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humana

Dead Recipe – “Day of Mangoes” – [Self-release]

humana   11/15/2015   10-inch, A Library

Look at the bright colors of the cover art and the grey marble vinyl and you’ll get an idea of how cool this music sounds. Kyle Albrecht and Camille Lewis both sing and play the songs, which are reminiscent of the music of Tipsy, for some reason. Maybe because it sounds tropical and whimsical with the funky bass lines. Their voices are really upbeat and the shakers add to the holiday feel of this album. People have called them pop, surf, psych, folk–you tell me what you think.

Dance of The Reality, The [coll] – [Real Gone Music]

humana   11/15/2015   12-inch, Soundtrack

Imagine writing and performing the soundtrack music to your father’s autobiographical film. This is exactly what Adan Jodorowsky has done, and he has done it with such lovely finesse that it alternately lifts you with its whimsically happy songs and tugs at your heartstrings with the nostalgic and sadder songs. Not a one on here isn’t a winner in its own way. I really want to see this movie now, but I know I have felt it first through the music. Think lovely orchestration with piano, strings, and up and down transporting through the emotions.

Shakedown At The Majestic – “S/t” – [Self Produced]

humana   11/15/2015   A Library, CD

This is rock and roll at its most upbeat and fun. It’s catchy with the nice voices singing nice lyrics about love and life, and the guitars, drums, and bass are skilled and guaranteed to leave you wanting more. The band formed in New York City and I hope this isn’t their only album.

Ukiah Drag – “Crypt Cruiser” – [Wharf Cat Records]

humana   11/4/2015   12-inch, A Library

This sound is distinctive because it is part punk, part psych, and part je ne sais quoi. The guitars are great, the vocals are eerie because they sound like they’re coming from another dimension, and the subjects are death and hell. A great add for this time of year.

Qluster – “Tasten” – [Bureau B.]

humana   11/3/2015   12-inch, A Library

Three Steinway grand pianos played by three talented musicians: Onnen Bock, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, and Armin Metz. The result is mesmerizingly beautiful classical music that induces a feeling of peace, possibility, and contentment. Think Lubomyr Melnyk, or distant shades of Phillip Glass at his loveliest. It’s amazing how the three pianos produce sounds that overlap each other in a completely satisfying way.

Raya Brass Band – “Raya” – [Self Produced]

humana   10/31/2015   A Library, CD

This music is Balkan influenced, peppy, brassy, and truly great. It is dance music from a band in Brooklyn, New York. There’s sax, trumpet, accordion, keyboards, percussion, tuba, tupan, and snare drum, all played by six guys who know how to get your feet tapping. The band is named after a six-year-old girl (who may be the cutie on the album cover). I like this because it shows that great ethnic sounds can come out of New York City.

Evening Fires – “Incredible Adventures” – [Deep Water Acres]

humana   10/26/2015   A Library, CD

This music is perfect for a spirit walk as you stare into Evening Fires, letting the instrumentation take you through psychedelic realms that morph into trance-inducing drone. The tracks are nice and long, giving you enough time to venture out with your mind and then find your way home again, subtly changed for the better.

Chocolat Billy – “Mon Pere Est Ma Mere” – [Water Wing Records]

humana   10/19/2015   12-inch, A Library

I don’t know much about Chocolat Billy–this album was released 10 years ago, and they are a French band, if the French lyrics and track titles are any indication. But what I do know is that this is completely awesome rock music. It sounds as fresh to me today as it must have sounded 10 years ago, and I am so proud of KFJC for bringing this into the library. It has rejuvenated me with its quick pace, amazing bass, drums, vibes, guitars, and vox. The songs seem like they’re done, but there’s more life left in the guitar or percussion, and they live on. Read the liner notes. Live.

Bontemps, Arna – “Anthology of Negro Poets In The U.S.A. – 200 Years” – [Smithsonian/Folkways]

humana   10/19/2015   12-inch, A Library

This is one of those treasures from the Foothill College Library. Bontemps reads the poems of amazing songsters capable of summoning clear images of babies with sparkling eyes (A2), dreams of heaven and how it will be an equitable place, Death cutting the birth cord and handing the baby over to Sorrow, and much, much more. Be sure to listen to “Frederick Douglass” by Robert E. Hayden. These are powerful all on their own, but I’m sure some of you mixologists will figure out a way to set these poems so they strike the listener even more. A worthy add to our library.

Yamamoto, Tsuyoshi Trio – “Live At The Misty” – [Three Blind Mice]

humana   10/18/2015   12-inch, Jazz

This is jazz the way I remember hearing it growing up, brilliantly played by pianoist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto and his trio. The tempo change-ups (particularly on “The Loving Touch”) bring back great memories. The drums and bass are smooth and polished, and the piano converses right along with them to mix up a cocktail of sound intoxicating to the senses. Enjoy.

Star Child and Cobra – “Psychologies” – [No Label]

humana   10/13/2015   A Library, CD

This is an electronic music soundtrack to the movie “Psychologies.” That’s about all the background I know. The music itself is quite enjoyable if you like electronica that is atmospheric and calls up images of a world where the characters are supercool and forward moving. Kind of futuristic in a retro way.

Fraser, Nick – “Too Many Continents” – [Clean Feed]

humana   10/13/2015   CD, Jazz

Fraser wrote these tracks and played drums for them. They are avant jazz, with Tony Malaby’s riotous tenor and soprano saxophones and Kris Davis’ more structured piano adding to the challenging mix. Pushing the envelope, the music is sure to appeal to or disturb the KFJC audience. See what it does to you.

Infinite Body – “Avolition” – [Isounderscore]

humana   10/12/2015   12-inch, A Library

Maybe the dreamy quality of these tracks does suggest avolition, which is “a lack of engagement in goal-directed behavior,” but as we believers in the healing power of meditation believe, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, from the first track which is suggestive of bagpipes, to the second, which contains electronics and strange autotuned-sounding voices, to the third which is full of shimmering, pulsing loveliness, to the last, which opens with a booming church organ, all of these tunes bring you a droning atmosphere that is conducive to just being and not doing.

HeCTA – “Diet, The” – [Merge Records]

humana   10/4/2015   A Library, CD

Beats galore are featured on this debut album from HeCTA. Electronics, guitars, piano, synths, percussion, and vocals, with some samples on 5, keep this release lively and energetic. 7 and 9 stand out for me, but decide which of these tracks fit best into your own diet.

Tessier, Yves – “French Troubador Songs of The 12th and 13th Centuries” – [Elektra-Stratford Reco…]

humana   9/28/2015   10-inch, International

If you like Southern France, iambic meter, lutes, Gregorian chants, then you’ll love this. The liner notes highlight the history behind the courtly poets of Southern France (the troubadours) who expressed their reverence for women and the love they inspire in vocal music sometimes accompanied by lute (on this record, Mildred Clary plays the lute). Tessier himself composed the music in the tradition of the 12th and 13th centuries, since musical notation for these ballad-like songs did not exist. Some songs just feature Tessier’s voice, and those definitely sound like Gregorian chants. Others have the lute setting. Enjoy.

Onda, Aki / Loren Connors / Alan Licht – “Lost City” – [audioMER]

humana   9/27/2015   12-inch, A Library

This is a multimedia release. If you remove the red sleeve and open it, you will find the photographs Aki Onda took in New York City (where he had moved during the 1990s) after the events of September 11, 2001. As a visual artist, Onda created a slide show of his photos, and asked Loren Connors and Alan Licht to perform the music to accompany the slides. Side A features the improvised guitar drones Connors and Licht use to communicate, and Side B has the solo sparseness of Connors alone. Read the liner notes that do a beautiful job of explaining the relationship between photographic and aural art. They serve as a fitting accompaniment to the haunting sounds both sides of this record contain.

Chadbourne, Eugene – “Country Music In The World of Islam” – [Fundamental]

humana   9/27/2015   12-inch, A Library

Here Eugene Chadbourne collaborates with The Sun City Girls, Elliot Sharp, and others to create a hectic, energetic, folk-rocky amalgamation of interesting sounds reportedly from religious ceremonies, weddings, and other festivities, all outdoors. The album art by Matt Groening is fascinating, as are the track descriptions. If banjos, harmonicas, guitars, sax, and bizarro lyrics are your thing, this is for you.

Goldendust – “S/T” – [Night People]

humana   9/25/2015   12-inch, A Library

This rather minimal electronic synth pop album with British-sounding vocals that echo through the chipper beats is mild and appealing in its own familiar way. Joe Heuermann and Justin Thye are Goldendust, and their music seems to fit the spaces you dream you see through the golden dust of sunlight as it slants into a room.

Porras, Jon – “Orilla Oscura” – [Immune Recordings]

humana   9/24/2015   12-inch, A Library

These are drones created by Porras in his San Francisco studio. He uses electric guitar, his voice, and tapes to achieve an atmospheric music described as California Gothic. The moods are melancholy and rather mellow, almost sleep inducing, not from boredom, but from being emotionally tired out. Very lovely.

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