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

    Kallidad – “Kallidad” – [Self Produced]


    Sydney band’s 2nd self-released full-length. Wierdly enjoyable Australian Mexican metalheads mariachi muertos flamenco with hand drums and facepaint. Forays into psych, metal, even soccer (#3 “Golden Goal”).

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on June 8, 2018 at 3:05 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • West Bridge Band, The – “Kibera Esbera (Kenya)” – [Electric Cowbell]

    west bridge band cover - litungu

    This 4-piece consists of Luhya tribesmen from Kenya on a mixture of homemade and more traditional Kenyan instruments. These instruments live with 2 million others in the Kibera slum outside Nairobi. They live in crushing, impossibly cramped poverty. Their dayjob is entertaining safari tourists, swapping clothes on the break to appear like a new band- this album was recorded by Ian Brennan in a family’s home the size of a car interior.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on May 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Paradise Bangkok The Album : Vol. 2 [coll] – [Paradise Bangkok]

    Served up by ZudRangMa records in Bangkok,
    a fantastic store run with keen (and khaen)
    love by Maft Sai (connections to next door
    Studio Lam where Molam and Luk Thung artists
    often perform). Traditional flavors are strong
    but varied on this collection of their label’s
    recent 45s. Opening with the towering power of
    the khaen (a bamboo pipe organ that sends
    skyscrapers of sound out of one’s mouth). The
    vocal stylings are so great, kicking up a kind
    of gymnastic percussion that dances over drums
    and other skins. Check out Chanpen Pornaswan
    (B2) for a sterling example, or for the male
    counterpoint of view, Aa Jaan Jitakorn Molam
    Group (B3) for that surging form of singing.
    (B1) actually goes all in with onomatopoeia
    on “Ding Ding Dong.” That piece feels like
    an island sound system with its proud horn
    punctuation and killer drummer. So much
    style, swervy and hypnotic. Even without
    vocals, “Lam Plearn Diew Khaen Diew Phin”
    and “A Ba Ni Bi” have dance floor beckoning
    beats that slide up to you, A3 a jangley
    bouncer, while B4 is a vibraphone groover.
    I like to pretend Onuma Singsiri’s (A4)
    song is some kind of Thai darkwave, but
    the initial Joy Division blotted out by funky
    sproingy synths and her “how ow how ow ow”
    quick cadences. All solid but do NOT miss
    Warin Shinaraj (A2) it transports me every
    time, not to Bangkok, straight to Paradise.
    Her voice lingers on notes then darts away
    the guitar and drum anapestically waiting
    on every word, ending with a strange calming
    blend of laughter and piano ripples. Wow!
    New York vs Noo Yaak! We all win.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on May 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Boom Pam – Boom Pam – [Essay Recordings GmbH]

    Boom Pam is a band from Tel Aviv, Israel.  They mix Balkan, Jewish, Greek and Mediterranean sound with rock.  They are frequently called a surf band – certainly the instrumental tracks on this album would fit in a surf show – but one ponders a chicken and egg question after considering the strong influence of middle Eastern songs such as Miserlou on American surf.  Really good musicians, very fun energetic tunes including the ones with vocals.  Instruments include a TUBA!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on April 19, 2018 at 3:43 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Usiende Ukalale: Omutibo From Rural Kenya [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

    Omutibo is a style of Kenyan folk music that combines storytelling with intensely rhythmic fingerpicking guitar. It was developed by guitarist George Mukabi in the early 1950s, who took inspiration from the traditional nyatiti lyre and sukuti drum. The style proved to be wildly popular, and Mukabi sold hundreds of thousands of records throughout East and Central Africa. Over 50 years later, Cyrus Moussavi (Raw Music International) traveled to Kenya to visit many of the original musicians and record them in their homes. While George Mukabi himself is not featured here (he passed in 1963 at the age of 33), we do hear music from his son Johnstone. Joyous, life-affirming songs, and an essential document.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on April 18, 2018 at 6:16 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Ingosi Stars – “Langoni” – [Daqui]

    drum, shaker, bard and his fiddle

    Look at the cover – this is the sound. Traditional western Kenyan Luhya sound, played for birth, wedding, and funeral. The bard saws at a one-stringed fiddle, the other guys play shaker and deep hand-drums. Some tunes feature a guitar, soft singing. The microtonal fiddle and bard’s griot-like tales are captivating. Take your pick.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on April 5, 2018 at 3:31 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • All The Best Polkas [coll] – [AD AAD AT]

    dancing in a polish polka parade

    1994 CD recorded in Poland, part of the “All The Best…” series. The perfect background to your Heritage Festival. These tunes will get stuck in your head. Makes driving a pleasure.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on March 21, 2018 at 12:08 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Insingizi – “Siyabonga We Thank You” – [Arc Music]

    three Zimbabweans in printed shirts looking up at something

    Transporting a capella trio. Polished world music from Bulawayo Zimbabwe. Their third album, their debut sold 250k in US/Canada.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 28, 2018 at 4:29 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Kouyate, Bassekou & Ngoni Ba – “Segu Blue” – [Out Here Rec]

    band on rug with ngoni

    Bassekou Kouyate and his band Ngoni Ba play pentatonic Sahara bluegrass. Straight out of Bamako, Mali, Kouyate has played his electric ngoni alongside Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate. Mixed by Jerry Boys, who recorded & mixed Buena Vista Social Club.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 21, 2018 at 3:19 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Rakotozafy – “Valiha Malaza (Famous Valiha)” – [Ace Records Ltd./Virgin]

    rakoto zafy and valiha

    Voice and box zither. Notes contain the lyrics. Great addition to the GLOBESTYLE Madigasikara series. Legends surround the life and death of Rakotozafy. Drank himself to death in 6 days or died in a jailhouse hunger strike. He was an exceptional box-style valiha (tube zither) player, adding strings and increasing in size, expanding the range and power of the instrument. A hit, recorded by Jean-Francois de Comarmond in 1962 for the DiscoMad label.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 21, 2018 at 11:18 am
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Na Leo Hawai’i Kahiko [coll] – [Bernice P. Bishop Museum]

    black and white old photos of hawaiian chanters

    Excellent resource for understanding the evolution of Hawaiian music, produced by the Bernice Pauahi Museum, the Hawai’i State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Founded in 1889, it is the largest museum in Hawai’i and has the world’s largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens.

    Tracks 1-34 are mele (chants), sometimes with drumming, nose flute, or body slapping. The chanters were born in the middle of the 19th c. Recorded on wax cylinder sessions from 1923 and 1935. Sparse, ritualistic. Fans of Yage Pinta and Lost Shadows will find much to enjoy.

    Tracks 35-48 are early 20th c. recordings & 78s foregrounding how Hawaiian music absorbed the influences of hymns and ragtime and with the addition of guitars and ukeleles, evolved into Hawaiian folk music we know today.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Ethiopian Urban and Tribal Music Mindanoo Mistiru Gold From [coll] – [Sub Rosa]

    wood face carving

    Ethiopian music recorded by Ragnar Johnson and Ralph Harrison in July and August 1971, released by Sub Rosa in 2017. The urban musicians are recorded in Addis Ababa and the tribal musicians in the country. The booklet tells who is playing what for each track. I became entranced while listening to the three note phrase at the heart of the Fila Flute Dance (CD2#10). Upon repeated listens the otherworldly Bagana (CD2#4) lute and the Two Afar Flutes (CD1#5) wrapped around my head and popped my brain out the top, my eyeballs from the front and my tongue lolled forth like a necktie.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 19, 2018 at 5:18 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Funky Chimes [coll] – [Sdban Records]

    I live for this type of collection: “Funky Chimes”, a collection of 27 Belgian session musicians and sort of stars from the 1970’s, experimenting with “funk, jazz, latin and other groovy genres.” Did you get that it’s from Belgium, a place most people don’t initially think of for it’s music (which is wrong, of course)? It’s library music. It’s songs for commercials. It’s music your 1970’s Belgian parents would play to relax and feel cool with. The overwhelming notes with photos of each album cover should be more than enough to convince you of the outright grooviness of this stuff. Just look at some of those covers. And the names of the groups and songs: The Indian Sound of… Black Foot, Selectasound ’88 & The Bob Boon Singers, The Free Pop Electronic Concept and on and on. Of course, the stunner among stunners is Hearts of Soul and Shampoo performing “We Love the Policeman”. This is the more challenging second release in the series, the first being “Funky Chicken”. Looking for it as I type.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 6, 2018 at 10:55 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Yerovi, Claudio Aizaga – “El Hombre De America” – [Banco Central De Ecuador]

    Claudio Aizaga Yerovia (1925-2008) was a prolific composer and choir director from Ecuador. Here are 12 songs for voice and piano. Aizaga at the piano. Beautiful songs. Great addition to our library of a relatively obscure voice.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 1, 2018 at 3:15 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Les Amazones De Guinee – “Wamato” – [Sterns Music]

    wamato cover - sax, guitars

    Les Amazones De Guinee are an all-woman band who also members of the Guinean army. This is their first record in 25 years and 2nd overall. Typical of Guinean music, many rhythms intermesh to make this music. Hectoring lead vocals, smooth backing vocals, intricate guitar lines, powerful saxophones, and percussion overlap.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 1, 2018 at 2:39 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • German Air Force Band – “More German Military Marches & Polkas Vol.2” – [Legacy International]


    Suitable for Oktoberfest celebrations. Enjoy some weisswurst and play under the tree, and tap your foot along on the beer-keg. Brings back many memories!

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 31, 2018 at 2:51 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comments Off on German Air Force Band – “More German Military Marches & Polkas Vol.2” – [Legacy International]
  • Sekou Batourou Kouyate – “Et Sa Cora” – [Tembo]

    This artist is from Mali and is a master of the kora, a 21 stringed lute bridge harp. The album is solo kora. You can hear its depth and variance. This is remastered recordings from 1976. To someone with little to no knowledge of African music such as myself, one can hear the influence that it has had in American music here.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on January 20, 2018 at 1:44 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comments Off on Sekou Batourou Kouyate – “Et Sa Cora” – [Tembo]
  • Kazakhstan Musique D’Almati/Music From Almati [coll] – [Disques VDE-Gallo]

    kazakh dombra player

    Almati/Almaty is the largest city/population center in Kazakhstan. 1.7m live there, 9% of Kazakhstan’s total population.?? Elevation 2500 feet.?? These recordings date from May 1994.
    Kazakh bards bow sacred lutes, sing microtonally, strum the two or three-stringed long-necked dombra, simple-structure songs with alien timbre and mesmerizing vocal technique.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on January 4, 2018 at 2:30 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Mbaye, Jimi – “Dakar Heart” – [Shanachie Entertainment]

    dakar heart jimi mbaye cover

    Mamadou “Jimi” Mbaye (em-BY) is a Senegalese guitarist who makes his guitar sound like traditional african string instruments xalam/khalam and kora. 11 rocking tunes, this is his 1st album released in ’97. Guitarist for Youssou N’dour’s Super Etoile band. songs in wolof, french, & english. The polished sound of Senegalese mbalax pop is not for everyone but if you can get past it, there’s a lot to enjoy here. Track 3, 11.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on December 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Powwow Songs – Music of The Plains Indians [coll] – [Musical Heritage Society]


    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
  • Comment on this review

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