Lust For Youth – “Growing Seeds” – [Sacred Bones Records]

incognito   2/13/2013   A Library, CD


Swedish duo Lust For Youth’s 2012 release, “Growing Seeds” is a rather minimal and detached sounding electronic effort. With obvious electro and insert-your-own-adjective-wave influences, the album sounds bleak and emotionally unavailable. Although the music is quite good if you are a fan of kraftwerk and dark 80s influenced sounds, the album feels a bit monochromatic, perhaps through the use of very similar synths from track to track and distant echoing vocals, although it might be exactly what the artist intended. I particularly enjoyed the instrumental tracks “We Planted a Seed” and “La Rouge,” as well as the poppy “It’s You.”

Friel, Dan – “Total Folklore” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

incognito   2/13/2013   A Library, CD

This LP takes elements of breakcore, noise, hardcore techno, throws them into an early 90s Amiga workstation, spits outs a bunch of 8bit synths and mixes them up into a happy punk aesthetic. The term “folklore” seems strangely appropriate for this crunchy, noisy and melodic album. “Valedictorian” reminded me of a pop-punk anthem re-imagined by the happy-hardcore room at a late 90’s LA massive, while “Ulysses” straddled a line somewhere between breakcore era Alec Empire and the NES/SNES aesthetic of Crystal Castles. Most of the tracks are quite melodic, contrasting their silliness with the sheer amount of grit and crunch the whole way through.

While it certainly can’t be accused of taking itself seriously at just about any point, this is a damn fun album.


Conscious Summary – “Hurtful Lover” – [Self Release]

incognito   2/13/2013   A Library, Cassette

Lofi noise, feedback loops, digital bleeps and glitches on the first side of this self-released cassette EP. It sounds as if it may have been recorded live or on the fly, with what seems like a lot of manual modulation on tracks one and two. The second half begins a bit slower, a bit more detached and ambient, but returns to the style of the first half with modulated pitched frequencies, low-end digital tearing and oscillation. I’m not entirely sure this is available to the public, since it was given to Surfer Rosa at a show on a tastefully unmarked cassette, but fans of our noisier shows will certainly hear this in the coming weeks.

Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble – “Refreshing Hemorrhage” – [BUFMS]

incognito   2/4/2013   7-inch, A Library

Minimal noise deconstruction on the Butte County Free Music Society label. Sounds of scratchy vinyl, distant and detached vocals, ambient noise and sparse instrumentation. This abstract ambient experimentation in sound is a limited edition run of 100 7″ singles. Recorded in San Francisco, Brighton, and inside a fiat in Sicily. There are some noise and experimental recordings out there that are dependent on a shock approach, overwhelming the listener with a wall of sound or unexpected harshness – this is not one of those. A very minimal recording, worth listening to and uncovering new nuances and elements.

Scorpion Violente – “Uberschleiss” – [Avant!]

incognito   1/22/2013   12-inch, A Library

“Unberschleiss” – analog darkwave electrotrash electronica from Scorpion Violente. Intentionally low-tech and gritty, these beats are on the darker, grimier side of electronic dance music. His sound is reminiscent of the big room distant vocals of early 80s darkwave and deathrock combined with the minimal sensibilities and simplistic square waveforms of the early 2000s electro revival. Minimal, dark and detached, this is a release for your still-longing-for-the-1980s goth inner child.

DJ Female Convict Scorpion – “Bill Cosby Talks to Kids About Drugs” – [Self Released]

incognito   1/22/2013   A Library, CD

This self-released mix from San Francisco’s DJ Female Convict Scorpion uses Bill Cosby’s 1972 children’s album as a canvas of psychedelic derangement. Downtempo, free jazz, electronica, an Irish lament, a middle eastern chant and an early 20th century chain-gang work song straight out of an Alan Lomax recording are tied together with a big dose of early 70s anti-drug propaganda from Dr Cosby. Definitely worth a listen, and certainly worth keeping around if you ever want to freak out somebody’s mushroom trip.

Transhumans, The – “Sink” – [Love Earth Music]

incognito   1/18/2013   A Library, CD

Noise/experimental/ambient release from The Transhumans on Love Earth Music. This 2011 release from the Ventura, CA group is something I might cautiously label as “user friendly” noise, although I’m not recommending playing it for your grandma. They never get into the overly harsh, aggressive or morbid; live and electronic drums, drones, signal noise and effects are used to create more of a science lab feel than a psych ward. Although the first track is perhaps as close to what you would expect out of a noise composition – heavy and at times overloaded, the sound moves closer toward the ambient side as the album progresses, almost delving into jazz at a few points. Overall, an excellent release worthy of the phrase “White Noise from Black Mountain.”

Live From The Devil’s Triangle Vol 15 [coll] – [KFJC]

incognito   1/16/2013   A Library, CD

The 2012 edition of our ongoing series, Live from the Devil’s Triangle: Volume 15 is a two-disc compilation of local and international artists recorded live in the pit and our listener appreciation party. If you don’t know what to expect, then you’re probably already familiar with our sound. Tracks from 23 artists will ensnare your ears and senses with a journey through soundscapes of hardcore, metal, noise, ambient, surf and experimental. From the pulsating analogue electronics of Mchnchts and the improvisations of Falkortet, to Derek Monypeny’s electric guitar raga and the psychotic lofi collages of Striations, Volume 15 is a beacon of the psychedelic, the transmutable, and the wildly creative. Accept no substitutes – this is pure free-form, unhindered, unbridled radio – this is KFJC.

Burial – “Truant” – [Hyperdub]

incognito   1/11/2013   A Library, CD

Burial has a unique style that has been described as “post rave.” Combining elements of minimal techno, UK garage and 2step, dub, jungle and broken beat, he weaves together soundscapes that are simultaneously bleak and lifeless, yet lush and emotional. Truant / Sleeper is a 2012 release on the Hyperdub label, and while only 2 tracks, it should be thought of as more of an EP than a single. The title track is a 3 part suite that moves from a 4/4 breakbeat to a deep garagey techno dub, breaking down into breathy early 90s trance synths, ending with deconstructed breakbeats and surgically precise dancehall drums. Reminiscent of the empty spaces and stabs of the self-titled full length album, abrupt breaks, halting noises and off-beat snares are used here with stunning effect to create an amazing piece of music.”Rough Sleeper” has a more conventional feel but stays true to the spirit of the EP. Grimey broken beats, unmistakable 4/4 undertones, xylophone stabs and haunting vocals combine to give the track and almost upbeat glimmer, only to change up again, ending with a moody experimental broken beat.

This is an outstanding work – deeply emotional and exploratory, evoking nostalgia of memories that were never made. Burial’s releases continue to amaze, leaving the listener wanting more.

Tandaan [coll] – [Nillacat]

incognito   1/7/2013   A Library

From the Nillacat net label, “Tandaan” is collection of artists from the Pacific Northwest, including a few who have played live at KFJC. Available as an mp3 download only, this diverse collection ranges from acapella to shoegaze to hardcore and ambient. There is a number of standout tracks here, including “Dark Knight” by Valkyrie Rodeo – a doomy, overdriven bass blues scale workout with a deathmetal flavor. Gang Radio gives us “Inside Outside,” 8 minutes of dark, ambient, murky waters, black waves shimmering with reverbed guitar and underscored with moaning, detuned brass. Miss Massive Snowflake’s progressive breaks track “Nibby Grimes” and the Muddmakr remix of Remora’s “My Brother’s Guns and Knives” are fantastic as well. There are a few hip hop tracks here as well, but suffice it say to that the Northwest is in no immediate danger of becoming the Mecca of rap. In all this album is very different from track to track and difficult to categorize, but certainly rewarding in its own right.

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