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

Salamander Wool – “Lunarsophic Somnambulist” – [Ehse Records]

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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.]

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    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]

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    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.]

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    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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  • Brizbomb – “Brizbomb” – [Westside Welding and Machine]

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    This album is relaxing to listen to, especially when you consider how it is contains no overdubs, no edits, no anything except an artist and a rack, which is pictured in the poster. The sounds on here are perfect accompaniment for mind musing and expansion.

  • Reviewed by humana on June 12, 2017 at 11:49 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Dufallo, Cornelius – “Journaling 2″ – [Innova Recordings]

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    Dufallo, violinist for Flux Quartet, Ne(x)tworks, and ETHEL, offers us a bracing treat here with his “journal” of work with living composers including, among others, Kinan Azmeh and Raven Chacon. Electronics manipulations combine with his sublime avant violin technique and each track is described well in the liner notes. Dufallo himself composed the last track, “Reverie,” which is a must-listen. Call it edgy, nostalgic, classical–but it is definitely exquisite.

  • Reviewed by humana on May 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • 5.00 Sampler Ai Records 2000-2005 [coll] – [Ai Records]

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    Just in time to awaken you from your winter stupor we bring you this treasure from 2005, an electronica sampler from Ai Records packed with something for everyone. There are upbeats galore, vox on some (like 5, 6, 12, 13), marimba-like sounds on 13, and infectious dub sounds on others (9). Standing the test of time, these will get you moving in a good way.

  • Reviewed by humana on May 6, 2017 at 3:13 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Zopoula, Hermas – “Espoir” – [Asthmatic Kitty Records]

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    The story of this double CD is as happy and heartwarming as the music on each CD. Disc 1 was recorded in a West African studio, and Disc 2 has the more homey and true experience of guitarist and singer Zopoula’s magic, recorded live in and around his home in Burkina Faso. Jonathan and Heather Dueck visited Western Africa and had the great fortune to meet Hermas Zopoula, who acted as guide and friend to them during their stay. It was almost by accident that they discovered he was a musician as well as an incredible person. Some of his songs have heartbreaking lyrics, but the upbeat nature of his music attests to his faith and big heart. Enjoy.

  • Reviewed by humana on April 2, 2017 at 6:54 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Metlay – “Fade” – [Aural Films]

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    This is a gorgeous aural experience brought to you by electronic and visual artist Mike Metlay. I happened to listen to this on a drive to Henry Coe State Park, and it was the perfect soundtrack for my ride. The colors in the track titles seemed to be in sync with the landscape passing outside my window. By the time “fade to green” was piping through the speakers, there were lovely springtime green hills to go along with the Earth mama feeling of the music. Birdsong was a nice addition to the track. Track 3 has some vocalizations that blend in well with the electronics, and there is some sampling thrown in on some tracks, though it is minimal. The entire CD builds from spare outings to the final, epic track that has layers of beauty. Even in the spaces, there is so much going on. Fading never sounded so good.

  • Reviewed by humana on April 2, 2017 at 6:27 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • So Beast – “Kira” – [Time Sensitive Materials]

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    So Beast is Katarina Poklepovic and Michele Quadri. I know nothing about their backgrounds except their names. Together they create some fairly fresh music. Her vocals are angry and punk-sounding, and his balance hers with equanimity. The music includes some samples, electronics, and extreme delicate, nostalgic piano on track 13. Tracks 8-11 are really cool and blend together if you let them.There’s a lot on this disc to please whatever mood you’re in.

  • Reviewed by humana on March 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Trance to The Sun – “Via Subterranea” – [Below Sea Level Recordings]

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    As soon as I began listening to this CD, my spirit was saying yes. Trance, shoegaze, elements of rock and psych, and fascinating lyrics (which are kindly printed out for you on the liner notes) all combine to make this a truly enjoyable musical experience. Ingrid Luna Blue’s voice masterfully guides you through the shifting depths. Be sure to try out “Lost Garden Gnome Hotline” (3), “Aviatrix” (7), and “Purple Mushroom House” (9).

  • Reviewed by humana on February 12, 2017 at 8:31 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Fevre, Bernard – “Suspense” – [D/B/A Anthology Recordings]

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    This reissue of the 1975 library album composed by French synthesizer master Fevre is still as perfectly fitting now as it was in the 70s for eliciting just the right feeling of “Suspense.” It’s simulataneously bouncey and off-kilter, calling to mind scenes that might go well in Dr. Who or some other quirky sci-fi drama. The pieces are short and evocative, and Naysayer says that Fevre’s work heavily influenced Peter Frampton. Go figure.

  • Reviewed by humana on February 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Voices of Kwahn – “Peninsular Enclosure” – [Swarffinger Records]

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    Anna Homler lends her vocal talents to this atmospheric, electronic, ambient release from 1997. Voices of Kwahn consists of The Pylon King (Mark Davies), with Dunderhead, Nigel C. Eaton, and Juliet Mootz. There are other worldly bell and chime sounds, especially in “Colonist Dreamer” and the epic “Eclipsed.” Expansive and cathartic, pensive and relaxing.

  • Reviewed by humana on January 22, 2017 at 2:19 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Mulligan, Gerry Quartet – “Gerry Mulligan Quartet Featuring Chet Baker” – [Pacific Jazz]

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    Add another great record from Gerry Mulligan to the KFJC library with this music that is as comfort food to me. Featuring recordings from 1952-1953 of “pianoless quartet” members Mulligan on baritone sax, Baker on trumpet, Larry Bunker on drums, Carson Smith on bass, Chico Hamilton on drums, and Bob Whitlock on bass, this is jazz from a time when the genre was undergoing changes described on the album notes. Mulligan arranged all and composed some of these tunes, making them all worth listening and swinging to. You won’t be able to stay still, I promise.

  • Reviewed by humana on January 8, 2017 at 3:32 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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  • Rugolo, Pete and His Orchestra – “Percussion At Work” – [Mercury Record Production]

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    These recordings come to us from 1958 and are as engaging as the album cover. Percussion fans will appreciate Rugulo’s compositions and the way they are executed by the likes of Andre Previn on piano, Larry Bunker on vibes, xylophone, and timpani, and Shelly Manne on drums. Read the liner notes as you partake of the pleasure, especially of “Funky Drums” and “Percussion at Work.”

  • Reviewed by humana on January 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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  • Nice As Fuck – “Nice As Fuck” – [Loves Way]

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    Too sweet? Maybe. But don’t we need a little sweetness? The hot pink vinyl is in sync with the mellow rock tunes written and sung by the all-girl band. Yes, they may be nice as fuck, and what of it? Doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile musicians. There’s bound to be something on here that will brighten up your sets. Proving yet again that you don’t have to be bitchy to get your point across. They had their debut at one of Bernie Sanders’ rallies, so they have that going for them, too.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 23, 2016 at 5:40 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Le Butcherettes – “A Raw Youth” – [Ipecac Recordings]

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    This is the third album by this Mexican rock trio led by Teri Gender Bender, whose voice delivers the lyrics in an alternately mesmerizing and angry way, which is fitting for the subject of the songs. The inner sleeve has a printout of the lyrics, which cover somber topics such as selling girls into prostitution (among many others–read them)–all written by Teri. The music itself is fast-paced and catchy, enticing you into the song and then the lyrics shock you into awareness. Side A is a lot more upbeat musically, or maybe it’s just that it took me until Side B to realize the seriousness of the lyrics. Definitely worth listening to.

  • Reviewed by humana on October 23, 2016 at 2:23 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Hertz, Jack & Mystified – “Inuksuk” – [Aural Films]

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    The Aural Films label features releases that are soundtracks to films that don’t exist, except in the minds of the listeners. That said, this particular CD is mesmerizing in its ability to call up images of the chilly, desolate landscapes of the Arctic in which inuksuks, man-made stone cairns, serve as guides for travelers who brave the frozen landmasses. Hertz and Mystified do a stellar job creating the minimal, tribal soundscapes in which the percussive beats hauntingly remind us that life is possible even in these frozen climes.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 23, 2016 at 12:57 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Nguyen, Nhung & Cinchell – “Movement of an Old Soul” – [Time Released Sound]

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    There’s something otherworldly and beautiful about this collaboration between Hanoi-based Nguyen, who contributes the piano, music box, and chimes, and Chicago guitarist and laptop artist Cinchel (Jason Shanley). The mix of peaceful, mellow drones punctuated by nostalgic music box plinking is hypnotic and calming. The design of the CD sleeve shows player piano paper rolls along with diagrams of music boxes, whose movement is indeed reminiscent of an old soul. Let your soul be moved.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 23, 2016 at 12:42 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Orb, The – “Moonbuilding 2703 Ad Remixes / Sin In Space Pt1″ – [Kompakt Schallplatten]

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    Take some great music from Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, set Kompakt founder Wolfgang Voigt (aka Wassermann) and LA producer Teebs the task of remixing that music, and you get this sparkling result.
    A1 is super cool remix that starts slow but takes off and builds to a cruising altitude with beats and vibes, not unlike what we could imagine a moon journey would be.
    B1 opens in medias res and continues with nice energetic beats with chimes and layers throughout, including samples that sound like “Obi-Wan Kenobi, help me.”
    B2 is more noisy but includes bird chirps.
    One of the samples says, “First, God does not exist.” No need to worry–as long as music like this does, we’re good.

  • Reviewed by humana on September 17, 2016 at 10:07 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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