KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Minus 8 – “Remixes Part 2” – [Compost]

aarbor   7/1/2020   12-inch, A Library

Minus 8 is Robert Jan Meyer from Zurich, Switzerland.   The remixes are by Dr. Rockit (Mathew Herbert), Les Gammas, Tiny Trendies (Adam Goldstone from NYC who died at Burning Man in 2006) and Zimpala.  This record is from 2001 on Compost, very early in his career. These days Minus 8 writes soundtracks and other high profile music. All tracks worth a spin.

AArbor

Boone, Benjamin With The Ghana Jazz Collective – “Joy” – [Origin Records]

aarbor   7/1/2020   CD, Jazz

Benjamin Boone is a  saxophonist, composer, and Professor of Music at California State University Fresno. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Ghana from 2017-18). He grew up in the small textile town of Statesville, North Carolina, the youngest of five sons. “My brothers pursued history, literature, art and biology, so I have always gravitated towards interdisciplinary projects,” he says. “I like to make artistic statements that address culturally relevant topics …” While he was in Ghana he performed with the musicians on this release: Bernard Ayisa (tenor sax), Victor Dey, Jr. (keyboards), Bright Osei (bass), Frank Kissi (drums) and Sandra Hudson (vocals). This recording was made the week before he left Ghana. Tracks 1, 3, 5 and 6 are Boone’s compositions, the others are his arrangements. Boone says: “In Ghana music is participatory, egoless, and woven into the very fabric of existence. People live with joy and make music with joy.”

 AArbor  

Laureate – “Eurekaphilia” – [Hospital Productions]

whngr   6/28/2020   12-inch, A Library

EN/PE from Jim Haras (Deterge, Winters In Osaka, Urth, Ilsa), associate of Hospital Records and Fusty Cunt.

Futuristic sonic warfare with asymmetric dissonance.

Atmospheric falling rain, static and electronic effervescence. 

Crunchy simmering white-noise-wall evolves into dark engine chants.

Dirge

Drone 

Despair

Waveform abuse becomes cyber spasms of robot rage

Dismay

Deep

Drop

of the beat. Murdering Hard house. Apocalyptic squeals to ritual patricide.

Subsonic. Strobes. Nexus-8 sharpens its android fangs.

Whorls of demonic static.Curious clatter.

A horrifying declaration before The God-head’s admonishment amidst pyrrhic audial Armageddon. 

Ewen, Sandy – “You Win” – [Gilgongo Records]

whngr   6/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

A member of Weird Weeds (R.I.L.) and an architect currently residing in Houston, Texas. Fingers tremble with amplified arthritis. A string quartet perform while being hung from the neck. Improvisation. Loneliness and reflection. Interdisciplinary collaboration. Nickel plated wind-up hummingbirds imitate death. Graphic notation. Distant pianos explode from the from the ruined towers, falling. Extended guitar techniques. A detachment of forklifts in maneuvers somewhere below. Feedback. Quietly wringing one’s hands with razor wire. Understated. Intimate. Prepared guitar. 

Brown Angel – “Shutout” – [Sleeping Giant Glossolalia]

whngr   6/26/2020   12-inch, A Library

Strange stranger strangler
Angular angry avante
guardian of harmonic despair
or resonate with east coast dissonance?
Repetitive and minimal.
Irreverent irrelevance?
Limited technical range leads to emotive
and hypnotic revelry in the wrong?
(Bndcmp) autobio:
Brown Angel is a post-everything trio from Pittsbvrgh, PA, U$A. RIYL noise rock raga, teutonic industrial aesthetic, Hellhammer-grade weaponized dub.
Donated by:
whngr
A record I paid for but didn’t choose. It grew on me… perhaps because I allowed it.

The Apollas – “Absolutely Right!” – [Kent Soul]

cadilliac margarita   6/25/2020   CD, Soul

 Originally called The Lovejoys, The Apollas were considered the Warner Brothers equivalent of the Supremes. Beginning in the early 60s as a quartet from The Bay Area, including one male singer, Ronnie Brown, they eventually ended as a trio anchored by the powerful growl of Leola Jiles. By her side was Ella Jamerson, and a rotating 3rd member (Originally 17-year-old Joann Forks, then Dorothy Ramsey, Billie Barnum, and briefly Blondell Breed). WB released their music on their short-lived LOMA soul imprint, before converting them back the main label for the remainder of their contract. During that time, they opened for Barbra Streisand and the Monkees, and performed on many nationally syndicated TV shows. Towards the end of the 1960s they toured extensively in Asia. The group called it quits in the early 70s due to a failure to break through commercially. Dick Glasser, who signed Jiles to a solo contract (stop me if you’ve heard this one) then promptly refused to let her audition under fair terms as the new lead singer of the Supremes, dashed her hopes for a mainstream career. However, the group singles found a new and enthusiastic audience in London’s Northern Soul scene. Since disbanding, all members have continued to perform as professional back- up singers, along with occasional solo tours, and most recently a reunion in UK in 2007. This is wonderful. A nice mix of upbeat RnB rockers, soulful strings, and melancholy heartbreak. Leola Jiles spectacular lead vocals burn hot and are very distinctive and memorable in my book. I’m glad we have the opportunity to share this collection, which includes some of Jiles solo cuts, with our listeners.

Nnamdi – “Brat”

cadilliac margarita   6/25/2020   CD, Hip Hop

Nnamdi – Brat

Chicago based, multi- instrumentalist. He earned a degree in electrical engineering from UoC, so I’m guessing the expertly layered production values his 4th studio album is his own doing. He also the founder of Sooper Records (The label this record is on) and has been in too many bands to count. He has presented us with a great mix of Avant pop, jazz, folk, hip hop, electro-soul. It’s gorgeous, lush, and dreamy. His vocals are soft and floaty—a understated falsetto, with *maybe* a touch of autotune. This is pretty emotionally sexy. We it have filed under hip-hop, but it would fit under soul or A as well. CLEAN COPY

MaHaWaM – “Is An Island”

cadilliac margarita   6/25/2020   CD, Hip Hop

Gender non- conforming Queer Black artist from Oakland. This immediately stood out to me because of the obvious danceability of the music, but also because of the way they weave deeply personal & confessional lyrics through the electronic beats. The consciousness here—of self (in the wake of a HIV diagnosis), the new reality of their world, the universe itself, is all on display. At times its extremely meditative in a drug fueled journaling kind of way, and a reminder that even extreme pain can still see flashes of joy through light and movement. MaHaWaM, aka Malik Mays, grew up in a Religious Family from the East Coast before they relocated to San Antonio, and eventually Arizona, where they studied Creative Writing and Music in 2012. Although I would consider this experimental electronic Hip Hop, the influences of R&B and Gospel, and an early interest in Classical music and poetry is all evident in their work. They have lived in Oakland since 2013. FCC on tracks 3-5

Lapis/Demo

carsonstreet   6/24/2020   A Library, Cassette

Cold Wave from Oakland. Simple open electronic beats and tones with male and female vocals. Wondering what the hell Cold Wave is? Ask Wikipedia: “a loose music genre that emerged in Europe the late 1970s, characterized by its detached lyrical tone, use of early electronic music instruments and a minimalist approach and style. It emerged from punk rock bands who, influenced by early electronic groups such as Kraftwerk, made use of affordable portable synthesizers.”        

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

Stone Rebel/A Plain Full of Stars COLLECTION

carsonstreet   6/24/2020   A Library, CD

This band is from France but other than that there is not much information about them available.  A Plain Full Of Stars is a collection of tunes from their other albums. They have 15 releases on Bandcamp. Mostly guitars, bass and drums. Stoner stuff. Their music is great when you need to calm down the swamp critters and turn to relaxing, calming, mellow psych tunes.

Bow Gamelan Ensemble – Great Noises That Fill The Air [Cold Spring Records UK]

Max Level   6/23/2020   A Library, CD

Radical with a capital R. This three-member London ‘percussion’ ensemble were in existence from 1983 – 90. The material on this CD was recorded in 1988. Their live performances were: 1. An unholy marriage of Savage Aural Hotbed and Survival Research Laboratories (remember them?), and 2. Dangerous as fuck. They banged on 55-gallon metal drums—no surprise there, I mean who doesn’t?—but beyond that there was also fire, large amounts of water, steam, lights, huge loud machines crashing, giant pieces of broken glass hanging like wind chimes, iron bathtubs banging together, metal cabinets and lockers suspended and sprayed with a fire hose, whistles, fireworks, all manner of discarded noisy junk… This CD brings us a taste of what they were up to and is quite satisfying. Guest performers include legendary percussionist Z’ev. I can’t even begin to describe how deep and remarkable their concept was. Watch this worthy 16-minute video to see what it was all about: https://fourthree.boilerroom.tv/film/bow-gamelan-offshore-rig. I had no idea. Brilliant stuff.

Fuck U Pay Us – "Live At Cielo Gallery For Melanin Unity Show" – [Self Released]

abacus   6/17/2020   A Library, CD

No wave noise punk patricidal destruction (and not in the father sense, more the white male patriarchy sense). do I still got you? live recordings from this aggressively anti-racist group of black queer women from around the LA area. insurrectionary calls to action for everyone that’s ever been pissed off at things like systemic racism, patriarchy, and exploitation economics. this definitely feels like some pro-looting music, and in the best way. if this offends you, then take a good long look at yourself, this is definitely confrontational so leave your fragile white feelings at the door. but seriously, challenge yourself, lean into it, its supposed to be uncomfortable. FCC on 1,3,4,7,9 and… is Nappy Black Pussy an FCC violation? cuz it shouldn’t be. the title seems to be a reference to reparations, a controversial subject amongst white folks for sure, and whether it takes the form of giving your black friend $10, eating out at black-owned restaurants, or encouraging white people to donate to black-led organizations, there’s always going to be naysayers (except maybe Naysayer?)

DoNormaal – "Jump Or Die" – [Self-release]

abacus   6/17/2020   CD, Hip Hop

damn, you know im gonna dig it when they kick off the album w/ an ELO sample (Tbag, Minor..?) Experimental hip-hop / trap-soul / etc from Seattle originally from California. this falls under the “cloud rap” genre umbrella that fits so well in the PNW – woozy, dizzy, spellbinding. she tags grunge and I don’t think that’s just a geographical coincidence; there’s this raw, unfiltered delivery, she brings all of herself to this and lays it all out there, naked for all to see (not just a reference to the album cover). this is personal, this is real, plain-spoken and direct. she was 24 when she released this and she keeps producing forward thinking, genre bending music. keep an eye out, she’s gonna fly past us if she hasn’t already.

Teatro Satanico – “Tunnels of Set, The” – [Old Europa Cafe]

lexi glass   6/17/2020   A Library, CD

Two discs of underworld explorations from Teatro Satanico, the Italian post-industrial group that dates back to the early 90s. The current lineup is a trio that includes founding member Devis Granziera, accompanied here by members of Novy Svet, Le Cose Bianche and other shadowy figures of the European underground. This album draws from the writings of occultist Kenneth Grant, who described the Tunnels of Set as “a dark web or nocturnal network of paths” that extend through the subconscious mind. The album traces these twists and turns, with each track named for an ancient spirit that resides within the tunnels. Dark ambient echoes, chanting voices and psychedelic synth tones ring through the chambers, as ritualistic rhythms, from slow pulses to dark techno beats (found on T3, T7, T12, T16) quicken the step through the passages. On the final track of the Omega CD (T22), two minutes of silence precede the arrival of a final evil presence. A 2019 release on Old Europa Cafe.

Mitchell, Roscoe Sextet – "Sound" – [Delmark Records]

Cousin Mary   6/14/2020   CD, Jazz

This Sextet working from the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) recorded these tracks in 1966. It skronks, plunks, and shrieks and is not for the faint hearted. But it is lightened with flashes of grace and humor (harmonica on track 2!) that show its humanity.

Rites Of Thy Degringolade – “An Ode To Sin” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

whngr   6/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

I dub thee: Metal of the Flies.

Lurching, lumbering, Canadian (Edmoton) death metal  ca. 2005 repressed in 2015 by the illustrious and never missing Nuclear War Now!.

Gravel throat, killing layers, wicked timing, endless doom, abrupt despair, and cascading wrath. Blast beats, trashcan cymbals, grinding, burrowing, retching, riffs, slaughter, shredding. Track three is the stand out, with its killer hook, slashing solo and sickening time changes but there is much diversity on this album. Is that scratching on Thyhathbecomehim (A4)? Mysterious synth sounds, majesty, and misanthropy. It starts with noise, ends with flies, and left me aching… for MORE!

Thank you, Sir AIDS. Might I have another?

Scum / Unsustainable Social Condition [coll] – [Skin Trade Recordings]

whngr   6/11/2020   A Library, Cassette

Hot from the harsh presses at Skin Trade, this noise-wall split is caustic, terra inferna, cornea peeling red-line texture. I believe SCUM to be Japan’s Sou Inomoto. Active since 2010 his A-side is the  less comfortable one as the erratic frequency changes are jarring and otherworldly. Like TRON on brown-acid. Electronic helicopter space-warp. Sub-sonic rumbles, cascades of electronic lemmings plunging towards their imminent demise in an ocean of white noise. Automatons march to war with laser wielding cyborg-centaur as the sky turns to strata of glass and then implodes, sending panes sheering and then slipping through an anomalous atmosphere. Ruin.
Unsustainable Social Condition is Matt Purse of Oxen records (Los Angeles) and his offering has no nuance, no inflection. Just a pure white-noise avalanche with what might be buried vocals though often this kind of sound can blur the lines of reality for this miserable volunteer, exciting my tendencies towards auditory hallucination and mild psychosis, my mind searching desperately for patterns and meaning that simply do not exist. I imagine, if he had his druthers, U.S.C. would be capable of disrupting the listeners’ ability to modulate the volume, kipping it pinned, with excessive amounts of amplification. However, I submit that at low volumes this recording could in fact (undermining to the intentions of Purse) be therapeutic. Probably resulting in heightening the composer’s antipathy towards his audience, bolstering the prevalent paradox of the harsh noise paradigm.

Copyright © 2020 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File