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RM74 – “Reflex” – [Utech Records]

RM74 is Swiss musician, Reto Mader, which is half of the duo Ural Umbo. He also plays with Sum of R. This is his fifth solo release. Dark, ambient, moody and spooky. Rumbling electronics roll through hazy guitars and empty dreams. A few other sparse instruments make appearance: organ, piano, harp, gong, guitar, kalimba. Very dark experimental, forboding music. No lyrics, just evil dreams.

  • Reviewed by cinder on June 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Conrad, Tony/P-Orridge, Genesis Breyer – “Taking Issue” – [Dais]

    Film maker Marie Losier had been recording Conrad & Genesis, separately, for years when she had the bright idea of having them meet (for the first time ever) and record it together! Genesis had watched her film on Tony, and when Conrad spoke of his love for the violin, she confessed HER love for the violin, and then the idea was formed. They played together, January of 2009, in NYC. Dueling violins, in an experimental, improv sort of way. A thumping drum, and ringing bells keep it all tied together. A wonderful album from two big names of the minimalist-experimental and industrial scene!

  • Reviewed by cinder on June 30, 2010 at 11:28 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Male – “German For Shark” – [Other-Electricities]

    Male is a rotating cast of characters from Chicago. This is their second release, of predominantly improvised sessions, made for to record. It’d happen with each member adding or subtracting to the piece, with limited manipulation of the final piece. Their main idea was to capture the live feeling of spur of the moment playing. You have drums, bells, chimes, sax, vibraphones, guitar, piano, and even a cornet! Beautiful improv!

  • Reviewed by cinder on June 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Bait and Switch – “What Is Known” – [Clean Feed]

    The lineup may look familiar – these are the same four players who comprise Go Go Fightmaster, but it is Lisa Mezzacappa, not Aaron Bennett, who leads this effort, and there is a distinct difference to the resulting sound – less driving and phrenetic, more comtemplative and dissolute, although there are significant beats laid down and worked on many of the tracks. This is unadulterated, unapologetic jazz without an attitude problem – just a sincere delivery from musicians that have played extensively together yet get to explore new ground in this form; diverging, exploring, and coalescing harmoniously in spaces where harmony is optional.

  • Reviewed by loun on June 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Foxtails Brigade – “Bread and The Bait, The” – [Foxtails Brigade]

    When Foxtails Brigade dropped by KFJC a few weeks back they brought in a copy of this album, The Bread and the Bait, which is their forthcoming full-length debut (official release in Fall 2010). This San Francisco-based project features the lovely vocals and guitar of Laura Weinbach, along with Anton Patzer (Judgment Day) on violin. Known for busking on the streets of Oakland, the quiet elegance of their music hearkens back to an earlier era, with lyrics evoking childhood delights and mysteries (The Doll). Laura Weinbach recently put together an interesting show in San Francisco featuring both music and fashion and is a champion for visual arts, crafts, and underground designers.

    null

  • Reviewed by lombard on June 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Cline, Alex – “Continuation” – [Cryptogramophone]

    Interesting variety of sounds from bells, violin, bass, and cello with Myra Melford on piano and harmonium and Alex Cline on percussion and kantele (a type of zither). Dips into the realm of jazz and contemporary classical – sometimes is thoughtful and moody, but gets noisy and experimental at times. Energy seemed too low to me on the first listen, but I enjoyed it much more on the second hearing; perhaps its appreciation requires investment of time.

    Alex Cline has performed on many recordings and is the brother of guitarist Nels Cline.

    Haiku review:
    Continuation
    Of music requires not just
    Memory, but foresight.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on June 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Adasiewicz, Jason Rolldown – “Varmint” – [Cuneiform Records]

    Good energy – good tunes all but one written by Adasiewicz – five amazing players. Fine work from Adasiewicz on vibes, Berman on cornet, Shelton on reeds, Roebke on bass and Rosaly on drums. These guys can really play and what a pleasure to hear this take with the vibes in the lead.

    Pronounciation of Adasiewicz: ad-uh-she-vits.

    Haiku Review:
    Some extra cool jazz
    Jason on vibes, Frank on drums
    Cousin Mary smiles.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on June 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Cloud Cuckooland [coll] – [Finders Keepers]

    Tracks produced by Eckart Rahn for the Kuckkuck (Cuckoo) label prior to 1974. German prog rock, psych, UK sound, sound track, early electronic. I liked Out of Focus’s organ, Ihre Kinder’s folky sound. Some lyrics are English, others in German, some all instrumentals, good energy.

    Some Pronunciations and Translations:
    Ihre Kinder (EAR-a KIN-der) Their Children
    Deuter (doy- ter)
    Lied des Teufels (leed dez Toy-fulls) Song of Devils

    Haiku review:
    Soundtrack, prog, psych, rock
    Label is named for a bird
    Music from Deutschland!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on June 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Chin Chin – “Sound of The Westway” – [Slumberland Records]

    I couldn’t be happier about the recent reissues of material by several girl bands from Switzerland from back in the day (KFJC just added material by Kleenex/Lilliput, as well as a Chin Chin 7″). The latest is a 1985 release by Swiss girl group Chin Chin, reissued just a couple of months back by Slumberland/Mississippi Records. “Sound of the Westway” stands the test of time and is a fun blend of classic 50s/60s girl group sounds with 1980s attitude and a punk rock undercurrent with edgier/more persistent vocals than from the earlier eras. More recent bands like Heavenly and Tiger Trap come to mind, but there’s also some unmistakably ’80s elements like random bits of harmonica (reminding me of The Alarm) and sax. I love this!

    Haiku Review:

    Swiss girl band Chin Chin
    Delivers 80s pop punk
    And Da Doo Ron Ron
    null

  • Reviewed by lombard on June 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 3 comments
  • Rosaly, Frank – “Milkwork” – [Contraphonic Music Ltd.]

    Chicago drummer crosses his sticks with wires. For a solo
    release that is sometimes a duet versus himself. It’s
    Rosaly’s drumming that generally wins out, he’s just got a
    lot more precision with percussion. “Adolescents” is a nice
    example of his battery skill, a pure drum solo that has wide
    receiver jukes over a rollicking rhythm. That being said, his
    piece “Burnshine” really works well delivering control more in
    conjunction with both inputs. On a lot of tracks, either the
    drums or synth/pedal/etc work reminds me of quick bursts of
    rain. “He’s Junkin’” uses that flash flood style with volume
    washouts reminding me of Supersilent in a very good way.
    Some of the found or otherwise tweaked percussion is quite
    nice, maniac metronome, toy gamelan, tuned drum drama, bicycle
    spokes spooked. “Zoquete” offers a too short harmonium hymn
    No wrist for the wicked…

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on June 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 2 comments
  • Selda – “’71″ – [Eggy]

    Selda pre-plugged. While this album has some electric bass,
    and keys (#4), it’s mostly Selda’s powerful voice (often with
    cavernous reverb) and some acoustic accompaniment. #9 includes
    a flight of kanun I think… The last track adds light piano
    and a sweet/sour nostalgic flute, this is the strongest I
    feel the hurt that would be amplified and melded into anger
    as time (and travail) wore on. Even if the words are sung
    in Turkish, and lifted from poets long gone, their heart
    beats true, especially in the hands and throat of Selda.
    Later releases, rising over fuzzed guitar, would celebrate
    her singing as the undeniable power of righteousness, w/o
    knowing the language this albums seems more drawn from the
    undeniable power of hope. Track 7 alone will lift you out
    of whatever jail, real or imagined, and send your flying
    through a field of poppies. Anatolian over totalitarian.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on June 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • 1 comment
  • Yona, Yair – “Remember” – [Anova]

    Israeli gears up for guitar echoes. The album’s title is
    more than a clue, it’s a mission; as Yona summons strings
    long ago snapped. He’s got finger picking pluck, he’s got
    boozy slide, he’s got a sense of history. Fahey shows up more
    than in a parenthetical song title. Other spectres include
    the blues, but Yona is more of a traveling bluesman,
    crossing genres and roads. Even the slower tracks have that
    kind of bounce that feels like a hobo riding the rails.
    “Struggled So Hard” and “Brave Walls” are exhilirating
    examples. On “Russian Dance” he squares off with Erez Kriel’s
    mandolin to bust a sweat if not a high-E. Other moments get
    that dry lonesome, kinda Paris, Texas or maybe it’s just
    Jerusalem dust. Check the title track and definitely
    “Sympathy for the Jack” but BYOB. Overdubs and friends
    pop in, but this is mostly a steel string thing. The last
    track approaches a song cycle, and clicks history long
    and short. Nice personal track notes to match the nice
    personal playing.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on June 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Da We Mobb – “Da We Mobb” – [Yay Area Entertainment]

    New underground, coming out of Oakland and bursting with
    sideshow pride. Three mouths to feed on Smoky’s homecooked
    beats, rappers Zipp, Young Truth and Big A leading the way.
    The album has its own fun, prank calls, fake radio giveaways,
    and an imaginary gig at the House of Blues. These guys are
    so new, they don’t even have a song about being screwed by
    the record industry. Instead this is homegrown, over the
    course of years, but still retaining a sense of the
    spontaneous. Even when the prose ain’t purple, the trees
    are, a blunt front blowing over the bridge. Probably Smoky’s
    and I do think his production is the secret sauce here,
    tracks like “We Go”, “Addicted to Da Game” and “Get Money”
    just come infectious while the lyrics will play hopscotch
    on the roof of your heads. More than a sideshow memento, and
    even if they don’t get the money, they’ll still be laughing.
    Promising debut.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on June 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm
  • Filed as CD,Hip Hop
  • Comment on this review
  • Mokele Mbembe – “Mokele Mbembe” – [Cut Hands]

    Previously only known to cryptozoologists, it was said that a
    pygmy tribe in Africa captured, killed and consumed a Mokele
    Mbele, afterwhich those who had done so, perished. Thus we
    recommend merely listening to this release at a safe distance,
    at least until we can insure its effect remains as pleasant as
    its first impression. These Mokele Mbele tracks were found in
    the neighborhoods of Oakland California, signs of cables
    dragged through dirt indicate muliple electric guitars as a
    staple, evidence of struggle denotes percussion, likely one
    drummer…unsure how many arms at this time. Keyboards
    apparently are used to try and trap the unwitting fusion
    afficiando. It is possible that the Mokele Mbele has
    swallowed Japanese exchange students whole, wearing Acid
    Mothers Temple’s t-shirts, and at night…nocturnal input
    solicits a space rock reaction as seen on “Dad Rock.” At
    the end, the scent of “Werewolves” is confusing, a whiff
    of MOR scat dissipates into more fight-and-flight jam into
    a tight pitch. If it is a dinosaur relative, it has some
    chameleon DNA to it. The first track rules by the way…

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on June 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • We Like Cats – “Proper Eats” – [Marriage Records]

    This is the debut of Adam Forkner of White Rainbow, Honey Owens of Valet, and Eva Salens of Inca Ore. Dub reggae is the predominant vibe here, with tribal riddims (3), meow chanting (2), spoken word set to a hazy atmosphere interrupted by bells chiming (5), and mellow upbeatness that summons equatorial warm climes (4, 6) changing it up somewhat. You can select from short and long tracks on this one.

  • Reviewed by humana on June 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Watkins, Zachary James – “Black Spirituals” – [None]

    “Doepfer modular synths + gospel field recordings + marshall half stack + the amazing drumming of jordan glenn = holy shit!!!” – from the website of The Norman Conquest, who engineered some tracks on this release. Zachary comes from Oakland, but I think is currently teaching music in Santa Cruz. It all starts out with the first track, which sounds like a glowing alien hub. Slowly keeping the place in tact, it could alternate as a sci-fi sound effect track. It leads you into the next, 20 minute long epic doom track. Warning: ends about 2 minutes early! Track three has a sort of melancholic, but uplifting feel from the guitars. Crazy drums hide in the background, while words speak over the whole thing. The final piece is a long ending drone, very monotone and finishing. Altogether a great collection!

  • Reviewed by cinder on June 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Century Plants – “Frozen Generation” – [905 Tapes]

    Century Plants are a type of cactus that grows insanely sharp leaves, and blooms only once in their lifetime. They are also an experimental band out of Albany, New York. Two guys with bass, guitar, electronics and lots of distortion. Their website describes them as slow motion psych drift, lazy and blown out. This release is two long tracks of just that. Semi-Sunn doom sounding bass here and there, but more fuzzy. At times it’s like heading full speed down the Wonka River tunnel, psychedelic drone trippage.

  • Reviewed by cinder on June 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Coltrane, Andrew – “Live At Children’s Hospital” – [Scotch Tapes]

    15 minutes of brain damage. What sounds almost like every pipe in a factory bursting at once, Andrew lays down heavy noisy electronics. Hair raising sliding and scraping metal sounds mixed with wind blasted synths. Grinding and grating.

  • Reviewed by cinder on June 23, 2010 at 11:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Sudden Infant/Sixes [coll] – [Terminal]

    First six tracks feature Sudden Infant (Germany), while the last blast is from Sixes (Oakland). Sudden Infant gives you short tracks of blasting spooky noise. Indecipherable words, illness, and crunched electronics. It’s like walking through the darklight halls in a cheesy 80s horror flick. Sixes doesn’t let down with his insane ear-blowout electronic chaos. High pitches and blasting wall of noise, mixed in with subtle heartbeats and airplane sounding jets.

  • Reviewed by cinder on June 23, 2010 at 11:34 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Konitz, Lee; Cheek, Chris; Leibovici, Stephane Furic – “Jugendstil II” – [Esp-Disk]

    Slow, spare, quiet, dreamy interweaving among 2 saxophones and a bass, subtly joined from time to time by other instruments. Nicely balanced with beautiful tones. Lee Konitz (born 1927) is a jazz composer and alto saxophonist born in Chicago, Illinois. Chris Cheek (born 1968) is an American jazz saxophonist from St. Louis, Missouri. Stephane Furic Leibovici is French new music composer and bassist known for his improvisational groups.

    The album’s title Jugenstil translates literally from German as “youth style” but means “Avant Garde”.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on June 23, 2010 at 11:12 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review


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