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Higuchi, Keiko – “Between Dream and Haze” – [Self Release]

Yelling plucking drumming slamming freeform jamming.
Includes a cover of the jazz standard I’ll Be Seeing You.
– Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on February 17, 2016 at 5:21 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Gisby, Steve – “Four Iterative Pieces” – [Self Produced]

    Four tracks all 8:36 by this London bassist and composer.
    Sounds like glitchy skippy beats that build on each other and then break down.
    Each is a slightly different version of the other.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on February 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Bjorkenheim, Raoul Ecstasy – “Out of The Blue” – [Cuneiform Records]

    Helsinki jazz quartet – guitar, sax, bass, and drums. The tight and funky rhythm section supports outwards-looking lead instruments. The guitar uses distortion and the saxophone plays a variety of voices and textures. Some times more mellower, sometimes all out whammy-bar.

    Track 3 “Fly In The House of Love” buzzes along, blinking, water dripping, buzzing.
    Track 4 “Uptown” has a commanding intro – sax and guitar trading off with bass and drums. Slide guitar. Really energized.
    Track 7 “Roller Coaster” shares something cool with Ornette Coleman.
    Track 8 “Zebra Dreams” muted guitar strings sound like African thumb piano, sax animal cries. Then it gets more complicated..

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Monkey Power Trio – “Left Behind” – [Pochahontas Swamp Machine]

    Freaky band meets up one day every year and makes recordings. These are from years 13, 14, & 15. There are several 7″s from other years in the library.

    Sounds made up on the spot because it mostly is. Absurd, juvenile, amateurish There is a recorder. First song on each side is best, A1 has pathos, B1 has autotune. Last track on B a space transmission from Earth saying Don’t come here.

    A4 FCC A5 FCC

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 17, 2016 at 3:17 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Davignon, Matt – “Pink Earth” – [Ribosome Music]

    Science Fiction synthesizers bleep and bloop their narrative of a sojourn on the Pink Earth. After arriving you ingest fungal exhalations from processed steel drums and strains of manipulated voice as your feet compress the fleshy loam. Please consort with the irrhythmic analog foliage and sawtooth alien insect life. All too soon the pink earth will serenade your departure, hopefully to return again.

  • Reviewed by Muad'Dib on February 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Flag, The – “Heat Waves” – [Geographic North]

    The Flag is Ted McGrath and “Heat Waves” is his solo project of electronic beats, drum machines and distorted vocals. Having left the sort of noise group These Are Powers, McGrath ventured forward into sound exploration and came up with the ten tracks that make up “Heat Waves”. Everything old is new again and this somewhat follows in that line of thinking with references to 1980′s synth driven, dark wave propulsive sort of dance tunes. I heard a strong connection to Suicide, which is always a good thing, musically. But do not be deceived: this is very 2015 sounding. Pedals, drum machines and other sounds create the aural background for lyrics about many things dark and empty. Song titles set the mood. The beats/anti-beats scatter across the auditory pallet while The Flag distorts tales to a degree of not understanding but still picking out topics urban 21st century dwellers can understand, even if distorted. This should be the future of pop music. It won’t be, but it should.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Flag, The – “Heat Waves” – [Geographic North]

    The Flag is Ted McGrath and “Heat Waves” is his solo project of electronic beats, drum machines and distorted vocals. Having left the sort of noise group These Are Powers, McGrath ventured forward into sound exploration and came up with the ten tracks that make up “Heat Waves”. Everything old is new again and this somewhat follows in that line of thinking with references to 1980′s synth driven, dark wave propulsive sort of dance tunes. I heard a strong connection to Suicide, which is always a good thing, musically. But do not be deceived: this is very 2015 sounding. Pedals, drum machines and other sounds create the aural background for lyrics about many things dark and empty. Song titles set the mood. The beats/anti-beats scatter across the auditory pallet while The Flag distorts tales to a degree of not understanding but still picking out topics urban 21st century dwellers can understand, even if distorted. This should be the future of pop music. It won’t be, but it should.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Flag, The – “Heat Waves” – [Geographic North]

    The Flag is Ted McGrath and “Heat Waves” is his solo project of electronic beats, drum machines and distorted vocals. Having left the sort of noise group These Are Powers, McGrath ventured forward into sound exploration and came up with the ten tracks that make up “Heat Waves”. Everything old is new again and this somewhat follows in that line of thinking with references to 1980′s synth driven, dark wave propulsive sort of dance tunes. I heard a strong connection to Suicide, which is always a good thing, musically. But do not be deceived: this is very 2015 sounding. Pedals, drum machines and other sounds create the aural background for lyrics about many things dark and empty. Song titles set the mood. The beats/anti-beats scatter across the auditory pallet while The Flag distorts tales to a degree of not understanding but still picking out topics urban 21st century dwellers can understand, even if distorted. This should be the future of pop music. It won’t be, but it should.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Roden, Steve / Mem1 – “Floating Wave of Air, a” – [Estuary Ltd.]

    Steve Roden Mem1

    This is a fascinating experiment in sound, bringing together two performances five years apart featuring the collective talents of Roden (acoustic objects and electronics), Mark Cetilia (analog modular and electronics), and Laura Cetilia (cello, voice, and electronics). There is a sparseness that allows for the different noises to saturate each other in a natural way that fools you into thinking this is one performance. Cello as texture is what you get, along with a windswept feeling like no other.

  • Reviewed by humana on February 16, 2016 at 11:42 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Kennedy, John F. – “Presidential Years 1960-1963, The” – [20th Century Fox]

    JFK

    It seems fitting that I’d spend President’s Day listening to this documentary album of speeches made by John F. Kennedy during his presidency. Of course any listening to this man is shadowed by the knowledge that he was assassinated, but this sampling of his speeches is quite informative. As someone born the year he died, and who grew up on Cape Cod in a Kennedy-loving family, I found his words almost innocent, although I really still can’t believe how offensive it is to hear him say “Negroes” repeatedly in the Birmingham speech. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times, but what a rude awakening to realize that even though the times are a-changing, they are doing so at a rate that is much too slow.

  • Reviewed by humana on February 15, 2016 at 10:59 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Fullman, Ellen – “Long String Instrument, The” – [Superior Viaduct]

    Ellen Fullman

    The same four years I spent in college, Fullman spent developing a sound installation in Eindhoven, Holland. Her instrument consisted of 70-foot-long metallic wires amplified by a wooden resonator box. The music recorded on this album is the result of Fullman and another musician traversing these wires with rosined fingers. The result is fairly enjoyable and challenging, bringing true meaning to the word sound sculpture. On the last track, Fullman plays another creation of hers, the Water Drip Drum, which is an aluminum pan into which water drips and whose position is controlled by a foot pedal. Read the sleeve notes. I envy Fullman her musical education, which was primarily self-taught.

  • Reviewed by humana on February 15, 2016 at 10:33 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • May, Brian – “Thirst” – [XOZMIQ]

    thirst evil

    This is a re-release of May’s soundtrack to the 1979 Australian movie dealing with the bloody inheritance of Kate. All you need to do is read the track titles to know how she goes from human to vampire, and look at how Side A vinyl goes from red with white (depicting innocence) to a completely red Side B. The Main Title and End Titles are orchestrally beautiful and upbeat, mostly, belying the horror that follows as Kate undergoes her transition. The creepiness is tempered at times by the “ceremony” tracks (A6 and B5), which sound like Gregorian chants, but are actually just gory in the rituals they accompany. This is pretty great stuff.

  • Reviewed by humana on February 15, 2016 at 10:18 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Soundtrack
  • Comment on this review
  • Kosugi, Takehisa / Takashi Kazamaki – “Live At The Strange Fruit” – [Fool]

    En Ban Front

    fluxus drifter from Group Ongaku / Taj Mahal Travellers teams with percussion clattermaster in this 1983 live recording; primitive improvisations of free-hillbilly ritual channeling ancient disarray and classical unraveling alike. audio oddities lost in their own expressive purge, simplistic meditations of avant-weirdness. strange fruits indeed

  • Reviewed by abacus on February 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Public Speaking – “Blanton Ravine” – [Fabrica Records]

    Jason Anthony Harris is Public Speaking, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, creator of Fabrica Records’”Blanton Ravine”. Thirteen songs created by Harris tell strange and mysterious tales. It’s not always clear, which may be intentional and that is good, adding to the moods. Harris uses a variety of percussion, synth, organ, piano, guitars, radio, processing and vocoder, as well as five other musicians and vocalists, to create the setting for his scenes. The first song, “Kipple Chamber”, starts off very quiet and then a rhythm is established but the listener is uncertain if the CD is skipping or not. It’s not and that awkward “skip becomes the beat driving the song. Pauses come about. A piano key is struck. Sounds continue. This is the lay out of the whole album: very well thought out instrumentation with a variety of percussion setting specific moods to take the listener on a journey. I really liked one moment where the sound of a chain being pulled guided a song into a new feeling. Creepy, disturbing but alluring. Also driving electronics, almost harsh, which sway in and out of each number. Many other reviews keep mentioning a blues quality. Hmmm. Well maybe but this is not the South. This is urban territory. Harris’ voice is very unique but one I can not quite get a handle on. It throws me every time I listen, surprising me and making me listen closer. There is a Scott Walker quality to it that I appreciate. It definitely fits in with all that Public Speaking is doing: not taking an easy path to create some very creative songs, actual songs, that don’t really fit a category. It’s not pop but how grand if pop sounded like this. It’s not cabaret but how grand if cabaret sounded like this. It’s harsh and soft and odd and ever changing. Nicely done.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 14, 2016 at 11:07 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Russell, Arthur and The Flying Hearts – “Ballad of The Lights” – [Presspop]

    In the early 70s, at the age of 18, Arthur Russell, a formally trained cellist, moved from Iowa to San Francisco; he studied North Indian classical music at the Ali Akbar College of Music and Western composition part-time at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It was during this time that he began his association with Allen Ginsberg: accompanying him on the cello as a soloist or in groups while Ginsberg sang or read his poetry. By the mid-70′s Russell moved to New York where he collaborated in the rock project Flying Hearts: which included artists such as David Byrne, Rhys Chatham, and Peter Gordon. The first piece comes from the mid 70′s with the Flying Hearts. “Ballad of the Lights” was written and recited by Russell; Ginsberg accompanies. The second piece “Pacific High Studio Mantras”, chanted by Ginsberg, is a Tibetan mantra recorded in July 1971.
    –Double Felix

  • Reviewed by felix on February 12, 2016 at 5:30 am
  • Filed as 10-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Ames Sanglantes – “Le Cri Du Pendu” – [Cipher Productions]

    maxresdefault

    tortured manic death drones; shrieking tones and lurching industrial collapse; ominous guttural loops and feral monasticism; looming dread and wretched release; spiritual genocide

  • Reviewed by abacus on February 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Black Spirituals – “Black Interiors” – [Ratskin Records]

    Black-Spirituals-CVLT-Nation

    Oakland duo collective rooted in the intersection of diversity and experimentalism: Zachary James Watkins cradles his guitar with an intense focus and yearning for tonality, no patience for weak timbre; Marshall Trammell embracing the drumset with comprehensive inclusion and a fluidity that thrives on constant derailment. an engagement with space, an ontology of sound, defining the effects of location / depth / placement / orientation on audio perception. recorded each solo, as opposed to previous works where interaction is key, the artists are allowed to examine their individual energies in isolation. don’t adjust your levels, the distant volumes are intentional in the exploration: meditations in resonance

  • Reviewed by abacus on February 10, 2016 at 9:27 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comment on this review
  • Chvad SB – “Crickets Were The Compass” – [Silber Records]

    Long tracks with rolling drones punctuated with occasional piano or guitar, no percussion. Synth and noise elements also intermingle. Meditation on loss and memory, a sense of the aftermath of a great storm. Chvad SB is based in Brooklyn and is a member of Controlled Bleeding.

  • Reviewed by Muad'Dib on February 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Chattaway, Jay – “Maniac” – [Varese Sarabande]

    1980 horror film about a scalping serial killer loosely inspired by the Son of Sam.
    There’s a fun part where there is a loud heart beating and it sounded like it was skipping to me for a second. Disturbing monologue on side a. Mostly creepy synthy goodness.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on February 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Soundtrack
  • Comment on this review
  • Willamette – “Diminished Composition” – [Scissor Tail]

    Joseph Yonker and brothers Davin and Kevin Chong giving us a postclassical minimal composition. It sounds like ambient drone. The tracks are short and I wish they were longer.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on February 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review


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