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  • Archives
      KFJC On-Line Reviews
    What KFJC has added to their library and why...

    Chatham, Rhys – “Pythagorean Dream” – [Foom Music]

    Chatham is a New Yorker living in Paris. He is a composer and multi-instrumentalist and a prolific artist. This album is ambient and droney long tracks. With its use of flute, guitar, and tape delay it creates a spooky sonic environment.
    — Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on February 21, 2018 at 2:21 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Birch and Meadow – “Butterflies and Graves” – [Time Released Sound]

    This is Sara Forslund a singer songwriter and David Wenngren of Library Tapes. From Sweden. This is their first album together and came out five years ago. It sounds like neofolk poetic lyrics set to ambient minimal tones. Slow, deliberate, and some serious feels.
    — Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on February 21, 2018 at 2:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Pulse Emitter – “Serious Meditative Music 1- 5” – [Immune Recordings]

    Tones from Portland by Daryl Groetsch, an electronic artist who is classically trained. This album is five discs of ceaseless building and patterns and plateaus. These are short tracks that can be played on continuous. The first four discs were made each year between 2007 and 2010. Disc 5 was newly released last year.
    — Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on February 21, 2018 at 2:18 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Rakotozafy – “Valiha Malaza (Famous Valiha)” – [Ace Records Ltd./Virgin]

    rakoto zafy and valiha

    Voice and box zither. Notes contain the lyrics. Great addition to the GLOBESTYLE Madigasikara series. Legends surround the life and death of Rakotozafy. Drank himself to death in 6 days or died in a jailhouse hunger strike. He was an exceptional box-style valiha (tube zither) player, adding strings and increasing in size, expanding the range and power of the instrument. A hit, recorded by Jean-Francois de Comarmond in 1962 for the DiscoMad label.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 21, 2018 at 11:18 am
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Wei Zhongle – “Operators, The” – [Self Sabatage]

    Chicago project that has molted often, but kept
    singer Ron Jacobs as the chief card-carrying member.
    Indeed from this release to v5.0 per their F’book
    site, even fellow founder John McCowen and his
    electronic clarinet have slithered away. That
    clarinet, with Jacob’s guitar gives this album a
    peculiar feel. The guitar is often brittle, more
    apt to break off notes then chords, often with a
    clipped bright processing. McCowen’s clarinet
    has an even tighter, amped up sound, more like a
    synth than a wind. Interesting. The songs centered
    on that pair are somewhere in a DMZ between pop
    and prog. I’m thinking of 80’s Japan (dreaming of
    clarinet cuckoos in Magic I.D.) Jacob’s singing
    silkens the kimono effect, gentle/clean. “Nosejob”
    lets Phil Sudderberg have a little percussion fun
    and gives a rare groove to bassist Pat Keen. But
    “Inside Your Insides” is what hit me in my sonic
    plexus. Bandname may translate as “Microgravity”
    or perhaps “Your services are no longer needed” ;>
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2018 at 1:04 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Goodman, Greg/ Gruntfest, John – “In This Land All The Birds Wore Hats & Spurs” – [Beak Doctor, The]

    Time travel on two sides, improv pairing split on
    side A’s mid 1980’s vs side B’s 2008. Side A launches
    with “Pure Mind” feeling like that flavor of raga jazz,
    a few laps of alap, the Goodman’s piano circular and
    Gruntfest’s sax centered within. The next piece “Great
    Bird” almost rolls into Terry Riley territory. Still a
    flowing, rolling, bubbling composition.

    Flip the disk and 2008 flies in the window, Gruntfest
    wings some phrases, and woodpecker sputter on the
    reed. Goodman a few bars of simple chords, then dives
    into the prepared piano pluckage and plumage. Act I
    is a lot of peck and pluck. Moving into Act II some
    of the waves of piano from the 80’s turn up and churn
    up darker waters. Free jazz takes flight, screech and
    scronk sax and eventually some furious bass clef work
    by Goodman. Act II closes with zithery work under the
    hood. If Act II was a battle, and at times it felt like
    it, here Gruntfest and Goodman find common ground, it’s
    not the soothing flow found in the flip side of their
    youth. Side A had them united in the song itself, here
    the song serves to unite their own unique talents,
    so you get more sparks and fire, as opposed to the
    cool ripples from their earlier work.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2018 at 12:56 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Cazzell, Micol – “Little Fits” – [Self Produced]

    Micol sings like 6am, wide awake…inverted magic hour….
    quietly bright, a little chill nipping at your earlobes.
    He double tracks his vox to give you a tiny warm stereo
    muffler. Mellow guitar strummage, with gentle noodling
    (no caffeinated solos). The drums almost missed the wake
    up call, but they are there just a little bleary. At least
    not a machine punching the clock beat. They add to the
    home-spun charm. Polite keyboards look in the window.
    Lyrics are where any discord may lie, maybe written at 3am
    the night before. Hell the lead-off track is called
    “Postmodern Depressionalism” and name checks Elliot Smith
    and sings “don’t like the song, the words are all wrong.”
    But that melody is alright, a pop delight. The title cut
    is cloaked in wispy aaaaaah’s. On #3, the soothing nature
    of “life is long and miserable…but I’m doing fine” so
    Micol seems able to enjoy a dose of the morose as long as
    his heart still hits a simple hi-hat pitter-pat. Raise your
    sad, sweet and sour “Fits” in unity, my fellow melancholics.
    -Thorazine Hunger
    tiny little FCCs #1 #2

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2018 at 12:51 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Amendola, Scott / Kaiser, Henry – “Leaps” – [Fractal Music]

    kaiser amendola

    Live improvised works recorded during a 2014 performance from guitarist Henry Kaiser and drummer Scott Amendola. Throughout these six tracks, the local luminaries leap between strange styles in a single bound, from the psychedelic freakout and extended comedown of longplayer “Leaps” (T1), to the post-rock burn of “Door in the Light” (T2, that builds into something much heavier and wild), the tangled jungles of “The 14 Animals that Will Haunt Your Dreams” (T3), the rolling blues riffs and rhythms of “Sproing” (T4), the electronic abstractions of “Blinks and Blinks” (T5), and the seething skronk of “The Wrong Suit” (T6). Much more from these prolific artists in the A and Jazz sections of our library.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 20, 2018 at 8:02 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Na Leo Hawai’i Kahiko [coll] – [Bernice P. Bishop Museum]

    black and white old photos of hawaiian chanters

    Excellent resource for understanding the evolution of Hawaiian music, produced by the Bernice Pauahi Museum, the Hawai’i State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Founded in 1889, it is the largest museum in Hawai’i and has the world’s largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens.

    Tracks 1-34 are mele (chants), sometimes with drumming, nose flute, or body slapping. The chanters were born in the middle of the 19th c. Recorded on wax cylinder sessions from 1923 and 1935. Sparse, ritualistic. Fans of Yage Pinta and Lost Shadows will find much to enjoy.

    Tracks 35-48 are early 20th c. recordings & 78s foregrounding how Hawaiian music absorbed the influences of hymns and ragtime and with the addition of guitars and ukeleles, evolved into Hawaiian folk music we know today.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Ethiopian Urban and Tribal Music Mindanoo Mistiru Gold From [coll] – [Sub Rosa]

    wood face carving

    5 STARS ** FAR OUT SOUNDS
    Ethiopian music recorded by Ragnar Johnson and Ralph Harrison in July and August 1971, released by Sub Rosa in 2017. The urban musicians are recorded in Addis Ababa and the tribal musicians in the country. The booklet tells who is playing what for each track. I became entranced while listening to the three note phrase at the heart of the Fila Flute Dance (CD2#10). Upon repeated listens the otherworldly Bagana (CD2#4) lute and the Two Afar Flutes (CD1#5) wrapped around my head and popped my brain out the top, my eyeballs from the front and my tongue lolled forth like a necktie.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 19, 2018 at 5:18 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Stein, Norbert/ Pata Messengers – “We are Here For You/ Derby Girl” – [Pata Music]

    norbert stein pata messengers, We Are CD cover

    German tenor saxophonist Norbert Stein calls his high-minded yet addictive European jazz quartet the Pata Messengers, after patyaphysics, an “an imaginary realm additional to metaphysics” developed by the Parisian absurdist Alfred Jarry (1873-1907). Fluid from freedom to in time, according to Michael Rusenberg, “Pata music floats in a large area of brackish water … between singable waltz … and complete dissolution of the meter.”
    Drummer Etienne Nillesen uses only a prepared snare drum and cymbal for a kit and makes it work very well. Philip Zoubek is Stein’s first piano player and rounds out the proceedings, you can hear the difference between this and the other Stein / Pata Music releases in our library.

  • Reviewed by Hemroid The Leader on February 19, 2018 at 4:38 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Trashies, The – “Octagon, The” – [Fine Concepts]

    The place where the spastic stuck is where The Trashies
    spot-welded their sound on your heart-shaped ears. They
    step into the album like Chuck Norris into a rap battle,
    in-it-to-win-it. The opening title track gives you
    a little taste of the waste floating in the Trashies
    stream of conciousness. Rhyming slang to put your mind
    in a sling, and not afraid to play the Buttafuoco card.
    Is this where hip hop meets gunk rot? Music escapes from
    the drum machine circus, with an array of guitar moves
    that might bust out twin-lead Thin Lizzy, or might break
    off some thick and stumbly Beefheart chunks. Just because
    the dork-o-meter is set on 11, doesn’t mean these itty
    bittie ditties aren’t big on style. Of course most songs
    come at your quick like a UFC round, 2 minutes is a long
    one. This sure scratched my old Uzi Rash itch, sure enough
    mighty Max Nordile is in the dumpster band. Erin Allen plays
    something too, probably lots of somethings. Album
    finishes strong, that “I’m Uh Stayn” and “Shovel” tag
    team is a killer. Crazy choruses on both, “Shovel” offers
    a sing-along for an asylum, while “Stayn” almost sounds
    like he’s saying “Namaste” while a voice over like like
    the Weatherman corrects the phrasing. “Fresh Hunny”
    drips with sweat of a 100 Prince impersonators. Steel
    dum-drums (sampled?) on “Rhinoline” are just fine, and
    “Dumb 2 B Smart” is a loaded potato for this old spudboy.
    5 Thumbs Up, and venom in my eye! -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 17, 2018 at 4:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Tapes & Topographies – “Fathoms” – [Simulacra Records]

    Ambient exercises out of Dallas, TX. Todd Gautreau is
    the mixmaster and electro-navigator aboard this one-man
    sonic submarine. Standout track “The Trouble With Dreams”
    features waves of tone mingle with washes of antenna
    signal squiggle, and even some vox mermana drift by as
    well. Death by water never felt so good. Buoyant chimes
    and gentle climes. Bathysphere organ and actual sized
    bubbles rise on “Theory of Impossible Shapes.” Mystic mists
    for the noise-sick KFJC-serpents? Based on the name,
    I wonder if there are more field recordings nestled into
    the songs? By the way his earlier project “Tear Ceremony”
    has a darker Agent Cooper bent, though still soothing and
    KFJC has two of those fine releases worth revisiting. All
    on his own Simulacra imprint, along with the Crushed Stars
    project that he fronts for some Slowdive-y pop pastels.

    Gautreau is one busy being, but this is the project to help
    him, or you unwind. Sink into the syrup synth sea.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • HMS – “Tetrad” – [Astral Spirits]


    Yes, it’s another genre-defying release from the folks at Astral Spirits. Climb aboard the HMS Tetrad! You’ll find delicate drumwork, disembodied violin, and other things too, but mostly there is just the deep, dark vastness of the sea. These tense and drony soundscapes bring to mind a darker, fuzzed-out version of The Necks, and that’s high praise as far as I’m concerned. Retriever (T2) is the highlight.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on February 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
  • Comments Off on HMS – “Tetrad” – [Astral Spirits]
  • Similar Fashion – “Portrait of” – [Self Produced]

    a0358072816_16

    Dancey, sunny, art-pop from this L.A.-based quartet led by Logan Hone, whose solo album recently sailed through Current. There’s a west African feel to a lot of these tracks, and an Arthur Russell feel as well. The pop song format gets turned upside down and inside out and spiked with ??some delicious bits of free improvisation, but the groove is never far away. Logan Hone’s earnestly weird lyrics evoke the joy of living in California and the joy of living in general. If this doesn’t put a smile on your face, there’s probably something wrong with you.

  • Reviewed by Phil Phactor on February 14, 2018 at 2:03 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comments Off on Similar Fashion – “Portrait of” – [Self Produced]
  • Godspunk Volume Two [coll] – [Pumf Records]

    godspunk

    You know the drill. We have several (here here and here) of these compilations from the Blackpool UK artists’ collective in our library – now here’s Vol. 2 from 2004. Godspunk regulars Howl in the Typewriter bring seven minitracks, all named “Here Comes the Butterfly”, plus some fuzzed out rock (T1 and T34). Unit offers five hits of deranged art pop that reminded me of old Deerhoof stuff (T27-31), Pinkeye features female vox and weird electronics (T11-17), the Las Vegas Mermaids sing to some insect dance tracks (T8-9), LDB space out with melodic brithop (T2-4). Gays in the Military might have the best entry with a track of pissdrinking punk that should not be played during daytime (T6 – FCC).

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 13, 2018 at 8:48 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Hype Williams – “Han Dynasty I” – [De Stijl Records]

    hype

    Hype Williams is a joke band with a joke name, but it’s the 2010s, when jokes can lead the free world or make the Album of the Year list on your dad’s favorite alternative music website. This 2009 7″ from de Stijl brings us back to where it all began with Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland. Why music snobs lose their shit over these two is something I have never understood, and these tracks don’t really shed any light. The A side of haunted dub is the best, the B side is a lo-fi smoky synth melody with a fake ending. And the jokes don’t stop – play this 7″ at 33 1/3.

  • Reviewed by lexi glass on February 13, 2018 at 8:48 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Usufruct – “Windfall” – [Vauxflores Industrial]

    usufruct

    Usufruct is a super interesting local project. Polly Moller Springhorn and Tim Walters bring us an unpredictable mix of flute music, vocals in different styles, and computer glitchery. Tracks 2, 4, and 5 are my favorites–heavy on electronics and processed flute sounds. Track 3 is pretty much all spoken word–it’s dramatic and tense and not really my cup of tea; however I do like the reverberating electronic sounds that accompany it. Truly avant-garde stuff here.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on February 13, 2018 at 8:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • McGurdy, Ed – “Best of Daliance, The” – [Rhino Records Inc.]

    If the word “titillating” makes you blush or gives you a chub, this album’s for you. Naughty. Bawdy. Tawdry. All these “aw” sounding words to help explain “The Best of Daliance”, taken from a series of albums put out in the 1950’s on the then new Elektra Records, based on the 18th century songs of Elizabethan writer Tom D’Urfey. Put together and sung by Ed McCurdy, a 1950’s Greenwich Village fixture and naughty sort in his own right, these songs are all suggestive larks describing couples… or trios… or groups of people enjoying themselves in the best way possible. Lots of lines about “stoking the fire”, his long pole pushing into the oven, the maidens cherry complexion loosing it’s color and on and on. Blacksmiths must have been having sex all the time. Career change at 55? Possibly. The musical interpretations are smooth, taking us back to the early 1700’s when there wasn’t much to do but constantly milk the cow. Alan Arkin plays flute!!!! and Erik Darling, later of the Weavers, plays banjo, taking the place of lute. The CD cover is pink fuzzy suede. Go figure.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 12, 2018 at 10:02 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • McGurdy, Ed – “Best of Daliance, The” – [Rhino Records Inc.]

    If the word “titillating” makes you blush or gives you a chub, this album’s for you. Naughty. Bawdy. Tawdry. All these “aw” sounding words to help explain “The Best of Daliance”, taken from a series of albums put out in the 1950’s on the then new Elektra Records, based on the 18th century songs of Elizabethan writer Tom D’Urfey. Put together and sung by Ed McCurdy, a 1950’s Greenwich Village fixture and naughty sort in his own right, these songs are all suggestive larks describing couples… or trios… or groups of people enjoying themselves in the best way possible. Lots of lines about “stoking the fire”, his long pole pushing into the oven, the maidens cherry complexion loosing it’s color and on and on. Blacksmiths must have been having sex all the time. Career change at 55? Possibly. The musical interpretations are smooth, taking us back to the early 1700’s when there wasn’t much to do but constantly milk the cow. Alan Arkin plays flute!!!! and Erik Darling, later of the Weavers, plays banjo, taking the place of lute. The CD cover is pink fuzzy suede. Go figure.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 12, 2018 at 10:02 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review


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