KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Reverbivores, The – “Orbit to Intercept” – [Self Released]

Cousin Mary   7/21/2018   A Library, CD

This is the debut CD from the Reverbivores, an instrumental band from the San Francisco East Bay. All original compositions except for one David Bowie song – excellent playing, interesting arrangements. A couple of nice slow tunes, others have good energy. Hurray for another fine surf band in NorCal!

Marduk – ‘Viktoria’ – [Century Media]

Lord Gravestench   7/18/2018   A Library

Sweden’s Marduk, founded in 1990 and named after the patron deity of ancient Babylon, is truly one of the ‘O.G.’ Scandinavian Black Metal bands. Despite many lineup changes, the core brand has been preserved, and pressed ever forwards, by guitarist ‘Morgan’ (real name Patrik Niclas Morgan Hakansson)— who, by the way, allegedly still possesses skull fragments from the suicide of Mayhem’s vocalist ‘Dead,’ which were mailed to him by that band’s guitarist Euronymous.

Marduk have shown a more-than-passing influence in Third Reich history for a long time, perhaps culminating in 1999’s divisive ‘Panzer Division Marduk,’ an album of start-to-finish, hammering ferocity and speed that declared Marduk’s intention of being the world’s fastest Orthodox Black Metal Band. With each album since that time, Marduk seem to have gotten faster AND more politically provocative; and like Slayer before them, every album has had to have its ’Nazi’ song, e.g. ‘The Hangman of Prague,’ the masterful opener of 2004’s ’Plague Angel.’

Vocalist (since 2004) ‘Mortuus’ has said: “A band that claims to play Black Metal must always have Satanism and nothing but Satanism as the highest priority in their music and concept as well as in their personal lives.” The occult cannot be political. The brutal experiences of German soldiers during WWII (such as half-German Morgan’s grandfather) seem to be the focus on this album. The Nazi Total War machine seems to resonate with the band’s Satanism, and they’d hardly be the first.

When Marduk announced a gig in Oakland in 2017, the Bay Area Antifa all got their periods at the same time. Some of these sad individuals (none of whom would have lasted five minutes on the eastern front) must have even gotten it into their heads that Marduk are in the propaganda business. Anyway, the cows mooed, the AK press paperbacks fluttered, and the show— to which we did have tickets— was cancelled by Oakland PD following threats against the venue.

As if in defiance, this new album is a cold-blooded killer, incorporating absolutely merciless pummelling of the kit and pithily original riffs that flicker across the surface of the battlefield, bloody shreds of Beethoven scores repurposed as munitions. Iron-throated Mortuus also manages to growl melodically on t.2. Air raid sirens and falling bombs both make appearances. The last track is CyThoth’s favourite. Marduk have always approached their sound like a Death Metal band, prioritizing hyper-disciplined musicianship and polished production, an approach that works very well here.

Tl;dr: this is ruling traditional Black Metal and a slow/painful/non-negotiable death to all members of Bay Area Antifa.

Subterranean Transmigration [coll]

abacus   7/18/2018   A Library

split pairing of Andrew Quitter on anxiety electronics and Egan Budd on metal/junk percussion; its all just a bunch of noise tbh, compositions of cinematic destruction, confrontational yet distant; transdimensional death industrial gutting up against cavernous tonal primitivism. like getting sucked thru a black hole and landing in a boneyard of crumbling architecture. Andrew brings more bleep bloop space travel sounds (especially on Devil’s Icebox, despite the subterranean field recordings) while Egan feels grittier, raw (except Mineral Resurrection gets pretty synthy and Coffin Dust is raw af). if the heat gets any more oppressive this will sit nicely otherwise these are some icy fuckin sounds.

Fascinating Creatures of The Deep – “Float On Forever” – [Self Released]

Cousin Mary   7/18/2018   A Library, CD

This Santa Cruz surf band just gets better and better.  This EP, released in anticipation of an epic summer performing at the Surfer Joe Festival in Italy and the Surf Guitar 101 Convention in Los Angeles, has five lush well played tracks.  Tracks 1,2, and 3 have fast energy –  4 and 5 are slow and lovely.  Track 5 was written in honor of their drummer (and former KFJC DJ) Stretch Riedle, after his heart attack.

Vradiazei – “Vradiazei” – [Self-released]

abacus   7/18/2018   A Library, Cassette

cascadian doom folk of the apocalypse, this group of ladies from Olympia perform acoustically and by candelabra because when the end comes there will be no electricity. somber, sparse yet uplifting in the most dismal of outcomes, vradiazei literally translates from Greek to “getting night” or “darkness comes” they lost their banjo/bouzouki player to motherhood, life eats away at us all one by one. vocals on the B side

Abou-Khalil, Rabih – “Arabian Waltz” – [Enja Records]

Hemroid The Leader   7/18/2018   A Library, CD

ENJ-9059 2

Born in Lebanon, resident of Germany&France since ’76. Well known world/jazz/classical fusionist does not disappoint., joined by great Michel Godard(tuba) Nabil Khaiat(frame drums) & the Balanescu Quartet. Abou-Khalil shreds. Tuba adds great texture, solos on 5.

Synanon – “Angels At The End of The World” – [Dead Accents]

Lord Gravestench   7/17/2018   A Library, Cassette

One-man noisegrind from music journalist Shane Mehling, also of the WA post-hardcore band Great Falls. Bandmate Demian Johnston (see also: Sutekh Hexen, BLSPHM, noise work under his own name) runs the label.

Side A = Blown-out mathy bass assault, probable drum machine doing the full blast thing, Pig Destroyer style hardcore vocals. The last track resolves itself with about one minute of feedback.

Side B = Single piece of nearly unlistenable feedback manipulation.

A sleek and deadly example of a confrontational genre, somewhat akin to the more musical excursions of longtime KFJC favourites Sissy Spacek.

The original Synanon was a drug recovery program founded in Santa Monica that turned into a criminal mind-control cult. Couldn’t be cultier than 12-step, though (rimshot!).

Both sides about 5 minutes. The label founder says: “I am hoping to release some more of his stuff but it’s impossible to get him back in the damn studio. He spends all his time battling blackberry bushes.”

Dolce Suono Trio – “American Canvas” – [Innova Recordings]

Hemroid The Leader   7/17/2018   A Library, CD

Innova 991

Flute, cello & piano new chamber music trio premieres 4 works by American composers. Mimi Stillman-f (artistic director), Charles Abramovic-p (Temple University), Nathan Vickery-c (NY Phil), joined by Soprano Lucy Shelton and cellists Gabriel Cabezas and Alexis Pia Gerlach.

Pro Et Contra – “Pro Et Contra” – [Pataphysique Records]

lexi glass   7/16/2018   A Library, CD

Live recording from a February 2018 performance from this new experimental Japanese quartet. Fronted by Fukuoka Rinji (guitarist/vocalist from the psych bands Overhang Party and Majutso no Niwa, both in our library, and founder of the Pataphysique label that released this recording), with vocals and theremin by Koichi Nakaya (Nasca Car and Hijokaidan), bass by Luis Inage and keyboards/samples/vocals from Itsuro Sugiyama.

The four pieces here center on text borrowed and translated into Japanese from Antonin Artaud (T1), The Velvet Underground (T3), Suicide (T4), and Guy Debord (T4), performed as a “respiration of poetic oscillation” by Rinji. “Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu” (T1) is a reworking of a 1947 radio broadcast, the final crazed work of the French poet Artaud, accompanied by rumbles of bass guitar, electronic chirps and theremin wails, the swell of a chorus singing the opening verses of the American nation anthem. Heavy, plodding electronic rhythms and bass thumps drive T2 with lyrics from the Japanese group Dowser. The final two tracks are more straightforward covers: “The Gift” (T3) sets Lou Reed’s comedic tale to an electric keyboard/bass groove, and the final medley track is a Suicide seance. All the meaning of the lyrics is lost (to me) in translation, allowing the language and sound to flow into a continuous stream of nothingness.

Novak, Yann – “Future Is Forward Escape Into The Past, The” – [Touch]

Louie Caliente   7/15/2018   A Library, CD

Rich but minimal low-frequency drone. Heaving tides of blissed-out noise and field recordings of trickling water, smoldering fire, and birds. Deep sonic wavelengths written as a quadriptych study of our relationship with the passage of time. Turn it WAY WAY up and feel time’s heavy presence, both pinning you in place and slowly, glacially, pushing the entire universe forward.

Surfer Joe – “Swell of Dwell” – [Dionysus Records]

Cousin Mary   7/14/2018   A Library, CD

Surfer Joe – aka Lorenzo Valdambrini – is known as the International Ambassador of Surf Music and puts on the Surfer Joe Summer Music Festival every year in Livorno, Italy.  This album shows his talent and hard work as a musician and a composer.  Perky, fun melodies give a nod to his Italian nationality and to his recent tours of Japan.  All original compositions.  As Lorenzo says, “stay stoked”.

Bongolian, The – “Bongohead/ Farfisian” – [Blow Up Records]

Kai Sync   7/12/2018   7-inch, Soul

Can’t go wrong with bongo drums and Farfisa organ for a soul warm-up party with bottom jeans and floral everything. This is actually Nasser Bouzida from Wales who has produced retro-soul material used for hip-hop and funk 45 DJs. A side Bongolian has some surprising echo chamber effects, B-side Farfisian is an organ jam fest. Can you dig it?

Duncan, George – “Mondegreen” – [Kinda Is Records]

Phil Phactor   7/11/2018   A Library, CD

Lo-fi bedroom shambles from the mysterious George Duncan and an array of fellow travelers. Lots of jingle-jangle guitar along with banjo and tambourine and a sort of studied sloppiness that brings to mind nineties slacker rock or maybe Sunburned Hand of the Man at their most subdued. Duncan’s voice is a bit of an acquired taste: nasal, often trembling, sometimes reaching for an intensity it can’t quite pull off. (So, par for the course.) The mood is mostly hushed and confessional, with some goth moments as well as the occasional acid flashback. Tracks 3, 10, and 14 feature some quite beautiful string playing. FCC on 2.

Romus, Rent-Life’s Blood Ensemble – “Rogue Star” – [Edgetone Records]

Max Level   7/10/2018   CD, Jazz

No matter which of his many musical endeavors Rent Romus is presenting, it’s always solid. His music invokes solid musical traditions—raging bebop, free jazz, tight ensemble compositions with tasteful solos, and various ethnocultural musics to name but a few, yet he’s always looking to blaze new trails into the future of jazz. His Life’s Blood Ensemble is a perfect vehicle for his vision. Sprawling, multi-faceted jazz sounds here, brought to life by saxophones, flute, e-trumpet, vibraphone, drums, and two double basses. The sounds are from distant galaxies and at the same time are clearly of this earth. Listen and stretch your jazz mind. Track 8 is traditional Finnish music.

Lemones – “Parasites By The Trashboard Side” – [Post-Materialization Music]

Louie Caliente   7/10/2018   A Library, Cassette

Way-too-short EP from Belgium’s Lemones. Originally released in 2016 on clear vinyl 7″, and recently re-released by Moscow’s Post-Materialization Music label. This cassette is one of only 50 copies.

Lazy lo-fi shouty noise-rock. Thick and crumbly beats that go everywhere and nowhere. Plodding baselines and meaningless lyrics. “Young Professionals” (T-3) is the fan-favorite, but all four the tracks have something unique to offer.