KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Toniutti, Agnese – "Subtle Matters" – [Neuma]

Cousin Mary   7/30/2021   CD, Jazz

Italian pianist Agnese Toniutti explores the possibilities of sound from piano, timbre piano, and toy piano in the her compositions and those of Lucia Dlugoszewski, Tan Dun, Phillip Corner. Tinkly, booming, comedic, and thought provoking.

PGM: Some tracks go quiet quite a few seconds before they end.

Hiraoka, Toshiyuki – "Waterphone II" – [Edgetone Records]

Cousin Mary   7/30/2021   A Library, CD

A waterphone (invented by Richard Waters) consists of a steel resonator bowl with steel rods around the perimeter. Sometimes it is used with water to create an ethereal effect. Hiaroka is known for his horror film soundtracks. This album’s cuts are minimal, repetitve, and shimmering that result in a very pleasant and soothing sound. The metallic and echoing tracks are very mysterious.

Lewis Bailey – "Instrumental Stylings of .., The" – [Laguna Bay Records]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   12-inch, A Library

As explained in the album insert, Lewis Bailey was involved with a number of instrumental surf bands after leaving the Woggles. This limited edition album includes the bands Stingray International, The Surf Kings, and The Novarays. Extremely well played and arranged surf standards and originals. Bailey has relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area from Florida, much to the delight of the local surf music community.

Santo & Johnny – "Hawaii" – [Canadian-American Records, Ltd.]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   12-inch, B Library

Santo and Johnny are of course known for their classic Sleepwalk. This 1961 album featuring many Hawaiian cornball tunes is saved by their fine steel guitar work. The Hutch Davie Orchestra and Chorus add some campy harp glissando and vocals that are almost too much, but there is a sweetness here that will take you to a different time and place. I especially liked the tracks written by Santo and Johnny – Sea Shells, Reflections and Isle of Dreams. A fine way to cool off on a summer day or warm up in the winter.

Tremolo Beer Gut, The – "You Can't Handle…" – [Musick Recordings]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   A Library, CD

This terrific album is welcome news from this (mostly) instrumental band from Denmark that is held in high regard by the surf music community. Lots of variety in these tunes, just check the liner notes to see the long list of instruments, especially keyboards. “Vocals” are occasional syllables and words. Heavy sound, lots of bass, sort of scary. Fuzz on track 15, the whistling on track 16, have fun exploring.

Disrage – “Noise Rhythm” – [Craneal Fracture Records]

whngr   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Low fidelity Hardcore from Spain 2015

Renou i ràbia desde Menorca.
Noise and rage from Menorca.

Furious attack (guitar,bass,drums,vox) without brakes.

A tirade of malice, though unintelligible, the message is clear:

Aim for the heart and pull the trigger.


Las Garras de la Otan = The Claws Of N.A.T.O.

Aphotykum – “Cimmerian Sessions, The” – [Legion Blotan]

whngr   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Crusty Tinny and Tyrannical

2-piece Black Metal from the U.K./Switzerland 2017

Malevolent and sadistic, this deviant offender is a known associate of Legion Blotan. Blaring murky riffs while extolling the virtues of Cimmeria, the culture of a nomadic people in Asia-Minor ca. 1000 B.C. Stating their lyrical themes on Metallum as: Dark Ages, Barbarism, Pagan Heritage with evocative titles like “A Falcon’s Quest” and “Spirits of the Mounds” we are drawn into an ancient world filled with violence and war expressed with a phenomenal guitar tone and a dismal recording that is both visceral and disorienting. Listening at high volumes may lead to head wounds by disrupting the equilibrium, causing falls and leaving listeners concussed. Fitting, as the final track, “Stormriders of Death” (A8) features a sample of bombs being dropped from a plane, not barbarian activity but of a similar brutality perhaps. Not clever but still quite appealing to the ear of this miserable volunteer.

Abi Ooze – “Bad Egg” – [Aklasan Records]

whngr   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Cynical and catchy Garage Power Dirge Pop Punk Rock from Philadelphia 2018Snotty, smart, and honest fem lyrics with a biting perspective on both social and personal subjects. Heart warming and heart breaking tones and delivery. Like falling in love the moment her spit hits your face. Vicious guitar tone with nasty hooks on a solid Pop foundation in front of a thunderous shimmering beat. Shake your ass to the rejection. Aileen Wuornos chimes in, spoiler alert, she’s pissed. Includes a few cameos by other contemporary monsters. Five cutting satires of the travesty that is our modern society. Hopeless and direct, “Bad Egg” is probably a reference to the genre and its rival , “Egg Punk” (twee, silly, major keys) and “Chain Punk” (aggressive/nihilistic/minor keys). One might suppose that this EP was titled as a kind of response to the divisive online debate (smh why can’t we all get along?! ;P) that raged(s?) by proponents from both camps. Flame wars, ghosting, and doxing may have occurred but who the fuck cares.? Not Abi Ooze. She just wants to fucking rock out!  And perhaps flip the ugly razor-blade frittata of a cassette, greasy side down, on the pallets of people with ears that hear and brains that think. Are you one of ’em?  
Abi Ooze is one Jade Baisa (all instruments)
There may be FCC’s on A1 (is that a Amber alert tone or just guitar feedback?) and A3  (I’m sure that she’s sayin’ “SUCKERS, SUCKERS!” not the other, far naughtier word. Roll the dice outside of safe harbor, pay the consequences I guess, but don’t play it all and you are the one who loses (your listeners being the unwary bystanders to your hapless mistake). Forbidden sounds removed (primarily) from this cassette and cd, conforming to on-air requirements in an effort to maintain friendly relations with the Federal Communication Commission. True completists will need to scour the internet as Sorry State is sold the fuck out and the release seems to have been pulled from Discogs which is… Punk af 

Golden Hallway Music – "Rules & Chance Vol. 2" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Zack Tornaben, who created this over the pandemic in his Manhattan apartment, using a 1968 electric combo organ and primitive drumbox, ran through a two-machine tape delay. It’s a harmonious cosmical journey through cotton candy clouds and iridescent dew kissed tulips. Very light, airy and relaxing rhythms. An ambient looped voyage. Shimmery, meditative, and summery. 

Burial Wreaths – "Burial Wreaths" – [Threat Electronics]

cinder   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Not a lot of information floating around on this project, but it’s a collective from Southern California. They’re calling themselves power electronics, and you do get some of that. It’s not blasting white noise and power drills though. It’s more experimental electronics and the weird sounds you can make playing around with your digital and analog toys. There’s repetitive beats, twisted knobs, echoed winds… industrial more than harsh. Each “track” is a new discovery. Intriguing group? Person? Robot?

GWP NYC TCB [coll] – [Ace Records Ltd./Virgin]

aarbor   7/28/2021   CD, Soul

GWP = Gerard “Jerry” W. Purcell a [white] “colorful New York music business man who used the best back music talent to produce fabulous soul sounds for his GWP label”. In addition to his record label, he was a TV, concert and music producer, songwriter and artist manager (he managed Al Hirt, Nancy Wilcox, Eddy Arnold and Hugo Montenegro). These 24 tracks were recorded between 1969 and 1970 for one of these 3 labels: GWP, NYC or TCB. Some of these artists did a number of recordings but none became big stars. AArbor

Nickodemus – "Sun People" – [ESL Music]

aarbor   7/28/2021   A Library, CD

Nickodemus [Nick DeSimone], who runs Brooklyn’s Wonderwheel label, is a very accomplished club DJ who knows and has DJ’ed with some of the world’s best DJs and musicians. This is his 2nd album from 2009. He collaborates with people from all over the world to create a lovely variety of sounds and ethnicities which showcase his work beautifully. Quantic (with whom he produced the well-known Mi Swing Es Tropical) appears as co-producer on tracks 3 and 8. You go from Africa [1], to Baltic flavored [2], to Cuba [3], to Jamaica [4], to bellydance [5], Arabic dub [6], gypsy instruments/NY beats [7], South Asian/Latin [8], Brazil [9], Puerto Rico [10], Arabic beats [11] and African vocals [12]. AArbor

Cruisin' Ann Arbor [coll] – [Ann Arbor Music Project]

aarbor   7/28/2021   12-inch, A Library

From what was billed as “Ann Arbor’s First Compilation Album” this 1982 release by the Ann Arbor Music Project is a compilation of bands from lovely Ann Arbor, MI. Note that our own Dan Gunning was on the stage crew for the events on September 15-18, 1982 at Joe’s Star Lounge, at which this was recorded. This was an attempt to put Ann Arbor which had earlier spawned Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, the MC 5, Commander Cody, the MC5, Destroy All Monsters and the Silvertones, back on the “musical map”. Roger Miller’s brothers Ben and Larry (Laurence) show up here as “Non-Fiction” playing Larry’s song “Walkie Talkie”. In 1982 they had already recorded as a part of Destroy All Monsters. Some very fine up and coming bands. It’s a good variety of bands and music. AArbor

Gronde – “Gronde” – [Impious Desecration Records]

whngr   7/21/2021   A Library, Cassette

Black Metal / Thrash from the foothills of the French Alps.

Thunderous thumpers and growly grumpers with riffs and two minutes of melancholy piano (end of track 13) for goat worshipping demi-ghouls.
Insular and isolated from the swelling popularity of Black Metal, Gronde’s inception was influenced by power and simplicity. Eager to be proficient while heavily inebriated, project founder Chamo unveils considerable details about the project online, that though illustrative, might sour the palate of more thoughtful or discerning volunteers (these guys may be a bit thick). I suggest avoiding all research/fanaticism and just lean into the bestial howls and ferocity of the form. Well recorded and sprawling, there are many slightly different flavors of blasphemy, heresy, synchronized buzzsaw guitar, and sonorous slaughter to spread liberally over your more diabolical sets while incurring the blessings of the Dark Gods.

Boëge, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France-2011

Crowhurst – “Everyone Is Guilty” – [Sol Y Nieve]

whngr   7/21/2021   A Library, Cassette

Debilitating electronic Dark Ambient Industrial Noise Drone with minimal Black Metal leanings in five parts.

Three tracks over 10 min. and two under 10 min. with some marked contrast existing between tracks that tend to straddle several genres but generally orbit around mild discomfort, disorientation, and despair, madness and misery.

Samples. Spoken-word. Sine wave serrations.

Washes of warm amplified feedback cum crumbling white noise, abstractions and other mildly belligerent aural elements. Crowhurst is one Jay Gambit of Boca Raton, Florida, who, along with myriad collaborators has put out over 40 physical releases since 2012. Establishing a following on digital file sharing platforms, Gambit seems interested in exploring multiple facets of sound production across several genres without the constraints of media or from labels and has worked with familiar (and many unfamiliar) labels like Prison Tatt, Chondritic Sound, Fusty Cunt, Prophecy Productions, and the one who released this limited edition (100) cassette in 2014, Sol Y Nieve.

Agonie – “Culte Funèbre” – [Solar Asceticists Productions]

whngr   7/21/2021   A Library, Cassette

Grieving Woe’s Misery

French-Canadian Black Metal.

Cold, grim, cvlt.

Somber, delicate guitar ballads (doubled reverb reverie) amid tortured wails. Buried trash-can drums, beastial expulsions. Heavily clipped amplified trem-picked horror, the plectrum pulled through entrails billowing steam into the frigid night. Deep guttural bellowing and shrieks of anguish slashing through sickening melodies with hooks.
Adapt to the damaged (defective?) tape (end side A-beginning side B, track 3 and 4 respectively) as the signal decays repeatedly. Perhaps this (used) tape was once repeatedly frozen in distant northern climes amid the towering snow-laden pines or maybe ’twas a cruel hoax meant to propagate the despair of fledgling dj’s (dig your heels in and own it, this is a miracle of magnetic tape (an analog aberration to be adulated). The meek, and the mealy-mouthed.

Final track is an menagerie of the animals most associated with evil and the night, encircling a demon as he curses (unintelligibly) the light of God and whatever traces of benevolence remain in the hearts of man.

Agonie is Nagash and K. 

Quebec-2017

White Wards – “Cigarette Burns” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

Guitar fueled, up to mid-tempo tripped-out Hardcore Punk with human teeth.

Bedraggled, in black, blood in their mouths and cans of soup in their backpacks (perhaps?) this five-piece is simply chock full of piss and vinegar. 

Dissonance, distortion, and (hypnotic) repetition. We used to appreciate short tracks… but now I’m a DJ (we still do).

Copious amounts of echoes, feedback, and echoing feedback. A ratio of upstrokes to downstrokes that pleases this miserable volunteer, real drums (crushing), and mental health issues (probably). 

Guitar fueled, up to mid-tempo tripped-out Hardcore Punk with human teeth.

Anger

Hurt 

Confusion

…and (100%) certified organic honey in hot lemon water.

Have a peek at the delicate inserted booklet (before it is shredded by its vinyl cohabitor) and witness the carefully crafted aesthetic and lyrical themes that seems to carry throughout White Wards’ releases. 

Portland, OR – 2014

Parmerud, Ake – "Growl" – [Empreintes Digitales]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

Ake is a Swedish composer, musician, and multimedia artist who started his studies in 1978. This collection reaches into 2004, then jumps into works from 2011-2015. The first track is completely mechanical – clicks, winding, rustles, whirs that lead into some experimental beats. It’s an industrial factory come alive! Grooves takes you on a crackling, dirty & dusty vinyl voyage. It builds up to chaos that sounds like 10 horses galloping through the mud, then drops you off into dust mite space. Electric Birds is composed of the wild birds of New Zealand. Their real natural state is heard for the first half of the recording, and then he begins to process them the latter half. Creepy electronics rumble and rustle underneath. The title track, Growl, is the only one to feature vocals… or guttural screaming metal throat blasts of lyrics Ake wrote. It’s like a nightmare where multiple melting demons and ghouls scream at you through sizzled wires. The final track takes you through alien spaceships with bleeps, skittering rhythms, techno beats and whizz’s and whurls. This is fantastic! 

Feiler, Dror & The Too Much Too Soon Orchestra – "What Is The Point of Paris?" – [Fylkingen Records]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

Dror Feiler is an Israeli born, Swedish musician. He created the TMTS Orchestra back in the mid-80s, with the intent of pushing improv music to the limits. Incorporating non-musical things such as drills, machines, chain saws, sledgehammers and the such. This album was recorded back in 1991 at The Alka Art Center, Linköping (Sweden). Three long, all live tracks. It’s chaotic, furious, angry, noisy and spastic. Wailing & squonked sax, damaged synth sounds, stretched guitar, dying clarinet, echoed screams. The added power tools and hollowed industrial sounds of a giant open space building make you wonder if this is what construction workers hear when they go mad. 

Strain of Laws – "Plotted Pavilion, The" – [Helicopter]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

A duo of Aaron Hemphill (Liars) and John Wiese, recorded back in 2010, released originally on super limited 7″. Dark, dreary, hopeless vox over distorted low grumbles, industrial sizzled waves, and drugged up hypnotic rhythms. Not harsh and scary, well, most of the time. It’s more moody and and like they just don’t give a fuhhhh. 

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