KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Ecker, Koenraad – “Sleepwalkers In a Cold Circus” – [Line]

Louie Caliente   5/31/2016   A Library, CD

Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus is the second album from Belgian sound artist Koenraad Ecker. These nine electro-acoustic tracks are dark and gloomy, yet filled with wonder and curiosity.

Heavy bass frequencies with throbbing subharmonics flow like dreams under sharply-focused field recordings and processed electronic noises. The amplified micro-acoustics mix and mingle with the macro, both intimate and intense. Some of the sounds are easy to identify: bowed strings and ringing bells. Others seem familiar but are somehow hard to place. Matches being lit? Sonar pings? Thunder storms?

Encryption Cipher [coll] – [Tuff Sound]

Arcanum   5/31/2016   12-inch, Hip Hop

Warning. Music is not always what it seems. FCC’s everywhere on everything and b3 has none in engrish that I can tell. took me a minute to groove into this collection and Boaz’s take me away is probably my favorite with the last track called roots calabash coming a close second. This is encryption cipher. Bass Heavy. Filthy Pirate Language. Action Bronson will take you to a new york delicatessen after the underground hookah lounge.

KAER/ KEGS [coll] – [Sublevel Epidemic]

Arcanum   5/31/2016   7-inch, Hip Hop

Backpack type hip hop. FCC FREE Each track accompanied by the instrumental fo yah mental. A side instr. 3:30~ Latin.Cubano.Piano.Guitar samples. quantized bass/ drum kit .
B side instr. 4:20~ Harp.Woodwind. Drum Kit shuffle snares. Vocal Sample.

Sissister/ Soup Purse [coll] – [Golden Slipper Records]

mouthbreather   5/31/2016   A Library, CD

the bugs crawl through your pores, exposing dermis, itch. insects made of metal, talking through modems while consuming and fornicating in flesh, yours. static floods your eardrums, as the bots take over your body, breathing, movement, mind. let it consume you as the scratches in your head grow louder.

sissisters – mellower noise
soup purse – crunchy electronic noise

Synthetic ID – “Impulses” – [Castle Face Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2016   A Library, CD

Tight SF punk four piece. Shouty vox from Nic Lang and
grindy guitar from Jake Dudley fit/spit well together.
Post-PIL thrills, that then collide nicely with a
brotherly rhythm unit of Will and Paul Lucich on
drums and bass respectively. For some reason I suspect
Paul as a closet power-pop fan. Often his basslines
are a bit peppy for the sound and lyrical visions of
elusive dreams, “ciphers-missing words”, “throwing
shadows, casting doubts.” Abstract anger is an
energy. Dudley’s guitar-work is well-manicured, gets
a little slippery and nice on “Is the Day Done?”
Usually it’s built on glass-chip lines and slashing
chords. Some synth flickers through on “Silhouettes”
and “Replacement Parts” and “Forced Exhalations.” Those
titles alone capture the band’s flair for alienation.
Lucid nightmares with that crack Lucich accompaniment.
By any means, stay punk, pony boy. -Thurston Hunger

J. Marcloid – “Shenpa” – [Subruckus Collective]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2016   A Library, Cassette

Name-shifting, shape-shifter, noise drifter. Depending
on how the Jelly Moonlit Light shines, you might see
Justin Marc or an Angel or various other incarnations.
What you will hear here are two sidelong noisy explorations

Each side clocks in at 21:30….

A fax machine dreams of playing the bag pipes? That’s the
opening pull on “Hook” it follows with a lot of mechanically
bounced sounds, like rubber bands made out of some really
pliable metal, and then wired into your sense of balance.
Things thing out 11 minutes in and we eavesdrop on a short
demon phone call and then some weird ceremony in an empty
underground reservoir. Almost sad, almost singing? I really
liked that section but then lava rupture ended it.

“Shenpa” includes distorted voice feeds over a pulsing
slave unit to the servo-rhythm. I’m a sucker for anything
that triggers a “Prince of Darkness” movie memory and
the chopped dialog here did so. After awhile something
that sounds like a broken Buddha box chirps in (apparently
that might be no koan-cident as Shenpa is a Buddhist term
of confining attachment, like a hook to a fish perhaps)
Bells and blips ring on and then broken voices for broken
people return at the end.

Even if the mind is not sharp, the sounds here are often
are, piercing one’s stream of consciousness.
-UnThurston UnHunger

Bennani, Abdelhai/Oki, Itaru/Silva, Alan/Sato, Makoto – “New Today, New Everyday” – [Improvising Beings]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2016   CD, Jazz

Tenor saxman Abdelai Bennani Moroccan-born, then French-fed, creates
some tasty spaces that would feel right at home in Chicago. There’s
an Art Ensemble vibe here for me, pacing and spacing with some
eathy ancestral vibes (there’s even a track called “Tribes”)
You might recognize Alan Silva’s name on here, the bassman of
ESP and other lore goes spaceman with synth on the second of the
two disks. But the connection Bennani has made with Makoto Sato
on drums and especially Itaru Oki is fantastic. Oki mostly on trumpet,
adds some bugle and notably windy flutes. Oki is given a lot of solo
space, and while both he and Bennani can scorch things up, they excel
in gentle ways. Pieces are often dreamy, Sato then eases up and will
roll along on toms. Both horns at times seem to brush up against
classics for a bar or two, maybe quoting some recognizable material
to help launch an improvisation. Bennani gets a sweet hum on slow low
notes and on both disks his work with Oki is touch and glow! Silva’s
synth on disk two is also mellow and mildly galactic while anchored
in the deep end like a contrabass, it sort of pushes the group into a
more fusion zone. on “Take Time, Play the Game” but towards the
end really elevates. On “More Is Different” Silva’s delivers more
mind-bending pitch-bending tweaky key tinkle. Martian blues almost?
More great stuff from this vibrant label, personally I need to back
and uncork some the Oki releases KFJC has corralled. -Thurston Hunger

NON – “PAGAN MUZAK” – [Grey Area of Mute]

abacus   5/25/2016   12-inch, A Library

landmark 7″ originally released in 1978 of unnerving locked grooves, polluting ears and inspiring generations of future audio terrorists; thick choking on sonic debris, toxic pulsations of atonal hum and clatter. piercing monotony to rest your boots on your velvet ottoman while sipping mai tais to.

COVEN: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [coll] – [Forever Midnight]

abacus   5/25/2016   12-inch, Soundtrack

rank-stink cheese-grade horror movie soundtrack for COVEN (pronounced like woven not like oven) the legendary failed 1997 short film by Mark Borchardt (see: American Movie). the worst kind of pre-packaged cheap keyboard library music with hilariously creepy bone-chilling interludes. reviewers try to lure you with words like “ominous”, “dilapidated”, and “stark” but don’t be fooled, this shining example of creativity gone wrong is the most satisfying disappointment you’ll ever force yourself (and your listeners) to suffer through. perfect on any playlist and essential for our bulging library of blow-hard overpriced horror movie soundtracks. suck it Death Waltz

TOADS and BUGS [coll] – [White Rabbit Records]

abacus   5/25/2016   7-inch, A Library

double mini CD release from Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim out of Germany and Der Bekannte Post Industrielle Trompeter from Italy. the trumpeteer plays the toad side: a number of short tracks carrying juvenile delinquent flatrumpence with sci-fi lullaby calypso grooves and twisted future jazz industrial breakdown. the trinkers play the bug side: one long track of warped mash into factory-grade steel drone drifting gently through the void carrying echoes of voices and melody trailing behind, monastic memories and creeping carefully to the forefront. haunting oddities for sleepless nights

D.B.P.I.T / F.T.B.P.D [coll] – [White Rabbit Records]

abacus   5/25/2016   7-inch, A Library

experimental post-industrial split between Flavio Rivabella aka DBPIT out of Italy and German duo FTBPD. Flavio has been active since the early 2000s and contrary to name, not particularly well-known despite his huge output and collaborations, having worked with Mushroom’s Patience and others. his side is a warped sleepytime hallucination with echoing trumpet carrying us along, an alien ambient soundscape. FTBPD roughly translates to “the dope drinkers at home” or something… active since the mid-90s and quite a bit active, with extensive touring around Europe. their side starts off significantly more abstract and absent, post-classical drone emanating out of a dank sewer-ambiance, until we creeper deeper down the tunnels and find a rhythmic-concrete ritual grooving by candlelight on the inside that devolves into a non-locked loop fading away. beautiful aural oddities to waste away the day

Crawl Unit – “Tucson Mon Amour” – [Drone Records]

abacus   5/25/2016   7-inch, A Library

second pressing of live performance from Crawl Unit’s only tour played at Big Storage in Tucson, a relic from a criminally underrepresented sound artist. distant wavering tones on the hazy horizon, sparse industrial tinkering litters the foreground, the scattered detritus flickers in the hot desert sun. the B-side has more of a looped rhythmic feel. stroke delusions

Radio Free Clear Light – “Time and Other Disturbances” – [Black Note Music]

Kai Sync   5/25/2016   A Library, CD

 

Radio Free Clear Light from San Francisco started as an open collective of like minded artists attending a Bardo training session with the common interest to develop music that invokes various mental moods and states with pure music performances. Participation is still open for anyone interested. RFCL is very active with new music posted weekly. This album has a lot of nods towards Orb — kind of like Dr. Patterson would summon his crew and tell them that this time they should make serious music instead of prankster looping. As such the material has a lot of ambient chill loop elements with rhythmic variations combined with various other sonic material building abstractions that should trigger various altered states of mind – depending on individual interpretations. It definitely does put the mind in an coherent mode unlike intelligent muzak played at progressive airports. I would call this a sonic noir journey in gaps between mental moments to be fair to the Bardo notion.

Warp10+1 [coll] – [Warp Records Ltd]

Kai Sync   5/25/2016   A Library, CD

This is a 1999 compilation release from Warp — actually a historical compilation of techno, acid and electronica reflecting artists and tracks that inspired the label’s founders and its line of artists. As such this compilation could be considered a ‘classic hits’ release, which is peculiar as electronic music has always been transient where new trends and styles are created on a monthly basis and it’s a rarity to pay much interest in oldies material. This collection has early Detroit techno (Model 500, Rhytmin is Rhythim…), early day UK acid house and even rarities such as Bang The Party, Unique Three and Steve Pointdexter’s Computer Madness rarity track. ??It also has A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray that made me remember the early day rave scene in Sydney.

To be fair, some of the tracks have aged well and other tracks have just aged. The material also showcases the technological limits of the early day sequencers with 16 bar max sequence patterns and samplers with limited amount of loop memory time. It was fascinating to hear how those were overcome by intriguing arrangements. It’s also clear that the way drum patterns were designed that are seldom heard in today’s electronic music with a huge amount of hi-hat shuffling and marching band style snares. This all gives the release a nod towards nostalgia which has never been a synonym for electronic dance music.

 

Colley, Joe – “Psychic Stress Soundtracks” – [Antifrost]

billiejoe   5/25/2016   A Library, CD

Very prolific Bay Area sound artist originally from Florida. If you didn’t hear the mayhem special he participated in with Abacus and Max Level do it now. This album is very dynamic. It’s quiet in places then has sudden big crashes or screeches and literally makes you jump in your driver’s seat in your car. Or maybe that’s just me. Oscillations between drone and noise that I think a lot of djs will appreciate.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Susurrus Station – “Antinomie” – [AIO Soundings]

Max Level   5/24/2016   12-inch, A Library

A fantastically odd record. Hard to describe. Amazingly creative. Sara and Jason, a duo from Oregon or maybe Washington, certainly have some strange ideas about how to put music together. Things that really shouldn’t work together somehow do.

They both sing, so we get male and female vocals along with guitar, violin, mandolin, percussion, keyboards. Drum machine. Unidentifiable sounds. A handful of guests add various instruments–woodwinds, viola, synths and samples, percussion. It takes a few listens to hear everything that’s going on and even then you won’t. Every track is deep and interesting.

The first track is low and slow and swampy. In fact the whole record sounds like it emerged from a swamp somewhere and wants to crawl into your brain. Which it does. If I were wearing a mood ring it would be green-blue. Or maybe blue-violet. I forget which of those means tripped out and happy but that’s the color it would be. Maybe a bit of orange for confusion and wariness.

This review sucks, I know. Why did I mention swamps and mood rings? The record is really strange and great; I should have just left it at that.

Clever – “Kewdi Udi” – [Homeless]

mouthbreather   5/24/2016   12-inch, A Library

Brisbane (AUS) fast paced noise rockers with a penchant for punk. angry, raw, with a dash of childishness. jangly guitar, tight drums, and a vocalist emulating a slurring, cryptic johnny rotten.

vulgar sounding, sweet breakdowns. yummy yummy!

Toyota – “Concept Model(s) I-V” – [Discontinuous Innovation Inc.]

mouthbreather   5/24/2016   A Library, Cassette

SF hyperactive fun-punkers, all named after models of their namesake’s corporation. giving up jittery vocals, guitars, bloopy bass, energetic drumming in a self-imposed ‘pseudo-corporate rock’ genre… a coffee hyped baby Devo sound. not much melody here. sure to piss someone off.

play the tape! 10 minutes of fun, then its over!

Dezurik Sisters – “Yodel and Sing Their Greatest Hits” – [Mississippi Records]

mouthbreather   5/24/2016   12-inch, Country

Minnesota weirdos yip-cackling their way through these 26 selections. these farm girls hit their stride in the late 1930’s, buck-bucking their yodels to urbanites, radio listeners (WLS-AM’s National Barn Dance), and other audiences who had cut ties with their rural upbringings.

yodel yer scrotal; bock-buck yer flock, Chuck; chip-chiperry, Marie; try to sing with the birds.