Track 5 has water sounds and then whirring (a washing machine?). The lyrics have merit, and overall this might just be great music for the solar eclipse coming up.

  • Reviewed by humana on July 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • My Cat Is an Alien & Jean-Marc Montera – “Union of The Supreme Light” – [Starlight Furniture Co.]

    a3431110692_16

    In a worthy tribute to their mother, the Opalio brothers join with Montera for some instantaneous composition in Marseille, France. In addition to the lovely painting gracing the album cover, Roberto adds his haunting wordless vocalizations and alientronics to Maurizio’s self-made string instrument and Montera’s self-made guitar table. The effects are calming, atmospheric, strange, and out of this world superb.

  • Reviewed by humana on July 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Solenoid – “Bike/Ingrid” – [Audraglint]

    R-303275-1269513195.jpeg

    Two short tracks of electronica. Bike is jaunty, while Ingrid is intense and beat-driven. Ingrid is my preferred track.

  • Reviewed by humana on June 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Lockwood, Annea – “Breaking The Surface” – [Lovely Music Ltd.]

    breakingthesurface

    These are two epic-length tracks, the first commissioned by Thomas Buckner and composed by Lockwood to showcase her vocalizations that call to mind shamanic chants with a large glass gong, wind, and a Cameroonian rattle, among other instruments. Track 2 records the voice of sculptor Walter Wincha, interviewed by Lockwood just over a day before he died at age 30. Interspersed with the interview are field sounds of running on a track. The entire experience is cathartic and mesmerizing.

  • Reviewed by humana on June 13, 2017 at 7:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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