victoria west

Sorry Bamba : Volume One 1970-1979 [coll] – [Thrill Jockey Records]

victoria west   9/21/2011   12-inch, International

The best of Sorry and his Orchestra on this double album personally hand picked by Sorry. The tracks on these albums are full of happy horns, upbeat danceable drummings, peaceful guitars, sunny organ and lively flute played by Sorry himself. Sorry on all vocals except one track, “Gambari”. Three of the many launguages of Mali, including Bambara, Peul and Dogon, are featured on Volume One. Excellent liner notes featured on the sleeves with a short description of each track. Song themes range from comedic stories to love songs, all tracks radiating with positive vibes. “Sekou Amadou” is the only live recording. Enjoy! = )

-victoria west*

Haunted House – “Blue Ghost Blues” – [Northern Spy]

victoria west   9/13/2011   A Library, CD

Haunted House is an experimental bluesy improvisational band. Connors and Burnes are both on guitar with spooky like rhythms. Murgai adds to the eerie-ness with quiet sounds from the daf and kanjira. Langille is on vocals that appear out of nowhere at times. While Langille has a nice voice I feel there really doesn’t need to be any vocals on Blue Ghost Blues at all. Just my opinion though. The musicians capture the spookiness and display it through their instruments beautifully. They take you through the calmness of a thick blanket of fog and the chaotic thundering of a vengeful storm. Blue Ghost Blues was recorded live at Seizures Palace in Brooklyn in April 2011.

-victoria west*



Hella – “Tripper” – [Sargent House]

victoria west   9/13/2011   A Library, CD

Hella is back with Tripper. These guys start off fast and loud with experimental, noise, math rock on “Headless” and keep it going through the rest of the album. Hill pounding the drums freakishly fast and Seim matching the super fast speed with his guitar. Some of the songs remind me of a video game music, they are fun and catchy. At first listen all the songs kind of sounded the same to me, but the more I listened the more I could start to hear what Hella is trying to do. The complexity of the tracks and their timing is right on. Seim and Hill and totally in sync. These Sacramento guys are good. No vocals on this album.

– victoria west*

Black Math Horseman – “Wyllt” – [Tee Pee Records]

victoria west   8/31/2011   12-inch, A Library

Black Math Horseman is a four piece from LA. This prog psych rock, doom metal sound is the perfect combination on Wyllt. Sera Timms on vocals transitions perfectly from soft and floaty to dark and aggressive, she is on bass too. Drums boomingly loud for the entire album and guitars bringing it all together. Black Math Horseman keeps it interesting throughtout with the crescendos and lows. Every part is excellenty executed regardless of its gloominess. Love it!

-victoria west*

Glitter Wizard – “Solar Hits” – [Archers Guild Records]

victoria west   8/30/2011   12-inch, A Library

Knew I would like these guys when first viewing the album cover, but didn’t know I’d love them!!!! These guys rock out with elements of psychedelic stoner rock garage punk with some glitter glam sprinkled in the mix. Guitars, bass, drums, flutes, saxophones, synths, laser beams & more fill Solar Hits. Songs range from 2:30 to 7:30 mins long of fast paced danceable beats. Play loud and sing along if you’d like with the insert provided. Solar Hits limited to only 450 copies.

-victoria west*


Circuit Des Yeux – “Ode to Fidelity” – [De Stijl Records]

victoria west   8/16/2011   7-inch, A Library

Circuit des Yeux is Haley Fohr of Indiana. On this lo-fi 7″, Fohr gives us three tracks full of young raw emotion. The first track “Barrel Down” begins with a soft strumming of a guitar then Fohr gently adds her grief stricken vocals in an ethereal way as if she were performing an abandoned candle lit filed church in a tiny forgotten town. The electric guitar violently storms in with the distant echo-y spoken words repeating the story of a tormented heart. The feedback stabs you in the neck only after you realize the awesome blend of anger, confusion and misery in “Barrel Down” is over. The two short tracks on Side B aren’t as powerful but just as good in their own way. =)

-victoria west*

Sole & The Skyrider Band – “Hello Cruel World” – [Fake Four Inc.]

victoria west   8/16/2011   CD, Hip Hop

Sole back again along with the Skyrider Band and a bunch of other special appearances on Hello Cruel World. This hip-hop album throws in some elements of pop, rock to the album even a bit of dubstep-ish feel on track 4. Listened to this album full length several times and enjoyed it each time. Although, I really could have done without the cheesy auto tune effects at times, just not my thing. Also I feel some of the beats reminded of the stuff I’ve had the displeasure to listen to from mainstream “hip-hop” artists. However, Sole’s smooth, incredibly fast lyrics, style and head nodding beats of the Skyrider Band one can’t help but feel the positive vibes. My favs are #2 & 7.

-victoria west*

Star Circle Anatomy – “Cold / Path” – [Debacle Records]

victoria west   8/3/2011   A Library, CD

Starcircleanatomy is Izaak Schlossman from Philly. Cold/Path starts off with two great tracks “Cold Gold” and “Skiagram” that remind me a little of Flying Lotus with the glithchy beats and loops. On the first few listens I really enjoyed the entire CD. However soon the third track “Unline” became a bit annoying. Not even the fake applause somewhere in the middle of the track had any sort of influence. I think Izaak could have gotten a little more creative with the loops instead of focusing on the main one on “Unline”. The background loops sound pretty good but that focal one just ruined it for me. But you may like it. “Speciter” is ok too. The beginning of the track reminds me a lot of Washed Out. Cold/Path is pretty ambient/downtempo-ish that gives off a very happy upbeat positive feeling. I think Starcircleanatomy has a lot of promise in the future.

-victoria west*

Messages – “After Before” – [De Stijl Records]

victoria west   8/2/2011   12-inch, A Library

Messages is NYC duo Tres Warren of the Psychic Ills and Taketo Shimada. Spencer Herbst joined the jam bam for After Before as the percussionist. On their debut album for the De Stijl record label, you will find three tracks that were recorded in one session. Each track is simply titled the same name as the featured instrument on each track. “Shruti Box” is around 17 minutes long of groovy ambient and excellent mediating drones. It has a very slow crescendo, but I feel it works positively well. “Tambura” and “Ukelin” are much shorter tracks but equally peaceful. Besides the 3 classic drone instruments, Messages include guitar, bass, hand drums, tambourine, cymbals and more. I thoroughly enjoyed After Before and listened to it numerously amount of times. Play this album and provide some positive vibes to your listeners.

-victoria west*

Carter, Christina – “Alone Together #1” – [Emerald Cocoon]

victoria west   7/26/2011   7-inch, A Library

Christina Carter of the Charalambides doing the solo thing here bringing us two psychedelic experimental folk tracks on “Alone Together #1”. Each track is around 5 mins long and consist only of Carter’s melancholic vocals and whimscial bells. Both songs sound the same to me, however Tholos might be a bit less depressing. After a few listens I couldn’t help but to admire Carter’s gorgeous vocals. Play this by itself or add some instrumental hiphop, experimental jazz or doom metal, whatever your choice. Enjoy! Also more 7″ to come!

-victoria west*

Grindlestone – “Tone” – [Noh Poetry]

victoria west   7/13/2011   A Library, CD

Being newly introduced to this sort of sound by Grindlestone, I guess I would say it is sort of ambient-industrialish. All the different sounds are enticing and kept me wanting to hear more trying to figure out how the sounds were made. Echoes, storms, buzzings, distant voices, creepy stuff all coming together to make a beautiful album that could be a sound track to a movie I’ve never seen the whole way through, like Stigmata or Gothika or something similar. Very spooky! Had no problem listening to it during daytime driving but quickly turned it off and locked the doors while waiting for a friend at night. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed “Tone”. Don’t listen to this creepy shit alone.

-victoria west*

Islaja – “Meritie” – [Fonal Records]

victoria west   6/28/2011   A Library, CD

Islaja is the solo project of Merja Kokkonen from Finland. Islaja is a member of the trio Herrta Lussu Assa (other members are Lau Nau and Kuupuu). Islaja’s other albums already a part of the KFJC library however, “Meritie” is her debut on Fonal Records released in 2004. “Meritie” in Finnish translates to: main sea, seaway and sea route. It makes sense as an album title for this piece of work as I could decipher some underwater whale and dolphin cries and imagine the bleak icy white Nordic landscapes. Other strange and unusual sounds heard include accordion, scratchy string instruments, mouth harp, harpsichord, metal detector noises and glockenspiel all complement Islaja’s spooky whispery vocals. “Meritie” is an experimental, psychedelic, abstract folk album that is mysterious and beautiful in every way.

-victoria west*

U.S. Girls – “Go Grey” – [Siltbreeze]

victoria west   6/22/2011   12-inch, A Library

U.S. Girls is a solo project by Megan Remy. “Go Grey”, the third addition to the KFJC library, has elements such as experimental, lo-fi, noise, psychedelic, and extremely fuzzy vocals. Some tracks are instrumental only. The haunting vocals and instrumental loopings are very catchy and appealing. “Go Grey” is shining second full length showcasing the talent that is U.S. Girls. The grey-scale cover art is also a wonderful piece by Remy.

Village of Spaces – “Alchemy and Trust” – [Corleone]

victoria west   6/22/2011   12-inch, A Library

Village of Spaces formerly known as Uke of Spaces Coreners and Uke of Phillips, are from Belfast, Maine. The 4th full length album, “Alchemy and Trust”, brought together collaborations with Michael Hurley, Big Blood and Ancestral Diet. This album is pure country folk. The simple tracks such as “House A Home Part 2” is the lovely vocals of Village of Spaces members Dan B. and Amy Moon accompanied by Dan B. strumming an acoustic guitar. Other songs include instruments such as bass, piano, electric guitar, double flutes, paella gong, mandolin, fiddle and tambourine. Lyrics to all song on back cover. Definitely a good album to listen to while sitting on your front porch swing on a warm sweet day.

Grass Widow – “Milo Minute” – [HLR]

victoria west   6/13/2011   7-inch, A Library

Milo Minute features three very cute short tracks. San Francisco all girl trio do it again with pretty harmonious vocals, surfer-ish guitar riffs and steady kick drum. The happy, fun, upbeat tracks make you want to move and sing along, lyrics to ???Milo Minute??? on back of sleeve. Two of the three songs on Milo Minute are covers: ???Time Keeps Time??? by Neo Boys and ???Mannequin??? by Wire. Look for more 7??? releases from Grass Widow soon.

-victoria west*



Sun Araw – “Beach Head” – [Self Released]

victoria west   6/7/2011   12-inch, A Library

This is the reissue of Cameron Stallone???s 2008 release. Stallone a former member of Magic Lantern captures a variety of sounds on Beach Head. As you sit back and listen, Beach Head takes you on a journey through the rain forest, tropical islands, surfing the warm waters and shamanic led experiences. Sun Araw can be related with artists such as Ducktails, Pocahaunted and Peaking Lights. Integrating psychedelic, tribal, ambient, dub and drone; you can hear everything from bells, hand drums, reverb guitar, organ, bells, birds, groovy bass lines, ocean waves, tambourine, sitar, horns, s??ance like vocals and more. Take a listen and see what you can interpret.

-victoria west*

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