Music Reviews

Rabit – “Baptizm” – [Tri Angle]

abacus   4/30/2015   12-inch, A Library

a dialectic of styles in the grime variety, UK/US counterpoint extracted to maximalist effect; grit production style, meticulously constructed and stripped down; reductive composition at its most blaring. apostasic introspection.

Weil, Andrew MD – “8 Meditations For Optimum Health” – [Upaya]

Naysayer   4/30/2015   CD, Comedy

Andrew Weil MD, Integrative Medicine specialist from Tucson, Arizona, has put together 8 tracks of guided meditation that will help you make it on this plane, and get ready for the next. With the musical assistance of the Archangelos Chamber Ensemble (specialize in performing psychoacoustically designed music), Andrew takes you on a meditative journey fit to heal the soul and the mind. The good doctor’s soothing, but in charge voice, tells you when to meditate, for how long, on what and why. But the best part of this gem are the situations he has you imagine to help you become one with. For instance, on “Healing Yourself” he has you imagine slicing open your hand with a knife when working in the kitchen. Watch the blood as it goes down your arm. Then experience the healing. It actually made me feel anxious more than calm. Which I love. The musical accompaniment lends itself to your journey. Flow with the strings, flute, sarod, koto and tibetan bells (of course). Open your show with a meditation. Help the listeners understand the power of KFJC. Namaste.

Knife In The Water ( Komeda, Krzysztof ) – “Knife In The Water” – [Cherry Red Records]

Cousin Mary   4/29/2015   CD, Soundtrack

Music by Polish jazz pianist Krzystof Komeda from the soundtrack to Roman Polanski’s first feature length film KNIFE IN THE WATER (1962) and his 1960 short feature INNOCENT SORCERERSS, ending with some fine tracks of Komeda’s own compositions and some standards. After Stalin died in 1953, jazz was no longer illegal in Poland but Polanski’s film was disapproved by the regime when it came out. The tunes are very hip and cool and expertly played – a snapshot of jazz in Poland at this time and its excellence for a soundtrack. Komeda also did the soundtrack for Polanski’s film ROSEMARY’S BABY and other films.

Raionbashi – “Kollekte” – [Hanson Records]

Naysayer   4/29/2015   12-inch, A Library

Could I love anything more than this? I say that a lot, but could I love this anymore than I do?
Hanson Records (Aaron Dilloway) found this in a section of the warehouse, no label, nothing. Hanson decided to put on a cover and get it out. Only 17 copies supposedly. We are LUCKY to get this. It is gold for the weirdo-noise-cut up-tape-electronic- in your face lovers. Yes please.
Raionbashi, (also Daniel Lowenbruck or Daniel Raionbashi or???) is a performance artist, electronic musician “musician”, soundscape creator, affiliated with Schimpfluch, out there smarty pants freak weirdo???. my kind of guy.
“Kollekte” is sounds. Two sides of sounds with electronic manipulation. One at 33 and the other at 45. Sounds of metal, interiors with people, burps, horns, cars, farts, sneezes, dogs barking. It is a sonic carnival of high and low. Tightly put together. Not random though it might sound as such. Or maybe random but it works as one. Listen for awhile. Let it sink in. You too will be a believer.

Spettro Family – “The Tenant From Hell e.p.” – [Prison Tatt Records]

Grizzly Adam   4/27/2015   7-inch, A Library

Solo waveform electronics. Italy’s Stefano’s cinematic short library cuts to set mood, a capsule of scenes, A side, protasis or epitasis movements, while B side, definitely catastrophe, settled yet empty, durations, and tholing tears. 1) conga fills, kit, metal percussion, and a model synth timbre for painting with oils and brush, or on stage, for laser lights and smoke machine 2) the melody, laidback, but becomes more elaborate, the song structure grounded in repetition of a few parts without variations really. static cymbol, and leading bass line, brings to mind the Konami sound, and something like Contra. 3) tension or freedom at the heart of the machine, distanciation or otherwise known as contemplation. 4) a music box, with high frequency blurring or peaking and might vibrate even but definitely strident. where doth the melody reside? from the heart cometh and to the heart goeth. wonders the dada diogenes.

Sakata, Akira / Johan Berthling / Paal Nilssen-Love – “Arashi” – [Trost]

humana   4/27/2015   12-inch, Jazz

This is free jazz, intense and great in its way. Track 2 is particularly interesting with its vocals backed by drums. The double bass highlights the drama. In Track 3 Nilssen-Love’s percussion shines. Yes, it’s all stormy. Track 4 begins with the lovely sound of clarinet. The double bass comes in for a nice conversation, and then the percussion enters. The song meanders through its story line, less frenetically than the other tracks, until Sakata’s vocals come on the scene and speed things up a bit. Very interesting.

Moonbell – “Afterlives” – [Hypnogram Corp.]

humana   4/25/2015   A Library, Cassette

This four-piece San Francisco band plays music as pretty as its name promises. Three to four-minute pieces of shoegaze heaven, with synth, drums, guitar, and hazy voices mixing to create an intense pleasure that is all too short-lived. Track 11 is my favorite.

De Dionyso, Arrington and Lima Jari Sakti Rasyit – “Unheard Indonesia: Pancak Silat Situbondo” – [Psychic Sounds]

abacus   4/23/2015   12-inch, International

dagger wielding trance mania: dancing around tireless gamelan hypnosis; between taunting horns and leering double-reeds; a lone bass clarinet roars in and outside the center, absorbing the chaos of its context and lashing it back in vehement discourse. the ebbs and flows of conversation are there, but the content transcends idiom. a universality of tradition.

Grayskul – “Zenith” – [Fake Four Inc.]

billiejoe   4/22/2015   CD, Hip Hop

2013 hip hop album from the duo of Onry Ozzborn and JFK out of the Pacific Northwest.
These guys have worked with Oldominion, Dark Time Sunshine, The Gigantics, Barfly, Norman, Sleep, Aurora, Ceshi, Maker, Mr. Hill, Aesop Rock, Cage, Slug, and Fakts One among others. Tons of guest musicians and MCs on this album. Some really good beats and pop feel but lyric and rhyme focused. Singing on several tracks gives it a popular vibe. Songs about politics, pot, sex and being grateful.
I like the flows on track 4, 10, 11, 12 and the beats on 6,12,16.
FCCs 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 18.

Rothenberg, Ned – “Portal” – [Lumina Records]

Cousin Mary   4/22/2015   12-inch, Jazz

A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Ned Rothenberg (born 1956) plays on this 1982-1983 recording on alto sax, bass clarinet, and soprano double ocarina. The first three cuts are solos, the last is a duet with percussion. It sounds like these pieces are free improvisation – very enjoyable and sometimes hypnotic – frequently repetitive, sometimes high pitched or honky. Straddles the line of contemporary classical and free jazz.

Black Wax Machine – “Fall” – [MP3.COM]

Thurston Hunger   4/21/2015   A Library, CD

Music from imaginary mountains – guitar in
sound shadows – leafy strumblage and wind-blown
panning. All instro, no aggro. Overdoubledubbed
images, especially nice as Chris Lilly tends to
not quite overlap those dubs quite right. Listen
for the playing lower in the mix usurping the
dominant. Gently odd. Listening to this, I could
envision a hermit somewhere named Howie, who
*never* leaves his house and just listens to Led
Zeppelin III over and over again. Well, Howie,
needs to do a lot of things, but certainly hearing
this it towards the top of his to-do list. Get
twelve-strung out!

-Thurston Hunger

Variable Unit – “Handbook for the Apocalypse” – [Wide Hive]

Thurston Hunger   4/21/2015   CD, Hip Hop

Second skirmish from Bay Area hip hop hard
corps, well-stocked with munitions of samples.
However, the typical battleplan is inverted,
the samples detonated here are written rather
than rhythmic. And instead of a quick clip of
snares bursting in air, this new VU let’s its
sampled pieces go the distance. Including work
from Burroughs, Howard Zinn and an excellent
Conrad Aiken poem. Their wired barbs impale the
soul jazz that offers something between a beat
and cognitive dissonance. Sonic smoothness
stands against more jagged verbal slags. DJ Zeph,
aka Azeem, broadcasts that lack of a revolution
in the year 2029 in one of the lighter moments.
Bombs are dropped close to home, sons are sent
to war in a quick leap from infancy to infantry.
In the end, DJ Quest and his comrades dole out
an odd ration, an existential sandwich with God
in the middle?!? Overall, a well-read badge of
courage. My kind of patriotism!

Asa-Chang & Junray – “Tsu Gi Ne Pu” – [Leaf Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   4/21/2015   A Library, CD

Precision pairings of peculiar samples. The
lead-off track locks a tractor beam on Star Trek
samples, percussive East Indian style “bol”
singing and something that sounds like a
variation on the “I Dream of Jeanie” theme melody.
The whole EP is funny and fascinating, or maybe
the other way around. For what it’s worth,
Asa-Chang is the nickname for Koichi Asakura, who
plays the Indonesian bongos (“Dandud”) as well as
some synthesized drums, and “Junray” is Japanese
for “pilgrimage.” Originally this was a one-man
journey, but somewhere along the way, U-ZHAAN
joined to help turn the tablas around. Rhythms
seem so well-charted they approach algorithmic
status. This made me think of those AIBO robot
dogs; clever, cute and animated, I look forward
to seeing how it lives outside the laboratory.
The last track stops at then lot’s o’
silence until a bonus jabber-stabber poetcussion
piece, at track # .) -THungroid

Old Time Relijun – “Varieties of Religious Experience” – [K Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/21/2015   A Library, CD

Ragged and rugged, but not rigged. Creation
Music was never calculated, nor is it now
quarantined from de Dionyso’s more popular
rant and roll project Old Time Relijun.
Arrington has knocked down the walls between
his craniosonic hemispheres and laid bare the
shared wild hairs in each. Both the rock and
the avant are bursting with mighty lung-flowers.
His raw vox (and clarinet caterwauls) imbue all
the tracks with a powerful implusiveness. Lyrics
match, lit by a fever-dreamlike inspiration. All
of this is accentuated by a rough assemblage of
tracks in various primeval states. Percussion
cracks like pistols, even the more “straight”
music is messy in a very pretty way. Arrington
sings from the heart of darkness in an isolation
tank, delivering a great variety of altered
-Thurston Hunger

Shea, David – “Classical Works I I” – [Tzadik Oracles]

Thurston Hunger   4/21/2015   A Library, CD

David Shea’s constructions have changed, gone
are the rococo-a-go-go samples, the outlandish
gargoyle skips and hep-hop fountains; instead
he’s now sending spires of sound skyward – up
in the heavens where the air is heavier, with
chamber musicians embedded in the clouds. His
aspirations are clear in the title, “Classical
Music,” meaning until a Bugs Bunny cartoon lifts
these pieces, notions of rambunctious humor will
wait. And wait. And this *is* waiting music,
pensive slow tone migrating drones. The duo with
Jean Paul Dessy’s cello is by far the pluckiest.
Shea’s sampling here is far from a bull in a
china shop, instead the digitized reproduction
blends (arguably too??) seamlessly with the pattern
from your grandmother’s wedding. Replicontroller.
-Thurston Hunger

Leucrota – “Demo” – [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

abacus   4/15/2015   A Library, Cassette

festering pustules post-punk hardcore from Santa Cruz’ most wretched. caked with the slime of the San Lorenzo, one might lean towards stoner but this is some serious shroom doom; lurching no frills riffage churning in agonizing elation but shrouded in psychedelic gloom. just as likely to lash out wildly as it is to writhe and smolder in a sludge that’s more frail than sluggish.