KFJC 89.7FM

Naysayer

Crank St.urge.on – “Drastic Ishmael Effects” – [Monopolka]

Naysayer   2/27/2018   A Library, CD

Holy Fuck. Crank Sturgeon, hailing from Maine, is a god of noise, musique concrete, found sound, etc. and he knows what he is doing. You know when you listen to something and the sound is right and you say, “Man, this person really is good.”?…. Crank Sturgeon. On a par with Nurse With Wound’s brilliant “Sylvie and Babs” album, “Drastic Ishmael Effects” is a faster more chaotic version of the same themes of popular culture churned up and slashed in rapid fire sound bitebyte succession. The tracks are so fast and humorous and satisfyingly disturbing. Insanity can be fun with culture trash. Crank tears it up. Crank talks along with one word repeated over and over from a sound clip. Crank takes an exercise recording, gets it stuck then folds it, twists it, layers it, distorts it to satisfying proportion. “He wants to ride me like a horse” will forever stick in your sonic wormhole. The CD skipping sound is intentional.

Vono – “Dinner Fur 2” – [Bureau-B]

Naysayer   2/27/2018   12-inch, A Library

How Dieter can you get? Not much more Dieter than this!!!!! Early 1980’s Berlin (of course) dark wave brothers duo, Norbert and Volker Schultze. Minimalist synth with bass. Minimal lyrics shout spoken rather than sung. Electro pop dance angular German wave akin to DAF but more stripped down and challenging. What they did was radical at the time, with it’s angular beats and sometimes shouted simple lyrics about such things as lottery numbers. They became very popular in Germany with the club kids with the release of their first album but then decided to add drums and guitar and … well… that just didn’t cut the mustard. Put on your black parachute pants, stand next to some venetian blinds, turn the tv on static and angular dance to your hearts content.

Bardo Pond Featuring Acid Mothers Temple, Guru Guru – “Acid Guru Pond” – [Fire Records]

Naysayer   2/27/2018   12-inch, A Library

Collaboration projects can be iffy. This one works on many levels, all satisfying, intriguing and inventive. Acid Mothers Temple (ACT) and Guru Guru have worked together in band variations to form new interpretations of their individual projects. Bardo Pond chose to work with the two to make a new Bardo Pond project, Acid Guru Pond. Two LP’s, four sides, five tracks, luscious color. These pieces really do sound like a mix of the three groups. You can hear their styles push through but then get enveloped in the soup of the jams. Long jams. Some psychedelic, some drone, some letting loose with guitar, drums, bass in an almost free jazz interpretation. A crowd pleaser for sure and for those in the know. Enjoy all the colors.

Pollock, Jackson & Krasner, Lee – “Two Dialogues: Jackson Pollock & Lee Krasner” – [Sooj Records, Inc.]

Naysayer   2/27/2018   A Library, CD

Two of America’s leading Abstract Expressionist painters, also married, interviewed at different stages in their career. Pollock’s interview, from 1950, by his neighbor, is one of the only two recordings of Pollock’s voice. Though many considered him inarticulate in interviews, this shows him thoughtful, though uncomfortable, in answering questions about modern art and his process. He was probably tired of talking about his process. Clipped answers dominate. Lee Krasner’s interview comes later in her life, in the 1980’s. It is the more intriguing of the two interviews. She is strong in her opinions, refusing to be led down the way of the interviewer. She is probably tired of some of the questions, frustrated at being drilled on answering things she does not feel she should answer or has the perspective to answer. The obligatory questions about Pollock come up, even 30 plus years after his death and the fact that she was an established artist in her own right. Great for mixing, especially when Krasner’s phone keeps ringing and she starts telling people how to answer it.

Sylvers, Foster – “Foster Sylvers” – [Fever Dream]

Naysayer   2/25/2018   CD, Soul

Foster Sylvers was the younger member of the late 1970’s pop soul group The Sylvers. Foster attempted a solo career to parallel Michael Jackson and many similarities are apparent in dress, style, vocal skills, moves. Yet Foster never quite hit it like Michael. His big hit, which was also part of The Sylvers repertoire, was “Misdemeanor”, a soul hit which got the Soul Train audience dancing. The 12 tracks on this collection demonstrate his captivating voice, his high notes and funky kid take on songs about getting the girl and how he really loves her. Like, he REALLY loves her. A lot. Great sugar coated pop funk soul tunes that bring you back to the 1970’s. Do not miss the amazing “Lullabye/Uncle Albert” mix up/mash up. It’s a bold interpretation that goes psychedelic funk with an acid trip rendering of the spoken word part of Uncle Albert.
As an adult, Sylvers got into trouble and oddly many of the titles on this collection explain it. So, it wasn’t a “Misdemeanor” is all I’m going to say. Connect the dots while you get funky.

McGurdy, Ed – “Best of Daliance, The” – [Rhino Records Inc.]

Naysayer   2/12/2018   A Library, CD

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.

McGurdy, Ed – “Best of Daliance, The” – [Rhino Records Inc.]

Naysayer   2/12/2018   A Library, CD

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.

Ostertag, Bob – “DJ of The Month” – [Seeland Records]

Naysayer   2/7/2018   A Library, CD

Bob Ostertag is a true Renaissance Man: author, professor, political activist, composer, electronic musician, journalist, creator of his own software based laptop instruments and more. His work stands out for its uniqueness, creativity, political stance, beauty and challenging qualities. “DJ of The Month” is a 40 minute single track of electronic onslaught and subtlety, mixed together and separated. Sounds flash past and reverberate around and through the listener, taking them on a unique meditative journey. It does become hypnotic in its movement of sound. The piece is meant as a meditation requiring focus and concentration. I know a few of the DJ’s who will play the whole thing. So worth it.

Funky Chimes [coll] – [Sdban Records]

Naysayer   2/6/2018   CD, International

I live for this type of collection: “Funky Chimes”, a collection of 27 Belgian session musicians and sort of stars from the 1970’s, experimenting with “funk, jazz, latin and other groovy genres.” Did you get that it’s from Belgium, a place most people don’t initially think of for it’s music (which is wrong, of course)? It’s library music. It’s songs for commercials. It’s music your 1970’s Belgian parents would play to relax and feel cool with. The overwhelming notes with photos of each album cover should be more than enough to convince you of the outright grooviness of this stuff. Just look at some of those covers. And the names of the groups and songs: The Indian Sound of… Black Foot, Selectasound ’88 & The Bob Boon Singers, The Free Pop Electronic Concept and on and on. Of course, the stunner among stunners is Hearts of Soul and Shampoo performing “We Love the Policeman”. This is the more challenging second release in the series, the first being “Funky Chicken”. Looking for it as I type.

Battles – “EP C/B EP” – [Warp Records Ltd]

Naysayer   2/6/2018   12-inch, A Library

Battles: math rock, post rock, art rock. Whatever. These two EP’s from 2004, brought together as a double album, are Battles as a foursome, including Tyondai Braxton. That’s early Battles. Exquisite interplay of guitars, bass, keyboard and drums, spilling out patterns, breaking them apart, overlapping, interpreting, adjusting. This is the project at it’s beginnings, establishing a foundation of what would follow. Calculate away.

Still, William Grant – “Works By William Grant Still” – [New World Records (2)]

Naysayer   12/10/2017   A Library, CD

William Grant Still was a 20th Century classical composer, creating pieces often in the neo-romantic and neo-impressionism style. Born in Woodville, Mississippi and spending most of his early days in Little Rock, Arkansas, he was musically influenced by his step father’s record collection. Listening to opera as well as learning to play violin honed his interest in classical music. Seeing his fist orchestra perform at Oberlin college settled it: he would compose music. This did not come easy, of course. He played in jazz bands, wrote jazz arrangements for Artie Shaw, and travelled to California in hopes of writing music for films and television. He had minor success with this but it influenced his ideas on orchestrations. Still was the first African American composer to “secure extensive publication and significant performances” of his work. He was considered the patriarch of Black classical music, being the culmination of the Harlem Renaissance. Even though he studied under Edgard Varese, his style went toward a more traditional sound.
The selections on this collection cover many of his diverse projects, from fully orchestrated pieces to simpler tunes composed to poems by Black poets. The Ennanga pieces are his attempt to connect to his African heritage, though at the time he wrote them he did not have access to African music recordings. These pieces became his interpretation. Just like the Florence Price work at our station, this is an important addition to our collection.

Delerue, Georges – “Jules & Jim/Georges Delerue:film Music of Francois Truffaut” – [Nonesuch]

Naysayer   12/9/2017   CD, Soundtrack

Like Bernard Herrmann was to Alfred Hitchcock and John Williams is to Steven Spielberg, Georges Delerue was the musical connection and interpreter to Francois Truffaut. Delerue scored music for over 200 films, composed operas, sound and light shows, ballets and chamber pieces, but his eleven collaborations with French New Wave film master Truffaut stand out in soundtrack history. Delerue was able to interpret Truffaut’s rich tales of romance and heartbreak, mystery and intrigue and the process of film making itself (Day For Night). From fully orchestrated pieces to the familiar solo upright piano solo, “Charlie” from Shoot the Piano Player, these performances by the London Sinfonietta showcase a rich understanding as to why Delerue is so important to film. Use as an auditory palette cleanser or entremets between your sonic onslaught.

Trickett, Ed/Bok, Gordon/Muir, Ann Mayo/ – “All Shall Be Well Again” – [Folk-Legacy Records, Inc.]

Naysayer   12/8/2017   CD, Country

Folk trio, Ed Trickett, Gordon Bok and Ann Mayo Muir have been making and performing folk music since the early 1970’s and before. Hailing from the New England states, the three sing of places and events belonging to the East Coast and it’s history with Great Britain. Songs of sailing (Bok is also a boatman), ancient English mystics, life in the country, children’s ballads and more fill the 12 numbers with quiet, sadness, an overwhelming sense of memory, and an almost painful longing for the past. With just acoustic guitar and vocals, harmonious vocals playing with and around each other, the songs remind me of how quality folk music is the true predecessor to so much of the music of sadness that we love at the station. Just really one of my favorite recordings. Beautiful anytime of the day or night.

Shane, Jackie – “Any Other Way” – [Numero Group]

Naysayer   12/3/2017   CD, Soul

This is the most amazing thing I have reviewed in a long time. Jackie Shane, born in Nashville, soul singer who worked a lot in Toronto, left the scene in 1971 not to be heard from again for decades until just recently. Born a woman in a man’s body, she lived trans and gay, never apologizing, never turning away. Proud of who she was.
She was a soul singer supreme who would TESTIFY to the audience about herself, about how they needed to deal with it and get it together. Her voice went from cool to wail and all in between. The tracks on this exquisite collection sizzle and pop with covers of soul classics as well as lesser known, but equally superb songs. “In My Tenement” is THE hit, as are the numbers on the Live disc which keep up the full on banter she would give to her wudiences. Read the booklet. An amazing life including gangsters and kidnapping. Jackie Shane is the real deal.

Dusty, Slim – “Singer From Down Under” – [EMI Records]

Naysayer   12/3/2017   CD, Country

Australian cultural icon and superstar of Australian country music, making popular the style known as “the bush ballad”, and having recorded 106 albums up to the time of his death in 2003, Slim was a unique brand. The 12 songs on “Singer From Down Under” all feel very familiar. The playing style is simple with Dusty’s straight forward drawl. Songs about drinking and drinking, and then drinking with colloquailisms thrown in for good measure. The whole thing is a hoot. Worthy of some good down home fun. Play it then get a drink in the lobby.

Hone, Logan – “Variety Show” – [Wellness Association of Los Angeles]

Naysayer   10/24/2017   A Library, CD

Phew!!!!!! Wow!!!!! Man!!!!! Not quite outsider but sort of because of production values and oddness. A+++++++. Mostly solo, multi-instrumentalist. Neurotic and sane songs of love and life. Beats sound like the 1980’s sometimes. Instruments sound like from the 1980’s sometimes. Hints of Eno. Hints of post-punk. Hints of pop. But wait…. it is all so TWISTED. Track 1, “I Miss You”, starts out with a drum beat that feels j..u..s..t.. a bit tooooo slow. In comes a familiar guitar riff, then an electronic piano blurble, vocals sounding a bit like a chant, some off the wall guitar, more electronic mistakes, and full up rockestra with instruments that seem to have been found at the local thrift store. YEP!!!! With a big smile on my face I settled back in my old ’97 Lexus and scuttled down the black as midnight hwy 280, blasting this audio gem. Each track is like it’s own sonic universe: tweaked enough to be unique from the last track but familiar with the Logan Hone thread. Superb lyrics made me laugh out loud more than once and had me nodding in agreement. “Get In the Car” may be my favorite pop number of the month because it goes for it and then churns it up. Bravo for something so familiar and yet so beautifully strange. Refreshing. It gives me hope for new sounds.

Pikacyu-Makoto – “Galaxilympics” – [Upset The Rhythm]

Naysayer   10/24/2017   12-inch, A Library

Guitarist Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple (oh…my…god) and drummer/vocalist Pikacyu of Afrirampo (OH…MY…GODDESS). That should just about do it. Nine songs of psychedelic madness, some with vocals, some with growls, some with calm, some with guitar and drum onslaught, all with an amazing interplay of rhythm, riff and raw vision. This is a trip without the tab. Check out their live sets on YouTube. Yes please. Explode your head.

Cremator, The [coll] – [Finders Keepers Records]

Naysayer   10/23/2017   12-inch, Soundtrack

Czech New Wave Cinema of the 1960’s had some pretty twisted, beautifully filmed and challenging films, many of which were not seen for decades due to the government banning them. Juraj Herz’s “The Cremator”, from 1969 is one of these. The tale of a cremator who is obsessed with the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the passing of the Dalai Lama, who is influenced by Nazi sympathizers (it takes place in the 1930’s) who talk to him about the importance of his partial German heritage, his half Jewish wife who is the mother of his two sons, his eventual spiral into madness as he realizes it is his purpose to send people back to the dust from which they came… let’s just say it won’t end well. It’s described as a horror comedy. Well, if anyone can make Nazi’s funny, the Czech’s can. A film with this overwhelming storyline needs a strong soundtrack and classic Czech experimental soundtrack composer Zdenek Liska does the trick. Moving away from his usual found sound and re- sampling type style, Liska goes orchestral for this endeavor. Rich, haunting orchestral pieces with soprano singer Vlasta Soumarova Mlejnkova chanting out vocalizations of sounds, not words, fill the spaces. Think echoes in large abandoned cathedrals where sounds bounce around, “celestial choral” sections accompanied by chimes and bells. Think giallo richness. Think old school haunted houses where strangeness lurks. Beautiful moody settings, perfect for a crematorium. Indulge. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Mimmo, Gianni – “One Way Ticket” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

Naysayer   10/23/2017   CD, Jazz

Gianni Mimmo is that unique musician/artist that is so dedicated to his craft, his art, that he really lives it to the fullest. “One Way Ticket” is a solo project for this soprano sax jazz improviser, but here the improvisation is with a twist. The fifteen selections, bookended by spoken word, include original compositions and eight interpretations of classic works by artists including, Mingus, Lacy, Monk, Webern, and Ellington. On the international jazz circuit, Mimmo is compared to Steve Lacy in his skill and expertise. It shows here. Interweaving such an array of sounds and tones Mimmo plays with ideas, elongating sounds and then switching shape with lightening speed. The recording is so intimate that we hear Mimmo’s breathing, his buzz into the horn, his fingers pressing the keys and the keys moving on the saxophone. These sounds become faint, but continuous percussive additions to the sound of the sax itself. Unique, challenging, elegant. .

Oxbow – “Thin Black Duke” – [Hydra Head Records]

Naysayer   10/22/2017   A Library, CD

“Thin Black Duke” is Oxbow’s 7th album in 30+ years and their first release in 10 years. It is a stunner. Like the bands Swans, The Fall, Psychic TV, and Half Japanese, Oxbow is in the category of having survived longer than possibly initially thought and yet still creating new sounds. They are not in the retro circuit. With age hopefully comes maturity in one’s art. Such is the case here. Eight songs of dense musical interactions with lyrical depth. Is this a song cycle? Is this Oxbow’s stadium rock album? If only stadium rock was like this. Track one starts out with a whistle then falls into a symphonic cacophony before the toe tapping song takes over. This sets the stage. Bassist Dan Adams, drummer Greg Davis, singer Eugene S. Robinson, and guitarist Niko Wenner work so well on these tales of observation of sadness, difficulty, challenge…..life. Song structures change mid song, going from symphonic to almost noise. Layered guitar drum and bass with piano embrace Robinson’s distinctive voice and vocalizations, interpreting the cinematic lyrics with growls, howls, whispers, purrs, hisses …. haunting and always keeping the listener on their toes. Musical themes run through the works, like leitmotifs. Multiple listenings are needed to gain interpretation. This is a work for contemplation. Enjoy.