KFJC 89.7FM

Thurston Hunger

Horrid Red – "Radiant Life" – [Soft Abuse]

Thurston Hunger   11/25/2020   12-inch, A Library

Fourth full length from this band with Bay Area roots and a distinctly Teutonic tincture. Bunker Wolf sings in his native German tongue (while titling the songs in English) his voice is perhaps the most rough, brazen instrument on the record. Edmund Xavier (Glenn Donaldson) along with
Clay Ruby veer far from their Jeweled Antler daze and Burial Hex nights respectively. The drum machines here are happy little robots, not hammering industrial death magnets. No trace of sonic cthonics, or hazey
texture-based Blithe drone drifters. These songs have pep. And polish, while they would fit in with ein track from Cassettencombinant, they eschew the raw for refined. The German words I cannot decipher, I will say their songs “Still Suffering” and “Last Flower of Youth” both feel really happy to me. Hell “End of the Age” even has digital handclaps. Maybe Wolf is singing poems from Rilke, somehow I don’t think so? The title track has a nice slinky vibe to it (cool clinking percussion and a bass line that prowls).
The song before it “Pity The Sun” rang a doppelganger bell to “Under the Milky Way.” That might just be me. It also kinda echoes “Nothing in My Heart” from Horrid Red’s debut. That album had a more punk bent (or see the older Teenage Panzerkorps with Bunker Wolf aand Edmund/Glenn), this is solidly pop, but both have the unmistakable bite of Wolf’s vocals.
BTW: This one’s on the stellar Soft Abuse label, just saying a FreakWeek focus on that label would be mighty tasty.

-Thurston Hunger

Lotto – "Ask The Dust" – [Endless Happiness]

Thurston Hunger   10/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Polish three piece, operating in the same instrumental territory for me as the Dirty Three, albeit sans violin. Their songs have the listener wandering in a state wondering whether they really just saw (or unjustly committed) a crime. Lukas Rychlicki’s guitar is bayonet sharp, check out the closer. Pawel Szpura on drums is a heavy hitter, pistol-crack snare. Bassist Mike Majkowski has an alibi as he often holds down the sound while a form of free-rock flares up around him. Dig Mike’s bowing on the ominous intro – “Gremlin-Prone” while Pawel is thunking what sounds like a chemical drum and Lukasz slide jangles on the “alap” of that track. Eventually an insistent piano joins the mix, and the vibe is hypnotic like The Necks work. The first and last two cuts move with more purpose for me, while the pieces in-between have a searching, sprawl to ’em. This is our second KFJC add with
a title possibly connecting to John Fante’s novel. The cover image features sun-drenched cacti from a desert near the sound of the crime perhaps, that said I bet this album was recorded at night. A very dark and yet beckoning call for a reckoning. Looks like this was their debut and recorded in 2014.

-Thurston Hunger

Metal Preyers – "Metal Preyers" – [Nyege Nyege Tapes]

Thurston Hunger   9/29/2020   A Library, CD

Is AfroFuturism still defining itself, and is this part of that definition? Ritual and routers, digital electronics and digits on dry drums meet here in 15 tracks shaped by shamans Jesse Hackett (London) and Mariano Chavez (Texas to Chicago). Important in their electronic stew are the drums and beyond of Omutaba and Lawrence Okello along with the orations of Otim Alpha. The sounds that result are certainly of the ether but grounded in Uganda. The was released on the fine Nyege Nyege Tapes label similarly born within and without Kampala. More likely to paralyze than perculate a dancefloor, the pieces are short but not confining. “Slither Dripper” and “Night Walker” move in mysterious ways, and across boundaries as stealthily as the project itself aims to. Both of those tracks feature a tiny gully of silence in the middle to jump across, and intentional reset that for me is a pleasant jolt. Startled on-air DJ’s might disagree. Otim Alpha I believe sings/invokes on #2, #3, #6, #9 and #12. The title tracks, opening and closing, feast upon the illusion of beats with whistle/whirs of the electronic landscape. For quick pieces, a lot of shape-shifting at play.

The album is both comforting and foreboding, advanced and ancient, a bush of laptops, an e-cafe of ghosts.

Thurston Hunger

Black Taffy – "Opal Wand" – [Leaving Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/29/2020   A Library, Cassette

Black Taffy all over your teeth and ears. Donovan Jones is pulling the sounds here, sea-salt gritty in the sampled grooves is a key element, I imagine Black Taffy and The Caretaker share the same dirty needles and addiction to ancient vinyl. Jones adds crisp synthetic snares broken starkly over the top, and muscle car bass beats beneath all that, and one more ingredient to find some weird harmony of the elements, the album has more harp than a pixie princess hen party. It’s a unique and compelling
combination and one that Black Taffy keeps consistent on this release. The angels occasionally trade their traditional harps for guzhengs, there are other instruments that drift in at times, toy piano tinkles, and sampled horns offer some sad prana breathing. The slow pace of the beats heightens the elegiac feeling. There is a flair of triumph in “And They Saw” and quick ripples percolating “Ocarina” but overall this cassette is for music box ballerinas who’ve run away to dance for themselves atop abandoned Dallas warehouses.


-Thurston Hunger

Pillaiyaar [coll] – [EMI (India)]

Thurston Hunger   9/23/2020   7-inch, International

1982 soundtrack single from the Tamil film “Pillaiyaar” Call it Kollywood? I ain’t no expert but definitely a fan! Anyways this has four beautiful pop numbers.
A1 – Super bouncy tabla guides this track, flute flying like a crazy bird while Rajalakshmi Sulamangalam soars ever higher above that.
A2- Male and female voices coasting and cavorting, shenai (?) slithers in and tries to stir up some trouble, but the joy-love vibe is too pure. Prominent violins rise in a closing bridge. P. Susheela hits notes like a shining sun in the sky.
B1- Killer vocal trills to start, male and female trading off while stark guitar adds a little tension, that soon launches into galloping tabla with great wandering vocals.
B2- I should learn the name of this style, it feels related to the Qawwali kind of devotional singing, irrepressible beat and T.K. Kala’s voice circles around it, like sliding a magnet through your brain. A lot of charge and pull.

This little 33 rpm record is a gem and amazing, as is the internet where I could find the actual film (some sort of Ganapathi origin story verily). Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzrZ8mE_wtk
songs are at A1-6:30 A2-56:30 B1-78:50 B2-37.40

Let this clear all obstacles from your path. Enjoy!
-Thurston Hunger

Zeroh – "BLQLYTE" – [Leaving Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/23/2020   12-inch, Hip Hop

Zeroh (aka Edwin Liddie Jr.) sure adds up, when he sings “We are one but not the same” he’s talking about the message and the means at work here. During the sonic storm of “Sworn Free” a lion’s voice rises above to howl “Who am I?” If his identity follows the tricky steps of his voice, then the chase is on. His vocals get stretched, flexed, multiplexed and digitally pockmarked, he pulls the bass down a lot, but can lift up his falsetto and sting. The album has flow, but it’s a darker ooze that floats all tracks, the album does not come up for breaths from one track to the next. Like the world, it can almost pull Zeroh and the listener under. The fluid nature features trace elements of Detroit techno where Zeroh spent time as well as puffs of Los Angeles psychedelic smog-hop post that Project Blowed helped huff and where Edwin is currently flipping lids. The lead-off title track is a dizzy blender of sample and sound, by the time we hit “Hydro” the sound is spun backwards, dammed and damned with scorpions, ninjas and Julie Andrews all drifting between the tick and tock waves, he shipwrecks hard from that into choppy vox and rocks of percussion. Then submerges into a void before emerging into an amazing quick breather “You Can’t Unsee It.” Another high point : “The Lord & Nature” which feels like a Conlon Nancarrow rip, check out how Zeroh rests it but then cardiac arrests it. The album has definite psychoactive elements, CIA burnt spoons and shroom in ashrams, holy smoke and Ras G (RIP) residue. The lyrics are a swirl of consciousness and again spun through vocal/robo filters. Zeroh speaks of being “blessed by predecessors” and winds up “reflecting on the water like a buddhist” his stirring of beats pours out a worthy weird elixir, lyrically he looks to turn the tide. Clarity in murkiness.

Zeroh Won, count on him. Sidewalk Surfer grinding on these grooves.

-Thurston Hunger

Alatas, Muchsin – "Pilehan Muchsin" – [MRC (Malaysian Record Company)]

Thurston Hunger   9/23/2020   12-inch, International

Sometimes you got to go out and find your own sublime frequencies. A 2019 trip to Singapore opened a portal to the past via Red Point Record Warehouse and sends us back spinning Indonesia in the 70’s. This choice “Selection” (Pilehan) of pop beauties showcases Muchsin’s velvet crooning over amazing orchestrations, percussion is at the driving heart, but swirling about it are flutes, melodica/harmonium, fuzzed out guitars, penting (like a mandolin). Extremely catchy, and the duets are superb. The two with Titiek Sandhora are a harmonious union that produced more than music, but a family as well. The album starts with a playful cat and bird duet with Anna Bahfen, “Jangar Gusar” (“Don’t Be Upset” – the album has plenty of “Cinta” (“Love”) and “Bahagia” (“Happy”) but it does flit thought the sweet and the sour on tracks like on this track and “Ku Berdosa” (“I Sinned.”) The guitar on both “Jangan Gusar” and “Magdalena” adds a “nice funky feeling” (as Mr Ong from Red Point said), and both songs have these little tantalizing trills that zip between the steady swing of the drums. Muchsin’s voice should not be overlooked, listen to his gentle wavering on the verses to “Semoga Bahagia” and then he soars on the choruses. I’m limited to google translating, but the conflict of desire comes through loud and clear.

-Thurston Hunger

PS : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVENdMtc3t8 Mr Ong interview

Dakim – "Youdecide" – [Leaving Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/23/2020   12-inch, A Library

Dirty pure swirl of vinyl and sound, green and purple growing and oozing from LA by way of Detroit and spilling all over the kitchen sync of so many samples. Oakland instincts in the sink too? There’s deep automotive bass lines, quick honks and a few karate cartoon chops a la MF Doom. All instro though, well kinda…. I mean on “shineversince” there’s this groggy voice muttering while an uplifting R&B clap-along sample gets phased. The track “rap” also has some minimal voice samples maximized, but Dakim does NOT get stuck on the sticky talkie stuff, and his attention spans crates upon crates of records. This was assembled in 2010 apparently by Dakim, waxed more recently and dedicated to Ras G (RIP July 2019) and it has that Oooooh Ras spirit (without the airhorn, but definitely some abrupt cuts). Anyways this is every bit an experimental record, drop it with your Christian Marclay art party and dance a little to “setside” and don’t fret the differences. “setside” really covers a lot of turf with a sorta sonic theme like kelp swaying in the ocean. Dakim does that well, maybe even adding some of his own keys on tracking, connecting dots on musical staphs that feel like a rough mix at first, but upon repeated listen they are just right. Notion : if Tom Waits wants to start his rap career, Dakim’s got him covered on the beats.

-Thurston Hunger

Hollander, Celia – "Recent Futures" – [Leaving Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/22/2020   12-inch, A Library

So Leaving Records gets a socially distant (350 miles) virtual slap on the socially distant back for being a pretty amazing and diverse label. Here we find Celia Hollander’s debut, Hollander an LA musician and erstwhile Dublab DJ. The lead off track uses a stringed sample for effleurage up and down your spine, short and sweet. More digital processing on the second piece with a hovering pulse, but then maybe she’s tapping on a piano keylid after awhile for percussion. Those manual beats question a twitchy drum machine and other tones. “Surround Sound Me” follows with a kind of gamelan waterfall, not gamelan per se but a soothing cascade of soft metal into a brief softer storm. The sound of ball bearings going to heaven? The piece that called me is “Big Talk/Small Talk” voice chat chopped so fine you cannot pull any words out, so it has the aura of Robert Ashley, but recalls Alessandro Bosetti’s talk-cussion or some art installation on the joy of information overload. I’m not a synaesthete, but this pushes those sort of buttons for me. This record exists in a space between drone and beats, which “Spared Time” illustrates very well. The concluding piece is my second favorite, elegance and elegy….simple piano wandering in between the magnetic fields. A stimulating release, I suspect there are detailed stories behind each pieces. A glistening electroacoustic listen.

-Thurston Hunger

Sunn Trio – "Electric Esoterica" – [Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company]

Thurston Hunger   6/24/2020   12-inch, A Library

Joel Robinson is the center of this Sunn (and no band connection to Sunn 0 btw afaik lmnop). On these guitar-fueled instros, he’s joined by drummer Andrew Flores and bassist Paul Borman. Phoenix-fired but other Suns in other lands are worshipped. It may be too simple to say Robinsun sic-ly shines a black path through surf and metal, but like any holy Book of Lies, verily that holds some truth. “Alhiruiyn” smacks you both with a flair of misirlou and the dungeon air of a guitar chained in reverb. Other tracks like “Kunz-Pnjua” sweep through sustain, the Robinson’s guitar goes from a whisper to a screaming dune of sound, Borman drops a bolero for the bassline. On later listens to this, Flores really stood out….just chase him through a song like “Eye of Apopis” and “Tantric Feedback Resistor” (which may be a nod to Flores’ work with Destruction Unit?). While the band walks as a trio, a fourth shadow appears before them – Sam Plattner adds fx to the mix, really adds a different lustre, and those who eschew the guitar can appreciate his shortwave (on the closing “Evocation”) and long game in other spots, he dominates “Ilm Au-Huruf” before a stringy sting of improv at the end. Moments like those, as well as the shifting “Majoun,” the tasty “Taqsim for Atargatis” and the droney “Japa III Aiwass” give this album much breadth and room to breathe. While looking at the cabala under the djellaba, it seems this work may be blessed by Bishops, there is some sort of misty mount meru hop-scotch at play, but this heat-seeker of an lp would have wandered its way to KFJC no matter what. If/when they visit our pit, my inner Aladdin wishes for Plattner to be conjured incarnate.

-Thurston Hunger

Moenda – "Moenda" – [Kinnikinnik]

Thurston Hunger   5/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

Now-defunct three piece Moenda released this back in 2011. Band (and label) were from North Carolina, for me this jumps into the parade that features bands like Guerilla Toss and Sea Moss, groups that have a pretty amazing drummer as their majorette. For Moeda, Davey Blackburn is the
percussion whiz, he’s joined by guitar and galactic synth effects courtesy of Ross Wilbanks and Jeremy Fisher. Unlike the referenced bands, there’s not a lot of vocals here (a little chatter on “The Wider the Smile the Sharper the Blade” and maybe a sampled Brazilian priestess on the closer). The music is not so menacing as that Smile/Blade, I’d color it “angry cute” mostly based upon the arsenal of toys that Wilbanks and Fisher. I mean check out “Eschaton” after the big fat synth burbles evaporate, there’s a kind of Gershon Kingsley joy before returning to the world’s end. Another fave is “Cut Here and Here” with a teapot whistle sound slicing through as the song sambas on. Indie instro march and perculate powder, hop in line.
-Thurston Hunger

Moctar, Mdou – "Ibitlan" – [Sahelsounds]

Thurston Hunger   5/27/2020   7-inch, International

Mdou Moctar, c’mon even his name rocks! Mdou (aka Mahamadou Souleymane) was introduced to KFJC by this same fantastic label on the Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol 2 collection, let that be an inspiration to anyone worrying about how the pandemic will impact music, sound will always survive, silicon chips swirling around the desert! Along those lines, apparently this single was to be a limited edition 2020 tour offering, but fortunately this record and songs are unstoppable. The Agadez sound often leaves listeners agog, side A of this does not disappoint, dizzying spin start by Mdou alone, the band then jumps on board – spirited singing doubled by rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drives Mdou up higher both in voice and on the guitar later in the song, possible dual lead but I suspect it’s Mdou overdubbed and double-fuzzed.
Side B follows that lead with an anthemic, surging number. No vocals
on this one, so a good chance to appreciate the rhythm section, drummer
Aboubacar Mazawadje strikes that snare launching each spiral;
then Mazawadje and Michael Coltun on bass tumble through to the next
round. But make no mistake, Mdou is the Prince here, hammer-on/hammer-off guitar trills reign in a bluesy way, with touches of red.
Pretty amazing that he built his first forbidden guitar, and these days it seems like Agadez is ground-zero for Fender.
Driving modern psych from Niger by way of Sahel Sounds.

-Thurston Hunger

Oxenberg, Dan + Bear Galvin +Friends (Pillow Mt. Conspiracy) – "Early Abstractions Vol. 1" – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/20/2020   12-inch, A Library

Frogs in a blender, punchline to a tired joke, but for KFJC listeners it might be one third of the recipe for this album. On first listen, my sonic blender had the Frogs + Ivor Cutler + “Final Relaxation” (that ol’ fools’ Golding with Hamburger helper). Better peeps would detect Supreme Dicks, Oxenberg’s group of yester-ear. Anyways, this 2019 album has a sorta gentle creepiness, that and the occasional wheezy organ brought Cutler to my mind.

More acoustic than the twin-lead tweakery of the Dicks, but electric six-strings and electronic other things make this more than a freak folk flyby. That and there’s a deft hand in the sequencing. Side B launches so well, “Waves” with your captain speaking, then a laminitis lament for “Barbaro” followed by an instrumental tonic dedicated to “Fernado Rey” with its reverbed electric piano tinkering at windmills and flowing right into “Troubled Waters” – twisted wistful and definitely where the Relaxation kicks in. Other elements tucked in include the headphone smile of “Banjo Coke” and some scene stealers from “Welcome Home Johnny Bristol.” Definitely an album that grew on me…it’s never too late for Early Abstractions.
-Thurston Hunger

Monokultur – "Monokultur" – [Ever/never]

Thurston Hunger   5/13/2020   12-inch, A Library

Downer duo, bedroom synth-pop during a power-outage. Synthesizers paradoxically fueled by some kind of apathy transformer, I guess. Vocals from Elin Engström and JJ Ulius taste of a hunger strike, songs are similarly skeletal. Dubby bass backbone, with light synth spin or barbiturate guitar nibbling at your ears. If you are like me, and you enjoy a drum machine that is need of therapy, this 2018/19 full-length debut will fill your skies with a rich slate gray.
I assume the album title is more a statement on their lo-fi sound than an homage to the same-named online zine. These two Swedeys also spend time changing units in the band Skiftande Enheter. On this album “Som en Hund” is the peppiest puppy of the litter, the last track, translates as “The Long Awaited End” I sure hope there’s life after that. Till then listen to this with a stethoscope, cold to the skin.

DJ meatball challenge: Make up English translations for the titles when on air.

Flores, Miguel – "Lorca / Lost Tapes 1989-1991" – [Buh Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/22/2020   12-inch, A Library

Living in the quaranteen-age, I’ve yet to hold this album (no searching for locked grooves or secret messages etched in runout). That said summoning Flores’ spirit and sounds via the web, I was able to still fall under the spell of this collection. Ethereal sounds, perhaps too good for this world, like the man being honored here – Federico García Lorca. Flores tribute to the assassinated Spaniard is homespun and heartfelt, from a pensive opening of raindrop guitar and piano trickling beneath looming synth clouds, and then into II with a gentle guitar ballad
and a casio soaring like Yma Suma’s soul…the album is a striking accompaniment to a play we won’t see. That said it could double as the imaginary soundtrack to David Lynch remaking El Topo. Flores, a drummer in other forms like Pax, a heavy Peruvian late 60’s psych band, here mostly forgoes the sticks or strident percussion, instead building
moods. III feels like a bit of BBC, IV has some squeaky drums, whistles and Flores shaman chanting, all in a lush garden of reverb. Great! V revs up the skins and feet for an insistent little dance. VI is succubus city. VIII
has quick temper timbred xylosounds of some sort, and the ghost of Maya Deren on sax. Really the whole album has a haunting vibe. VIII visits the opening pensive cloud formation. There are two digital beauties our vinyl may be lacking, but worth tracking down and/or waking up your girlfriend for. The whole album as is has a very nice flow, with the circular ending. Nice that this work of Flores can bloom again via Luis Alvarado’s Buh label out of Peru.

El Hombre del Hambre

Satanique Samba Trio – "Mais Bad" – [Rebel Up Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/22/2020   10-inch, A Library

Bass lines, like tiny black holes, just devouring everything in front of them. Thick and dense. If vocals appear they are kind of Patton-esque, squishy and guttural. Gyorgi? Little retches. Covid cough on #30, but the whole album is infectious. Feels more like a one-man project than a trio made up of five people who’ve been funking around since 2002 in Brazil. Their first album was called “Misantropicalia” which clues you in on their approach, sadly “Mais Bad” is the first album that has nested in at KFJC. Is that clarinet on #05 and #26? Sides split into odd and even tracks, but they’re all odder pop flavors melting your mind away. 10 tracks on 10 inches, so each excursion into BadTripTronics flies by…if these are too long the main Satanique conjuror, Munha da 7 has a one minute full album with single second spasmic cuts. I guess you could dance to pieces here, but I’ll refuse to watch. Sonic fidelity is kept down to enhance your experience and get the “Trio” hopefully evicted from the ProgArchives where beards are mandatory. This has more glitter prog/punk flair and should be loved by the cuica and the undead. Personally it’s nice to see Satan branching out a bit musically.
-Thurston Hunger

Eisenberg, Wendy – "Its Shape Is Your Touch" – [Vin Du Select Qualitite]

Thurston Hunger   4/22/2020   12-inch, A Library

Oct 2018 release, talented tangled fingers on solo guitar (as is the apparent M.O for the Vin Du Select Qualitite label). The opening cut named after deceased artist Sol LeWitt lost me, but in the way Derek Bailey’s work would lose me. Maybe I’m clutching too much to a map that no longer applies. Eisenberg uncertainty principles applied to note selection and rejection? Dipping into “Lethe” track 3, all is forgotten which right about now is about as promising as life gets. That has a great blend of peace and tension, discordant clusters hang in space, the pace is relaxing, with a few flourishes of finger-picking that will bloom later on in another river “Eridanos” which has a lot of furious eddies of playing. Between them “Early November” is dusky and somewhat bouncy. “Designated Mourner” is pretty, with a spider-like balancing of dissembled chord to dissembled chord. “Sawn” speaks to its technique, fingerblade friction used to saw notes off the strings at times, some bluesy 7th comfort tossed in for good measures. The album has a tipsiness to it that is part of its charm amidst avant brainiac complexity. The closer, “All Saints” is a guitar pretending to pop bubble-wrap and/or be leaky faucet. Shape-shifting suits Ms Eisenberg well, as Lexi mentioned check out Birthing Hips also there is Editrix, both of which kinda rule.
-Thurston Hunger

Fat Worm of Error – "Nzznzzzznnznznnn" – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   2/23/2020   12-inch, A Library

2020 vinyl re-issue of their 2004 early-daze cassette. Though the Worm hails from Massachewzits, they share DNA, clothing and a sonic aesthetic with Caroliner. And add more than a dash of Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase. Noisey wonderment, circuit-jammed and jellied rolls of tape. Not only vocals on some tracks but lyrics printed on the sleeve, so you can crack the karaoke puzzles. Fleas and flies, and the squids are all right? In a better world than this one, these would all be recordings made by children’s toys, or maybe they are. “Tubes” has farty beauty, “Flea God reveals a weird insect kingdom underneath the floorboards of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. “Wolves” is nifty drifty until the jittery critters flitter your ticker. Some of the noise variety here reminds me of pulling a huge bandaid off. Quick little rips and tugs, hits of static, weird electronics. Hard to not love the daughter of the difficult rants (Jess Gordon) over the sound for me.
The Worm still turns!

-Thurston Hunger

PC Worship – "NYC Stone Age" – [SHDWPLY]

Thurston Hunger   2/23/2020   12-inch, A Library

PC Worship is Justin Frye and whoever he can fit into his basement at any given point. Ramshackle tunes with forays into improv captured in willful low-fi. Space is cluttered but varied, the recording raw. Electic guitar is set pretty sharp and shrill, but on tracks like “Heel” you might have it working with/against pretty pings from a toy xylophone. “Way Out” is a sort of psych number, but with a New Zealand feel. Frye himself caught a wave from Virginia Beach to NYC back in 2003 and has stayed afloat there since. This album, his first vinyl, came out in 2009 on defunct VA label Shdwply.

Wordless vocals shine on the first track, the two “Thrills” and “Ahh” that latter with some bass and drum lightning bolt therapy at the end. “Bali Thrills sputters in trumpet, while “Bermuda Thrills” closes side one with a beauty of a locked groove. And it feels like stoned punks summoning Popol Vuh.

B-side scream starts into a dirty acoustic mantra and then some devilish coda, grin and Syd Barret! B2 has R2D2-cum-chimp sax in another closet full of sound, drums bouncing off the walls – straitjacket jazz, no chaser. Drums stay strong right through the cramped halls of “Sunday, Sunday” – a rough gem! “Outer Woods” is for the illegitimate grandkids of Dead fans? Or maybe it’s just freak folk. Do I hear a robot snoring on the closer? More wordless vocals on that one too, no locked groove.

Is their name (and sound) a reaction to weirdness wraught by mere laptops? Better with hands/strings/feet/pedals/mouths/horns?
-Thurston Hunger

Hound Dog Taylor's Hand – "Hound Dog Taylor's Hand" – [Planned Obsolescence]

Thurston Hunger   1/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

Seattle project, contrabass leads the 4tet not strictly to rock, nor jazz. On the lead-off John Seman’s work is reminiscent of the guimbri styles of Joshua Abram’s work. Seman’s bass is a heavy anchor thoughout here. On “The Immensity of the Problem” he bum-bum-bum-BUMPS plus Mark Ostrowski on the drums to set up extended solos from guitarist Jeffery Taylor and then Greg Kelley on trumpet. Greg gets more muscle into his hustle here, as opposed to the intriguing but subtle Nmperign. Ah, Taylor is a Climax Golden Twin, he punks up “The Vulgar Ideal” (my fave track here – a ripper!). Things get a little sludgy on “Hostile Architecture” but like a lot of these songs, that serves as a launch-pad for solo ballistics. “Retrieval Technicians” finds a shade of moodiness, that nicely sets up when things come down to the WIRE on the closing track. Ending with “You Can’t Leave Now” is both funny and edgy (listen to Seman saw away on his contrabass). As a side note, KFJC has plenty of the six-fingered six-string slinger Hound Dog from whom the band takes its name.
-Thurston Hunger

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