KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Fraser, Dean – "Big Up!" – [Island JDamaica Jazz]

Hemroid The Leader   12/12/2019   CD, Reggae

Classic reggae sax sound of Dean Fraser, playing 11 reggae-jazz hybrid tunes. Light, groovy take on things. Idris Muhammad shares the drum credit with Sly Dunbar. Nimble rhythm section. Sometimes more jazz than others (9, 10) with sounds like George Adams. Opens with cool “Dick Tracy”

Pablo, Augustus – "Live In Tokyo Japan" – [Jet Star]

Hemroid The Leader   12/12/2019   CD, Reggae

somehow. understanding partially the extremely high spiritual power of Augustus Pablo – he intends to give us the Love of God, with the understanding of our human position in this purgatory planet – I aimed in my mind to taste this nectar.
This is not just a band out for fun: this seemed more like a pilgrimage with a mission: to impart this taste of love of God in humility and human blues-reggæ: the music onto the King. 😊
That said: He plays all his distilled nectar.
Going back on these notes: He went with his herbalist doctor: armed with beautiful powerful herbs to help a dying Horace Brady/Augustus Pablo deliver this Crucial Message to JAHpan. this is I guess a vague idea of the instruction/communication imparted.
That said: rhythm section are headhunters: these guys ain’t jokin’. Difficult to mike and mix the melodica – but we get it. JAHpanese engineers must have been blown away. 😊
fans of: God: the JAHpanese Archipelago, refined”spaghetti” westerns depicting the struggle between Good and Evil – the good..- Pablo!: many quotes we recognize of Pablo’s melodies as sung!: “Africa must be free” even Wailers’ and many Studio One / Lee Perry recorded melodies: as Pablo was at home there. A hundred JAHmaican melodies here. after a few listens I am sure I’ll catch the Cuban Archipelago”Peanut Vendor / El Manicero”.
pss: indeed: on multiple relistens you hear I-JAHman Levi”s “Early in the morning”…
This album should be sitting comfortably between I-JAHman’s Haile I Hymn and Rico Rodríguez’s Man from Wáreika. tops

Amazon reviewer jorge gonzález -larramendi

Alienator – “Pariahs” – [Self-release]

atavist   12/11/2019   A Library, CD

This CD from Thunder Bay’s Alienator starts out with…are those some stoner grooves mixed with hardcore vocals? I’m cool with the idea, but the initial tracks didn’t really speak to me. The album improves as it progresses though. Starting with track 6, “Renovicted (Ode to Vancouver)”, the band really gets after it and cuts loose, demanding my full attention. Track 7, “Drag the River”, is good too—an interesting riff is matched to some urgency and dynamic shifts/builds. 8, “LRH”, keeps the momentum going at a good clip. 10, “Intravenous Flytrap”, has thick sludgy riffs woven with galloping old-school metal riffs, but can they hold the momentum? Tracks 11 and 12 are okay, but not quite as memorable, followed by a decent close-out track. Situated amongst other recent additions to our library, Alienator isn’t yet bringing the fury, from a hardcore perspective, at the same level as Cell Rot, and within the metalcore vein, the songwriting lacks some of the dynamism of Call of the Void. In the early tracks the instruments attempt some variety in terms of tone and intensity, but the vocals tend to stay on one level, and though heavy, we’ve come to expect people working in this genre to either sound like they’re ripping their vocal chords out, Jake Bannon-style, or threading their sounds with angular, unconventional riffs. Alienator have a good basis to work from but might need to figure out where they’re going to push it harder. If it were a five-song EP comprised of tracks 6, 7, 8, 10, and 13, I’d be less nit-picky. FCC track 13.

Linekraft – “Subhuman Principle” – [Tesco Organisation]

lexi glass   12/10/2019   12-inch, A Library

Linekraft is the solo project of Masahiko Okubo, “junk-metal noise master” (his percussion work can also be found on recent releases from GRIM) and head of the Japanese noise label Three Plugs. On Subhuman Principle, Linekraft confronts the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, the communist regime that murdered millions of Cambodians during its rule in the late 1970s, and arrives at a final conclusion: “Human beings are animals. They can’t form a perfect social group.” Thus, he creates a “soundtrack for subhumans,” a devastating record that follows the regression from man to beast. Air raid horns, wailing sirens, military marches and gunshots dominate the first half of the tracks, but as the album plays on these traces of society disappear, leaving only chaos. The return to the primitive is reflected in the effects that are reminiscent of early electronic/noise music, like warbling echoes and overdriven distortion, and crashing metal sounds. The full bestial transformation is realized on the horrifying “Non Human Animal” (T5). Exceptional.

Eight Trails, One Path [coll] – [Three Lobed Recordings]

Louie Caliente   12/10/2019   12-inch, A Library

Infinite sounds from finite fingers. Eight tracks of solo acoustic guitar, put out by Three Lobed Recordings for Record Store Day 2012.

Some highlights: (A1) Alvarius B.’s toe-tapping American Primitive with a Cairo flair. (A2) The Lush, intricate picking from William Tyler. (A4) A sonic bath from Six Organs of Admittance, layering warm tones over distant vocals that slowly come in to focus. (B1) Steve Gunn’s raga trance that builds on repetition into a full-fledged jam. (B4) Closing out the album is Sir Richard Bishop, as expressive and energetic as always.

Obsidian Needles – “Every Angel Is Terrifying” – [Self Released]

lexi glass   12/10/2019   A Library, Cassette

Obsidian Needles is the Olympia-based industrial noise project of Clare S. This 2019 cassette, released in advance of her U.S. tour with Oakland’s Crawl of Time, contains two harrowing longform works. “keep my sufferings & desires from being violent” (Side A) alternates between uncomfortable stretches of subtle tones and textures and violent blasts of noise, with crushing industrial rhythms and distorted vocals. “good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere, honey” (Side B) forces us to eavesdrop on a conversation between a young sex worker and her customer. A sustained, throbbing pulse builds and vicious processed vocals rise up, as if in response to the disturbing scene. A quiet emptiness follows, and within that void the strength is mustered for a final, terrifying expression of rage.
FCCS on both sides

Byrd, John & Taylor, Walter – "Complete Recorded Works In Chronological Order 1929-1931" – [RST Records]

Hemroid The Leader   12/10/2019   12-inch, Blues

John Byrd & Walter Taylor (1929-1931), Complete Recordings in chronological order

18 Rare country blues. Split LP, Byrd on side A; Walter Taylor (“Washboard Walter”) on the flip. Acquired taste, low-fi stuff for completists, Mickey Slim, & Pete Dixon. From Joe Bussard’s basement collection.

A1 & A2 recall spirituals, set up with John Byrd playing guitar & sermonizing, accompanied by a singer and a few congregants. Byrd is a cool guitar player. B side is kind of pedestrian.

Marconi Union – "Distance" – [All Saints]

humana   12/9/2019   A Library, CD

From 2005 come the soothing sounds of English trio Marconi Union. The tracks envelop you in layers of electronica that lull you into a trance from which you can awaken by figuring out what the track titles might mean. For example, “Suburb27” somehow converted me from disliking suburbs into admitting that their generic blurriness might be just the challenge I need. The music may also seem blurry, but there’s nothing wrong with a soft focus in life, after all. Take off your glasses and enjoy.

Xela – "Dead Sea, The" – [Type Recordings]

humana   12/9/2019   A Library, CD

John Twells has created a concept album that will suck you into its drone, sea sounds, bells, strumming, harpsichord sounds and leave you feeling drowning in despair. But it’s pretty great nonetheless, because that is the point. The first six tracks have stories to go with them, and they’re printed in the liner notes. They read like a suspenseful tale. The feelings of isolation and paralysis in the face of utter doom (is it sea monsters or an attacking battle ship that sinks the vessel holding the doomed, exiled souls?) are conveyed exquisitely by the atmospheric music found on this disc.

Gideon, Alexis – "Upgrade Soul" – [FPE Records]

humana   12/9/2019   12-inch, A Library

Things have really gotten pretty great when a librarian gets to review a soundtrack composed to accompany a graphic novel, in this case one written by Ezra Claytan Daniels. Kudos to composer Gideon who with these tracks brings to aural life the vision of the graphic novelist. I have not read this novel yet, but I have “heard” it, and now I want to, I must, read it. The vein is sometimes murky (as in “Death”), sometimes jaunty (as in “Conception II”), sometimes playfully bluesy (as in “Progress”) and always mellow and atmospheric. The guitar and electronics draw you in just as I’m sure the illustrations for the graphic novel do. Kudos to Gideon!

Osborne, Brian – Decorous Novelties – [Heat Retention Records]

Max Level   12/4/2019   A Library, CD

Solo percussion performed live with no effects and no overdubs. Cymbals, gong, wood blocks, glass bowls, aluminum pipes, brake drums, wrenches, baskets, scrap metal, etc. A kitchen sink is not mentioned, but it may as well have been. Ringing metallic sounds, tinkly things, tappity-tap on wooden temple blocks, the pinging of glass bowls. It never really gets intense and dramatic as someone like Tatsuya Nakatani does on occasion—this mostly comes across as light-hearted and playful. Fun. Well-recorded.

Rust Worship – “Predecession” – [Skin Trade Recordings]

lexi glass   12/3/2019   A Library, Cassette

This cassette documents two live 2014 Bay Area performances by Rust Worship, the “decay and noise” project of Angeleno Paul Haney. Both sets are continuous 20-minute pieces assembled from scraps of field recordings and tape loops. The LCM (RIP) performance (Side A), opens with wooden rumblings, like a small boat beating against the waves. It rides over crests of heavy noise and into troughs of layered tones, until it arrives at a crowded port. The Lab performance (Side B), returns us to a similar busy public space. In the background, a low pulse lies in wait. It surges, tears at the seams, and finally explodes into a sustained shearing blast. Released in 2018 on the LA-based label Skin Trade. More recent live work from Rust Worship can be found on KFJC’s latest Live from the Devil’s Triangle Volume 22 compilation, that features an excerpt from his 4/20/19 performance in The Pit.

Swans – “Leaving Meaning” -[Young God Records]

atavist   12/3/2019   A Library, CD

This is the first album in the newly reconstituted version of Swans. Moving forward, Michael Gira will assemble a shifting cohort of collaborators based on the specific needs of the project. Many musicians on “Leaving Meaning” have worked on earlier albums by Swans and Angels of Light. This is a gentle and contemplative album compared to some previous Swans works. Gira often uses a soothing vocal style, accompanied by richly textured but spare arrangements. In the CD format, the 90-plus minutes of material are split over two discs. Track D1-3, “The Hanging Man” and D2-4, “Some New Things” are a bit more tense and writhing, and perhaps more reminiscent of recent Swans works. The title track, D1-5, is hypnotic and achingly beautiful, trance-inducing Gira vocals with piano, double bass, and percussion provided by members of the Necks. Track D2-5, “What Is This?”, runs in a similar vein. Track 6 on each disc has FCCs.

Fire On The Mountain [coll] – [Pow Wow]

Hemroid The Leader   12/3/2019   CD, Reggae

Dread do Dead. Well-known reggae acts crossover. Good for turning off your mind, bad to think too much about. Grows on you like fungus. Kind of like it, but I also think it sucks. Distasteful. Entertaining.

Ranglin, Ernest – "Memories of Barber Mack" – [Island Jamaica Jazz]

Hemroid The Leader   12/2/2019   CD, Reggae

Blowin’ Smoke

10 instrumental reggae tunes, 4-7 minutes each, acoustic, bright jazzy sound, throwback “mento’ style. Dedicated to foundational mento saxophonist Barber Mack, who blew smoke into his sax and emerged from backstage with smoke “emitting from every orifice”(!).. Use it to nice up your show when you’re getting down. Sly on drums. They do ‘Stop That Train’ as well as ‘Fade Away’, and the rest are Ranglin tunes.

Bucket of Blues – "Sax Blowout – Disk 2/2" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

This recording has been broken up into 2 CDS. Look for the other CD for more information. Digitized from old archival VHS tape. There is some discernible tape hiss when folks are talking that is not really noticeable when the music is playing.   

A KFJC live mic recorded on 12/12/1987 at JJs Blues Café in Mountain View CA.

Length: 1 hr 16 mins 49 seconds.

Featuring: Bucket of Blues (with 2 additional Sax players added in).

CD starts with JJs house band Bucket of Blues.
Then Terrible Tom (TJ Politzer??) is added to the mix  TJ Politzer (SAX) of the Fabulous Sundogs. Includes “I feel Good”.
Noel Coutoura (SAX) comes on later.  
Finally Bucket of Blues vocalist Rick Baker is added.

Digitized from archival VHS tape by Devlyn on 9/2019

Stewart, Gary – "KFJC Live Mic At SXSW – 1994" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

In 1994 KFJC recorded and engineered performances at the South by South West Music Fest and broadcast those recordings live on KFJC airwaves and on 50 other radio stations that picked up the feed. Following is a Best of: KFJC Special featuring sets pulled from that live broadcast. Recorded at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas. This edit was originally aired as a Mayhem special on 5/14/94 hosted by DJ  Earl Grey             

A KFJC live mic recorded on 3/19/1994 at @ Lazona Rosa in Austin Texas

Genre: Honky Tonk

Length: 40 mins 47 secs

DJ: Earl: Grey

Gary Stewart (1944 – 2003) was an American country, honky-tonk musician and songwriter, known for his distinctive vibrato voice and his Southern rock influenced, outlaw country sound.

Digitized on 9/2019 from an archival VHS tape by Devlyn.

SF Star – "KFJC Live Mic – 1977" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

This recording was digitized from an old VHS archival tape found in storage at KFJC. Not much is known about this recording or the band. Not the best archival recording we have. If this is in fact from 1977 as the label suggests it must have been copied from another format (reel to reel tape?) and archived on the VHS tape we found. Or it could have the wrong date on it.

There were many periods of garbled background noise on the tape that have been removed from this recording. The recording fades off mid last song.  

It is labelled as a KFJC live mic recorded on 1/15/1977 at the “Foothill Field”

Length : 28 mins

Tape labelled with:
Mix: Steve Weselo
Board: FM Producer (Susan Fox)

Band Members Timmy, Rob (drums), Stewart

Partial playlist: Dada

Digitized and edited by Devlyn on 8/2019

Creamers, The – "KFJC Live Mic – 1988" – [KFJC Live Mic]

Devlyn   12/1/2019   A Library, CD

A KFJC live mic recorded on 11-19-1988.

DJ: Lucifer Sam.

Genre: Punk.

Members (as introduced) : Leesa Poole (vocals), Bob Deagle (drums), Judy Toy (Guitar & Mandolyn), , Leonard Keringer (zylophone/Guitar?), Rosa Saenz (Cello)

American punk band formed 1986 in Los Angeles, California. “The Creamers melodic and energetic approach to music has been compared to the New York Dolls and Ramones. Over their 20+ year career The Creamers have released three full-length albums and countless singles, EPs and compilations. A career spanning CD/DVD anthology comprising unreleased songs, live footage, a documentary and new material was included in a 2013 release by Negative Reaction Records. The band continues to record and make occasional live appearances.”  Wikipedia

Partial track listing:
No Big Deal
Crackpot
Scarface
Loser Bar
Downtown
So Hard
Johnny Justice
Broken Record
The Old Boys

Digitized from archival VHS tape by Devlyn on 9/2019.

Copyright © 2019 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File