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

Endvra – “Watcher, The” – [Old Europa Cafe]

creepypasta

Endvra (or Endura) were a Death Ambient duo from northern England active from 2001 to 1993. This 1998 CD was their last album. Its single 50-minute track starts out very quiet but gets very loud at times, presenting an interesting mixing challenge.

It’ll make ya nervous… Pulsing sub-bass, sewer drippy-drops, lush synthesizer orchestra, and every now and then the Death Train passes us as we wander dank subterranean passages full of strange rituals and malevolent non-human intelligences.

Very much about subliminal horror, almost like a Robert Aickmann story. The vibe goes with Megaptera, Stratvm Terror (another band with a ‘v’ that is actually a ‘u’) or Asmorod.

Stephen Pennick now records as Ontario Blue, while Christopher Walton works as TenHornedBeast.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on May 31, 2017 at 12:05 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Maldur Atai – “Borgata” – [Autarkeia]

    malduratai

    Formed in 2010, Maldur Atai is a three-man industrial ambient project that comes from an emerging experimental scene in Lithuania. This 2012 CD, their fourth album, was released by the Vilnius label Autarkeia.

    Borgata is a concept album that takes its title from a biography of Italian intellectual and director Pier Paolo Pasolini that explores the mysterious events surrounding his murder on a beach in Rome in 1975, just before the premiere of his infamous film Salò. I can’t find anything about this biography other than the lengthy synopsis from Autarkeia. But if it does exist, it sounds like a pretty decent read: it reveals that Pasolini was killed by operatives of a secret global conspiracy, that includes high-ranking members of the Vatican clergy, whose goal is to prevent the unfolding of ancient prophecies of an obscure Buddhist cult called the Maldur Atai, the details of which Pasolini planned to expose in his next film.

    The album follows the twists and turns of this convoluted story. It opens with beautiful ambient sounds mixed with samples – grim news reports, screams of horror, discussions of psychedelics, voices of possessed children. These clues deepen the mystery, and the sounds follow, becoming darker, hollow and expansive. As we near the truth, the tracks become heavier, louder, and distorted, almost sounding like a noise record (T5, T7, T11, T12). Finally, we arrive at some kind of solution to the puzzle, with a guitar-based Italian folk ballad, Apollo 11 flight recordings, (T13) and a mystical vision appearing at the close (T14).

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 30, 2017 at 7:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Love of The Farthest – “Providing Water and Drought” – [Utech Records]

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    Typical of what one would expect from Utech. Dronish ambient music that is tame overall with a few hints of darkness. Lots of layering and subtle changes. Thankfully, no annoying metal “throat” vocals. The adjective shimmering has been used frequently to describe this elusive artists work. Upon first listen I thought of Michael Gira’s solo project the Body Lovers and the heavy drone elements of the Hafler Trios early work. Track 4 is the strongest and clocks in at 15 minutes in length

  • Reviewed by Jim Hunter on May 24, 2017 at 4:57 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ghost In The House – “Second Sight” – [Public Eyesore]

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    Squaky improvised classicist jazz quartet adds surreal spoken word about Dream Machines, dockside disembodied heads, bats. Recorded in SF
    Kyle Bruckmann on oboes, english horn
    Tom Nunn – metallic pwecussive sounds
    David Michalek – strings, percussion – composed the tunes
    Karen Stackpole – gongs, percussion.
    Guests include vocals contributed by Dean Santomieri

    Spoken words on tracks 3, 6, 8

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 17, 2017 at 6:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Grosse Abfahrt – “Luftschifffeiertagserinnerungfotoalbum” – [Setola Di Maiale]

    grosse

    Grosse Abfahrt is a project started by Gino Robair to explore improvisation with large groups or musicians. The core of the group consists of Robair, John Shiurba, Matt Ingalls, Tim Perkis, and Tom Djll. On this album (whos title means something like “airship holiday souvenir photo album”) they are joined by Frank Gratkowski, Kjell Nordeson, Liza Mezzacappa, Phillip Greenlief, and John Bisschoff. The session was recorded at Mills College in 2009.

    Given the nature of the group, and the wide variety of instrumentation (all kinds of wind, string, percussion, electronics…) I expected something pretty frenzied and cacophonous, but it’s actually quite subtle and delicate. The artists spend most of their time listening, and slowly build intricately layered soundscapes that breath and flow.

    The album starts off sparse and droney, and slowly picks up some speed as it progresses. Tracks 5 and 6 sound are more energetic and skittery (although still short of cacophonous) than the others, as if the group took a quick espresso break before recording them. There is a brief frenzied climax on track 6 that really hit the spot, and then track 7 slowly unwinds, bringing us back to the vast, wide open spaces that characterize the first few tracks.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on May 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Cudd, Patti – “Eos” – [Innova Recordings]

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    Patti Cudd teaches percussion and new music studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the College of St. Benedict & St. John???s University.
    Varied 3 disc set explores many ways of “scraping, scratching, tapping and striking”. Sometimes hand percussion, sometimes with mallets, vibes, sometimes computers. 16 of the 22 tracks are new commissions. The album also features works by Morton Feldman, Brian Ferneyhough and Christian Wolff ??? the only ones here without the use of electronics.
    These sounds, many solo except for Max MSP type processing, invite contemplation.. some are very commanding and others could be beds. Dig in, play it all the time. Sayles once told me that a solo percussionist is a foundational part of the KFJC sound.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 17, 2017 at 5:51 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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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
  • Barreca, Marc – “Aberrant Lens” – [Palace of Lights]

    barreca

    Marc Barreca has been creating electronic music since the 1970s. “Aberrant Lens” is his seventh album for Palace of Lights records, produced by label-owner K. Leimer.

    Mixing sampled instruments, treated field recordings, and synthesized sounds, Barreca builds ethereal and exotic musical landscapes. Most of the tracks have a pulsing rhythmic quality, slow and soothing, supported by ambient droning bells and tones.

    Barreca includes samples from a wide variety of acoustic instruments, including accordion, glass harmonica, and Indonesian metallophone, which are occasionally processed and often looped with long delays. The diverse instrumentation gives rise to many distinct textures, and provides plenty of differentiation to the album’s 12 tracks, a rare feat for an “ambient” album.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on May 7, 2017 at 10:40 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • 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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  • Van Der Aa, Michel – “Above Between Attach” – [Donemus]

    Van Der Aa is a young (born 1970) contemporary Dutch composer. Here works seamlessly combine recordings (I believe from the same musicians) and live music. Resolutely avant garde, but very listenable. I especially like Auburn for guitar and soundtrack, but it is all good.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on May 4, 2017 at 10:33 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Red Trio & Butcher, John – “Summer Skyshift” – [Clean Feed]

    Recorded live in Lisbon in 2015 with the Red Trio (bass, drums, percussion) and their Guest John Butcher on tenor and soprano sax. Free and abstract, all improvised with a fine collaboration that interweaves Butcher’s foundation with the trio’s response. Musically interesting and engaging.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on May 4, 2017 at 12:44 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Sondheim – Carter – Damrosch – “Limit” – [Public Eyesore]

    Recalling my first reverse echo takes me back (forward?) to a Whole
    Lotta LedZep, which at the time amps up the anticipation like deja
    vu on demand. More to KFJC tastes, Alastair Galbraith used to have
    tricks up his sleeve and in his dinghy to float sounds back and forth.
    On this release though, Alan Sondheim’s stated goal is to push such
    processing to the Limit. So Luke Damrosch the torpedoes and sets
    up his chop ‘n’ flop algorithms to fly at unreal speeds in real-time
    CPU’s. Often you can feel their little glitch points pop up in the mix.
    You can read more theory in the liner notes, to me Sondheim’s way
    with strings and things remains the focal point of this trio. He’s
    quite the dazzling dervish on say “longsazb” (Check “Longsaz” from
    their previous release.) That, like a lot of Sondheim’s playing
    looks East, another form of back or is it forward? The following
    “movement*” track feel like a Sudanese surprise, and then another
    more involuted “movement” after that. Does the processing illuminate
    or obfuscate? “Prelude” succeeds with more subtle volume-pdeal like
    processing, and as one of the rare vocal tracks featuring Sondheim’s
    partner in sound and more : Azure Carter. She pops up on #2 and #7 as
    well, singing in a Emo style (I mean Emo Philips the comedian not
    the Emo movement.) Hard not to picture her singing with eyes wider than
    her mouth. Her very pure voice is a nice contrast to the slither and
    scuffle sounds of Sondheim. Her songs are they all about becoming songs?
    Overall impressive ideas and a more impressive array of instruments. How
    the final track consumes or feeds may vary on you and where you fit in
    the soundtime vortex (their “Threnody” also had a cataphoniclysm to end
    as well.) Cool Rhode Island brainwaves by way of Brian Day???s Public Eyesore.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm
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  • Blackball Bandits – “Confrontation On The Extraterrestial Highway” – [Self Release?]

    Up and coming surf band from Orange County – great playing on mostly original tunes. They hit many surf influences such as outer space, Mexican sports, horror, Spaghetti Western, and soundtracks. A few spoken word snippets are thrown in. Fun!!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 26, 2017 at 4:27 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Los Oxidados – “Death Man” – [Self Release?]

    This 4-piece surf band from Mexico performed at the Surfer Joe Summer Festival on the night preceding KFJC’s live broadcast in 2016. True surf sound, well played, choice of tempos from slow to rapid fire, some unusual harmonies for surf. Track 12 is a very nice vocal in Spanish.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 26, 2017 at 4:15 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Troum – “Acouasme” – [Cold Spring Records UK]

    acouasme

    When Helge Siehl departed Dark Ambient trio Maeror Tri in 1996, effectively breaking up the group, the remaining two members, Martin Glitschel and Stefan Knappe, continued as the dizzyingly prolific Troum (‘Dream’). I don’t know how to effectively distinguish between the oeuvres of the two projects, except to say that the Troum stuff has tended to embrace rhythm more than Maeror’s pure drone sound. Even so, on this 2015 CD, there’s plenty of the gossamer floating, deep prehistoric bass rumbling, and off-kilter meandering chord progression that characterized the older group’s occult sound; the tribal percussion I most associate with Troum only kind of rears its head here, on the epic final track’s Gog-like Doom Metal drum pattern. Otherwise it’s pretty pure Dark Ambient textures, sans beats, with a deceptive lightness.

    At low volume these tracks are relaxing, but turn them up and you may discover layers of cosmic anxiety. I think of life forms in other galaxies, or of Ray Bradbury’s short story ‘The Sound of Thunder.’ The sounds are always in flux, so don’t come here expecting simple drone pieces. From the insert: “Everything recorded & mixed endlessly through the years 2007 – 2015. Used and abused: electric and acoustic guitars, voice, field recordings (Monte Pisano, La Gomera, Hamburg Landungsbrucken), instrumentum primitivum, flute orientale, cymbals, metal objects, tapes.” I would have though there was synthesis going on, too, but I suppose not… From the eldrtich strains of the evocatively titled first track through to the inconclusive hissing finale of the last, this is a pretty outstanding Dark Ambient work, created by German obsessives who helped found the genre and continue to push it forward.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 26, 2017 at 2:11 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Viper, The – “Art For Pain’s Sake” – [BUFMS]

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    Richard Streeter is associated with Butte County Free Music Society, the collective of Norcal noisefreaks that brought us the Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble, the great Bananafish zine, and other local underground institutions. As The Viper, Streeter brings us his straight-to-boombox recordings saved from his teenage years growing up in suburban Livermore in the late 70s. Noisy tape doodles (T2, T3, T4), a lo-fi drum spazzout with sis on backup vocals (T1, dredged up a memory of one of my old favorite Space Ghost numbers), a truly sweet little instrumental hippy dip folk pop tune with lilting piano and violin (T5), and a band practice outtake with strange, clashing chords and bluesy riffs (T6). Former high school weirdos that burned time until graduation nerding out over music (I’m assuming that’s all of us) might be delighted by this weird little mixtape.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on April 23, 2017 at 4:51 pm
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  • Dickey / Maneri / Shipp – “Vessel In Orbit” – [Aum Fidelity]

    dick

    Jazz piano trio with a viola instead of bass. Drummer Whit Dickey is here searching, and expansive. Matthew Shipp’s piano is lyrical, more melodic. Maneri’s viola tone catalyzes. This is great date – something notable is happening.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Xenakis Ensemble – “Waakvlam” – [BVHaast]

    xxx

    The Xenakis Ensemble is a Dutch ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music. Based in Middelburg, it is known as one of the few ensembles specializing in the works of the composer Iannis Xenakis (YAWN-iss zen-KNOCK-kiss). Many Xenakis titles in A library. 3 long (20mins) and 1 short (3:30).

    Opens with a Xenakis composition featuring the signature sound of percussionn and horn blasts alternating with horror string glissandos.
    Track 2 William Breuker – harpsichord and chamber orchestra with lots of percussion.
    Track 3 David Del Puerto exploratory marimba concerto, a real treat for marimbologists.
    Track 4 Xenakis – shorter Xenakis piece, not so terrifying. Enjoyable, maybe.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Dissecting Table – “Kaiboudai” – [Crowd Control Activities]

    kaiboudai

    Japanese madman Ichiro Tsuji runs the UPD Organization label. He has also been releasing outsider Industrial music as Dissecting Table since 1986, evoking a motley pallette of Western projects founded before and after (Foetus, Skinny Puppy, Coil, Einsturzende Neubauten, Mz.412, Nocturnal Emissions, Test Dept, Scorn) and the sincere weirdos of Japan’s own experimental scene (Zeni Geva, White Hospital).

    This 1999 3xCD compilation contains more Dissecting Table than you could every possibly want, bringing together 1986′s ‘Ultimate Psychological Description’ 7″ (t.s 1.1+1.2), 1987′s ‘Ultra Point of Intersection Exist’ debut LP (t.s 1.3-1.9) and collection/previously unreleased tracks (discs 2 and 3). Only t.s 1.1+2.1 can already be found in KFJC’s library, on old collection CDs.

    Tsuji’s singular style basically consists of frantic, tribal sequenced beats and instruments, weird Power Electronics textures and developmentally disabled Grindcore grunts. At times it’s like a poorly programmed AI trying to reproduce Death Metal with machines (and a captive howler monkey), but it never quite sounds fully musical.

    Disc 1 is mostly vocals, beats, synth noise and samples. Disc 2 adds sequenced ‘Classical’ instrumentation and music box insanity into the mix for a tortu(r)ous Winchester Mystery House experience, and includes a couple pieces on the more abstract side (t.s 2.2+2.4). Disc 3 is completely different: one ultra-long ‘Test Work’ from 1985, an Aeolian harp of crackling and grinding pedal distortion that barely changes for 48 minutes. The birth of Harsh Noise Wall?

    Solid gold from the always-reliable Crowd Control Activities label. Our copy (#15/500) is autographed.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 19, 2017 at 2:56 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ullmann, Gebhard & Kaufmann, Achim – “Geode” – [Leo Records]

    German reed player Gebhard Ullmann and pianist Achim Kaufmann meet for a highly improvised conversation. Difficult at times, but overall very emotionally and musically satisfying. Poignant quiet parts, shimmery bell-like sounds, original.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 17, 2017 at 11:10 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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