Music Reviews

gomorrans, the – “Giving birth to Love” – [Self Released]

humana   7/31/2014   12-inch, A Library

I loved this. I refuse to look up The Gomorrans on the Internet. I only need to listen to their music and look at the pictures of the six musicians on the album sleeve. There is such diversity in each song. The horns make you think jazz at first, but then there’s rock, and then there’s a ballad, and the voices vary but are all awesome. It is kind of like listening to a soundtrack to a movie you wish someone would produce. Try “Pitch Black in the Morning” and “Pelham ’74 Theme”–you’ll be hooked.
-Pax Humana

Phizmiz, Ergo – “Peacock, The” – [Care In The Community Recordings]

humana   7/31/2014   A Library, CD

The songs on this CD blend folk, rock, and other elements to create a uniquely interesting listening experience. Phizmiz’s voice delivers lyrics that are incongruous and attention-snagging, just as his titles suggest. One song sounds like it is played on a piano that is worn out of tune, and other songs are jaunty. It made me think of vaudeville for some reason. This is great.

Actress – “Silver Cloud” – [Ninja Tune]

Belladonna   7/30/2014   12-inch, A Library

aka British artist Darren Cunningham. Known for more Techno/beat based tracks, this has a much more stripped down raw feel to it. This is deep, dark, sludgy metallic beats. Lots of static, crackle, hiss and subtle metal tinges. I imagine this would earn the Cythoth stamp of approval for its dark and menacing nature. Beats if you like them, creepy for the creepers, crunch for the metal heads and trippy enough for everyone else. There are beats but you cant dance to them.

Identity Theft – “Future Hates The Past, The” – [Katabatik]

Belladonna   7/30/2014   A Library, CD

aka M. Buchanan AKA Djynnx Ogo, based out of Oakland, the home of Katabatik Records. This is self proclaimed ‘Slimewave / Abandoned House/ Death Trance / U.B.M. / Synth’. I like the Slimewave reference, this really reminds me of old skool electronic industrial of the early 90s variety mixed with some electroshock punky-ness. Lots of sampling and quirkiness, drama and beats but of the darker variety. Some slowed down vocals which make my head hurt but overall its very catchy and addictive. Theres a theme here if you really listen, you’ll get it.

Doomsday Student – “A Jumper’s Handbook” [Skin Graft]

fox   7/30/2014   A Library, CD

Noise-Rock from Providence, RI that is essentially the next iteration of Arab on Radar, who are already well-represented in the KFJC library. We have guitars that screech like a parakeet drunk on rotten fruit off the forest floor; drums to bang somebody else’s head against the wall to; deranged and sometimes unintelligible vox that nonetheless delivers first-rate lyrics.

Doomsday Student are Eric Paul (Arab On Radar, The Chinese Stars), Stephen Mattos (Arab On Radar, Athletic Automaton, & Chrome Jackson), Craig Kureck (Arab On Radar, The Chinese Stars), & Paul Vieira (of The Chinese Stars).

Zebu! – “Chainsaws and Cheerleaders” – [Feeding Tube Records]

billiejoe   7/30/2014   A Library, CD

FCC track 4
17 track CD from the goofy and sardonic rock band Zebu!. The duo (Steve D???Agostino and Ted Lee) from Massachusetts is joined by Stephen ???Stegro??? Surrett.
We have one other CD of theirs and did a Live Mic with them recently. Standard rock sound with some harsh noisey elements. Angsty.
I like the middle of track 8 and track 10. Last track goes completely quiet halfway through and has a spooky ???hidden track??? at 2 minutes to the end.
Today I learned that a zebu is a type of cattle from South Asia.

— Billy Joe Tolliver

Bergljot – “Solen Avloser Regnet Som Avloser Solen” – [Sofa]

billiejoe   7/30/2014   12-inch, A Library

Five track LP from Czech-Norwegian trio self-identified as free jazz but that is up for debate.
Piano, bell, and plucky strings with clangy percussion. Bassy.
Side A is four tracks. It has a high pitch start and gets buzzy warbly next to wind instruments.
Side B is a side-long journey of creaky industrial and noise with high frequency crunchy scratchy and plucky nuggets.
Bergljot has been known previously as the Vojt??ch Proch??zka Trio playing modern jazz classic compositions by Ornette Coleman, Herbie Nichols, Paul Motian as well as
Proch??zka???s originals.

— Billie Joe Tolliver

Entourage Music and Theatre Ensemble, The – “Untitled” – [Smithsonian/Folkways]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2014   12-inch, Jazz

The Entourage was a group of composers/performers who “created a music based on flow energy and dream state” – they existed from 1971-1983. This was their first album and features instrumentals with percussion, keyboards including thumb piano, viola, guitar and sax. I hear experimental sounds, African and other international influences, as well as traditional Western music roots. Try track 2 for the avant garde or the last track for a beautiful tune – all tracks are very nice and deftly avoid new age cliches.

Moskus – “Salmesykkel” – [Hubro]

Cousin Mary   7/28/2014   12-inch, Jazz

This trio – piano, bass, drums – met in the Jazz department of the Conservatory of Music in Trondheim, Norway. Their music combines improvisation and composition with occasional surprises like bells or metal scraping noise. I hear influences of country music and gospel and film music. Very lush sounds, this music is touching, thought provoking, sweet, and – dare I say it – beautiful. Original and creative sounds. Don’t confine this to jazz shows, it is much more.

Automator, The – “Music to Be Murdered By” – [Homebass]

abacus   7/28/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

rare 1989 early tracks from bay area legend bringin us filthy fresh cuts of classic boom bap soul clap hip hop. old skool Emu emulations and scratch happy samplage with fluid rhyme schemes on Funky Sound and Dance, Murdered the busiest on the production. Bonus Noise dropping into instro tracks and a run in with APV Patrol along with some fine scratchables on the short track. throw on your Reeboks and Get Down to that triple-threat Jenny homicide

Los Condenados – “Yeppers” – [Feeding Tube Records]

abacus   7/27/2014   12-inch, A Library

barefoot blabberborgs in crackling saxobaxing improv flabber bash. skronk skree over a mixmash of chopped, diced and mangled audio terror glee. live decompositions of ear wrangling nerve damaging enervations. artless fartfest of jazz noise electro ambience drone dribble, circuit breaking jugular juxtapositions of reed retching and electrical malfunctions, with some word vomit thrown in for good measure. rinse, spit and repeat.

Grace, Jeff – “Meek’s Cutoff” – [Milan Records]

abacus   7/27/2014   A Library, CD

lethargic heat-stroked drifting lost on the oregon trail. minimalist compositions of frontier motifs on winds, piano, guitar and cello embarking on modern extended techniques. bleak, barren orchestral landscapes of dust laden haze over a dry desert. the search for water only leads you further astray

Jesus Is Dead – “We Are But Specks of Dust” – [Self Released]

abacus   7/27/2014   A Library, CD

garage sale pedal peddling noiser out of Santa Ana dishing industrial invocation, redline electrical surges and subdural brain fracking. audio circuit overload of high-voltage phase shifting and serraded distortion delays. subcutaneous synthscapes creep into your unconscious razing neural bridges. delicately disastrous digital diatribes of Decay and REbirth. embrace your sins, Jesus is Dead.

Keystones Catch – “Keystones Catch” – [Self Released]

abacus   7/27/2014   A Library, CD

phantom of the parent’s basement keyborgin meanderings from New Zealand’s Taylor John. an intergalactic folk fairyland of space case melody malfunctions, claviccordion crabwalks up and down the plastic ivories, tumbling and bumbling in elegiac echospace entropy. let the Bruise blood come out to show them

Kaltsoum, Oum – “Vol. II (1926-1927-1928)” – [Club Du Disque Arabe]

humana   7/26/2014   CD, International

One of the best ways to appreciate a culture is to know its music, and vice versa. This second installment in documenting the musical life of “the Grand Lady of Egyptian singing” contains examples of the range of the amazing voice set against simple musical accompaniment of strings (sitar- and violin-like). Read the liner notes to learn how a little five-year-old from humble beginnings took a talent and ran with it.

Kilaueas, The – “Mundaka Calls” – [Double Crown Records]

Cousin Mary   7/26/2014   A Library, CD

This four-piece surf band from Germany delivers power, twang, and some Spanish guitar influence. Most tunes are originals written by band members with a couple of exceptions including track 8 based on Tschaikovsky’s Swan Lake and a blistering version of the Atlantics’ Rumble & Run (track 1).

Aleister X – “Half-speed Mastered” – [MVDaudio]

humana   7/25/2014   12-inch, Hip Hop

Aleister X has a British accent and performs in New York City, wearing black face paint and strange robes (hints of Cy Thoth, sans the voice). Rap is the most dominant medium here, although there are other elements to vary things. Lots of references to Beach Boys songs (“Bad Vibrations” and “California Gurls”). He worked with Lee Scratch Perry on the 2008 Repentance album.

Richman, Jonathan – “No Me Quejo De Mi Estrella” – [Munster]

humana   7/25/2014   B Library, CD

Singer-songwriter Richman likes the Spanish language and flamenco guitar. He likes simplicity in his music and straightforward lyrics. There is an innocence to them that allows me to him get away with saying anti-depressants are evil and a copout from feeling (6 and 7). Sometimes the melodies fall flat for me, but then there is an upbeat song with percussive joy that more than redeems any low-key malaise. Read the liner notes as they are great.

Cardew, Cornelius – “Four Principles On Ireland and Other Pieces [1974]” – [Cramps]

humana   7/24/2014   12-inch, A Library

The piano pieces on this album were composed and performed by Cardew, and English experimental composer and pianist. They are simple and well-played, pleasant to listen to, and although their titles indicate Cardew’s political Communist leanings, the music itself stands on its own. Cardew was killed in a suspicious hit-and-run accident before his time, but his music lives on. The liner notes are written in Italian.

Cortex – “Troupeau Bleu” – [Trad Vibe Records]

humana   7/24/2014   12-inch, Jazz

Recorded in July 1975, this re-release of the first album of French band Cortex is truly a pleasure if you enjoy smooth jazz. Elements of funk pop up often and get into your blood to get you moving. Piano, French lyrics, bass, alto sax, and percussion combine to create a first-rate listening experience.