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Salamander Wool – “Lunarsophic Somnambulist” – [Ehse Records]

R-4161798-1357325474-5474.jpeg

Salamander Wool’s music is by Carso Garhart and Twig Harper contributes electronic elements and production techniques. The first track is probably the best, with its field sounds (recorded over time in West Baltimore) and bells. Vocals join the sounds partway through the track, and are present on the other tracks as well. These are an acquired taste, but the music itself is pleasant enough, with its guitar strumming that is Americana-esque. Track 5 has water sounds and then whirring (a washing machine?). The lyrics have merit, and overall this might just be great music for the solar eclipse coming up.

  • Reviewed by humana on July 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • My Cat Is an Alien & Jean-Marc Montera – “Union of The Supreme Light” – [Starlight Furniture Co.]

    a3431110692_16

    In a worthy tribute to their mother, the Opalio brothers join with Montera for some instantaneous composition in Marseille, France. In addition to the lovely painting gracing the album cover, Roberto adds his haunting wordless vocalizations and alientronics to Maurizio’s self-made string instrument and Montera’s self-made guitar table. The effects are calming, atmospheric, strange, and out of this world superb.

  • Reviewed by humana on July 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Compile – “Ten Wolves End” – [Private Archive]

    a2691888422_10

    This release from NYC’s Compile, one of our first adds from the Boston cassette label Private Archive, holds two sidelong sound collages (supposedly two separate tracks, but I can’t hear the division). “Drone’s on Fire/Ten Wolves End” (A) is a collaboration with Article Collection (C. Latina of the group Private Archive and label co-owner). Chopped and screwed voices – possibly ripped from Youtube videos with views in the single digits or surveillance camera footage – describe survival on the streets and the pathetic daily life of a vlogger broadcasting for the first (and probably last) time. Underneath the samples are synth sketches, heavy bass pulses, tumbling metal, high pitched ringing, hovering drones. The piece degenerates into a finale that is both hilarious and terrifying. In “Compile/Did you really have fun tonight?” (B), recordings of domestic disturbances and an informational video about violent behavior steep in a nauseating brew of chants, drones, metallic echoes, and squirming synthwork. The cameras are everywhere, pointed at you, and the images captured are an infinitely scrolling reminder: there’s nothing in there.

    FCCs ON BOTH SIDES

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on July 30, 2017 at 5:07 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Thollem / Mazurek – “Blind Curves and Box Canyons” – [Relative Pitch Records]

    Trumpeter Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground, Isotope 217) and electric pianist Thollem McDonas (Tsigoti, Estamos Ensemble) meet for the first time in Marfa and head for the outer limits. As might be expected from a pair of experienced improvisers with incredibly diverse interests, they hit a variety of spots along the way. It helps that Mazurek is packing a sampler, a modular synth, bells, and his prodigious voice in addition to his horn. Electric-era Miles is the obvious referent, but there are also Oval-style glitch experiments, modular synth workouts, free-folk psych freakouts, and even some “straight” free-improv. Of particular note are those moments when Mazurek’s shamanic chanting breaks through the squall, and the whole thing threatens to break itself apart. Noisy, messy, and joyous.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on July 26, 2017 at 7:05 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Death In June & Les Joyaux De La Princesse – “Ostenbraun” – [Fedetfinisaborigine]

    Remixed Death In June material (from around the time of Wall of Sacrifice, so go ahead and play “Spot the Sample”), sent through the mail by Douglas P. and remixed by the Frenchman Erik Konofal, from Les Joyaux De La Princesse. The title “Ostenbraun” is somewhat perplexing, as its use of umlauts is unorthodox and its significance is not immediately clear- umlauts aside, it means east (or possibly eastern) brown. “Braun” has become political shorthand for “Nazi” or “extreme right-wing” in German, and Pearce has an open and well-documented fascination with the Sturmabteilung or SA (Brownshirts), and with their founder Ernst Rohm in particular. I will leave you with this.
    Slow and sad, it’s the music you play at the funeral after they send Johnny (or Jean-Paul) home in a box. Sometimes, though, it’s just slow. The music is comprised primarily of loops, largely of instrumental parts: drums, organs, string instruments. Other sounds are muffled voices, singing ghost children, church bells and Douglas P. reciting different spoken word pieces (there’s some Nietzsche in there). Almost everything has been put through filters and subject to other tweaks, so even the recognisable sounds are not straight-up. Konofal almost certainly added his own synth work to the mix, and the sleepy gloom that lies over the LP is more characteristic of his work than Death In June’s, so the martial foreboding never evolves into an imposing one-handed salute to men in uniform. Play it for Rohm, if you’d like… but don’t tell anybody.

  • Reviewed by Rat King on July 26, 2017 at 6:54 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Cadaverous Condition – “Destroying The Night Sky” – [Klang Galerie]

    destroyyourlife

    From the very interesting, very awesome Austrian Death Metal scene (Pungent Stench, anyone?) came Cadaverous Condition, originally a Death Metal band but in recent years embracing a ‘Death Folk’ sound that sometimes incorporates somber acoustic instruments alongside death growls. As if that weren’t eccentic enough, they had a slew of sympathetic experimental musicians remix material from their 2006 album ‘To The Night Sky’ into new compositions. The result was this 2008 CD. The remixers are Thighpaulsandra, Andrew Liles, Nocturnal Emissions, Product 8, Colin Potter, Nurse With Wound, Gjoll, Holy McGrail, Asmus Tietchens, Controlled Bleeding, and Ali Helnwein. It’s about as strange as you’d expect, especially because the electric guitars and growls do make it through in some form on most pieces. Still, “[t]his is no ordinary remix album, this is alchemy.”

    The output ranges from glitch techno (t.1) to Industrial Metal (t.s 2, 8, 9), Death Surf (t.5) pure noise (t.s 3, 4, 10), and Surrealist collage (t.s 6, 7, 11, 12, 13). T.7 is the most brutal song ever to namedrop Rod Mckuen. The guest vocal from Death in June/Sixth Comm’s Patrick Leagas is preserved more or less intact on t.8. Yay. The last track is also weirdly moving.

    Pretty strange album. Many tracks could be played to make fun of metal, as many like to.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on July 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • G*Park – “1983-1988+” – [Tochnit Aleph]

    gpark

    G*Park is Marc Zeier, the most obscure member of the already obscure Schimpfluch-Gruppe. His solo work is a surreal blend of field recordings, musique concret, and tape loops.

    This box set (1 of only 77) contains CD reissues of 5 of G*Park’s earliest cassette recordings, along with one CD of previously-unreleased improvisation with Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock. Also included are a glossy booklet of artwork and a bag of tea.

    Lots of loops and layers going on here, a rich collage flowing directly through the sub-conscious (or un-conscious) mind of the listener. Flittery bird calls and heavy machinery, like a field trip through an under-construction menagerie. Ominous tones, drones, and groans confuse and disorient.

    Quasi-rhythmic scrapes and clangs. Heavy breathing, snoring, gurgling. Dreamy nitrous-oxide induced bliss. The dental chair and all its drills, picks, blood, and bright lights feels so far away.

    Hazy radio transmissions pulled from the ether. Distant memories of high-school football. Crunches, crashes, and sharp staccato piano snap you out of it, and take you somewhere else, somewhere darker.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on July 26, 2017 at 5:54 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • William Parker Quartets: Meditation / Resurrection [coll] – [Aum Fidelity]

    Follow up to 2016′s Wood Flute Songs oversize box. All compositions William Parker. In the tradition of Mingus and Ellington. Both CDs recorded live on the same day in 2016.
    Parker’s namesake quartet on CD1 features OKC’s Jalalu Kalvert-Nelson on trumpet, CD2 In Order To Survive quartet features Cooper-Moore on piano. Both CDs feature Parker-bass, Rob Brown-alto, Hamid Drake- drums.
    CD1 – Kalvert-Nelson on “Rodney’s Resurrection”. Brown on “Handsome Lake.” Drake and Parker swing hard all disc.
    CD2 – Cooper-Moore channels Cecil Taylor and Don Pullen. Check out “Some Lake Oliver.” Parker’s bow on “Sunrise ..” lets you know he is completely in control.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on July 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Griffith, JP and Peters, H – “Experiment In Sound” – [Self Released]

    Trippy guitar distorted/hip hop beats/spoken word/jazzy. Playful and creative. The sort of thing you make someone listen to and watch their reaction while it’s playing.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on July 26, 2017 at 4:40 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Glen Or Glenda/ Dinosaurs, Baseball & Hopscotch [coll] – [Cupid Is Stupid]

    Glen or Glenda has been described as “jazz music for a horror movie” and I agree. They are Adrian Riffo, Christophe Ratier, Mathieu Fuster, Melody Gottardi.
    Dinosaur, Baseball & Hopscotch is Clare Hubbard, Justin Clifford Rhody, Keith Wright Sounds like a slow grind. Horn drums and panting breathing beat boxing. Both noisy hippy jam freak outs. Really groovy.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on July 26, 2017 at 4:38 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Dempster, Stuart – “In The Great Abbey of Clement VI” – [New Albion]

    This album came out thirty years ago. Bay area dude. He’s done a lot of important stuff like taught at Washington University and had fellowships. He is associated with the Deep Listening Institute founded by Pauline Oliveros This is three long minimal droney toney pieces. Horns on tracks 1 and 3 and didj on track 2. Absolutely delicious. Good for calming down or staying bummed out.
    – Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on July 26, 2017 at 4:37 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Anima Nostra – “Atraments” – [Malignant Records]

    animanostra

    Anima Nostra is the duo of Nordvargr (Mz.412, Toroidh, Folkstorm) and artist Margaux Renaudin, a newcomer to Industrial music. This 2017 release can probably be considered a follow-up to the 2016 ‘Anima Nostra’ album released on Cold Spring under their own names.

    The components of the sound are recognizable to Nordvargr fans — thickly distorted synthesizer, gruff growls, Martial Industrial beats, mournful ambience, manipulated samples of religious chant, creepy-crawly repetition — but never before has this indestructible Swedish noisemaker combined his different sonic interests so seamlessly into one statement. The end result could be called Industrial Doom Metal, Neo-Classical, or Ritual Ambient, depending on which part of which track is playing. Recent fusion experiments from the Karjalan Sissit bunker came to mind, as well as fellow Swedes Trepaneringsritualen (who designed the cover using Renaudin’s calligraphy) and Sanctum.

    It’s almost redundant to compare Anima Nostra to other groups in this vein, though, because Nordvargr himself helped found the Black Industrial cult of Scandinavia decades ago. He has continued to reinterpret and refine his sonic ideas since. His young collaborator seems to inspire him towards even stranger territory, like the opera valkyrie on t.4, the crisp gothic organ drones on t.5, the French whispers on t.6, or the bizarre metaphysical lyrics, which are as frustratingly oblique as other motifs here. The theme may be on the evils of language; perhaps the “atraments” are the printed inks we use to construct our flimsy psychic realities?

    “All words are abuse,” says the booklet, so I’ll stop abusing this great CD. Play it.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on July 25, 2017 at 6:39 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ryan, Jim / Glenn, Jordan – “Mindless Thing” – [Edgetone Records]

    4178

    Oakland-based percussionist and composer Jordan Glenn is a modern-day Mingus, known as much for his mastery of his chosen instrument as for his unique and compelling ensemble work (cf. BEAK, Wiener Kids). Here, he collaborates with Jim Ryan, a Bay Area poet who used to pal around with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Glenn’s compositions feature hammered dulcimer, vibraphone, and piano, and mesh perfectly with Ryan’s gravely, sage-like voice. The mood is mostly somber and melancholy (although watch out for T5 which works itself into a bit of a frenzy with some hand percussion and guitar pyrotechnics), and I can’t help but envision an old man alone in his castle, whiskey coursing through his veins, slowly going insane. Guaranteed to both fit in and stand out in any show. Highly recommended!

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on July 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Ibsen, Henrik / Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center – “An Enemy of The People” – [Caedmon]

    Heard a fine superimposition mix of this back on

    http://www.kfjc.org/music/playlist.php?i=53709

    then the DJ donated this 3 lp set to KFJC! Thx, Sluggo
    Brothers square off against each other, Mayor vs Doctor.
    A town prospers off the illness of visitors but at the
    cost of the health of the townspeople. The individual
    is pitted against the majority, but that majority is
    quickly relabeled authority. Meanwhile in the battle of
    science and politics, corporations and the press have
    their own maneuvers. This Caedmon (!!) release includes
    a post-game side-long chat between Harold Clurman and
    Arthur Miller, whose adaptation was used for this recording.
    Miller astutely predicts future relevancies for this work,
    the river that runs through this album ran through Flint MI
    all too recently. Giving a different taste to the line
    “We’ll go to America and this whole thing will be like
    a dream.” Recorded in 1971, adapted by Miller in 1950,
    originally written by Ibsen in 1882. Awaiting your KFJC
    experimentation now…

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Pesteg Dred – “Years of Struggle Against The Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice” – [Dark Entries]

    Teenage DaneDream of Damaged SynthPop
    Does any label time travel better than Dark Entries?
    This was recorded back in December 1981, but apparently
    only availale wth a Danish magazine as a cassette in 1985.
    Inge Shannons vocals are featured to lead off the album
    in isolated fashion and layered, on “Untitled” (A2) they
    are draped in echo, droning over a churning pace but
    hit a break where they go wonderfully cuckoo. “Superior”
    has a proto-Motorik bassline with some new wave synth
    waves but then is that a toy piano or a ukele, and later
    it sounds like some skittering violin. Inge sings sorta
    pretty on this near anthem. Something’s rockin’ in
    Denmark? By the end of side A, she’s got a fierce femme
    Peter Murphy rolling for “Impressions.” And drums on that
    and through-out are well slugged by Martin Hall. Check
    the interview with him in the booklet, he’s still creating
    to this day, he and Inge were in SS-Say that turned up in
    a retro collection on Minimal Wave, but this really does
    not mope much in minimal waters. A dingy darkness, and
    some sick synths and electric “treatments” from Per
    Hendrichsen do demand attention. Hall’s bass playing can
    be brutal slappy in a fine way, like on “Light, More Light”
    And who tortures those horns on that elongated piece!?!
    Second “Untitled” is a haunting ghost piano soundscape.
    Hard to pin down this LP, def’ an attractive neuroticism
    Killing Joke-y, but different? For a bunch of teenage Danes,
    really well-assembled. It got lost for a while, and even
    after Dark Entries uncovered it in 2010, it must have befuddled
    some KFJC’ers, but it’s well worth the wait. Skilled and
    skittish stuff.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Ima – “Garden of Memory 6.21.17″ – [Self Released]

    19420528_1385422751537801_4931891492671435849_n

    Ima (“now” in Japanese) is an Oakland-based electro-percussion duo who have been performing since 2013. Amma Ateria (Jeanie Aprille Tang) is a composer and artist who works with field recordings and an instrument made from electronic hardware, contact mics, and plexiglass. Nava Dunkelman is a percussionist who has performed in several local groups, including the improvisational group DunkelpeK. This live CDR recording of their performance from the 2017 Garden of Memory at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland was burned and released on the spot at the event.

    I still haven’t been to the Chapel of the Chimes, but the sounds on this record match the image of it I have in my mind: beautiful, maze-like, heavy with the presence of those laid to rest. Echoing through the chapel’s halls are the rumbles of gongs, ringing bells, metallic clashes, crashes, whispered phrases that are looped and processed. “Notion of Time” (T1) is a short spoken word introduction (in Japanese). In “Lift” (T3) a dark, deep drone pulses throughout. The album concludes with the exquisite “Eline” (T5) with chimes glimmering in the dark. Stunning.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on July 23, 2017 at 6:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Cranioclast – “Iconclastar” – [Musica Maxima Magnetica]

    R-236288-1289467734.jpeg

    Conceptual dark ambient from 1992 courtesy of two German dudes. Ominous rumblings, croaking frogs, gently wailing guitars,the occasional whispered female vocal: about as scary as that haunted house you and your friends made in 7th grade. Tracks run into each other and are divided strangely, so play on continous and dip in wherever. For fans of Barn Owl, Fennesz, Tim Hecker.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on July 19, 2017 at 7:11 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Au:Tone:Al – “S/t” – [Cloister Recordings]

    au.tone.al

    Intriguing trips into the hidden dark ambient recesses of your mind. Two side-long tracks on this cassette, each in the range of 17 minutes long, recorded live at the Luggage Store Gallery in 2010. Joining forces here are Andre Custodio (Say Bok Gwai, Nihil Communication), Dave Ed (Neurosis), and Kevin Gan Yuen (Sutekh Hexen) on Moogs and other synthstuff, along with guitar/amp/noise. Long, extended tones, sometimes meditative, sometimes more outward-reaching, wash over the listener. Reminds me of a subterranean journey through outer space, even though that’s not actually possible… I don’t think.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on July 18, 2017 at 8:54 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Raven – “Wiped Out” – [Neat Records]

    wipedout

    Raven was founded in 1974, although the first recordings didn’t come out until the early 80s. Fronted by the charismatic Gallagher brothers (no, not those ones), Raven were simulaneously situated at the crest of the ‘Heavy Metal’ wave and the beginnings of the Speed Metal sound. Like other bands on the U.K.’s Neat Records (e.g. Venom) their sound was a little too rugged to follow Judas Priest and Iron Maiden into the realms of superstardom, but they did garner a rabid underground following, many of whom went on to invent Thrash Metal (in the same spirit of friendly oneupmanship that has driven Metal to its present extremes).

    ‘Wiped Out’ is the second Raven album, released by Neat in 1982, the same year as Priest’s ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ and Maiden’s ‘The Number of the Beast’ as well as Tank’s ‘Filth Hounds of Hades’ and, in the U.S., Manilla Road’s ‘Metal.’ Coming at such a critical time, it’s understandable that Raven didn’t make a bigger splash, but to my punk-ass modern ears they seem essential.

    Raven may have been one of the first Heavy Metal bands to understand that male falsetto can be used to tremendously perverse effect, paving the way for twisted screechers like King Diamond and Hirax’s Katon. W. De Pena. Bassists/lead singer John Gallagher delights in driving his bellows up the wall into nails-on-chalkboard muppetry and beyond. Mark Gallagher’s guitar shredding gives some idea of why Raven later chose to deem themselves ‘Athletic Rock.’ A nice mix of the technical and the accessible, jumping between Motorheadish boogie-woogie and elaborate edifices of wank.

    Warning: may cause a desire to bleach your hair, wear sleeveless tees, ride motorcycles, pump iron, shag birds, drink beer and rock all night.

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on July 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound and Space Ensembles

    Roscoe_Mitchell_and_the_Sound_and_Space_Ensembles

    This 1984 offering from Roscoe Mitchell and friends presents a mix of approaches, spread over a half-dozen tracks ranging from 2-12 minutes in length. In opener “Words,” vocals and a pair of saxophones tiptoe around one another in alternating bouts of drawn out, held notes and quick choppy phrases. “You Wastin’ My Time” features a much larger ensemble busting out an off-kilter, ass-shaking groove with Sugar Hill-esque rap–notable for the percussion, and lots of spirited sax and bass work. Short-form improv “Views A, B, and C” is laid back like a plastic bag caught in the wind. “View D” has almost no percussion, but squeaky everything– these dudes take turns doing insane runs, but make it sound so easy. “Lifeline Lyon Seven” is an upbeat, more traditional cut held down with ride, snare and bass; Mitchell delivers a hazy, extended solo out front. It also includes a frenetic solo by Mike Mossman (trumpet) and some true wackiness from Spencer Banfield (guitar).

  • Reviewed by milo on July 16, 2017 at 1:10 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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