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Black Whispers – “Shades of Bleakness” – [Prison Tatt Records]


Black Whispers is a Depressive Black Metal band from Costa Rica. Kjiel (the girl) seems to be from Italy. Multi-faceted frontman/multi-instrumentalist JF is only 20 years old (born in 1996).

The self-mutilating edge of these fine tracks is somewhat dulled by narcotic Slowdive synth patterns and a general pink haze. It’s definitely not orthodox in sound, although there is a definite connection to bands like Sortsind and Hypothermia, actually track 5 is a cover of the Hypothermia-affiliated Swedish band Life Neglected.

This is ‘night thoughts’ music that is not quite Heavy Metal but definitely possesses a thick and viscous shoegaze glaze.

Kjiel contributes some ghostly ‘clean’ vocals, not operatic, but warm lullabies of self-orchestrared demise. And then the screams of agony, which are good. Lying with Clair Cassis and Sleeping Peonies in a soft bed for a comfortable death.

Speaking of which, this 2015 CD is one of the last things sent to KFJC by Prison Tatt founder Wm. Berger, now deceased. It’s exactly the kind of outsider Black Metal he loved and tirelessly promoted. Rest in Power, Wm.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on September 21, 2017 at 10:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Nerftoss – “Maiden Powers” – [Ehse Records]

    Nerftoss, the solo project of musician John Jones is a pleasure from a variety of styles pulled together to make a unique, infectious sound. “Caliber” one of the few tracks with vocals, feels like post-shoegaze, with the vocals quieter than the bass, indistinguishable yet domineering. Many of the tracks are a type of loop of rhythmic beats or hypnotic drone and psychedelic patterns, pumping, pumping, pumping forward while odd rhythms and chords pop in and out commenting to each other while the loop continues forward.
    New Psychedelia transforming your head. Turn on.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 19, 2017 at 10:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Morgen Wurde – “Brach Auf” – [Time Released Sound]

    Morgen Wurde is Wolfgang Rottger from Kiel, the German port city on the Baltic that was a major manufacturer of subs and boats during WWII. It was also mostly destroyed by bombing during WWII. Does this matter? I think place and history affect artistic creation one way or another. With references to fire, whether it be destructive or transformative, the 11 tracks present a fluctuating tone of electronic swirl and percussive tone reminiscent of Tangerine Dream and other such groups but with an obvious 21st century bent. Propulsive yet ambient, electronic in a space journey type of manner. Flow over, through and beyond the space portal.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 19, 2017 at 9:50 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Mezei, Szilard / Guazzaloca, Nicola – “Lucca and Bologna Concerts” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

    A brilliant recording by Hungarian viola player, Szilard Mezei and Italian piano player, Nicola Guazzaloca. These master musicians pair up for recordings at 2 concerts and give performances of improvisational bliss. From slow and quiet almost silence, to loud bursts of volatile sound, Szilard bows, scratches and engulfs his viola, nursing and cursing a rich array of sounds, even bits and hints of Hungarian folk tunes. Nicaola, plucks and strums the inside of the piano then moves to eloquent chords, patterns, trills and other innovations on the piano keyboard. The interplay between them is thrilling to listen to, hearing the two shadow and mimic each other, then explore around the other’s sounds. Serious for sure, but fun. Lots of fun from these improvisers.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Straight Panic – “Satanic Verses, The” – [Phage Tapes]


    Thomas Boettner is a prolific noisemaker (with his solo projects Fire Island AK and Family Planning and the group GASP.), the founder of several labels (Minneapolis-based Fuck Mtn. and now the New Orleans cassette label Jouissance de Rien), and an advocate for queer experimental musicians. Boettner’s power electronics project Straight Panic deals with the persecution of homosexuals, beginning with its origins in the ancient texts of nearly all major religions to the vicious treatment throughout history that continues today. Released in 2017 on Phage Tapes, The Satanic Verses is “a treatise on the defense and protection of all queer bodies in the face of theocracy under capitalism.”

    Boettner uses samples to recount this bloody history – passages from the Quran (T2), sermons on the Book of Leviticus (T3) and from an Arizona pastor who calls for the execution of “filthy faggots” (T5 – FCC), hymns and military songs (T3 and T1) – all ravaged by distortion to magnify their ugliness. The noise comes in machine-gun bursts (T6), screams of rage (T2), waves of pain (T5, T4, with a sample from the 2015 film The Witch – witch hunts are a recurring theme), but there’s also moments of mourning and even hope (T7). Ruthless work that spits in the face of god.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on September 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Raison D’etre – “Mise En Abyme” – [Transgredient Records]


    Peter Andersson (one of two men thus named who have done valuable work for Sweden’s Cold Meat Industry label) creates ingenious electronic music under multiple names, including Raison D’Etre, Stratvm Terror, Atomine Elektrine, Panzar and more. Under the Raison D’Etre name (est. 1992) he is a Dark Ambient legend, and KFJC has many of his CDs.

    This 2014 work is more recent and it exposes the crafted subtlety of Andersson’s tried-and-true approach to recreating complete emptiness and hopeless melancholia. Aching arrangements of deep synth drone, creaking metal and samples of Christian chant. It doesn’t get much better than this. Mise en Abyme is a French heraldic term meaning “placed into abyss,” and refers, among other things, to endlessly recursive images.

    The volume ranges from extremely quiet to very loud. T.2 has some particularly angry metal mingling. Embrace the emptiness within yourself.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on September 17, 2017 at 9:22 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Angels In America – “Narrow Road to The Interior” – [Ehse Records]

    Wiped out, stoned, addicted, dusty, dirt, heat, squatting in infested broken down buildings: these are the feelings I get when hearing Angels In America’s “Narrow Road To The Interior”. Don’t get me wrong. I actually LOVE this sound, like walking through tar or muddy snow after eating something you shouldn’t have or didn’t know you had. Moppy Pont and Merv Glisten are the duo that make up this Baltimore based project, creating echoing vocals, kind of mumbled, sometimes just too tired to get the word out. Harmonies stumble through the sound infested background, filled with drones, lost choral repetitions, the sounds of detritus and wind, electronic surprises and irritants with guitar and maybe bass accompaniment, broken up beats, then a wail or scream. God, I love this so much. Kick back on your filthiest couch, listen and indulge in what feeds you. AIA rule.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Perkis, Tim / Walton, Scott – “Applied Cryptography” – [Pfmentum]

    Upon hearing the first notes of this 2016 work by Tim Perkis (electronics) and Scott Walton (piano), I felt I was experiencing something bigger, something grander than many of the unique pieces of which I have the privilege of hearing. Perkis’ instrument is things electronic. Walton is a multi-instrumentalist, on this release performing piano. They are both skilled, knowledgeable and experienced performers. On this CD, something clicked, at least for me. An interplay of piano interludes, improvisations, arpeggios, and chords play with, around and against the electronic soundscape of blips, skronks, squelches, buzzes, hums and more. The piano is fully explored, even inside as wire is pulled and scraped. Or is that the electronics mimicking the piano? The quality of interplay between the two musicians and their instruments is stunning. The playing is shared with one not overwhelming the other but playing along side and in conversation with the other. Both may settle into quiet or one will dominate while the other supports or reacts. Sometimes they go in different directions, but they never get lost. Alas, the sound of experience and skill and creativity. If we did a top ten of the year, this would definitely be on my list.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 15, 2017 at 9:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Fire + Ice – “Runa” – [Fremdheit]


    Pagan reconstructionist and rune magician Ian Read was the second leader of the legendary English Chaos Magic collective The Illuminates of Thanateros. He is perhaps best known for having lent his bucolic croon to works by Current 93, Sol Invictus and Death In June.

    Fire + Ice is Read’s own Neo-Folk outfit. This 1996 album is the fourth main release. It was created when Read was master of the Rune-Gild, some sort of rune-magic group, as his “Master-Work of Lore.” It is a distillation of the singer’s occult Norse philosophy. I don’t know what most of the lyrics mean, but they contain many wonderfully affecting poetic images.

    This is stern post-Industrial ‘Dark Age’ (jk) with a lot of keyboards, similar to Blood Axis and Ain Soph in its manic medievalism and ritual potency. Light guitar and percussion. Read’s dreamy shamanic song and verse. T.4 is an epic song suite and a highly recommended tour-de-force. T.2 is heavier. T.5 is martial, with lyrics by Odinn himself. T.8 is a kind of drinking song. T.9 has a brief recitation from a woman named Ingrid Wultsch. Instrumentation is provided by Matthew Butler AKA Lux E Tenebris.

    “Fire and Ice will burn both king and thrall. But many are blind what ‘ere the light. Othal is the sacred stronghold which the Lord protects; the aetheling’s blood is thicker than any water. But each must assume his allotted place.”

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on September 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Maju – “Maju-2″ – [Extreme]

    Pronounced “may you” and is Japanese for cocoon. Group from Tokyo. Sounds like romantic spacey moody almost hip hop beats. Reminiscent of Lovage. Came out in 1999. One of those albums that’s too short.

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on September 12, 2017 at 8:58 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Tapes and Topographies – “Signal to Noise” – [Simulacra Records]

    This is Todd Gautreau. Came out this year. Sounds like field recordings, maybe childrens’ voices, strings, piano, probably both electronic and not electronic. Very droney.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on September 12, 2017 at 8:53 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • No Balls – “Second to Win First to Lose” – [Killedbyanaxe Records]

    Lie! Lots of balls. Sweden and Norway by way of Paris. Album came out this year. Limited pressing. Sounds like grunge noise rock. Heavy guitar riffs. Artists are Brandsdal, Bryngelsson, Gurrik, Lauritzen, and Raberg. B side is chiller. Has horns! (?) It’s also not really three tracks, it’s just two. Both sides are 16:20.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on September 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Chaitanya Hari Deuter/ Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh – “Kundalini Meditation” – [Self Produced]


    Georg Deuter is a major figure in krautrock and new age music, but this record is something else entirely. Recorded in 1975 and released in 1979 (though never in the US until this 2016 re-release), Kundalini Meditation is the result of a collaboration between the German multi-instrumentalist and guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the spiritual leader of an ashram in Pune, India that Deuter discovered and joined during his wanderings through Asia in the early 1970s.

    In the 1980s, members of Rajneesh’s commune, by then relocated to rural Oregon, would be convicted of bioterror attacks and assassination plots, while Rajneesh himself made a daily habit of parading in front of his adoring disciples in one of his many Rolls Royces. But in India in the 70s, Rajneesh founded a philosophy called neo-sannyasa, a mix of Hindu, Buddhist and Western ideas, with intensive meditation as a central component of the lifestyle. Deuter, who took the name Chaitanya Hari Deuter and became the resident musician of the ashram, designed these pieces in collaboration with Rajneesh to promote the meditation practice.

    The pieces engage the mind and body in four successive steps: three musical stages of “shaking,” “dancing” and “witnessing,” and a fourth stage of meditation in silence. This LP contains the music of the first two stages. In the first stage (A1), rapid, repetitive, xylophone tones melt into a harmonious, ambient texture, until about six minutes in when electronic synthesis emerges and vibrates in parallel; soon, you become the shaking. In the second stage (A2), the droning strings of the tambura, flute, and percussion find an energetic rhythm inspired by Indian dancing music. Later, quiet chanting and guitar melodies add to the magical atmosphere. Entrancing work that could easily step over into new age cheeze but never does. Abandon yourself, totally.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on September 11, 2017 at 9:52 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Brand, Ulrike / Rupp, Olaf – “Shadowscores” – [Creative Sources Recording]


    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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  • Petrification – “Summon Horrendous Destruction” – [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]


    2017 tape from the Oregon Death Metal band. Bloody thick guitar sound, deep guttural growls, erect punk gallop. The tone perfectionism of Entombed and Immolation might be an influence. The Sentient Ruin label, run by a member of Abstracter and Atrament, seems to specialize in up-and-coming extreme metal bands from the West Coast. Some of the lyrics are actually intelligible and manifest the usual goofy grandiloquence of splatter wizard bong poetry. Morbid excruciation by the newest generation of ghouls. Program repeats on both sides of the tape.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on September 10, 2017 at 9:47 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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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]


    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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  • Liquidated Error / Ragnar [coll] – [L.White Records]


    More excellent extreme sounds from Germany’s minimally packaged L. White CD noise label. Ragnar is a German producer active for many years in Berlin. Liquidated Error is a group that includes Ragnar and someone named Matt Eno. So this 2002 release is not so much a split as a two person session where one guy leaves halfway through. The L.E. tracks 1-5 are on a rhythmic Death Industrial trip to hell similar to the classic Swedish sounds. “Inspired By The Shadow of Our Times.” Are those bedsprings? Ragnar solo 5-10 is more abstract Power Electronics, really exploring the outer limits of digital frequencies along with some morbid dungeon synth moodiness. Psychoacoustical Hitler sitcom moments work best played loud to damage cheap speakers. T.10 is patience testing.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on September 8, 2017 at 6:42 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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