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  • Archives
      KFJC On-Line Reviews
    What KFJC has added to their library and why...

    Huxley Anne – “Illium” – [Dome of Doom]

    Illium is the 2017 debut release from LA beatmaker and producer Huxley Anne. Genre-wise this is all over the place, with elements of hip hop, techno, noise and new age, and, sometimes, the unfortunate aftertaste of forgettable fads like dubstep or witch house. But I can get past that because these tracks hit hard, with heavy, warehouse-shaking bass pulses roaring throughout. While “Aphro Dye” (T2), “Nin” (T3), and the aggressive “Ashes” (T4) seem made for the club, on other tracks the beats are paired with unexpected elements: laid-back guitar loops on “Celadon” (T5), mystical drones and harp on “Igredo” (T6), sitars and chants on “Aesop Fable” (T7), and music box chimes on the downtempo “Dragoon” (T8). Released on the LA experimental/hip hop label Dome of Doom.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on June 12, 2018 at 9:42 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Blodfest – “Krakes Blod” – [Night Birds]

    Self-released 2006 album from this rotten Danish black metal project, with members from Solhverv, Wolfslair and Luciation and others, re-released on cassette on the Ukrainian label Night Birds. The first thing that struck me on opener “Stenknivens Blot” (T1) was Bestial Butcher’s absolutely inhuman drumming. He races along at an vicious speed, but then shifts into different rhythmic patterns. The variety in the drumming –  aggressive churning, dramatic sweeps – add different dimensions to the tracks, and give the album real complexity, but without crossing into overly technical prog territory. I liked the first track so much that it took me awhile to get into the rest of the album, but when I did noticed the melodic elements throughout – hardly pretty and still pitch black, but really appealing. Take the descent-into-madness guitar on “Crimson Spirit” (T4), or the main theme of “Den Naadesloese” (T5) that had me banging my (non-metal)head on Caltrain.  The lyrics in Danish glorify the kings and warriors of the Viking era, though a few tracks are in English, including T9 and T10 with FCCs. Couldn’t really make out the lyrics on T4 and T11, so play at your own risk.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on June 5, 2018 at 9:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • MAP 71 – “Gloriosa” – [Fourth Dimension Records]

    Anne Clark meets Martin Rev at the local poetry slam to create something
    original? Indeed! Map 71 is the two piece Bristol UK duo consisting of
    percusionist Andy Pyne and Poet Lisa Jayne. 7 tracks of oscillating reverby
    percussion combine with Jayne’s inflectionless spoken word musings on topics
    such as controversial dance moves and psychedelic waiting rooms to create
    something unique and interesting. Real or halucinogenic? Every track will have
    you pondering. Elements of Industrial, Ambient, Avant-garde and Post-Punk all
    coalesce harmoniously without sounding pretentious or self indulgent. There is
    a consistent feel to all presented here but Track 5 is my favorite.
    Available as a CD or Cassette.

  • Reviewed by Jim Hunter on May 23, 2018 at 4:26 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Oso Blanco – “Heartbreak Kid” – [77Rise Recordings]

    Beats to buck you up when you’re got the blues, from LA producer Oso Blanco. Flipping a soul sample is a tried and true, and sometimes tired, beatmaking formula, but it’s done really well here, at times with the creativity of the legends themselves, Dilla and Madlib. There’s also weird touches that give this a sound all its own – glitches and skips, blasts of electronic noise, samples that dissolve into sine waves or swerve off the rails like they’re being played on one of our ancient tape decks (don’t worry I checked, it’s supposed to sound that way!) – that will either catch your interest or harsh your vibe. Still there’s some good, head nodding sections, and I might’ve stood up and danced when one of my favorite jams came into the mix about 20 minutes in on the A side. Though the tape’s instrumental, there’s lots of samples from (mostly breakup) movies, some with dirty words, sooo: FCCs on both sides.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 15, 2018 at 8:24 pm
  • Filed as Cassette,Hip Hop
  • Comment on this review
  • Primordial Wound – “Pure Blight” – [Oxen]

    Primordial Wound is the project of Seattleite Dan Fried. Two sidelong pieces made from “shortwave radio, field recordings, tape, synth, effects, and feedback.” Each track follows an arc, moving through a range of sounds: the opening collage of radio broadcasts on the title track, extended blasts of metallic noise propelled by human screams – the rot coming from within – and sparser passages of ringing, drones, and forgotten remains. A hybrid of harsh noise and electroacoustic sound art, this is another unique new release from Oxen.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 1, 2018 at 9:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Phallitecture [coll] – [Petite Soles]

    Harsh noise wall split cassette from two Seattle noise artists. Peter Keller (also working under the names Bacillus, Dirac Sea and others) is Condo Horro, a project that combats “the effects of gentrification and soulless development” by building some walls of his own. It’s actually a pretty funny concept, so I’m glad Seattle’s sweetheart Felicia Gaggins aka Masturbatory Dysfunction, got him to lighten up a bit with this release, from the cover art collages of oiled up porno dudes with space needledicks to the suggestive track titles. The Condo Horro side is a 30 minute slab of crushing static that keeps feeling heavier, while Gaggins follows it up on side B with another half hour of filthy friction. From Seattle to Silicon Valley, we’re all getting fucked!

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 1, 2018 at 9:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Myrkfaelni #2 [coll] – [Myrkfaelni]

    Relive KFJC’s summer vacation in Reykjavik with this cassette compilation accompanying the release of the second edition of MYRKFÆLNI, a zine that spotlights underground Icelandic artists. The founders of MYRKFÆLNI (Icelandic for “fear of the dark”), Kinnat Sóley and Sólveig Matthildur (in the punk trio Kaelan Mikla), were our gracious hosts for our two-day live broadcast Live from the Icelandic Underground in September 2017. Many of the artists from that festival appear here: World Narcosis with dissonant despair (T1), IDK IDA with an ethereal ballad (T2), Holdgervlar with cold melancholia (T13), and crowd favorite Godchilla, with a heavy tribute to Akira (T12). There’s new stuff too, including dark synthy dance tracks (T3, T5, T7, T11), metal (T4, T8), ambient (T9), hardcore (T10), and even a punky Christmas carol (T6). Limited release cassette that came with the first 200 issues of the zine, both now a part of our library.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on May 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • BLSPHM – I Can’t Die Here – [Dead Accents]

    BLSPHM is the solo project of Demian Johnston, Sutekh Hexen member and resident of the Pacific Northwest. While the smashed mandibles on the cover, like something recovered from the site of a plane crash, suggest extreme violence and depravity, this is not harsh industrial music but creepy cinematic drone. Slow-bleeding delays smooth out voices, single keyboard notes, strings or ???? into minimalistic soundscapes, soundtrack to torpid evil in desolate places, like the wind whistling through the empty crypts of a long-abandoned castle, or a massive shark drifting on the cold currents of mid-oceanic depths, or a mutilated body decomposing in an unmarked grave. Shuddering low ends and electronic moans. Play with TenHornedBeast, Deathprod or the more subdued utterances of Gog. That kind of effluent malice and impending violence, subtle dissonance anticipating a jump scare that never happens. I’m not sure how many tracks it’s supposed to be but both 15-minute sides feel continuous. Maybe the B side progresses more. Now go to bed.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on April 28, 2018 at 12:26 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Torturing Nurse – “Coveryeye Is My Co-Pilots” – [Post-Materialization Music]

    Torturing Nurse, founded by Cao “Junky” Junjun, is the band at the center of the Chinese noise scene, releasing a slew of material since 2004 (much of it on their own label Shasha) and collaborating with the likes of Government Alpha, K2, Macronympha and others. This 2017 cassette comes from the excellent Russian purveyor of sonic dementia Post-Materialization Music. The tape opens with a short track, with foreboding synth tones (Carlos’ The Shining theme) announcing the final descent into oblivion (T1). Two long tracks follow: the first, “Is sleeping,” is a lo-fi filthy rainbow roar (T2), “My Glue” moves to a higher key with surges of sound that grab onto each of your ears and pull, stretch, skew whatever’s in between them (T3). The track ends with convulsions and slobbering that moves into the live track “Co-Taeyang” (T4) with screamed vocals and sneakers squeaking around unidentifiable metallic clashes. More Shanghai noise!

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on April 4, 2018 at 2:36 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Floom – “Multi-voice of The Immensity” – [Casual Acid Tea]

    A simple formula FLute + dOOM == FLOOM. But the
    heaviness has the gravity of Earth, and the
    monumental mantra of Sleep, but on top of the
    thick guitar and mightly flute, Cathy Monnes
    and Christina Fleming hover with angelic voices.
    Wow, intoxicating about and beyond the open
    e-string buzz for your distored brain. “MVMT 1”
    has these great pauses of feedback guitar and
    a sustained flute note, Satan might not know
    but little god Pan understands. “MVMNT 2”
    the guitar starts lower, and the flute doubles
    its barrels, with the guitar pushing a bluesy
    side of the red devil. Guitar gets on tracks
    while flute+girls turn into a railroad whistle.
    Tunnel of Floom! And ends with a digital flurry
    of flute and an amp whimpering. “MVMT 3” picks
    up (the whole piece is meant to track) and
    aims for the godhead with a dronier, stonier
    flute over amp spasms. Like a “Dead Man” sdtk
    done by Amber Asylum? The ladies rise like
    sirens on the closer, you guessed it “MVMT 4”
    I bet this puppy will roll cradle to grave
    on many overnight shows now and forever.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 4, 2018 at 1:25 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Poison Sea – “Poison Sea” – [Casual Acid Tea]


    Distant piano with tape hiss and low-key ominous
    vibes. Drone as an emotion, dread always hits me
    harder than its less subtle cousin “doom.” This
    cassette perhaps was acid washed in some toxic
    effluvia from our dying oceans. Recently watching
    the Twin Peaks revival and the film version of
    “Annihilation” I found this music fits in with that
    kind of visual weather. Overcast guitar, shades of
    Steven R. Smith appearing in the shimmer-y clouds.
    While there are organic elements of piano and spaceship
    or something at one point) it’s mostly floatational
    banks of keys. Honestly by the last track, “Beneath
    the Haze” I sense a thin layer of optimism. Lying at
    the bottom of the Poison Sea are Kurt Mangum from
    Flying Hair along with Anthony Piromalli, they form
    a pretty seamless pairing. Set sail for this one.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 4, 2018 at 1:19 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Scathing – “Untitled” – [Oxen]

    scathing

    Scathing is the harsh noise project of Austin-based artist Kenny Brieger (also in Architeuthis Dux); this 2018 cassette is his second release under this name. Two ten minute breakneck cut up pieces. Side A is total implosion, I trace its source possibly to a mutilated rock song. Voices singing, feedback from microphones or guitars, even remnants of song structure, with a bridge of tense holding pattern rhythm that transitions between the two halves of the piece. Side B is total explosion, high and piercing, barreling with barely a breath until the final second. Another punishing release from Oxen.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on March 20, 2018 at 8:18 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • 1 comment
  • Return to Dungeon Synth [coll] – [Danvers State Recordings]

    dungeon synth

    I get how you might not be totally jazzed to return to dungeon synth, but it’d be a shame if you passed on the deliciously warped sounds on this split cassette. We last heard from Romain Perrot working under his most well known alias Vomir, among the most infamous HNW projects going. Here, he appears as Free as Dead, working with a completely different palette of sounds: a possessed organ, the notes twisting and distorted into beautiful, demonic hymns. If you love the Solo Organ stuff we’ve been playing consistently for the past two years, give this creepier version a spin. On Side B, we have six tracks from Bride, a side project of T.O.M.B., that attempt to capture electronic voice phenomena, or the sounds of spirits affecting electronic signals. Textured field recordings, unintelligible voices, ringing bells, dark piano melodies, and synth drones wind and warble through ancient speakers. Beautiful nightmares.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on March 6, 2018 at 8:56 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Theologian – “Forced Utopia” – [Danvers State Recordings]

    theologian

    Lee “Leech” Bartow made his name in the 1990s with the power electronics project Navicon Torture Technologies. In 2010, he began releasing less extreme but no less dark works as Theologian. This new cassette from Danvers State Recordings (the label run by The Vomit Arsonist) is described as “apocalyptic industrial for the end times,” which might as well be now. The A side begins with the slow building ice storm of “In the End Times” (T1), the industrial rhythms of “The Sisters” (T2), the unexpected dance beats from a miserable club in hell on T3, the suspense of “Spent Fuel Rods” (T4). The second side is where this work really stuns, beginning with the standout title track (T5) (with a grim chorus that returns in T8), the tragic vocals of T6, the annihilating ambience of T7. The four tracks on each side merge seamlessly into one another – play on continuous to track them all together into a long piece. So much more than just a spooky dark ambient soundtrack, this excellent release evokes scenes of genuine drama, beauty, and horror.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 27, 2018 at 9:25 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • 1 comment
  • Blood of Chhinnamastika – “Blood of Chhinnamastika” – [Pet Goat Records, The]

    BoC

    Botched Facelift gets a makeover in this debut cassette from Blood of Chhinnamastika, and it’s just as horrifying as you’d imagine. Local noisician Dario Puga’s new project is named for the fierce Hindu goddess of sex and destruction, who severs her own head to nourish her followers with the blood that springs forth from the stump. The A side is a single track that moves between dense layers of pulses to sparser passages where warped vocals cut into stuttering bursts of static, to somewhat nauseating effect. “See No Hope” (T2) sustains the intensity with tortured screams and mangled electronics, while the final track “Unreality Tortures” (T3) is over eleven minutes of uninterrupted searing sandblast. Drink up!

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 27, 2018 at 8:22 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • HMS – “Tetrad” – [Astral Spirits]


    Yes, it’s another genre-defying release from the folks at Astral Spirits. Climb aboard the HMS Tetrad! You’ll find delicate drumwork, disembodied violin, and other things too, but mostly there is just the deep, dark vastness of the sea. These tense and drony soundscapes bring to mind a darker, fuzzed-out version of The Necks, and that’s high praise as far as I’m concerned. Retriever (T2) is the highlight.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on February 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comments Off on HMS – “Tetrad” – [Astral Spirits]
  • Nadek, Josef – “Bluatig Hart” – [Fall Into Void Recs]

    josef nadek

    On this 2014 cassette EP, noise artist Josef Nadek draws inspiration from the ancient folklore of his native Austria. “Wâldgeischta” lures us into the forests, with field recordings of birds singing as dark ambient echoes settle in the trees (T1). This moves into the mysterious, minimal rhythms of “Nimma dâ” (T2) that blossoms into full-on seething noise on “‘s wilde Gfâhr” (T3). The dust settles on the final ambient track “D’ Bluatig’n,” (T4) electronic groans and growls from the spirits as they disappear back into the woods.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 7, 2018 at 6:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Head Dress – “Devil’s Triangle” – [Castle Bravo]

    cover

    Analog transmissions from Head Dress, the project of Ted Butler from Los Angeles (he’s also behind the underground cassette podcast Norelco Mori). This 2017 cassette comes to us from the newish experimental tape label Castle Bravo out of Lafayette, IN.

    Three modular synth works with a focus on rhythm and drone. Sonar pings from a black box on the ocean floor, repeating pulses like a code beamed from a distant source. Ringing drones that flow into beats from alternate dimensions mutating into minimal almost-techno by the end of “Blake’s Ridge” (T3). Disappear into the Devil’s Triangle.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on January 31, 2018 at 6:25 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Forrest Friends – “40 Winks of Dyer” – [Cryptic Carousel Records]

    1610996_1072588812753791_4797509502063657453_n

    cuddly duo of freak folks out of Seattle on an assortment of broken instruments and looping droning and buzzing electronics; extended noise mantras unfold into underwater exotica grooves, squishy rhythms and tribal play toy pandemonium warbled echoes of social ineptitude take form in feral whelps, growls and howls; some cluttered garage hang out ayahuasca hazing

  • Reviewed by abacus on December 6, 2017 at 8:39 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Anguish of Enlightenment, The [coll] – [Self-release]

    a0182225340_10

    black metal split from the Seattle area: Drakul unleashes relentless death infected blasts of grime and decrepitude; obsessions include the occult, psychopathology and necrophilia so you know its tasty. Sermons On a Moonless Night is like a depressive vampire porno, distant fog laden blood rituals with garbled goblin vocals, hog growls, and digital blastbeats for your amphetamine fueled late night suicidal meme quests

  • Reviewed by abacus on December 6, 2017 at 8:32 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review


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