KFJC 89.7FM

Dawson, Richard – "Peasant" – [Weird World Record Co]

Thurston Hunger   9/15/2021   A Library, CD

Behold, now you can hob-nob with the hob-jobs. Step into the tent for these 11 unleavened songs from 2017 by way of some Medieval village mill. Dawson is Superman in reverse, unearthly talented while cloaking his powers neath a hair shirt and hairier acoustic guitar plucklings. His guitar work feels like a finger or two might have been caught in
the gears of Derek Bailey, or John Fahey. Check the ripping outro of “Scientist” and then the opening of “Hob.” Dawson’s singing will trace the difficultly strung steps often as well. His phrasing and word-choice stray from expectation, and reward with a completely unbeaten path. A congenital affliction with eyesight seems to have only enhanced his insight. Is this folk, or folck, or fulk? He’s added avant minstrels to this release, including harp-warper Rhodri Davies. Lyric book included as part of vocational historical training for each job, granted the position of “No-One” is filled by a short instrumental on #10 before the towering cautionary tale of being a “Masseuse” to close the album. Richard Dawson may not be for everyone, but I strictly blame everyone. Top notch songsmith. Essential.
-Thurston Hunger

Cannell,Laura and Friends – "These Feral Lands – Volume 1" – [Brawl Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/14/2021   A Library, CD

Spoken word strung over strings. Violinista Laura Cannell who leads this project and label had previously recorded violin improvisations, called Buzzard A through H. Other sounds and importantly, recited words are then stretched over the dry bones of those improvs previously left for dead, and like a bog man come alive stepping out of the peat, the resulting movement catches our ears, eyes and breath. The words are steeped in history and lore, monsters stagger forth; men, wolves and professional wrestlers cast shadows over the spoken sections and down the side of the Wrekin (a hill in Shropshire, England). There is more than dirt in that hill, and plenty of fecund soil in These Feral Lands. I am not just talking about “Vessel” and its 20000 year old golem summoning. I was quite be-warlocked by (erstwhile comedian, but here he comes across like a one-eyed gin-soaked prophet/professor!) Stewart Lee, but the tracks with the ladies bewitch as well, often with looped recitations. The sliding strings weave a tense web of active drone to preserve the words. In my mind “Black Shuck” refers to the virus du jour, but apparently it was some dangerous beastie the size of Winston Churchill stalking those unaware in the English countryside.
-Thurston Hunger

Ocher, Mary – "Mary Ocher + Your Government" – [Klangbad]

Thurston Hunger   9/13/2021   12-inch, A Library

Reprint of 2016 album where the talented tweaker Mary Ocher pits herself between dueling drummers, Stefan Widdess and Oliver Rivera-Drew (aka Your Government) hard at work. The drums keep her grounded, and keep the bpm meter running. Things get off with a blast-off, “#&*” is like a space-chimp hyperventilating, Ocher’s voice often is a third percussive instrument. On other tracks, her voice has razor blade runner sharpness, cutting through spaced lady synths beneath the boys with the beat. Catchy art-pop that could fill the skies nicely next to old floating Silver Apples swarmed by Damaged Bugs. Little guitar strum on the swaggering anthem “The Sound of War” – a song with funk/fury and excellent cold stops. But mostly the music here has bloomed from her rock to artwerk krafted from keyboards. “Man vs Air” at 2:18 begs for a 12″ dancehall remix, synth slithers through the left and right channels. Her Dad reportedly was a voice (and puppet theater) actor! Her vocal gyrations would do her otyez proud! Check out “Now (Fear)” for crazy flair and a serious kookiness. If David Bowie hadn’t been eclipsed by that damn Black Star, she’d probably be opening his next tour (and they’d talk about how they both feel such happy discomfort recording in Berlin). Seems she goes through drummers like Spinal Tap (rough enough for Government workers).

Bonus tip: her evolving visuals won’t disappoint fans of these audio trips!
-Thurston Hunger

Ocher as in “Oh-chen” Horrorshow, my-ee droogs!

Ahmed, Ilyas – "Goner" – [Root Strata]

Thurston Hunger   9/12/2021   A Library, CD

Released in 2009, KFJC has a couple of other cds circa that time by Portland-based guitarist Ilyas Ahmed, as well as a healthy smattering of Root Strata issues. Most recently Ahmed collaborated with Root Strata helmsman Jeffrey-Cantu Ledesma on an album. Back to this slice from 2009 while featuring Ahmed’s shambolic guitar (some electric, plenty of jangle) and his lo-fi ghost whirled vocals, there is a kinda driving blues vibe on earlier tracks. Over all, the recording needle gets pushed hard into the red, to help cloud up the fever dream feel on tracks especially “Out Again” and “As Another.” Ahmed adds rudimentary percussion on many cuts, but there’s also a freer freak folk vibe to be had on “Some of None” and a Mazzacane guitar rain in “Two Breaths.” Liz Harris of Grouper materializes on the closing track offering a soft wordless balm to the opening blues-battered numbers.

-Hunger

Meridian Brothers – "Salvadora Robot" – [Soundway Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/8/2021   CD, International

Yo por mi parte abrazo a nuestros señores robots. As long as Eblis Alvarez is involved in the not-so-artificial intel-y-gente. His crafty processed guitar feels like a Martian tickle to the ear. Weird enough for feet at the disco and in the mosh pit, splendid one-man mad scientist work, on several songs Eblis’ breaks into maniacal laughter in his Isaac Newton studio laboratory (a full band assembles for live gigs).

I like to pretend the first song is a reference to legendary SF band “The Residents” – it’s not, but both projects share a recognizable base masked behind strange sonic costumes. I think it’s his guitar mimicking a clarinet, but I don’t know. It’s all so lovingly tweaked. All songs have swift percolation, and party of percussion, while here Mr. Roboto es de Bogota, his tunes would put some carne on the skeleton bones in a Brazilian Carneval. The drums aren’t digital, but there are plenty of other synthetic waves at play. There’s more dancing arpeggios over staircases of sound than in an old Fred Astaire movie. There should be a full album cartoon video with Daffy Duck dance steps. Kinda wonder if Eblis’ Mom listened to
Raymond Scott during her pregnancy.

Enough reverb applied to make a surf fan weep, in Spanish. But they are tears of joy, this is one festive album and project. All tracks are fabuloso but “Un Príncipe Miserable y Malvado” wears the crown for me. Eblis is a master guitarist via computer wrangler, really look forward to seeing him play, maybe in KFJC’s pit in the future.

-Thurston Hunger

Lingua Ignota – "Caligula" – [Profound Lore Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/8/2021   12-inch, A Library

For a while, this album felt thematically like a love song between God and Satan, the world’s oldest co-dependent lovers. But then I read an interview song-by-song breakdown at
https://www.loudersound.com/features/lingua-ignotas-track-by-track-guide-to-new-album-caligula
which shot that theory down in flames. But what pretty flames, whether they burn in hell or just the throat/heart/soul of Kristin Hayter. Hayter’s
voice often multitracked, can assume the shape of some Sardinian shepherds or a choir of Huun-Hurt-Too monks. She invokes the divine torment of Diamanda or Jarboe, and her musical accompaniment is often just as harrowing. Slow and heavy, like the steps of an executioneer plodding across the gallows. Other sounds add to the theatrics of Hayter’s featured voice like forlorn horns (synth’d?), percussion rattles (chained prisoners?), timpani storms and who knew Satan had a piano bar down on the 9th ring. Plus he trimmed his fingernails for this recording. Sonic disintegration is well used here (see “May Your Failure”) which invokes our greatest fallen Pope – Distortus Maximus II. The recording is a study in dynamics, the mix of voices, chorale and tortured to scream – the thickening and thinning of sound, the repetition and prayer/poem cataloging. A very captivating release. And it seems Aileen Wuonos is still her co-pilot (#6) for me a strange patron/matron saint, but viva equal rights in wrongs I guess. Will she paint herself into a pentagram corner, I don’t think so, I expect this Hayter to proper, and continue to bloom like an asphodel.
-Thurston Hunger
I flinch every damn time on the broken glass on “Sorrow!” and then
laugh later on the Lars Ulrich sample sandwiched in

Yildirim, Derya & Grup Simsek – "Kar Yagar" – [Les Disques Bongo Joe]

Thurston Hunger   6/8/2021   12-inch, International

Old Anatolian Psych has certainly charged KFJC’s airwaves in the past, this is a modern Grup coming out of Germany, also channelling Turkish melodies and scales, but with more of a pop charm. I can see Slowdive fans enraptured by much of this. Derya Yildirim is at the forefront with her baglama, and her arresting voice. Somewhat husky and brimming with a triumphant frailty that reminded me of Selda Bagcan. She soars on re-interpretations of classic folk songs, there are nice translations and brief backgrounds in the included booklet – “Dom Dom Kursunu” has a piercing story behind it. The older songs have more political sting to them, while Derya’s compositions cover a more emotional heartbreak. The album does have an ache to it, although the number that drew me to it was the closer “Oy Oy Emine” – a playful pining folk tune, number one with a bullet for your belly dancing class. “Hekimoglu” is another unique track, a stately percussion procession, Derya’s voice wavering a top it. Most of the album though masterfully mixes her saz riffs with swelling organ, some gritty fuzz guitar and absolutely suave basslines. Drummer Greta Eacott holds it all down (and has her own label too). Great hypnotic pop with a petite powerhouse lead vocalist (nice that her Dad Mustafa thunderously recites poetry on “Cockular II”). Old tunes, young Turks, new rewards!

-Thurston Hunger

La Locura De Machuca [coll] – [Analog Africa]

Thurston Hunger   6/8/2021   CD, International

Flight/release #30 for commander Samy Ben Redjeb and the Analog Africa airlines destination Columbia and the late 1970’s. Gleaning craziness from an old label run by Dr. Machuca (check the fine liners for details), who dumped his day job for the love of discos and an Afro-Columbian groove best captured raw in a take or two at most. Apparently “Tucutru” was a bit of a hit sort of a tone poem that takes three steps up and three steps down. Like that song, this album never stops moving. Some instros, like “El Campenero” and “Wabali” which cooks like a happy day outside at the barbecue. Female singers saunter in “Caracol” which gets pretty tropicalia, on “Te Clavo La…Mano” there’s a siren whispering sweet nadas and on “A Otro Perro” a woman sorta yodels ole. Otherwise there’s plenty of men and geetars, thin and gritty. Some double-lead lines, check out the opener which has a kinda Tom Ze itch to scratch. The other Samba Negra track, “Long Live Africa” may be a nod to Ikenga Super Stars but it’s in its own funky universe. My favorite, cheap synth never sounded so good. That “band” and many others here may just be made up friends and studio musicians from the good Doctor to recreate/Columbian-ize African tunes. Definite DIY vibe throughout. “Juipiti” whistles as it did Analog Africa #12
Killer label! -Thurston Hunger

Soldier, Dave – "Eighth Hour of Amduat, The" – [Mulatta Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/8/2021   CD, Jazz

KFJC’s worship of Sun Ra is well known, and we are not alone. Professor-purveyor-pilot Dave Soldier helps keep Sun Ra alive, with no less than Marshall Allen among the crew for this 2017 release. There may be no air in space, but this release launches with an aria and then includes a dixieland space walk. Track two, electronics, deep tuba, maybe an erhu and Bastet (cat God) on vocals? Harp ripples in on #3, strings both classical and angry angular guitar are summoned. Impressively, sax forces are Marshall’d; Mr. Allen served many tours on Sun Ra’s interplanetary journeys and judging by his playing on here, he has not aged a single note, though he may be 90+ in Earth years. The combination of natural sounds (water beneath the boat, birds on the breeze) along with the swelling choir, help the journey, but the EVI from Allen and Soldier’s own digital squiggles are nice sonic spikings. Ultimately this is an opera, and Sahoko Sato Timpone shines brightest, but the gravity of Sun Ra’s creativity pulls it all together. -Thurston Hunger

Morwan – "Zola-Zemlya" – [Feel It Records]

Thurston Hunger   1/6/2021   12-inch, A Library

Morwan is Alex Ashtaui from Kiev. For a one-man band, this release is exceptionally full sounding. Ashtaui has great ear for a bassline, and some of those drums sound crisply live. He’s Slavic singing is often doubled, with a groan-drone reverb to the chanting style…but the chanting is more aligned with a holy man on an adrenaline binge. Guitar is thin and rattly, maybe a Soviet fender icing through a dark-wave of synth. Old Cure fans could easily re-dye their hair pitch black while listening to Волны. Ashtaui’s synth work often is cloudy with arrows of faux flute piercing it. That last track, Где-то там вдали almost has an Anatolian kind of vibe, just for reference I have no desire to start a holy war over its flavor. Apparently the combination of Arabic and Slavic, old folk and post-punk are the mesh that makes this quick five-track fix so mesmerizing. Perhaps, Alex merely worships rock, stylized rock as the cover image, looking like an asteroid hewn into the rough shape of an ancient saint or future visitor. Alien, familiar and inviting sounds here. The album title translates as “Ash-Earth” so maybe that is a self-portrait on the cover by this multi-talented artist (and professor?).

We got this imported by Feel It Records to the USA in 2020, but originally it was on an interesting Russian label Sierpien Records in 2019.

Hauras – "in these coming days" – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

Thurston Hunger   12/2/2020   A Library, Cassette

KFJC’s Helen Scarsdale diet continues, with this 2020 cassette from Hauras (aka SF’s Howard Ryan see his Snickers lying on the HiFi in our library). Percussion free, clouded sounds – guitar/bass/synth. Ryan’s voice when it appears blends with the murk, “flint, michigan” both sings of and in contaminated water. His singing is soft and buried like a deceased kitten. Occasional “narration” drops in via what sound like air traffic controllers (sometimes reversed) – clarity is not desired Clarence, and I don’t know the exact frequency Kenneth. Hauras prefers to not touch ground, just stay aloft…in what may well be a decommissioned aircraft/bedroom studio. On a later listen, the aforementioned narrator in reality is a police dispatch. So fire up some old Robin Rimbaud/Scanner to cross-pollinate maybe?

-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

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