Music Reviews

Sujo + Sun Hammer – “Fistula” – [Inam Records]

cinder   11/29/2012   A Library, CD

Sujo, Ryan Huber, started with some rough ideas and recordings then passed them along to Jay Bodley, Sun Hammer, for processing and arrangement. Dense guitar drone, noise, ambient, black, dark, dreary, doom glitch. Builds up and releases before you know it. Never too overpowering, just enough to slide into a scratchy coma.

Sparklehorse + Fennesz – “In The Fish Tank 15” – [Konkurrent]

cinder   11/29/2012   A Library, CD

The fifteenth in a series of collaborations between bands and musicians on the Konkurrent label. Sparklehorse was a mid-90s sort of indie rockish band. I haven’t heard much, but remember seeing this band all over the place, even touring with Radiohead. The singer, Mark, apparently was a serious depressive, taking a combination of anti-depressants, valium, alcohol, and heroin in one night. This recording was released in 2009, and sadly, a year later Mark took his own life. Christian Fennesz on the other hand, is from Austria and does simple guitar and laptop works. This release blends the two into a mellow, ambient drifting album. Lots of laptop haze, acoustic guitar, and melancholic words.

Murmer – “Framework 1-4” – [Herbal International]

cinder   11/29/2012   A Library, CD

A collection of field recordings, some manipulated some not, spanning 8 or so years. Murmer is Patrick McGinley, an American based in Europe since 1996. The titles somewhat describe what is the basis for each track. Swarm of sounds, bugs, bees… thunder and cranes… seaside flagpoles, etc. Each take you on a sound journey, visuals left up to your mind. Drones with found sounds. Words and conversations that have meaning none, while the world to others. Great album for the imaginative minds.

duo B – “start this before dawn touches the skyscrapers” – [Edgetone Records]

humana   11/29/2012   12-inch, Jazz

This spinoff of Married Couple, a Bay Area jazz quartet, features Lisa Mezzacappa on bass and Jason Levis on percussion, and together they constitute a strong duo. Their predilection for mixing improv with composition works well on this album, where the songs are spare enough to truly appreciate the precipitation cadence in “Soft White” and the marimbas of “Postmark Tokyo.” The bass may be a stringed instrument, but Mezzacappa can play it percussively, and the result lives up to the intriguing title of the album.

Barr Shea Dahl – “Barr Shea Dahl” – [Ug/Explode]

mickeyslim   11/28/2012   A Library, CD

Imagine, if you will, Van Halen playing music after a 5-day meth binge, this is the grand finale. Mick Barr (Orthrelm, Crom-Tech, Flying Luttenbachers) Kevin Shea (Talibam!) and Tim Dalh (Child Abuse) let loose in a crazy fireball cannon, catching everything in its path ablaze.

Two parts guitar shredding insanity, one part false sense of security, and one part drug/sleep deprivation induced hallucinations. Shake as hard as humanly possible and strain into a highball glass over rocks. Drink at your own risk.

Old Grandad – “The Last Upper” – [MIA Records]

Roland Blunt   11/28/2012   A Library, CD

1999 full-length from this defunct trio of San Francisco metal-heads…Erik Moggridge (formerly of Epidemic) on guitar and vocals…Will Carroll (Death Angel) on drums…and Max Barnett (Hammers Of Misfortune) on bass. A compulsive swill of thrash, speed, death, doom, and grind…viscous, potent, dire, unrelenting riffs cozied with abstract, depraved, mordantly psychotic lyrical themes. Multiple voices careen about with toxically schizophrenic changes in angle, tempo and allusion.

Highly recommend…Track 3 (blend of classic stoner-doom and speed-thrash)…Track 4 (psychedelic fusion of doom and grind)…Track 6 (intense, melodic collision of death and thrash)…Track 7(convergence of doom, death and grind with a phonetically nonsensical call and response)…Track 8 (more entrancing doom-grind groove-age)…Track 9 (acrid plumes of doom and death)…

***All tracks contain naughty language, except 3, 6, 7 and 8***

Post-Materialists/Dva Zagorodnyh Doma split cassette – [Eggy]

abacus   11/28/2012   A Library, Cassette

While not the disheveled pop shenanigans from their last release, this is more dementia from this Moscow experimental noise group and some more from their Karelian neighbors. A split release with haunting dronescapes creeping out of a distant frozen ether. On Post-Materialists side chimes and choral echoes illuminate the watery landscape. Drunken circus melodies on synth wobble around with riddles of industrial clanging, stumbling about together to form some sort of music, a waltz almost, but consistently losing itself in the process. On side 2 things are a little more ominous, but without losing the trademark quirk. Sound blasts of ghostly whale sounds that reek of melted plastic narrate the alien synth intonations waxing and waning. Subterranean creatures writhe about in the murky depths of dark drone where celestial beauty can even be found in the slime. A very different release from these Muscovite muckrakers demonstrating their awesome versatility.

Buffalo Tooth – “Only Son/Head Trip” 7″

gretaclue   11/28/2012   A Library

San Francisco stoner punks (3 of them). There is a dirty garage, Blue Cheer kind of thing going on here. I’m told they named themselves Buffalo Tooth as a symbol of the power and resistance of Native Americans. I don’t know if the band is of Native American decent or they just thought that made them sound cool. For the record, that shit screams hopeless sf hipster trash to me. That said, this is really good. It stinks of medicinal marijuana so I think KFJC will be all over it. King of bay area garage hipsters (ok, maybe not king, but definitely one of the lords or something), Matthew Melton (Bare Wires) recorded it. I know I sound negative, but I don’t mean to. I didn’t take my meds today. By all means, roll this 45 up and smoke it, don’t cram it

Eskorbuto – “Maldito Pais” 12″

gretaclue   11/28/2012   A Library

This is pretty bad ass hardcore rock n’ roll from the Basque country. Their name comes from “escorbuto” which means scurvy en??espanol. Formed in 1980. Real and true punks. After being arrested in Spain and accused of being Basque militants, they received no support and subsequently gave their own country the finger. Much of their large catalog of hits was lost to time until now. Sort of a sad story about an under appreciated band that kicks ass. Like too many American 70’s 80’s??punkers, two of the 3 members were lost to heroin in the 90’s. They were one of the first Latin punk bands to sing in Spanish and have influenced countless Latino??punkers. A label owner who put out “radical Basque rock” eventually tried to recruit them. Their response, “Rock has no country, not even Basque.”

Curley, Sean – “Curley, Sean” – [Impko Records]

humana   11/27/2012   A Library, CD

This is an instrumental release of guitarist Curley, starting off with something that sounds more like electronics than guitar, and weaving in and out of relatively short pieces that offer a refreshing changeup of bubbling “molecules,” looping guitar work, and more traditional sounds of the instrument (Track 9). Try 4, 5, 6, or cleanse your musical palate with 9, 3, or 7.

Maximin, Berangere – “No One Is an Island” – [Sub Rosa]

Max Level   11/27/2012   12-inch, A Library

Studio magic from this French artist. She processes the sounds of her own voice and guitar, and sounds made by four guests, on her laptop to create otherworldly situations not easy to describe, except maybe to say they’re weird and great. Among the guest contributors are Rhys Chatham on trumpet and Christian Fennesz on guitar. A2 is particularly strange, with Ms. Maximin chanting in monotone about something magical, gorgeous, marvelous, and/or fantastic, while a sea of huge guitars rages behind her. Slowed-down voices too. A3 is full of noisy, slurpy electronics. On B3, she processes and multiplies Chatham’s trumpet to the point of madness against an abstract heartbeat. Psychoacoustic Soundclash anyone? Linited to 300 copies on beautiful clear vinyl.

Foxtails Brigade – “Time Is Passed” – [Foxtails Brigade]

lombard   11/27/2012   A Library, CD

Now that the San Francisco Bay Area’s extended Indian summer is finally starting to fade away with an impending rain storm, it feels like a great time to embrace Foxtail Brigade‘s winter holiday-themed release Time is Passed from 2011.

From upbeat odes to Christmas to somber reflections on fractured family time, it’s a lovely slice of sultry, nostalgic-feeling chamber pop that’s nicely accentuated with pretty percussion and strings (ukelele, guitar, violin, viola, upright bass and cello) both plucked and bowed. Although we’re adding the original 2011 release, a new deluxe version of the album was just reissued this week, bringing new life to these home recordings that were originally produced as a soundtrack to the film Losing Ferguson.

Monos – “Age and Transformation + Aged and Transformed” – [Infraction]

cinder   11/25/2012   A Library, CD

A reissue of a 2004 release, now with a 4th 40-minute track to round it out. Monos are Colin Potter and Darren Tate. Rolling, sliding, pinging, minimalistic, wind drones, guitar scraping. Like most releases like this, the further into the track you go, the more complex it is. Each builds somewhat slowly, never overpowering or quite reaching a peak, but great complexity in its simplicity. The second track on the first CD has bird field recordings. All others feel organic and somewhat mechanical in their sounds. Various instruments hide their identification. For the very patient listener, would be excellent for mixing, and layering, or let them reach for the sounds on its own.

DJ Female Convict Scorpion I.N.R.I self-release

Number 6   11/24/2012   A Library, CD

the satanic imagery on the cover and the forked tongue titles may cause your eyes to roll upward like a consumer possessed by shallow spirits of hype and promotion. special ed teens don’t suffer from such cynical prejudice. they demand to know what kind of music is this! and then describe this one as “weird” “messed up” “like a movie” “scary music” “creepy” “you’re crazy, Mr. M” and so it goes in the library with a seal of teenage approval. for the rest of us ignant fogies, you might be impressed with his imitation (tribute?) to the classic KFJC dj mix/mash. there are obvious samples of things played here at kfjc. did he remix kfjc? so, it is cinematic and dreamy but noisy as well with the occasional breakfast beat

Thai? Dai! The Heavier Sound of the Luk Thung Underground Finders Keepers

Number 6   11/24/2012   A Library, CD, International

passionate dedication of Chris Menist to put together a mixture of the Luk Thung style (song of the country) and the Luk Krung style (song of the city) unearthed from record stores found in Bangkok, 45 singles and often discarded B-sides. only a few artists appear on other collections in our library. what stands out according to the liner notes is how these artists have adopted various western styles, going so far as to recycle specific riffs (Iron Man, eg.) and melodies, yet make these songs all their own. apparently these tracks were tested at various live crowds alongside reggae and African music at an event called Pardise Bangkok. many these tracks were considered uncharacteristic of the artists’ more conventional releases. therefore you can expect some rougher and more raw experimentation.

Blackdeath Katharsis: Kalte Lieder Aus Der Holle Hospital Productions

Number 6   11/24/2012   A Library

Russian black metal veterans blast and pound through some odd jagged arrangements and very Circular whirlwinds that capture a sense of frustration and hatred hailed with martial victory. for those unfamiliar with this style, expect dynamic repetition layered with war machines that sound more like insects and buzzsaws. two brothers finally found a drummer (uncharacteristicly female) and upped the production to give this so much depth while not losing any of its dry crusty buzz. the vocals are weird, raw and barely F/x’d; not typical of the genre, sounding much more hardcore in a way without abandoning their Nordic metal roots. truly mesmerizing

3:33 333EP-1 Parallel Thought

Number 6   11/24/2012   A Library

keeping it mysterious and dark, this is heavy as fuck languid hip hop that rolls back the 90’s clock for a hazy warped groove that has more going on than the repetitive breakbeat. the intro sets the surreal mood but soon yields a series of overdriven piledrivers. this will blow up the optimod, so watch your levels. you might find some connections with Wu-tang, Spectre, DJ Shadow, Atmosphere and even Bowery Electric. may also appeal to the dubstep dipsters in ever corner. sadly this promo disc doesn’t include a remix track recorded with Del the Funky Homosapien and Tame One. fuck. so relax and space out to all of these voiceless headplodders.

Sex Church – “Somnambulist” – [Instant Pleasure]

abacus   11/23/2012   12-inch, A Library

Death rock disciples out of Vancouver, BC have only one thing to say about their music, it rains a lot in Vancouver. This band has previous releases on Load, Hozac and Sweet Rot. The first track starts off with some fast-moving sludge like a massive mudslide. Hurled vocals are accentuated by the bends and screams of guitar with the bass/drums locked together, tumbling into a belligerently drunken daze. The 2nd track gives a more upbeat, poppy tune, almost surf-like, but with the same distant vocals, spoken this time with a little more of an inside voice. The track is slowly drowned out in the grey fog of layered guitar noise as the song progresses. The B side is the true highlight, full of plodding muck that reeks of skronk and filth. So dirty it makes me sick to the stomach like riding in a storm damaged ship, sinking as it lurches along. Beautiful slimy rock and roll!

Rah Digga – “Classic” – [Raw Koncept]

abacus   11/23/2012   CD, Hip Hop

This ain’t the little girl you see on the front! This is the sophomore release from Newark, NJ emcee after taking 10 years off to raise her child. She has worked with a number of hiphop groups including being a member of Busta Rhymes’ crew Flipmore Squad and working with the Outsidaz, who collaborated with The Fugees. She’s working here with the same producer as her last album, Nottz, who provides some fresh cuts including looped samples of rock, soul, funk, gospel and more along heavy bumping beats, even some radio broadcast sampling on 8, video game sounds on 9.??A perfect background to frame Rah Digga’s brash, in your face style with creative rhyme schemes and a mature delivery, a true disciple of the golden age and firmly rooted in a 2000’s style. All in all some raw classic real Rah Digga, dig it.

Exusamwa – “Excusez-Moi!” – [100% Breakfast]

surferrosa   11/21/2012   12-inch, A Library

Just when you thoughr vinyl couldn’t get any better, Exusamwa puts out a record which comes packaged inside a board game… Excusez-Moi ! which apparently is not based on an oddly similar game called The Game of the Ascent of Mont Blac, created by Albert Smith in 1856.. Coincidence? I don’t know about that.. but this record comes with game pieces, dice and quite the detailed rule book which also covers the rules of the original game and the history of Mont Blanc and its climbers. Ok-so the music.. I think you’re supposed to put this record on while you play the game, which probably makes for the most enthralling, confusing board game ever… The music here is varied and full of yeti sounds, spazz and Exusamwa’s patented tiny bug voices. Convulsions! Sound effects! Many of these tracks are super muddy, fuzzy, noisy and angular, delivering quick bursts of chaos and energy. Call it art rock, if you insist…whatever that means. You will also find weird and warbly pop tunes in the electro-acoustic realm(A6, B1 for example) , and all sorts of ??whimsical instro-jams populated by synthy bloopiness and a whole slew of different instruments.. too many different tracks to give examples.. so find them! Drop the needle anywhere. This destroys as hard as Yeti himself. -Surfer Rosa