Touted as The Birthday Party covers as heard through the meat grinder of the Three One G label. A total of 18 bands give rousing renditions ranging from grindcore (Das Oath, Cattle Decapitation) to spazz rock (Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, Ex Models, Melt Banana, Some Girls) to the predominant no wave synth driven pop revival sound from the likes of T Cells, Year Future and Celebration. Over half the bands have past KFJC exposure but some worthy lesser knowns (Plot?, Ssion, Chinese Stars, Error, Daughters, Das Oath, Rah Bras) get first exposure here so give ’em a spin. If you’re looking for the closest Nick Cave incarnation check Daughters. Each track holds true to the dark and menacing spirit the BP possessed and most keep with the linear 80’s dark wave style and sparse production with muted staticy vocals. The album’s title takes its name from the BP’s single from ’82. ‘AFremont
The latest installment from Chicago’s ascending noize rawkers making a leap forward with their schizmatic amphetamine-rush pop style. Abbreviated rock anthems awash in guitar feedback squeals, screaming high tone keyboards, power-packed straight ahead percussion and anxious trade-off vocals jam-packed into jagged shards add up to one high flying effort. Administer in small doses for desired effect. -AFremont
4th full length release from Tara Burke’s psych/folk drone project on a voyage deeper into the nether worlds whilst maintaining earthly roots. Burke stretches the boundaries of accordion, organ and strings into an enveloping mystical sound with ranging possessed vocal howls sending haunting chills. Most tracks tend to feature a specific instrument bringing a unique mood enhancement to each. Intense, dense, incence.
LP released in 2004 from this exceptional country-rock inspired project led by singer-songwriter Ned Oldham, younger brother of Will (Bonny Prince Billy). Nostalgic rustic warmth flows freely throughout with elements of Harvest-era Neil Young right down to the rich woodsy guitar tones carried on Oldham’s syrupy sweet vocals that seem to drip right out of a tapped maple spigot. The delivery and songwriting/arrangements have a fresh and sincere edge with a sense of place in the rural Kentucky hills from which they hail. To the uninitiated this could easily be mistaken as a lost 70’s rock classic. Gold sounds revisited.
Drawing on a range of influences from psych, latin jazz and funk with an experimental approach, Super Numeri’s strength is in numbers delivering on several levels. The explorative opening track lays the foundation, taking on various forms with aggressive hypnotic percussion forging the way. Most tracks begin with hovering building drones giving way to a multitude of stringed effects, wind instruments and brass weaving a densely textured tapestry of oscillating tones propelled by intense tribal beats rounding out the sound.
A quasi-split of sorts with Italy’s hard hitting avant jazz rockers Zu at the core joined by some of Chicago’s most revered jazzmen of the day. The first four tracks are originals with reedsman
Ken Vandermark as part of the Zu Quartet bringing a pounding stripped down sound with a prominent element of caustic bass moving at breakneck speed on Vandermark’s powerful winds. Zu & Spaceways close out the latter half with four more tracks again featuring Ken Vandermark, percussionist Hamid Drake and Nate McBride on double bass unleashing re-energized versions of classics by Funkadelic, Art Ensemble of Chicago and Sun Ra. Impressive overall in its heaviness and prowess within a jazz/rock vein. ‘AFremont
Voluminous double CD of 150 plus minutes culled from rare vinyl and 8 track recordings between 1975-1985 by this obscure experimental psych influenced Western Pennsylvania outsider. Clark’s fascination with the Moog synthesizer is evident throughout most of the recordings (seven different Moog models total), lending a surreal lo-fi sci-fi soundtrack feel. Wedged between the murky electronic soundscapes lie several 60’s freak beat influenced guitar driven scorchers including a few classic covers (see booklet). Clark’s spooky and bizarre vocals add a chilling effect with varied elements of spoken word delivery revealing nightmarish visions along with messages of peace, love, death and human anatomy. The insightful booklet liner notes detail the background on each track as it pertained to Clark’s life experience at the time of recording. An intriguing and revealing document on the wide spectrum of sounds by an underexposed artist finally receiving his due. – AFremont
Latest incarnation of this free psych-folk project (r)evolving around founder Rob Fisk, ex-Deerhoof guitarist presently with 7 Year Rabbit Cycle. Other Bay Area musicians Ben Chasny (6 Organs of Admittance), Tom Carter (Charlambides) and Pete Swanson (d yellow swans) join in for this haunted trek through a dark disenchanted forest reverberating with floating layers of echoed string textures and tone variations with hovering howls that build and break on side 2. -AFremont
Rabbinical School Dropouts ‘Vehicle Behind Comets? (RSDO – self released)
High Concept Jazz or just a bunch of wiseguys having fun? A little of each is what we have here, with tracks from 4 different ensembles ranging in size from 3 to 10 players, drawing on a pool of San Diego and Long Beach based players led by reed & keyboardist Michael Friedmann (with Nathan Hubbard from Trummaflora et.al. contributing percussion). The Dropouts are the largest group here, with sort of a space-age Klezmer approach. The smaller subsets explore other realms including electronic effects and chamber jazz. The mostly silly titles don’t clue you in to how grand and intriguing some of these charts are. NO VOCALS.
Expanded version of Bay Area experimental pop project centered around Deerhoof founder/ex-guitarist and current Badgerlore member Rob Fisk and vocalist Kelly Goode (ex-Deerhoof keyboardist) enhanced by the addition of new personell lending depth and texture to their ex isting frenetic sound. Percussionist Ches Smith (ex-Mr Bungle) on vibes and violist George Behringer add a softer dimension tempering Fisk’s kinetic abrasive guitar prowess. Musically this stands as the band’s most adventurous and complex effort to date. Goode’s vocals are also more refined and ranging from quiet murmurs to erupting shrills. The epic track 8 features a brief appearance by Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) on vocals. With a delicate intensity, the cycle progresses forward. -Anthony Fremont