KFJC 89.7FM

Louie Caliente

Snake Charmer’s Beautiful Daughter, The [coll] – [Betley Welcomes Careful D]

Louie Caliente   10/23/2018   A Library, CD

Wow, where to begin? Yes, it’s noise, but not just ANY noise. This is REALLY FUCKING GOOD NOISE from two absolute masters of the craft. Fast, hard, and relentless, just how KFJC likes it.

Pain Jerk is Kohei Gomi, owner of noise label AMP and frequent collaborator with pretty much everybody in the Japanoise scene. Dogliveroil is Phil Todd (of Ashtray Navigations) and a rotating cast of friends. This collaboration CD was released on Todd’s venerable Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers label.

“The Eight Snake Stigmata” (T1) is Dogliveroil as remixed by Pain Jerk. Like feeding laxatives to an already spastic and inflamed colon. A non-stop barrage of heavy static blasts, screeching electronics, and glitched-out samples. So fast it’s hard to wrap your ears around it.

“The Snake Charmer’s Beautiful Daughter Is a Vampire!!!” (T2) begins softly, with spooky ghost-like synth sounds (maybe the snake charmer?). That quickly gives way to more spazzed-out static blasts similar to the first track. Half-way through, the noise breaks for a dialog from the classic vampire movie Nosferatu. Then a return to noise.

“Doggin’ The Nogginometer” (T3) is a live recording of Dogliveroil and friends. It begins with a poorly-performed and poorly-recorded sample of Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz. The fidelity gets worse and worse, until drowned out by squealing feedback, sizzling electronics, distorted distortion, and what sounds like Todd screaming through a PVC pipe. The pace here is much less frenetic than the other tracks, almost minimalist in comparison (not really though). Definitely gets the crowd going!

“Pac Man” (T4) is solo Pain Jerk. To my ears, this is the harshest and most punishing track on the album. The electronics are more tortuous, the feedback is more piercing, and the static is more severe. Not to be missed!

Psudoku – “Planetarisk Sudoku” – [Drid Machine Records]

Louie Caliente   10/10/2018   A Library, Cassette

Psudoko (formerly Parlamentarisk Sodomi) is Steinar Kittilsen, a one-man time-travelling prog-grind-math-core band from Trondheim Norway. This cassette was released in 2014 on Drid Machine, but recorded much later.

The sound is an adrenaline-heavy mix of prog-rock, math-rock, punk-rock, and butt-rock. Impossibly fast, impossibly intricate, and impossibly powerful. Highly controlled chaos.

Thumping bass lines and break-neck blast-beats. Fast, angular riffs that turn on a dime. Guitars that scream, scribble, and shred. What really sets this album apart is the meticulous arrangement and orchestration found in each track. Brief and beautiful piano interludes balance out blistering guitar solos. Violins sing and bells chime with perfect clarity alongside distorted strings and fuzz.

The future is here, and it is fast.

Moody Alien – “Down to The Junkyard” – [Thirsty Leaves Music]

Louie Caliente   10/2/2018   A Library, Cassette

Hazy, smooth, and rhythmic lo-fi electro-acoustic compositions from Moody Alien, an anonymous artist from Thessaloniki Greece and proprietor or the Thirsty Leaves Music micro-label which put this cassette out (edition of only 50).

Warm samples of acoustic instruments are layered, blended, and tweaked. Recordings of scattered chords, echoey drones, and flowing melodic patterns mix with field recordings and sparse, distant vocals. The layers are deep, but not dense. The result an enveloping, dream-like feeling of mysterious familiarity. The pieces each build carefully and in their own way, some juust baarely venturing into heavy free-folk proto-grooves before retreating back to the comfort of a nice drone.

A rich variety of instruments are on display here. Moody Alien plays classical guitar, 2 harmonicas, trumpet, cello, double-bass, glockenspiel, toy piano, numerous household objects and “a few body parts”. The credits call out several other musicians who lend their unique sound on different tracks: electric guitar on T1, bouzouki on T2, trumpet on T4, dulcimer on T4 and T5, and more!

Beautiful, rich, and heavy sounds.

Birthright [coll] – [Worldmadefleshrecordings]

Louie Caliente   9/25/2018   7-inch, A Library

Beautiful blood-red 7″ from two harsh noise masters, released in 1994.

With this addition, KFJC now owns the complete back catalog of Worldmadeflesh recordings. (There is only one other release, a split 7″ entitled Japanese Torture Comedy Hour, also featuring Autoerotichrist.)

Richard Ramirez (of Black Leather Jesus and more), brings some serious coprophagic cacophony. Very dense, heavy, and mean. Infinite ever-shifting layers of explosions, screeches, and roars. A thick wall, with only brief interludes of piercing electro-fuckery.

Autoerotichrist is Russell Mason of Enemy Soil (also well-represented in the KFJC library). His side is more dynamic and full of abrupt changes. It almost has a call-and-response structure at times, like being pummeled by alternating fists. The blows come harder and heavier, as you bleed out your ears.

Play at 33.

Balalaika Noise – “III” – [Stauropygial Records]

Louie Caliente   9/25/2018   A Library, Cassette

A Balalaika is a Russian stringed instrument known for its triangular body. This cassette is the third installment of noise music performed on a Balalaika, released on Stauropygial Records out of Russia.

It’s difficult to tell that there is even a stringed instrument on this cassette, let alone a Balalaika. It shrieks, squiggles, screams, and only occasionally shreds. All this is soaked in layers of reverb, heavy distortion, autotune oblivion, and pervasive piercing feedback.

There are two side-long tracks, each with a lot of variety. Depending on your mood, some sequences may be harder to take than others. But it’s different, and oddly compelling, and the sound is going to change in a few minutes anyways, so stick with it!

Sickness – “Fuck Your Punk Rock” – [RRRecords]

Louie Caliente   9/18/2018   12-inch, A Library

Old school american power electronics. A relentless, fast-paced assault of scorched samples, blown circuits, and human misery. Not a continuous wall of noise, but still fairly impenetrable.

Machine gun static screeching blasts, pummeling and painful. Conjuring up images of car wrecks, difficult dental work, and close encounters with heavy machinery.

Sickness is Chris Goudreau, who’s been active in the noise industrial scene since the mid 80s. Despite being fairly prolific, “Fuck Your Punk Rock” (RRRecords 2004) is only the second full-length to enter the KFJC library.  There are apparently 7 tracks on this album, but it’s difficult to tell them apart, and the picture disk makes it impossible to cue anyways, so just drop the needle and let it ride.

FIRST AND LAST TRACKS ARE LOCKED GROOVES!

Noertker, Bill / Oi, Mark – “nOOi” – [Edgetone Records]

Louie Caliente   9/18/2018   CD, Jazz

San Francisco bass + guitar duo pushing boundaries of compositional technique via telepathic improvisational dialogues, and “the blurring of standard electric guitar/electric bass roles”.

Intricate, interconnected noodling. The pair are not afraid of a melody, but not afraid to stretch it into new dimensions either. A variety of moods on display here, from the playful Primary Colors (T-8) to the melancholy Krystyna’s Theme (T-7), reminiscent of Lonely Woman. Things get a little strung-out at times, like on Idee Fixe (T-3), but nothing that’s going to hurt you.

Skadne Krek – “Schjesslips” – [Skussmaal]

Louie Caliente   9/18/2018   12-inch, A Library

Heavy-duty bass-driven prog-rock grooves from these Norwegian Noxagt-Neighbors. Their name means “damaged jerk”, and this is their second album, released on guitarist Gaute Granli’s Skussmaal label.

Gut-blasting bass lines, pounding yet precise drumming, looping synths, and scraping vocals. Repetitive poly-rhythmic grooves being hammered into your skull.

Granli lends his avant-garde guitar skills to the mix, but the sound is meaner and more aggressive than what we’ve heard before, but also more diverse, featuring tweaked-out post-punk jabs, psychedelic wailing, and even some scorching metal riffs.

SEF III – “Selling SEF III” – [Ehse Records]

Louie Caliente   8/14/2018   12-inch, A Library

A science fiction narrative told through sound from SEF III, a trio composed of Duncan Moore, Max Eilbacher, and Alex Moskos. Composed in a barn in rural Virgina and recorded in Montreal, Selling SEF III tells the electro-synthetic saga of Phil and the SEF III computer.

Introductory Remarks (T-1) is an instrumental preview of the sounds and structures that will be on display through the rest of the piece. Meticulously unorchestrated glitch, floaty musique concret, and slooowwly tuned radio dials.  Layers of bugs and buzz-saws.  Lots of attention to static and its subtleties.

Most of the vocals are are dispassionate descriptions of scenery, stage direction, and monologues. The very notable exception are the two Machine Themes (T-2, T-11), which feature deep perfectly pitched harmonies and smooth melodies.

What I assume is the climactic battle between Phil and Sef III takes place in T-10. It’s a dizzying 6+ minute instrumental of mechanical tapping, blasting ray guns, crickets, horns, and eerie metal-machine wails. The return to the Machine’s Theme in the following and final track suggests that things do not work out well for poor Phil.

Fail Association / The Cherry Point – [Tronix]

Louie Caliente   8/13/2018   7-inch, A Library

Ouch! Two quick hits of roaring blasting screaming screeching noise wall from A Fail Association (Gregory Babbitt) and The Cherry Point (Phil Blankenship).  A single-sided 7″ released back in ’03 on Blankenship’s Tronix label.  Only 178 were made.

I *think* it’s supposed to be played at 33, but to be honest I couldn’t tell much of a difference vs. 45. I also couldn’t tell much of a difference between the two tracks, but in a good way, since both are balls-to-the-wall take-it-to-eleven total aural scorchers.

Tons [coll] – [Lgn]

Louie Caliente   7/24/2018   12-inch, A Library

Kompripiotr / Chopstick

Dark ambient noise drone split/collab from Kompripiotr (Peter Holzknecht of Bolzano Italy) and Chopstick (Andrew Wayne of Sacramento), released on LaGrind Noire label which Holzknecht co-runs. The two artists met in 2015 at NorCal NoiseFest (co-organized by Wayne), and bonded over music and Ethiopian coffee.

Full-spectrum sonic radiation exposure. Powerful yet calming. Heavy buzzing whirring humming, and slow penetrating pulsations. Oscillations of every stripe.

Side A is two equally-menacing tracks, one from each artist.

Side B is a collaboration between the two. Wayne recorded first, and sent the tapes to Holzknecht, who plays an old JVC radio/tv tuner, twisting antennae and searching for signal.

Only 100 made.  50 in EU, 50 in USA.

PLAY AT 45.

Novak, Yann – “Future Is Forward Escape Into The Past, The” – [Touch]

Louie Caliente   7/15/2018   A Library, CD

Rich but minimal low-frequency drone. Heaving tides of blissed-out noise and field recordings of trickling water, smoldering fire, and birds. Deep sonic wavelengths written as a quadriptych study of our relationship with the passage of time. Turn it WAY WAY up and feel time’s heavy presence, both pinning you in place and slowly, glacially, pushing the entire universe forward.

Lemones – “Parasites By The Trashboard Side” – [Post-Materialization Music]

Louie Caliente   7/10/2018   A Library, Cassette

Way-too-short EP from Belgium’s Lemones. Originally released in 2016 on clear vinyl 7″, and recently re-released by Moscow’s Post-Materialization Music label. This cassette is one of only 50 copies.

Lazy lo-fi shouty noise-rock. Thick and crumbly beats that go everywhere and nowhere. Plodding baselines and meaningless lyrics. “Young Professionals” (T-3) is the fan-favorite, but all four the tracks have something unique to offer.

Kakawaka – “KAssette KAssette WAssette KAssette” – [Monopolka]

Louie Caliente   7/10/2018   A Library, Cassette

Limited edition cassette from Christoph Petermann out of Berlin, released on Russia’s Monopolka label.

Solid weight heavy noise, but not overly harsh or hateful. The tracks are all pretty short for easy consumption (most clock in at a *exactly* one minute).

Static blasts under layers of reverb. Unintelligible screams and wails. Broken electronic toys. Crunching looped annoyances.

I wouldn’t call the music “funny”, but Petermann’s sense of humor clearly is clearly evident. He performs in Bermuda shorts, a leopard vest, sunglasses, and inflatable swimming pool arm bands.

Smell & Quim and Onomatopoeia – “Fanny Batter” – [Cheeses International]

Louie Caliente   6/11/2018   A Library, CD

 

A fine collaboration between two UK absurdist noise champions. Smell & Quim hail from Leeds and have been making unsettling lo-fi performance farts since the late 80s. Here they join forces with Bournemouth native and Head Cheese of Cheeses International, Steve Fricker aka Onomatopoeia. Fricker claims to only collaborate by mail, mixing and remixing each other’s works to create the perfect abomination.

Unlike other Smell & Quim releases which rely heavily on smutty and/or violent vocal samples, the tracks here are more “traditional” noise: pulsating electronics with low-frew rumbles and grumbles and only the occasional hellish gurgle. Don’t expect a wall-of-noise, though. Fluctuating dynamics evolving rhythmic patterns permeate these two pieces.

Appeasing The Great Porn God (T-1) is fairly pulverizing. Disorienting and discomforting, with transient pounding rhythms and guttural groans.  Semi-subliminal themes of pornography, masturbation, and S&M.  Nothing too overt or overly-discernible, though, so it’s safe for daytime.

Symphony in Labia Minor is an act in three parts, each featuring sonic baths of piercing static. Part I (T-2) is the longest and the most aggressive, but blends into an almost ambient swirl, not unlike a dishwasher. Part II (T-3) is the shortest and most pleasant of the three. A nice palate-cleanser of sorts before painful shrieks signal the beginning of Part III (T-4). The final track is a return to the harsher sounds of Part I, but for the first time we get a whiff of *actual* instruments, like a guitar and some sort of drum. The drastic dynamics and binaural brain-beating are both on display in the final act, making it my favorite of the three.

Ashley, Robert – “Improvement” – [Elektra Nonesuch]

Louie Caliente   12/12/2017   A Library, CD

OK, I’ll admit it. I was pretty skeptical of this one. I mean, of course Robert Ashley is a genius, but a mid-nineties made-for-TV opera? And what’s up with the Victorian steam-punk woman on the cover. There’s just no way this thing is gonna be hip.

And I gotta say, after listening to the first few tracks, I was EVEN MORE skeptical. It really is an opera! Full of synths and bizarrely layered vocal arrangements so hard to follow that I had to read the liner notes just to understand. I didn’t think I was going to make it all the way through both CDs.

But then something happened, and I understood.

It wasn’t the plot that hooked me, because not very much happens. Scenes take place in mundane settings, like doctors’ offices, cars, and airline check-in counters. The main theme of the second act (as far as I can tell) is an enumeration of the contents of the main character’s purse.

It also wasn’t the very conceptual and supposedly deep symbolism, which I found strangely overt yet utterly confusing. The liner notes clearly explain that this whole thing is an allegory for 1492 Spain, and that characters represent concepts including “America”, “The Roman Catholic Church”, “Integrated Philosophy”, and “The Descendants of Jews and non-Jews (i.e. us)”.

No, it was something about the cold electronic minimalism that finally got to me. The staccato whispers and monotonous choral unison. Highly uncomfortable, but before long it becomes your world. It is all you know. How could music ever have been any different?

The fragmented points of view and sometimes unreliable narration of Ashley himself. Monologues cast out into the ether. Call-and-response dialogues that subsume themselves, crossing the threshold of tolerable similarity. Honest contemplation of the situation at hand.

The importance of eating pasta at every meal.

If you are looking for a “song”, drop the needle on Tarzan (cd2-2). It’s pretty catchy, although the protagonist hates it, and features Ashley narrating the lyrics while the are being sung below.

“The Doctor” (cd2-4) shows Ashley’s unique dialog style, in a form that is still intelligible and occasionally musical. For slightly more difficult listening, check out the Airline Ticket Counter scenes (cd1-2, cd1-6). But honestly pretty much every track is worth playing. Or maybe none are. I can’t tell any more.

Davis, Brian Joseph – “Definitive Host, The” – [Blocks Recording Club]

Louie Caliente   11/15/2017   A Library, CD

A collection of recordings from Canadian sound artist and film-maker Brian Joseph Davis. Most of the songs utilize pre-recorded material from other artists, manipulated or recast in interesting ways. The album deals with themes of copyright and censorship.

Rather than being meticulously orchestrated, the works rely heavily on randomness: CD player skips, destruction by fire, and highly-fallible human memory. Unlike many other conceptual works, these are very entertaining to listen to, and cover a wide range of genres including choral, glitch, spoken-word, pseudo-punk, and the overwhelming ambient noise hell-scape that is the final track.

The liner notes on the back provide a pretty acurate description of what’s in the package, but I’ll summarize here:

Eula (T1): The Sony End User License Agreement sung by a choir.

Five Box Sets Played on Fast-Forward, Then Edited Into Songs (T2-T6): This one is self-explanatory. Metal, soul, and other indescernibles.

Ten Banned Albums Burned, Then Played (T7-T15): Yup. Beatles, Sex Pistols, Mahler, Prince, Louie Louie, and more.

Voice Over (T16): A script composed from 5000 film taglines.

Yesterduh (T17-T18): What happens when you pay people on the street $5 to sing “Yesterday”, then mix the results. The second version is a particularly inspired solo.

Minima Moralia (T19): Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia as a punk 7″.

Greatest Hit (T20): All the tracks on a greatest hits album, all at once.

Homler, Anna & Moss, David/ Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer [coll] – [Psych.KG]

Louie Caliente   11/1/2017   7-inch, A Library

This crystal-clear lathe-cut 7″ is part of the FLUXUS +/- series of recordings put out by Kommissar Hjuler on the Psych.KG record label. One of only 25 that were produced.

The A side features two stunning collaborations from Anna Homler and David Moss. Homler is a visual, performance, and vocal artist known for using imaginary languages to explore meaning and communication. Moss is a composer and percussionist who has also developed a unique vocal improvisational style.

“Steel Drum Song” (A1) features Homler’s characteristic vocals, soothing and strangely exotic, coupled with Moss’s faster and more rhythmic and utterances, almost like frogs or crickets. A steel drum melody serves to bridge the two worlds.

“Conversation” (A2) is just that — a passionate improvised conversation in two unreal and alien languages. The mood starts hectic and argumentative, but changes pace as Moss becomes low and guttural while Homler becomes more dulcet and comforting.

The B side contains the work of Kommissar Hjuler and his wife Mama Baer. Hjuler is German sound and visual artist, film maker, and police officer.

“Coming Undone” (B1) is a lumbering lo-fi free-folk-rock jam. Polyrhythmic bangs and whistles. Lyrics in English with German accents. Mama Baer is solo on “Mikrooganismus” (B2), a 40 second warbling screech and scream, maybe some footsteps?

Deathprod – “Treetop Drive” – [Smalltown Supersound]

Louie Caliente   10/25/2017   12-inch, A Library

Deathprod is the noise-ambient project of Norwegian artist Helge Sten, who is also a member of the avant-jazz group Supersilent. Sten uses the term “audio virus” to describe the variety of sound sources used on this album, including “old tape echo machines, ring modulators, filters, theremins, samplers and lots of electronic stuff”.

“Treetop Drive” was originally released on CD in 1994 and has been re-mastered by Rashad Becker and re-released on double LP just this year (2017). The sounds are as infectious as ever.

The first three tracks comprise three movements of “Treetop Drive”, and share many thematic elements, although the moods are quite different.

Treetop Drive 1 (A) is built around dramatic strings and synths, featuring the violin work of Hans Magnus Ryan. Solemn, repetitive, and trance-like waves washing ashore. Slowly shifting over times, growing more distressed and urgent as the feedback and distortion intensify, and then letting go, returning out to sea.

Treetop Drive 2 (B) contains the same pulsing overwhelming rhythm, but now harsh and machine-like instead of organic. A call-and-response with metallic grinding shrieks and sub-harmonic bass blasts.

The last movement, Treetop Drive 3 (C) has a faster pace, almost frantic in comparison with the previous parts. Like a windy, rumbling tornado, and equally bleak. It includes a quick clip of some anonymous conservative ranting about schools today teaching “death education”, likely a PSA for Teachers AIDS.

The final track, Tugboat (D), is colder and more barren than the rest, like floating far out at sea. The rolling black waves are still present, more still than before but no less ominous. Over time, the danger of the situation unfolds.

Extreme America 3 [coll] – [Knot Music]

Louie Caliente   10/1/2017   7-inch, A Library

Compilation 7″ showcasing the wide variety of extreme sounds emanating from the West Coast (of Michigan) during the late 90s. From power electronics to skronk-rock to more power electronics, this little record has it all!

Each song has a distinct feel, but they all track together. Good luck playing just one!

A side.
OO Species: Sirens, grinding metal, wailing static.
Walled Lake: Low-frequency rumblings, train blues, Americana guitar, hypnosis. Bonus fact: Walled Lake is named for the backwoods town where Louie C used to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and fireworks as a teenager.
Flutter: Pure electronic cacophony, oscillator scribblings, overloaded circuit bending.

B side.
Lockweld: More distorted electronics and machine noises. Liner notes indicate “vocals” but they are unrecognizable.
Audible XXY: Semi-cinematic samples, electronics, and ominous tape loops. Like walking down a long dark hallway.
Better Disease: Good old fashioned Michigan skronk-rock. The best kind. Guitar, drums, sax, and screams.