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Purple Image – ?Purple Image? – [Radioactive Records]

Originally released on Map City Records in 1970, this is a 2004 re-release from Radioactive Records, an interesting label that specializes in reissuing innovative but rare music from the 60s and 70s.

Purple Image is from Cleveland, Ohio, and this album containing five tracks is the only one that they released. That’s a damn shame, too.

It kicks off with Livin’ In The Ghetto, a blistering amalgam of rock, soul, and funk that sets the tone for most of the rest of the album. There is also some slower, more R&B-style music in the middle with vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Persuasions. It ends with a 15 minute extended rock funk jam featuring flanged drums, space guitar, wah-wah guitar, face-melting guitar, and even a harmonica. Bass is mixed high throughout, which pleases me.

The lyrics are upbeat and positive as you might expect in songs with titles like We Got To Pull Together. Female and male vocals with the male vocals sometimes trading off a la The Temptations. Influences: Sly & The Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix, Parliament, and the bands mentioned above.
–Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on January 30, 2005 at 9:06 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
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  • Merzbow “Frog” your choice rpm [Misanthropic Agenda]

    Croak and dagger noise from Masami Akita. Rolling out the
    limited (1/1000) “frog-colored” vinyl smacks of crafty
    merchandising, but the album smacks of pain that you would
    hope for. The concept could be as simple as Merzbow himself
    dialing the resistors just right to get a virtual frog
    sample that belches forth on the A-side, but I prefer to
    think the “Frog” monniker is to represent an amphibious
    nature to this release. There are moments that this almost
    leaps out to the dance floor, geiger click, hep repetition
    and jackhammer isometrics create a sort of tadpole techno.
    There’s some faux locked grooves, but grooves nonetheless.
    But then we get a cathode-arcing bipolar blitz, sheer
    shrieking audio assault. Side A takes a while for the hail
    of electric fire to rain down, it ends with a sputtering
    disintegration. Those merciless moments subside on the
    B-side, not that it’s unnoise; it still annoys but the
    presence of Rana rhythm over the dank clank of dungeons
    provides for vivid sections. Seems like he’s tossing in
    reversing sounds as well. Merzbow’s white noise is the
    sum of a lot of colors.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 30, 2005 at 4:28 pm
  • Filed as Format,12-inch,A Library
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  • Max Richter “The Blue Notebooks” [130701/FatCat]

    Trembling before beauty music; exudes grace, though shatters
    nothing. Minimal steps in other’s footsteps, melodies climb
    up a step, down a step, up a step. Tilda Swinton who has
    collaborated with the departed Derek Jarman adds spoken
    texts, but to my ears she was too often lost in the gauze,
    there but not there. Is she Orlando, or just Tiresias?
    Typewriter for effect with the words too. For the fattest
    FatCat vibes, try #4 or #7, still that’s pretty svelte
    for beat worshippers. If you dig “Shadown Journal” check
    out some of Simon Fisher Turner’s stuff. There’s also
    wounded piano thoughout, the ankle twisted and lingering
    on the sustain pedal. My secret favorites were the two
    organ numbers, great pools of sound with ripples of
    Terry Riley…#5 and #9. If I lied and said this guy
    was the big brother to the twin sisters of Mum would
    you like him more? Like Mum, Richter can summon moments
    of deafening quiet.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 30, 2005 at 4:25 pm
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Volvox “Bad Earth” [Dual Plover]

    This album poses a lot of questions. What would you do with
    your life if you survived a three-story fall through a plate
    glass window? And what if the stories were taller tales than
    that? Where did the “Five Seconds of Marmots” go exactly?
    Who is this “Lester Vat” (aka Anthony Riddell). His bellicose
    bellowing is certainly what lingers in your ears. Still the
    sonic crumpling, oscillating, and burstling that surrounds
    these thought and tone poems is vital. Like there is something
    really important going on in the next door apartment, and
    they’ve got the radio sliding around the dial, and the TV is
    on a polynesian soap opera… And what is that guy saying,
    exactly? Evidently Riddell is born with a speech impediment
    that he has turned into a speech instrument…stretching and
    repeating words, he alternatively seems to be both delighted
    and disturbed by the difficulty in communicating. And maybe
    not just his, but everyone’s. The lyrics often do focus on
    this phenomenon. Tracks are revived from original cassette
    tapes, and at times, it sounds like the oxide itself is being
    chewed and gargled and choked on. Outstanding early 90′s
    Australian art-damaged, body-damaged experimusing.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 30, 2005 at 4:25 pm
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • L’Infonie “Vol 333″ [Mucho Gusto]

    The intersection of the lines of madness and lines of genius
    may not be one point, but two coincident lines. Timeline here
    is 1972, behold the third release from Montreal’s ensemble
    L’Infonie. Apparently this galaxy of musicians revolved round
    a twin-star center of Walter Boudreau and Raoul Duguay, each
    respectively contributing it would seem order and disorder.
    The first disc can be sliced at different points to produce
    Sun Ra keyboard spirals, bluesy swagger, halleluiah chori,
    sputtering gibberish, pure prog rock, freeform jazz. Several
    themes recur, I love the way it gathers itself: horns shoot
    up out of sprawling piano, drum swatches and an anxious bass.
    I think the bass really holds a lot of this together, often
    it leads the themes. The second disk starts off with back to
    Bach numbers. Then in the midst of the “Prelude,” a garagey
    number with flute and outta tune vox sneaks in, then things
    get mighty howly and big bopping. “Ubiquital” has a knocked
    round glockenspiel feel with zithery strings in that modern
    classical tension-for-tension’s sake. “La tonne platte”
    starts with sideways jazz, gives way to what sounds like a
    Butoh race through the audience which returns on an awkrward
    cut back to the sideways jazz. Vive le strange.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 30, 2005 at 4:15 pm
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Long Live Death “To Do More Than God…To Die” [SecretEye]

    Delivered to us by labelmates Black Forest/Black Sea,
    this Baltimoric coven including Oxes’ Nat Fowler and
    Chris Freeland. They sacrifice somber minor-key mantras.
    Cello drifts thru like incense, and ye’ ol’ singing saw
    is summoned upon occasion as well. Despondent without
    being desperate. Lyrics flicker in the shadows of
    fallen gods and lapsed rockers. Have faith, but do a
    sound check.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 30, 2005 at 4:15 pm
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • John Lindberg Quartet “Ruminations Upong Ives and Gottschalk” Between-the-Lines

    Between the lines of composition lies room for fantastic
    improvisation. Lindberg’s quartet this time is in a mostly
    mellow mood. Even the more fiery moments have a tranquility
    to them. Witness the hopping cookers that match melodies
    and start/close the album, each spiked with Susie Ibarra’s
    quick crash Chinese gongs and seesaw seasoned by Lindberg’s
    bowed bass. Also check the kooky kinetics of “Generations”
    rattled by Ibarra and slapped by Lindberg to get it rolling.
    Now that’s marching to a *difficult* drummer, twice it stops
    to let Baikida Carrol chase a hummingbird. Steve Gorn is
    here with a variety of winds, elegantly on “Implications”
    which is all him halfway till a timpani roll and then a
    kinda disharmonious join by Carrol. Weird. That and the
    Gottschalk-inspired “Great Spirit…” missed me, but all
    else here is meticulously mapped. I really dig Lindberg’s
    composition, and Carrol does spend a lot of time with
    the mute en tote. That gives the trumpet a little more
    grimace to its glide. Ibarra is always a treat, her
    kulingtang on “Beau Theme” is heavy on the kul, light
    on the tang. “Yatan-Na” is part paean to a pagoda but
    then its got this crime jazz alley at the center. Gorn’s
    bansuri is strong on both cases. Another outstanding
    outing on this label run by Franz Koglmann.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 30, 2005 at 4:12 pm
  • Filed as Format,CD,Jazz
  • 1 comment
  • Yannis Kyriakides / Andy Moor “Red v Green” [Unsounds]

    The ultimate battle, pitching the red wires of electronics
    versus the green strings of guitar… In this corner, Yannis
    Kyriakides ticking, clicking, and flipping the world on the
    fritz. In that corner, Andy Moor of the might Ex, tapping,
    slapping and scrapping his way up and down the fretboard
    and beyond. The resulting rounds are quite a shadowy box
    of sounds. There’s an overall suspicious feeling, like a
    convict re-entering the work force as a security guard.
    Or a boxing glove, loaded up with a few bars of iron?
    “Time Flies” is a guitar heavy track wherein Moor snaps
    off harmonics at odd angles, but the hover and blink that
    Kyriakides applies below and above the guitar is vital. As
    on “a conSPIracy cantata” Kyriakides establishes himself
    as a true collaborator on electronics, he’s actually on the
    same plane and planet as his more organic partners. We win
    with a solid improvisational knock-out that is nearly as
    stunning as the photos by Isabelle Vigier within.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:37 am
  • Filed as A Library
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  • Krystian Shek “Eisblumen” [Fax Records]

    I love how this album begins, like a nighttime strafing of an
    army of flying saucers. After that we get a good headphonic
    mix of stark darkbeat. Shek evidently is a Russian, and this
    is his sonic snapshot of a trip from Moscow to St. Petersberg.
    From the sounds of it, he travelled during winter, strapped
    naked to the top of a train. Gulag rave? Certainly has plenty
    of danceable moments, as the steel wheels find a rhythm on
    the rails. I prefer the more ambient textures of coal smoke
    that blow through now and then. Some processed vox (as if
    lifted from a station’s loudspeaker or a police bullhorn) are
    mixed into the murk and add to the mystery. Good rubbery
    tone in part and lots of friction percussion also help
    this to stand out.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:33 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Peter Kowald, Miya Masaoka & Gino Robair “Illuminations” [Rastascan]

    Liquid strings and bowed drums, these are the dreams
    this trio spins. For me the album found its voice when
    Kowald used his (Tuvan style on #5). After that point,
    I was hooked…(well aside from grunting byproducts
    on other tracks) The first two tracks have a muscular
    maelstrom approach…if you want something with all
    three off to the races. On the third Masaoka’s koto is
    flinging shadows over Kowald careening between two
    bowed notes. Track four has Robair’s drums upfront and
    ominous and the koto keeping closer to its nature.
    Then that vocal breather (Kowald has sung this way
    before and worked with Sainkho Namchylat so he may
    have picked up a tonsil trick or two.) After that it
    was all gold to me, Masaoka sounding more harp-like
    on #8 (like on her Monk tribute), Kowald slaps fat
    rattling lines on #10, it’s hard to see but track 11
    might be Robair bowing styrofoam, and track 12 maybe
    he’s got the e-bow on the snare? He’s inventive so
    it could be a brand new maneuver… This is also on
    his label (glad to see its still going). Applaud the
    discrete efforts, as much fevered inspiration as in
    a 60 minute single session but with more scope and
    better prospects to hop into a KFJC playlist.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:32 am
  • Filed as Format,CD,Jazz
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  • Guy Klucevsek/Phillip Johnston “Tales from the Cryptic” [Winter & Winter]

    FWIW, we’ve never met but I’ve always heard Guy’s name
    pronounced clue-SEHV-ick. Including by his understudy
    Miss Murgatroid! Klucevsek’s accordion is not as
    crazy here as her free-based version, or even some of
    Guy’s earlier work. Johnston’s alto/soprano sax seems
    to pull higher, clearer, cleaner tiny notes out of the
    bellows. This is feathery, but with melodies that are
    just gorgeous. The Satie tribute (#7) is a start for
    that. As is “The Gift” (#4), the slipperiness of “The
    Needless Kiss” (#14), gypsy twists in “No More Mr.
    Nice Guy” (#9 but sadly *not* an Alice Cooper cover,
    would not have surprised me if Klucevsek had done so).
    Instead that has a nice Balkan bounce to it. This album
    does not rely on shock and gimmicks. The interplay of
    Klucevsek’s right hand parrying with Johnston, while he
    pumps the accompaniment is no mean feat. Tastes like
    European jazz in parts, rising notes, hyperclean sound.
    Yet circus flavors waft too.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:30 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Kill Yourself “Soft Touch of Man EP” [Gringo Records]

    Three piece from Leeds, heavy with middle names, but lean
    with lancing guitar rock. James Richard Islip fights the
    drums, roundhouse cymbal crashing and below-the-belt toms.
    Lurching along with punch-drunk guitar staggers from Giles
    Edmund Joseph Bailey, those drums get KY’s dukes up like
    early Don Caballero. Meanwhile bassist Andrew Derek Ross
    Abbott is impervious to any of this, steadfast and stolid
    he keeps each song on its legs. Thick unflappable songs
    that have no problem supporting a ragged, jarring guitar.
    Each cut leaves a similar metallic taste in your mouth,
    this gang of three seems to have plenty of bite. 80′s
    scrape with those always-welcome angry Anglonized vocals
    from Bailey. Remember sneering started in Britain. Meat
    and potatoes, cooked over an open fire on barbed wire.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:28 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • Kazumoto Endo “While You Were Out” [Box Media]

    Singles collection from Kazumoto Endo released in 1999.
    I know KFJC’s own Nancy Reagan proclaims noise will be
    at the top of the pop charts in 100 years…but why
    wait? This is an album that is bursting with sound,
    from the first track that has a throbbing pulse under
    the metallic screech of train wheels grinding sparks
    out on tracks. A lot of the noise on this has that
    almost Godzilla like quality of shearing metal, and
    lest you think noise is just random sound, try to
    create such gorgeous tortured structures yourself.
    In noise, I’m a big fan of the chasm…the space
    between the sputtering…and Endo uses that well on
    this. Sometimes slipping some J-pop or disco ditty
    into those spaces, as if to contrast their week
    meekness with his arcing cathodes of sound. Those
    moments also hint of digital hardcore, but make no
    mistake, this is noise at its most extreme, most
    powerful and most glorious. Each time I’ve listened
    to this I am struck by the diversity of the din that
    Endo commands.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:27 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Kalaparush and the Light “The Moment” [Entropy Stereo]

    Grant Kalaparush his new name, Maurice McIntyre
    must seem like another man, a lifetime ago.
    In his lengthy absences, one assumes lesser
    musicians would have vaporized into myth. But
    this CD proves he’s very much alive, indeed
    these are all live recordings. Thus fidelity
    is okay, but the fluidity is assured. Even
    at his speedier cycles, Kalaparush has an
    unshakeable lyricism. Thus as he near 70 years
    of age, his playing here is fresh, driving. He
    is rarely resting now once he’s going, this
    makes a nice workout for young tuba player,
    Jesse Dulman. Dulman huffs and puffs, and
    gets whoops of encouragement from Kalaparush
    at times. This release seems to ride on
    Dulman’s back…when he’s on the album
    succeeds (check the end of #5) but when he
    gets soggy, it slogs.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:25 am
  • Filed as Format,CD,Jazz
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  • Jucifer “Calling All Cars on the Vegas Strip” [Capricorn]

    NOTE: This is their debut release and it came out back
    in 1998, but aside from jabs at Tabs (Tabitha Soren on
    “Hero Worship”) the shelf life on this is still active.
    A peachy pair of Georgians, when her ire is up vocalist
    Amber Valentine’s sounds a little like fellow hellish
    belle Jarboe. Her partner in sound and crime is drummer
    Ed Livengood, who provides a lot of colosseum whack to
    their attack (he sneaks in some scratching as well
    here.) Amber also pedal-pushes guitar distortion we
    get something like pop metal with an aroma of glamour.
    Amber’s voice can shapeshift nicely: whispery coquette,
    hoarse hellion, “rock star” (allegedly the words
    tatooed across her knuckles.) This album is prettily
    produced, a lot of overdubs…especially with vocals.
    I’m not sure how that will translate to their leaner
    live set. To their credit, this album gets weirder
    as it goes along, and they’ve escaped $ucce$$ so far.
    Anthemic anathema from Athens.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:23 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Josephine Foster and the Supposed “All the Leaves Are Gone” [Locust]

    These songs embrace their pain. Well really more than that
    they admit the pain…and tower above it. Foster’s pipes have
    the warbling ache of a silent movie actress speaking after so
    many years voiceless. The leaves are gone like Garbo. While
    Josephine may also be a “Born Hell(rais?)er” her stylized
    soprano is stirringly at home guiding cautionary folk with
    scattery treble guitar. I suppose that the Supposed may turn
    some people off, notably Goodman’s noodling may seem thin
    and tweaky to some, but I *really* like its chaos clashing
    into these simple strum-along songs. And the percussion that
    Rusty Peterson contributes is what gives this album its
    unbreakable backbone. Evidently this was originally created
    as a rock musical but the songs stand firmly alone, alone
    without a lover, alone without forebears (as the poignant
    “Deathknell” decries), but powerfully alone.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:22 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Jojo s/t [Alchemy]

    Fuzz bluster rock from the master magician of Alchemy. This
    album launches from zero-to-90 mph with the first freeway
    rocker, a two-chord lane changer that even hits a classic
    Hijo-hijacked searing solo. On #2 the rust still doesn’t
    sleep…don’t miss the great ggggaarrrr screams. #3 stops for
    air and a twinkling delay number. Next up a surprisingly pure
    garagey power pop. #5 has a tense sort of glam rock build up
    into a power-sludge of divine distortion. #6 a cool feedback
    statue is carved, with dry patting drums at its base. Only to
    be followed by a trip to janglesville. #8 provides bursting
    psych with gut-punched oomph vocals… #9 has a nice bouncing
    bassline over a little slice o’ bliss. #10 leaves us wanting
    more with sticky, staticky eruptions of effect-ladenn guitar
    with Jojo howling what sounds like “More my brothers…more
    my brothers.” You’ll be screaming for more too!

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:04 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Rose, Jack “Apocalyps. X.” [Eclipse]

    Rose continues his path from Pelt straight to the heart of
    a twelve-string soul. The A-side featues a darker current,
    thick ropes of vibration…bubbling up the neck of the
    guitar on the lower deep end strings. Near flamenco finger
    flicking starts “black pearls from the river.” On “tower of
    babel” the frenzied fingers give way to bouncy swipes at
    the end of that track. On the B-side, it seems like a Rose
    made a conscious effort to work the upper strings more, the
    sound is brighter, but still brass rattling. With the higher
    notes, we can hear the sympathetic halo of echo shining
    through easy. As the record spins towards its end, Rose
    chose to slow down his playing…the earlier fast ripples of
    arpeggios now separate into more distinct drops of guitar
    rain, beads of sound. Thornless and acoustic black.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:02 am
  • Filed as Format,12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Illoin “Pinafore” [Notenuf/CollisionCollider]

    Pronounced “ILL Owen” but the guy’s name ain’t Owen it’s
    Andrew Ryan from a chilly part of Philadelphia. Most
    cuts have quick-click ticking percussion in them, which
    contrasts the slower pulling of chords from synth and
    accordion. I actually like it when the bullet-train
    metronome ticking cuts out…usually at song’s end. But
    then on the title cut, we just have the electric piano
    sans *any* beats, and that was far worse. It plods
    towards prehistoric New Age. My favorite was “Ask the
    Dust” (possible John Fante tribute?’), it was the most
    upbeat of these otherwise beat-up and iced-down pieces.
    It and the initial track only have vocals. “I Am Never”
    replaces the clicks with cricket samples, and a gentle
    guitar instead of keys. “Starmaps” has a Raymond Scott
    twinkle to it, overall the latter half of this CD works
    best. While I enjoy “bleakbeat” music, it’s a simple
    pleasure. By the time an album passes, I want to go out
    and hug a drummer.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:01 am
  • Filed as A Library
  • 1 comment
  • I Remember Syria

    More sublime slide shows of sound, this time with some aid
    coming from Porest’s Erik Gergis. Besides dizzying cultural
    doppler effects, this release is strengthened by some man in
    the street recordings. Bizarre bazaars, popular politics
    and mucho mujahadeen. On the road to Damascus we get what
    almost sounds like a rap over machine gunned beats; sirens,
    cellphones and other forms of prayer; transactions and
    transglobal underground conversations and middle-eastern
    sonic youth radio. The excerpts of young boys singing are
    just tough and vibrant. The deeper in, the Greater Syria
    you get. Outstanding pop pieces, outspoken Arab Women in
    Focus and a not-so-out aleppo sitting in cinema. Radaio
    Tartus sounding like a cross-over point between worlds
    and frequencies created naturally. There’s more unnatural
    doctoring on some of the tracks, but scintillating…
    Ali Dada.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on January 29, 2005 at 2:00 am
  • Filed as Format,CD,International
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