KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Pantha Du Prince – "Black Noise" – [Rough Trade]

cinder   9/18/2020   A Library, CD

Gorgeous third release from this German producer. Said to be born out of a period of musical exploration in the Swiss Alps, his sounds are often labeled as minimal techno. This is so full of sound though, very earthy and rich. Lush electronics, intriguing dance-able beats, organic instruments, field recordings, bells, tropical flairs. All instrumentals except track 4 which features vocals by Panda Bear (Noah Lennox of Animal Collective), and track 7 also has vocals but I’m not sure who, himself perhaps? It’s optimistic and beautiful!    

Trou – “Grjóthaugr” – [No Part of It]

whngr   9/17/2020   A Library, CD

“Trou” (pronounced trū ), french for “void” is the mysterious and prolific  rhythmic noise, harsh industrial project from France ca. 2012 to present. Three gloomy tracks of mind wipingly repetitive dark ambient/industrial fare suitable for the final round of stripping your captive of their ego. Apply liberally to the feeble minded in order to gain control and begin supplanting capitulation for autonomy as you guide them towards self destruction and they bend to your terrible will. Originally self-released on cassette in 2017 this outing is another delectable/detestable disc from Chicago label No Part Of It.

Maximin, Bérangère – “Land of Waves” – [Karlrecords]

lexi glass   9/17/2020   12-inch, A Library

French sound artist Bérangère Maximin transforms an assortment of instruments – percussion, small objects, synths, guitar, and voice – into the Land of Waves on her sixth album. Over two LPs, we visit the imagined corners of this strange land, starting with its terrain: the underground drones and gemlike synths on “Day 41” (A1), idiophonic melodies emanating from deep caverns on “Kalimba Rough” (A2), the swarm of tremors on “The Broken Shoe” (A3). The B side sets out on a night time walk through an unusual wilderness, its sounds of glowing insects, wind-up birds, leaping fish, calls of owls and other unidentified creatures beaming through the darkness. “L’Echappee” (C1) begins at the edge of a dock before unmooring, drifting into a shadowy sidelong journey. The final D side holds some of the most exciting and varied tracks: “Walking Barefoot: Imaginary Quintet” (D1, a collaboration with Fred Frith on guitar and the Swibeckico Quartet on electronics) an eerily beautiful techno piece, “Des Tigres Multicolores” (D2) with its jeweled tones, purrs and growls, and closer “The Thread” (D3) where the most familiar of sounds, like a cell phone notification chime, are absorbed into Maximin’s dreamworld. More of her previous work can be found in our library, here and here.

Nital Etch – “Simalacrum” – [No Part of It]

whngr   9/17/2020   A Library, CD

Eerie Cinematic Vignettes.

Haunting, serene, and at times unnerving like dreams of lovers long passed, entropy, and the death of hope. A collection of modulated strings, samples, and ambient sound collage by Washington state’s Kevin Lewis culled from unreleased selections by this magnificent composer, released August 2020 by the label No Part Of It  (Chicago). In a word, perfect.

Alefa Madagascar! (Salegy, Soukous, and Soul From The Red Island) – [coll] – [Strut]

aarbor   9/16/2020   CD, International

An outstanding 2019 release from Strut which showcases the popular music of Madagascar during a heyday of Malagasy popular music. Most recordings from Madagascar are traditional instruments and music, this one is not. Salegy is a fast tempo local dance based on 5/8 and 12/8 rhythms [tracks 1, 4]. Soukous  is from the Congo, brought into Madagascar’s music in the ‘60’s via the radio,  along with music from Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique.  At that time the newer styles and instruments replaced many of the traditional ones. Be sure to check out the Behind the Scenes Alefa Madagascar! Video on Youtube. The liner notes give a very rich and well researched guide of music in Madagascar. AArbor    

 

   

Cafe De Los Maestros – [coll] – [Surco Recrods]

aarbor   9/16/2020   CD, Soundtrack

The soundtrack to a documentary movie directed by Miguel Kohan featuring interviews with  musicians and singers from Argentina’s Golden Age of Tango ( 1940’s and ‘50’s – before Astor Piazzolla). Uruguay’s Lagrima Rios appears here on the 2nd track on both CDs. Two CDs worth of lovely antique tango music, the grandmother musically speaking of what you hear from Gotan Project, Bajofondo and others these days.

AArbor

Mogerman, Sol – “Wishbone Bridge” – [Self Release]

mickeyslim   9/13/2020   A Library, CD

I’ve been sitting on this doulbe CD release for something like 6 years. I don’t know why I never opened it. I don’t know where it sat all these years, but after I found it when I moved back to the Bay, it STILL sat, unlistened, for two years. So sorry, folks…. Simply put, this is amazing. Amazing music from an amazing musician with an amazing story.

This album was recorded well before Mogerman moved from California to British Colombia in 1985, when he ended up having a stroke due to a terrible car accident that made him unable to play guitar for twenty years, making this possibly the only recording/release of music before his accident. He has gone on to become a clinical counsellor, specializing in restoration of self-image after brain injury and trauma. Aside from being a musician, he is also an accomplished author and artist

Half of these 20 tracks are quick, fast-paced acoustic guitar songs with witty lyrics taken from on his wife, Gundula’s, poetry. The other half are improvised, jazz-ic, acoustic, living-room jams. Even the composed tracks have a freeform feel. Enjoy!

Floral – “Floral LP” – [Choke Artist]

mickeyslim   9/13/2020   A Library, CD

a washed out daydream
just beyond the greying clouds
find its way out of the rain.

a hurried pitter patter on
eaves, beating as if a
morse code from the heavens
is finally saying,
“… maybe not one day.”

a knock at the door,

a bird finding sanctuary
underneath your windowsill,

nighttime arrives
and, now, rain
drifting off,
the moonlight glistens
off the puddles
from
the cracks
in the sidewalk.

Mountain View math-rock duo. Beautifully melodic syncopation from Nate Sherman on guitar and Ty Mayer on drums. Delicate, masterful, stunning.

Warthog – “Warthog” – [Static Shock]

whngr   9/13/2020   7-inch, A Library

400

NYC’s Warthog are driving HXC with a fantasy aesthetic and few nods to war metal so I find warcore to be an apt moniker, one I am claiming to have coined despite it being used previously to describe a recent trend in the fashion world that I am only now discovering. Young, vital and I’m assuming to be an absolute gas at house parties. Excellent low brow virtuosity for your next campaign against a Lawful Evil Liche or for getting pumped for your Friday night razor fight.

Released in 2018 by Toxic State and in the U.K. by Static Shock Records.

Vapourspace – "Themes From Vapourspace" – [Full Frequency]

cinder   9/11/2020   A Library, CD

Mark Gage is the man behind Vapourspace. He’s been recording since the ’80s, but his first release didn’t come out until the mid-90s. When he moved to NY, he called Plus 8 label-head Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman) and eventually signed a contract, releasing his debut 10″ and eventually touring with Orbital, Moby and Aphex Twin in 1993. This album is his first full length release. Killer mid-90s techno, acid and dance (my personal favorite era for it). There’s some more mellow, abstract ambient alien spaceship trax in there as well, so pick your bpm and let’s gooooo!

De Sang Froid – "Vox Dei" – [Mannequin Records]

cinder   9/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

French minimal-industrial-electro tunes from A// aka Le Syndicat Electronique, French musician and performer. Minimal programmed synths sounds, rhythms and pulses with French vox and words. Cold, echoed and sharp. Issued on opaque raspberry vinyl!

Parisi, Alessandro – "Ascensione Progressiva" – [Medical Records]

cinder   9/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

Italiano producer, delivering some lush electro sounds. Has a soundtrack element to it, and veins of dark disco and electro-synth. Light airy female voices hover and suspend over the slower pounding beat, a perfect contrast. His bio includes: Influenced and enriched by mystical and esoteric experiences, has created a blend of retrofuture and dark-electro sound with references to past civilizations, harmonies and ancient sacred mysteries. You can definitely envision the UFO ideas this album projects.

Evicshen – “Hair Birth” – [American Dreams Records]

lexi glass   9/9/2020   12-inch, A Library

Evicshen is Victoria Shen, a sound artist working in Somerville, Mass. Shen began working with analog modular synths as an intern at Jessica Rylan’s Flower Electronics (Rylan’s work as Can’t most certainly can be found in our library), and later incorporated other homemade electronic instruments into her work. On Hair Birth, her first full-length LP, Shen extracts vivid psychedelic dreams from the Buchla 100 and Serge Modular synthesizers. Sustained tones, rhythmic sparks, blasts of coarse static, and bright electronic fizz all flow from the cables, and from the waves of synthesis her voice, distorted with effects, surfaces. Whirlwind tones and maniacal voices cast a dizzy spell “Funhouse Mirror Stage” (T4), and a creeping menace takes root on “Bolete” (T5). We’re flung along the twists and turns of the “Lissajous” (T6) before the final slow build to a “Fever Pitch” (T7). A wild ride, released on the Chicago experimental label American Dreams.

Trio Linguae – “Signals” – [Origin Records]

aarbor   9/9/2020   CD, Jazz

Trio Linguae (lin-gwee) is trumpeter Kevin Woods, Guitarist John Stowell and pianist Miles Black. This is their debut release. It’s a collection of original works by Woods and Black and some others from the likes of Jobim, Wayne Shorter, Bill Evans and Harold Arlen.

AArbor

Trans-Global Underground – “Yes Boss Food Corner” – [Ark 21]

aarbor   9/9/2020   CD, International

Trans-Global Underground (or TGU) are from England. They are (by their own admission) “notorious from mixing musical styles and rhythms with a total disregard for musical genres, technological barriers and common sense. They create a unique space where cross-cultural musical diversity thrives.” Here the sounds are electronics with Asian and African music styles. This release is from 2001 and features Zulu vocalist Thobekile Doreen Webster [2,4]. Two British-born Asian musicians: sitarist Sheema Mukherjee and percussionist Gurjit Sihra are a part of the band’s lineup on this release. Natacha Atlas was off doing her own thing at the time of this recording.

AArbor

Kale, Karsh – "Liberation" – [Six Degrees Records]

aarbor   9/9/2020   A Library, CD

Born in England and raised in NY (Long Island), Karsh Kale (pronounced Kursh Kah-lay) became a drummer and tabla player, known for his “electric tabla”. He first came to my attention as a part of Bill Laswell’s Tabla Beat Science project (founded in 2000). He was the 1st ‘Indo-American” to be signed to a solo recording contract by a U.S. label. This is his 3rd full length album from 2003. The best known track is ‘Milan’ (Meeting of 2 Rivers) [4] which includes both Laswell and Zakir Hussain.

AArbor  

Toyota – “Toyota” – [Digital Regress]

mickeyslim   9/7/2020   12-inch, A Library

JD Power and Associates calls this San Franciscan project’s self-titled release the most monu-metal technological feat to date. Falling somewhere in-between Primus’ South Park theme song and the Revenge of the Nerds’ talent show performance, this nonsensical/mathy/punk-infused/wackiness is just what the witch doctor ordered.

Bumble Bee Slim – “Bumble Bee Slim 1934-1937” – [Wolf Records]

mickeyslim   9/7/2020   12-inch, Blues

Born Amos Easton, Bumble Bee Slim helped define the sound of what would eventually become Chicago Blues. While the rural blues of the time typically featured a solo musician and their own vocals, musicians flocking to Chicago and New York would join forces, often collaborating in public jam sessions, most notably on Maxwell Street.

Here, Bumble Bee Slim’s smooth vocals seamlessly weave together the sounds of some very prominent blues musicians of the time; Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Scrapper Blackwell, Carl Martin, Tampa Red, and more, with everyone in top form.

Pre-war blues tastiness, very much in the Pete Dixon style. Play Mondays at 8pm, Tuesdays between 10 and 2, or anytime your heart ask for something to drown its sorrows in.

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