KFJC 89.7FM

Thurston Hunger

Nutimbre – “Cycles” – [dEN Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/6/2017   CD, Jazz

Label-leader and dEN-master Stefano Ferrian assembled
this five piece, with a decidedly electric timbre
although his spinning sax and Vito Emanuele Galante’s
trilling trumpet cross paths a lot. The album’s title
is the musical mantra for Ferrian’s compositions here
with heaps of arpeggiated arrays and hopped up cycles
of sound. Sometimes like on “Sharp Colors” they move
at a measured pace, but even that drops out and
let’s Simone Quatrana finger flip a solo on his keys,
as Fabrizio Carriero drum punctuates. “Closed Walk”
has a plodding gait, Luca Pissavini getting thick
with his electric bass (it feels like an acoustic
tree trunk.) Ferrian’s first solo sparcs nicely,
I get a little lost in Quatrana’s closing riffwork.
But I like the down Chicago feel to that piece. The
title cut has a more frenzied fusion feel for me.
I do like Ferrian’s kind of zig-zag melody use.
Another extended round from Quatrana on the closer
with some nice muted trumpet by Galante. Cycles
that are dizzying and perhaps refreshingly
Gillespie-ing? 2014 release, at least I found it
before Discogs has! -Thurston Hunger

Baby Dee – “Regifted Light” – [Drag City]

Thurston Hunger   12/30/2016   12-inch, A Library

—————————————————
2011 release, almost feels like it could be a
Christmas special (maybe cuz we’re adding it in
Dec 2016?) But there’s a consistency to this,
sealed in like a shaken snowglobe with beauty. Baby
Dee has a cagey stagey voice, something between
gentle and forceful, verily both at the same time
as befits this self-professed “bilateral hermaphrodite.”
Ornate piano, oft featured on instrumentals (and
friends with a bassoon!) flourishes. Check out the
perky “Yapapipi” which feels like the epiphanous
soundtrack selection for a coming of age movie,
or maybe a nature documentary when hibernation
is over. “Horn Pipe” is jaunty but a bit hesitant,
perhaps like Baby Dee during her days as a tree
climber. There’s a quasi-religious aire, what do
Church of England hymns sound like anyways? Dee’s
vocal transformations are more transfixing for me
than any gender bending…swinging from a gutty
mutter to almost soaring sacred. Her voice sheds its
John C. Reilly american bland talking and gets a high
British rebirth. Amidst all this there’s goofballs
wrapped in furs like “The Pie Song” and the snail
hailing lead-off to the B-side (the latter possibly a
free David Tibet dedication?). “On the Day I Died”
hits some high and hallowed notes. Cleveland does
plenty more than rock thanks to this artist and
this lp. -Thurston Hunger

Bookstaber, Rafi – “Late Summer” – [Woodsist]

Thurston Hunger   12/30/2016   12-inch, A Library

Seasonal sounds that I slept on, sorry. One or two
chord mantras, with some psych guitar noodling,
but drenched in belt-gaze (shoe-gaze cranked up to
your waist) production. Songs are like jammy
pajamas for the nudist colony at the beach. Loose
fitting. The lyrics slip away into the shimmery
mix, but printed out so you can at least read
the third generation hippy strain if you don’t
actually feel it, man. A mellow that can only
be harshed by some severe mixology? We don’t
have any of Rafi’s other stabs at sound, but
from what I’ve checked out, fans of this could
take an easy chance with Death Chants. And hard to
resist the Woodsist gist.
-Thurston Hunger

Chatham, Rhys – “Harmonie Du Soir” – [Northern Spy Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/20/2016   12-inch, A Library

2013 release from seminal No Wave string-thinker.
Like his contemporary Glenn Branca, Chatham was drawn
to the concert hall thrill and thrall of an orchestra
pit packed with electric guitarists. Minimalist music
for maximum force. We have many of his older releases.
He has evolved as a modern composer (trumpet apparently
was his primary calling card) but we find him here still
with that kind of post-rock, or punk-driven-drone vibe.

#1 The title piece launches with a minimal tick tock ear
sweep, one note electric pinging on a Dreyblatt-itude. Six
guitars, so his roots music doubling down on his early
Guitar Trio action. This song often feels like a post-rock
precision boogie suite but it finds its power 7:40 in with
definite No Wave homage crescendo chord strikes spaced out
then accelerating then bass beats alive and angling guitar
swipe-by’s create a nice Interference pattern.

#2 Almost feels like a bagpipe early, the alignment of player
(nearly 70 on this piece, an apparent soundtraco to a French
mountain town – Rhonabwy ) a dinosaur heavy stride follows for
nearly 12 minutes, then we encounter these arabesque woodwind
flourishes. They blow in with a hint of dilithium crystal method.
Add in minimalist call and response over orchestral drone, the
orchestra swells and rises while percussion marches back in. We
wind up in a shimmery pool of sustained sound. Helluva town.

#3 Bonus piece, a mere 10 minutes. Noisier and less stately than
the two vinyl cuts. Crushing blender of guitars like the original
version of “Drastic Classicism” updated with dizzy blurts of Chatham’s
trumpets sprinting through the center. Drummer Ryan Sawyer doesn’t
just keep time, he kicks it in the gut. Noise surf.

Hey he’s coming to town to cut it up with Bill Orcutt
http://www.thelab.org/projects/2016/11/6/rhys-chatham

-Thurston Hunger

Pure Panic – “C’est La Guerre” – [Blue Cat Music]

Thurston Hunger   10/20/2016   A Library, CD

Oakland trio, before “garage band” was a piece of
software, it was a way of life. I suspect all
three guys in this band harken back to that, and
as they contemplate maybe retiring in a couple
decades, that teenage waistband stretches the
tune-age wasteland of commercial radio. So prop
yourself through the day job, and why not self
release a CD. The music here is not garage rock,
(well “The Ride” is kinda) more of a gentle psych.
Despite their name, the band is certainly not Pure
(thank Hendrix!), and their Panic is less urgent,
maybe a creeping existential dread fits. Someone in
the band likes a good sea shanty (Larry Luthi?) and
someone’s love of Frank Zappa is mostly kept in check
(Ed Lundell?) and someone thinks in limericks (Cyrus
Crafft?). Yeah, I could be wrong on all three accounts,
but if KFJC folks dug their “Planet Thief” (and a lot
did), you’ll be slippin’ this disc while reading your
old collection of vintage Mad Magazines. Speaking o’
comix commingling with musix, this band reminds me
of Devin Gary & Ross. More power to guys who keep
those ol’ garage band dreams alive, even if they
don’t have a garage anymore!
-Thurston Hunger

Porest – “Modern Journal of Popular Savagery” – [Nashazphone]

Thurston Hunger   8/19/2016   12-inch, A Library


First world problems breaking down the fourth wall and some
catchy third world melodies. Porest is no stranger to KFJC,
a Sublime Freak who tripped from the land of Molam to
Syria, remember? Trapping us with Neung Phak and stomping
us with the unstoppable Mono Pause before that. And
he built a Sham Palace along the way. Many of his friends
from those incarnations are summoned here. This album could
be what would have happened if Stan Freberg freebased with
hop hop? Or if Ken Nordine got stopped for a full security
cavity check EVERY time he thought about flying. Porest even
gets the band back together (not Conheim/Bishops/Albee)
but those secret agent quasi-NGOs-in-the-know Tourrorist
cloaked in computerized voices to protect the guilty.
Check out “The Field Recording” for their latest hits and
democracy operations. Or dig the family drama on “Schalked.”
Other cuts are infectious like the Agit Pop of “Diplomat Smile”
and “Some Law” and “Au Revoirs of Blood.” There’s fuzzy b
ellybutton slink on “Your Vertebrae” that is mostly an
instrumental so you can be safe, or can you? Hey, the album
has kazoos, karaoke jingles of hate and lyrical nods to
Negativland and Public Enemy, so enjoy the revolutions of
this disk, those at least are real. Ko Ki!
-Thurston Hunger

Ferrari, Luc – “Interrupteur / Tautologos 3” – [Blue Chopsticks]

Thurston Hunger   8/19/2016   A Library, CD

1999 re-issue of pieces from 1967 and 1970 respectively.
Each composition is carved up into segments for the CD
(or anxious DJ). Anxiety is at a premium on “Interrupteur”
hovering half-notes rising like steam, strings sawing
and lighter-than-air French Horn make up the soup,
percussion tumbles in at times then subsides, also a
trumpet occasionally hits like Batman and then rest. The drone is uneasy and the attacks
make the listener lurch even more. “Tautologos 3” (KFJC
has renditions of 1 and 2 on another album) sounds like
a game piece, set in motion by rules, and not without
its humor. Like the “Interrupteur” there are sudden
spasms of sound, but no soup this time, instead a
background series of instruments that sort of volume-pedal
in a note at a time, like sheep bleating. Segment two
starts with a gallop, the electric guitar though often
stops the fun like a frustrated substitute teacher. On
segment three, faux sirens clear the orchestra for a
spell, then build a see-saw before something like a
mazurka breaks out. But it jump cuts to bouncing
twinkly organs. Tape splice delights. All of this back
when attention spans were long and uncorrupted by
TV/internet and the fly buzzing aroud in your skull.
Two very different tonnes of 12 tone fun! -Hunger

On the life and death tip, this reissue was the birth of
David Grubbs’ “Blue Chopsticks” label and RIP Luc 8/22/2005

Hyperculte – “Hyperculte” – [Les Disques Bongo Joe]

Thurston Hunger   8/10/2016   12-inch, A Library


Geneva vivre! Perky poppy stuff that could have been
cooked up in a Stereolab or come from the overflow of
Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Like that Swiss
band, this album has a full sound, with merely a dynamite
duo (including the actual bassist from OTPMD). Vincent
Bertholet’s upright bass lines are what keep this in the
pop zone, he frequently nails the nerve from ear to toe.
In addition there’s plenty of weird warpage via outer space
synth. One track, “S.O.S.I.” sounds likes a nod to Glenn
Branca (or at least the Theoretical Girls). There is also
un hommage du the incredible Brigitte Fontaine, apparently
on “Cholera” but on “Le Tyran” it almost sounds like lady
Fontaine herself. That voice and the drummer and yin of this
duo comes from Simone Aubert. She has a nice “sweet scream”
of a voice. On “Resigne” it’s a candy, on “Le Feu” it’s
a flamethrower. The duo vox interplay is cool when paired
up, she might yodel while he speak-sings, or they might
trade off moves closer to a Ye-Ye way. They’ve got an
immaculate knack for producing catchy songs. Tres cool stuff
I want to hang with these two, although maybe not in the
furry cosplay from the cover. (Is that a “Revenant” nod for
bear and skunk?). Let’s track down some Massicot, a side
project for Ms. Aubert. Art rock lives!
-Thurston Hunger

Abatzi, Rita – “I’m Burning, I’m Burning” – [Mississippi Records]

Thurston Hunger   8/10/2016   12-inch, International

The Greek Urban Experience with Turkish delights by way of
the town of Izmir, just prior to WWII. Rita singing the
rough and tumble rebetiko scorchers. Her voice lights your
cigarette, fiddle follows her striking sparks alongside.
Slow and smoldering at its best, but not without fits of
flancy check the “Blond Jewish Girl” for a nice romp, or the
syrto “Little Calliope” which gives this collection its
title. All lyrics translated in a nice booklet (the
Mississippi way!) allowed me to wonder about Paradosiako’s
words for “The Doe.” Specifically the lines
“Generous wife of the priest 2X
The tough guys you don’t talk to “2X
Most of the songs skirt the anguish of amor, The harm (or
is it haram) of the harem, girls from the other village
called out by name, even twice Rita sings of herself.
And I think I heard the backing musicians shout her name
in encouragement (or perhaps a tricky love triangle).
I prefer the scrapier numbers, where a slithering fiddle
reminds me of the film Latcho Drom, but other numbers
bounce in balaika or flutter in clarinet (“Girl from
Aigio”). The recordings are well-preserved, Rita less
so (RIP 1969). At least we revive Rita’s varied voice
and her name, the talented musicians (check out the
interplay on “Mercy Little Anna”) wander nameless
and amorphous, vanishing like the smoke from those
long ago underground dens.
-Thurston Hunger

75 Dollar Bill – “Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock” – [Thin Wrist]

Thurston Hunger   7/14/2016   12-inch, A Library

Man, I so want to enter this into KFJC’s “blues library”
although it also looks well past our own country’s
muddy deltas and Bo Diddley beats to points much further
east. Some of those mantra riffs are akin to ancient gnawa
spirals from Africa or a breeze off the Sahel Sounds
(desert scorched electric guitar). Che Chen who has summoned
Tony Conrad and other power players on violin in the
past takes up the sizzling six strings here. His rudimentary
and insistent playing does feel raw and instant, so maybe he
didn’t just disassemble Agadez djinns, but stumbled upon ’em
himself, either way it’s just great. The faster, the more fury,
for me the better (“Cummins Falls” and “Beni Said” woohoo!).
Rick Brown is on the other side of this funky bill, with home
slapped together percussion and some handbuilt horns which add
a charge to Chen’s guitar. Sometimes Brown fits right into the
overdriven halo of sound so tightly that you have to listen
twice to pluck the horn out, other times it sounds like Brown
is wounded over behind a mountain as on “I’m Not Tryting To
Wake Up.” Despite the comparisons, Chen and Brown have their
own brand of beauty going on, and while it will hit bliss for
fans like me of Joshua Abrams’ guimbri bumblebees, I love the
idea of some Junior Kimbrough fans swarming to this modern
duo by way of KFJC’s buzzing hive and archives.
-Thurston Hunger

Frightening Lights, The – “Frightening Lights, The” – [Bruit Direct Disques]

Thurston Hunger   6/18/2016   12-inch, A Library

Why wasn’t I informed earlier that Eartha Kitt was
reincarnated? That’s not quite fair to Elizabeth Downey,
the Australian mastermind and mistress vocalist guiding
these darkling Lights, she does sing a nice minxy mix of
demure dizziness and seductive strength. Mic’d up so
devotedly, you can sometimes hear when her lips press
together. Her voice is accentuated by the typically stark
accompaniment, Downey on acoustic guitar, peeling
chords off like petals from a flower augmented by
Dan Hawkins, on a host of instruments most notably a
breathy and sometimes shimmering organ. Never any
percussion, and these ballads move like tumbleweeds on
a slow breezy day. Whatever they scratch, her voice is
the salve. The last track “Pretty Things” drops the most
bombast, all others drift in and out, feeling like
a woman singing alongside her OD’d partner. Is it
a lullaby to bring back to life, or a farewell
funereal folk hymn? Each side starts with a powerful
number, and the tracks following feel like they were
cleft from those lead-off and deepest cuts. From the
band SIR without love? A mesmerizing release here, do
not miss. -Thurston Hunger

Synthetic ID – “Impulses” – [Castle Face Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2016   A Library, CD

Tight SF punk four piece. Shouty vox from Nic Lang and
grindy guitar from Jake Dudley fit/spit well together.
Post-PIL thrills, that then collide nicely with a
brotherly rhythm unit of Will and Paul Lucich on
drums and bass respectively. For some reason I suspect
Paul as a closet power-pop fan. Often his basslines
are a bit peppy for the sound and lyrical visions of
elusive dreams, “ciphers-missing words”, “throwing
shadows, casting doubts.” Abstract anger is an
energy. Dudley’s guitar-work is well-manicured, gets
a little slippery and nice on “Is the Day Done?”
Usually it’s built on glass-chip lines and slashing
chords. Some synth flickers through on “Silhouettes”
and “Replacement Parts” and “Forced Exhalations.” Those
titles alone capture the band’s flair for alienation.
Lucid nightmares with that crack Lucich accompaniment.
By any means, stay punk, pony boy. -Thurston Hunger

J. Marcloid – “Shenpa” – [Subruckus Collective]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2016   A Library, Cassette

Name-shifting, shape-shifter, noise drifter. Depending
on how the Jelly Moonlit Light shines, you might see
Justin Marc or an Angel or various other incarnations.
What you will hear here are two sidelong noisy explorations

Each side clocks in at 21:30….

A fax machine dreams of playing the bag pipes? That’s the
opening pull on “Hook” it follows with a lot of mechanically
bounced sounds, like rubber bands made out of some really
pliable metal, and then wired into your sense of balance.
Things thing out 11 minutes in and we eavesdrop on a short
demon phone call and then some weird ceremony in an empty
underground reservoir. Almost sad, almost singing? I really
liked that section but then lava rupture ended it.

“Shenpa” includes distorted voice feeds over a pulsing
slave unit to the servo-rhythm. I’m a sucker for anything
that triggers a “Prince of Darkness” movie memory and
the chopped dialog here did so. After awhile something
that sounds like a broken Buddha box chirps in (apparently
that might be no koan-cident as Shenpa is a Buddhist term
of confining attachment, like a hook to a fish perhaps)
Bells and blips ring on and then broken voices for broken
people return at the end.

Even if the mind is not sharp, the sounds here are often
are, piercing one’s stream of consciousness.
-UnThurston UnHunger

Bennani, Abdelhai/Oki, Itaru/Silva, Alan/Sato, Makoto – “New Today, New Everyday” – [Improvising Beings]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2016   CD, Jazz

Tenor saxman Abdelai Bennani Moroccan-born, then French-fed, creates
some tasty spaces that would feel right at home in Chicago. There’s
an Art Ensemble vibe here for me, pacing and spacing with some
eathy ancestral vibes (there’s even a track called “Tribes”)
You might recognize Alan Silva’s name on here, the bassman of
ESP and other lore goes spaceman with synth on the second of the
two disks. But the connection Bennani has made with Makoto Sato
on drums and especially Itaru Oki is fantastic. Oki mostly on trumpet,
adds some bugle and notably windy flutes. Oki is given a lot of solo
space, and while both he and Bennani can scorch things up, they excel
in gentle ways. Pieces are often dreamy, Sato then eases up and will
roll along on toms. Both horns at times seem to brush up against
classics for a bar or two, maybe quoting some recognizable material
to help launch an improvisation. Bennani gets a sweet hum on slow low
notes and on both disks his work with Oki is touch and glow! Silva’s
synth on disk two is also mellow and mildly galactic while anchored
in the deep end like a contrabass, it sort of pushes the group into a
more fusion zone. on “Take Time, Play the Game” but towards the
end really elevates. On “More Is Different” Silva’s delivers more
mind-bending pitch-bending tweaky key tinkle. Martian blues almost?
More great stuff from this vibrant label, personally I need to back
and uncork some the Oki releases KFJC has corralled. -Thurston Hunger

Heimat – “Heimat” – [kill shaman]

Thurston Hunger   4/15/2016   12-inch, A Library

If Nico was your last cigarette, is Heimat your first
lollipop? Armelle Oberle’s vocals have that shouty Teutonic
chill, like someone warning you about an avalanche (and
maybe actually triggering the avalanche) but in a weird way
much more playful. Olivier Demeaux (from the excellent Cheveu)
creates keys and sample-laden soundscapes that while synthy
are more microwave popcorn than chill wave sunglasses. On
“Dein Arkitekt” he mixes a rollicking gamelan sample with
some happy marching barks. Singing in German, but thinking
in French maybe is what makes this a sort of fun outing. For
KFJC insiders, if Belladonna hosted Neung Phak would it sound
like this? There are beats and the songs are kinda catchy, but
I don’t see a lot of dancing happening. “Trocadero” has a
sassiness that’s not far off Klaus Nomi’s sensibility. The
instro after that “Flutath” flutters by too quickly. “Pompei”
is the band at its most ostentatious, and Armelle soars and
almost yodels on the choruses, while Olivier’s sound is
Cecil B. Demille sized. Heimat translates a “homeland” but
this strange duo will be strangers in most land’s though not
our fine museum of audio oddities. Don’t miss!
-Thurston Hunger

Fluwelen Koord – “Luxe Poesje” – [Ultra Eczema]

Thurston Hunger   4/15/2016   7-inch, A Library

Spazzy, strident and a little sweet punk.

A-side :Boozy guitar, howled vox (he eventually barks at
the end) and a bassline that wants to be a metronome. Some
times two notes is enough for a bassist, maybe more than
s/he can handle. A little synth whispers on what I guess
passes for a break in this simple art-damaged punk slow-dance.
Other reverby percussion, not really drums, more like
dropping a silverware tray nicely. Beasts from Belgium
and while I thought the title might mean something like
“the light of poetry,” online translating came up with
“luxury pussy.” So kinda the same thing? Both are found
behind a “velvet rope” (which is the apparent translation
of the band name.) On the flip side, “Ingeblikt Miszprijzen”
creepy crawls its way to start then moves into a three chord
charger with more of those yelping vox. Does it translate
as “Canned Disapproval” or is that just what I had for dinner?
Love the flat-tire e-string guitar riff to start and then set
up the climax end of the song.
-Thurston Hunger

Big Bang, The [coll] – [Ellipsis Arts…]

Thurston Hunger   4/15/2016   A Library, CD

From various drums to your eardrums, stretching expansively
from insects to ancients to jazz fusion. This came out in
1994, with sounds spread all over time, adding it to KFJC
in part as our MD happened across a used copy of this suave
package (with a booklet thicker than all three discs). But
also in part to say thanks to Ellipsis Arts (and Jeffrey
Charno who ran it) for some lovingly compiled releases
(two of my faves are “Gravichords, Whirlies & Pyrophones”
and the mesmerizing memento mori “Dancing with the Dead.”)
Like that latter release, a global perspective comes with
the program, and as this aims to give the drummer more than
some, the project is huge in scope. Jorge Reyes’ galloping
clops and flying flutes nice and weird. Gamelan chimes in
here and there, and folks with maybe more conventional rep
like Carl Palmer, Jack DeJohnette, Richard Flatischler,
Terry Bozzio and ummmm Mickey Hart appear alongside the
Baka Forest People, Hestra of Chinese Central Music College
and the LCO Soldier’s Drum. That last one is from a Wisconsin
reservation, those wavering vox over the insistent hand
struck drums. So powerful to me. Bernie Krause stitches
the CDs together with opening and closing tracks, the very first
leadoff with some Tanzanian Chimpanzees on the mic! Plenty of
other primal primate singing/shouting/exhorting throughout.
Ritual rhythms and celebratory sensations, with plenty of info
in the 64-page booklet to share with listeners. Drop the laser
anywhere but don’t drop the beat! -Thurston Hunger
We have 14 of the Ellipsis Arts releases, they stopped back in 2005
Charno runs guided meditations these days through mindbodysessions.com

Bad Luck – “3” – [Tables & Chairs Music]

Thurston Hunger   4/15/2016   12-inch, Jazz

Fantastic sax and drum duo from Seattle. KFJC DJ/MD
aBacus Finch said they are even more potent live which
is high praise voltage considering this 2014 recording.
Their album is bristling sharp percussion from Chris
Icasiano, his snare is crisp and he’s more about tight
rhythms than florid free-for-all bursts. Iscasiano likes
to shadow his tenor partner Neil Welch on staircase sax
runs. Welch’s style is often staccato and sweet, and
he augments it all with outstanding electronics. A high
drone sample piercing over the top on “Power Ballad”
during breaks is one example, it ends in a dark alley
where you night bump into Der Club of Gore. Most of
side B has a charged distortion bucking at your ears,
makes that feel like it could plug right into an old
Pop Group ditty. “Tour Song” rises and falls, with some
silence at times, it’s like the duo are playing on
a nuclear sub during a meltdown. I’m not sure if it’s
the electronics or Welch’s compositions (quick flicking
melodies) but this jazz vinyl flat out rocks. More swinging
than Zu, but it’s got that similar brash appeal. Welch’s
use of effects is seamless and spectacular. The duo
ends the album with a short smoldering “Heart Machine”
and then a cover of the Art Ensemble’s “Nonaah” that
palpitates and thumps in cycles. If it weren’t for
Bad Luck our radio station would be a little less lively.
-Thurston Hunger

Bookwar – “Obryv” – [Post-Materialization Music]

Thurston Hunger   4/15/2016   A Library, CD

Ivan Bookwar or Chitai Bookwar with industrial beaten
hip-hopaganda. Made from nothing but the finest Soviet
era instruments (Polivox, Altair 231, Ritm-2) and drum
machines. You definitely get an abandoned factory vibe
especially as songs usually start with quite a bit of
the machines alone warming themselves up before Ivan
comes in with a very metered flow, lyrics pumped
po-russkie and delivered with a monotone hammer and
sickle cycle. “Lapta” (“Bat”) has some cool echolocation
squiggles flying along the mix (man I wish I spoke
enough Russian to have a semblance of understanding
on these tracks, instead every 11th word triggers
my broken Broca vocabulary like a land mine of
unintelligible recognition. But the detachment
of the singer is universal. Fits with dark-wave
dreary fears quite nicely, but at the same time
there’s a kind of spirit to the dinginess. The way
Alan Vega still gave a damn while spitting out
suicide lines. “Obryv” (like a steep slope I think)
sways between bass fuzz pulses and eventually
incorporates disconsolate la-la-la-las behind the
ironic curtain. “Bezymyannaya Voda” (nameless
water) could be a Dark Entries find from the 80’s
but it’s just the drip drop of Xmas 2014. It’s the
catchiest and shortest of the three tracks, but
still warped by chords of decommisioned equipment
(our CD appears to be missing “Crowdfunding” by
the way) As Prurient goes with a Vatican Shadow,
Bookwar looks sharp and shattered in Kremlin Mascara.
-Thurston Hunger

Intersystems – “Intersystems” – [Alga Marghen]

Thurston Hunger   2/5/2016   12-inch, A Library


A spectrum spectacle from max’d mixed media men, Toronto late 60’s,
produced more than just this triple vinyl hippy trip-trek. There were
installations and tactile rooms and sculptures, all long gone but are
ears are still there thanks to this Alga Marghen release. Noise
concrete chopped with early Moog movements and analog achievements
courtesy of John Mills-Cockell. Draped in tapes, especially those
capturing the poetry of Blake Parker (stark intoning, with a delivery
like a Dalek narrating Fractured Fairytales.) Parker’s poems fix
your attention, not so much with their content but with their
clipped delivery (and the clipped feeling of a Dream Machine
splicing sentences together). That being said there is a sort
post-modern attack on “Number One” (Ezra Pound and T.S.
Eliot are summoned, but then so is the sound of the air
conditioner). On “the second lp, Peachy” that’s where the
fairytale dust was sprinkled in with the LSD, at times more grim
than the Brothers Grimm. Guns appears and you know what
happens when they do in fiction. Parker with an odd cadence
concludes vignettes prounouncing a malediction of sorts
“The story has been told it is ended; it is the end.” On the
third record, “Free Psychedelic Poster Inside” a comic book
romance/tragedy/assembly line soap opera is unveiled and
an actual cut-up comic accompanies this glorious package.

Altogether ear-bending explorations that have fared well
and will transfix the grandchildren of hippies tuning in today
via KFJC and dropping out of the internet for a bit Whether
played raw (you feel some of the chains rattling and taped
vox humana warpage best that way) or cooked up in a modern
method with our samples layered on top.

KFJC was lucky to have the Cortical Foundations first pass at
gathering some of this material (less lucky was Cortical founder
Gary Todd as discussed in artist Tom Recchion’s contribution
to the massive liner book included.) The full liner experience
sort of torpedo’d my enjoyment after a first pure listen, but it
connects dots to artists known and not (KFJC has neither
Syrinx nor Kensington Market but youtube beckons one),
Reading all those liners I hit a kind of headache harmony of
the gospels. But I’m sure people connected to the scene at
that time will appreciate a flashback today to the flashbacks of
yesterday.

The sounds were clearly ahead of their time, and I suspect this
record will be a favorite dipped into off and on for years to come.
-Thurston Hunger

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