First side is minimalist, with chanted lyrics in German. Mostly two bass notes bowed repetitively with a smattering of other instrumentation. Sonically, it’s a 10-minute death shuffle back and forth across a gray, frozen courtyard. Second side is generally a bit more psychedelic. Longer-form textures. Distinctly electronic noises careen back and forth, high-pitched waves approach uncomfortable levels. There might be a guitar in there and some organic-sounding percussion. Overall a nice eight-minute space-out anxiety trip. For extra fun, play at 33rpm.
aka the noise band from Bletchley, UK trance punks? or maybe the call to action undoing the trance? that minimalist repetition of grit and discontent definitely induces reflection, as do the relentlessly nihilistic poems ranting militant contentment to extinction. this is the first album they did with GW Sok, former frontman of The Ex, and i definitely feel the political connection. the somewhat title track seems to give a fishbowl narration of our modern end times and with the meticulous carelessness of their musical delivery you can’t help but feel fine, cuz the world is fucked anyway. pity this busy monster, manunkind, not. Progress is a comfortable disease (ee cummings)
This double 10″ release commemorates the 40th anniversary of The Haters, one of the earliest and loudest progenitors of noise in the United States. Formed by G.X. Jupitter-Larsen in 1979, The Haters is a performance art project exploring physical and sonic destruction in endless forms. On Forti, Jupitter-Larsen pulls previously unheard material from performances throughout the project’s history and reworks the sounds into new compositions.
Side A features a recording of a 1989 performance in Denver, where a calculator installed with amplifiers was repeatedly drawn over sandpaper, creating persistent pulses both vicious and vibrant. On Side B, from a 1999 San Francisco performance, we hear Jupitter-Larsen’s original instrument the Untitled Title Belt – a wrestling championship belt fitted with microphones, distortion pedals, and noise generators – belting out pure buzzsaw bliss. Side C draws from the 2009 work “Audiothecary,” where noise emanates from a balancing scale fitted with amplifiers. From this seemingly simple setup comes a massive sound: screams and strings, a full orchestra of horror. Side D comes from a 2019 performance featuring another original analog instrument, the Totimorphous Ubiety Guide, a contraption made of springs and rods played by two musicians; a divining rod leading through a dark mine to metallic drones. This excellent retrospective arrives in advance The Haters upcoming 40th anniversary show in Oakland next month.
MPT have their way with the expanded 10″ format this time. The five-member trio is back with recordings they laid down in 2014 and 2015 –OK, so things don’t move terribly swiftly in The Land of MPT– and it is one of their best releases in a while. If “Left Behind” was MPT’s “Exile on Main Street”, and I think we can all agree that it was, then this new one is their “Let it Bleed.” One surprising song style after another, yet it all hangs together somehow. Highlights for me: “Gordon Muir, Time Traveler” must be heard to be believed. Remember “Kraken” from a few years ago, with its grinding guitars and weird falsetto vox? Well, this is its geeky cousin. “Deadhand Button” is an uptempo, knee-slappin’ little ditty about nuclear holocaust. The drugged-out funk of “Black Wig” moves nicely into “Under the River”, a country-ish strum-along reminiscent of the Glimmer Twins after several too many bottles of wine. “Hello Cleveland” ends the record and this song is so pretty it would have been at home on “eMPTy”, the band’s prettiest record to date. Even the weird (w)rapping toward the end can’t derail this one. We never do find out who Christian Wolfcock is, by the way. I give this record four and a half fingers, maybe five.
Released in 1953, the folksiness of this 10″ slab is timeless. Newfoundland summons images of cold, ocean, fishing, and Northeast Canadian heartiness. Alan Mills pleasant voice accompanied by a gentle guitar spins yarns fit for a campfire. If you appreciate sailor stories and coastside ambience, you’ll love this.
Side one is skronky improv. Side two is more springy and fairly-like. They have been jamming together since the 90s with founders being Neil Campbell, Michael Flower, Adam Davenport and others coming in and out. Real trippy pleasant sounds. This was live at the Total Inertia Festival in Leeds last year which is an experimental music festival. I can’t tell if it’s annual or not but last year the festival also had sometimes VO collaborator Bridget Hansen as well as Richard Dawson, Apostille, and FCKN’BSTRDS among many others.
– Billie Joe Tolliver
This is a 2005 release from Drone Records, the label’s goal was a concept to embrace the prospect of infinite possibilities for artists, especially noise artists to embrace various forms of expression. In this case this drone music release has mild noise terror even if the A side has a solid wall with various shredding frequencies intersecting, is slowly increasing in volume with a sudden unexpected short end. The B side is more like taking a trip to the local cemetery where noise artists do an improv on the spot four in the morning. Consider this gothic noise about the unknown.
A creative collab between friends REPEAT PATTERN & TA-KU,
This collection features both of them on a few traks along with other friends
And emerging artists. Dreamy bedroom beats, samples, loops.
Incoherent lyrical content. The most abrasive track is A4???s Divison,
filled with scrapes, cuts, and heavy breathing. Mostly it???s pretty mellow sound
snapshots with many layers and elements. You will catch something
new with every listen. All tracks a pretty cool, but Primm (B3) is my
personal favorite because of the 1970s easy listening flute intro
and underlying current.
philly multi-media artist (painting, collage, sculpture, music, installation) instrumental layering loops/ lazily longing. beats and treats of a sweet variety, next to noodling stringed thangs. all tracks worth a listen and addition to your set to slow things down.
feels like a long interlude, waiting for something/ on a street corner, daylight, buzzed and smoking a cig, waiting, waiting.
In the early 70s, at the age of 18, Arthur Russell, a formally trained cellist, moved from Iowa to San Francisco; he studied North Indian classical music at the Ali Akbar College of Music and Western composition part-time at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. It was during this time that he began his association with Allen Ginsberg: accompanying him on the cello as a soloist or in groups while Ginsberg sang or read his poetry. By the mid-70’s Russell moved to New York where he collaborated in the rock project Flying Hearts: which included artists such as David Byrne, Rhys Chatham, and Peter Gordon. The first piece comes from the mid 70’s with the Flying Hearts. “Ballad of the Lights” was written and recited by Russell; Ginsberg accompanies. The second piece “Pacific High Studio Mantras”, chanted by Ginsberg, is a Tibetan mantra recorded in July 1971.
Look at the bright colors of the cover art and the grey marble vinyl and you’ll get an idea of how cool this music sounds. Kyle Albrecht and Camille Lewis both sing and play the songs, which are reminiscent of the music of Tipsy, for some reason. Maybe because it sounds tropical and whimsical with the funky bass lines. Their voices are really upbeat and the shakers add to the holiday feel of this album. People have called them pop, surf, psych, folk–you tell me what you think.
sitcom dementia theme show featuring noise hopscotch signal surfing and alien isolation techniques. free flying honk ‘n sconce gabber jabber hyper chloric acid tested flubber improv marching. 4-5 minutes per side at 45 rpm but is it 33?
If you like Southern France, iambic meter, lutes, Gregorian chants, then you’ll love this. The liner notes highlight the history behind the courtly poets of Southern France (the troubadours) who expressed their reverence for women and the love they inspire in vocal music sometimes accompanied by lute (on this record, Mildred Clary plays the lute). Tessier himself composed the music in the tradition of the 12th and 13th centuries, since musical notation for these ballad-like songs did not exist. Some songs just feature Tessier’s voice, and those definitely sound like Gregorian chants. Others have the lute setting. Enjoy.
This Swedish band presents us with sweet vocals (both male and female) and dark folk. It’s really pleasant sounding and, on Side B with “Honeymoon Meltdown,” gets zippy. All the DJs will enjoy this.
Swiss surf with monster moves (lead off track echoes
“The Hall of the Mountain King”). Record came out in
2005 but as a used 10″ how could KFJC resist. we know
the power of the chosen disk size. At times they
band will yell along in celebration with the
fast-placed, dirty surf-flecked garage rawk. And
on two tracks, they apparently are howling lyrics
(“Signore Farmacista” and “I Can’t Help Myself”).
The vocals in a way, champion the “Thee” nature of
their band, from Headcoats to Oh Sees…this is
where they look, if don’t fully leap towards punk
rock. I do think a sense of humor is part of the
ticket here, from titles to the “Black Hornet”
riffing on an ooold favorite TV show of mine.
“Man from CoIntelPro” was another killer driller
for me, a bit more mysterious in melody. Overall
a romp and roll set, that will hit the salty
sweet spots of beached DJ’s and bleached blond
sandmen and women. The band is still going today
apparently albeit having moved towards more general
pop from this more focused genre-target vinyl bombarino.
One side of beauty and I ain’t talking about the fancy
etching on the other side. Jammy slinky backing with
a bass line winding through flecked and funky guitar and
some smolder-sax on the first cut, the second is a bit
bouncier with merry-go-round keyboards, before a backwards
bow-out. Soft Healer is an Austin band, Marie Butcher
on likeable laconic vocals, kinda Patti Smith when I
squint, but in a summer top-of-the-pops shine, and
she slinks the bass. Will Slack on guitar, flecking
away and those kinda phlangey waves of chords (was
he the inspiration for Linklater’s “Slacker” – um
no but I could see/hear these songs grooving out of
a club from that old movie-virus). Turns out the sax
and organ come from one being, thanks Sara Berger.
Nicl Decarmine beat a drum machine to death for the
fourth slot in the band. “Grand Isle” is the sprawling
lite lysergic number with “Civilization’s Dying” as the
tart chart-topper, an apocalypse shake-your-hips take
blaming the pope, the president and a rich rock star
for the fall on man. It’s a milennial flavored groovy
found on this two-track one-sider. Pop jams for a Mystery
Machine 8-track, rotsa runky rock too in a Scooby snack
head bobbing way. Ol’ man Crothers digs this, so do I.
Plenty o’ fun in the mighty Monofuns label. 2011 release
but found dazed and reused for KFJC’s current pleasure.
luggage malfeasance from the chief of all misanthropists GX. rubbed raw scratch ‘n scrapes in varying portions, locked lunacy in multiple flavors (but who can tell the difference anyhow); looping sandpaper one drones drill deeper than the bits themselves. nerve wrenching noise of the naughty variety
Sounds trapped in a block of icy guitar/effects and single
sided transparent vinyl. Phases of foamy distortion,
rise and fall, high frequency drones start and also
fade in and out. Other effect driven sounds are
sculpted and vanish, it’s sort of like a sonic photo
that pivots to see/hear different layers. A paranoid
panorama shot that feels longer and richer than its
mere 6.5 minutes. Recently KFJC’s thoughtline aired
a special on Bernard Hermann, and his use in film
soundtracks of modern classical outsider moves, this
too feels like a modern-day Hitchcock could similarly
utilize the frozen emotion slices etched into this
8-inch lathe cut record. As striking in sound as in
appearance, multiple listens cast varying shadows.
Erstwhile Sutekh Hexen gent on Utech = Utech Hexen?
Hey if Ian Nagoski is going to make you a mix tape, then heck
yeah you better listen. Plus he puts it out on 10″ which we all
know is some powerful alchemy/history at KFJC… The title here
maybe is a bit of a reach, and a 20 year span might have been
better served by a box set, but these 8 unearthed treasures
should float many a boat. The liner notes on the back are
better than I can offer, so check ’em out while you spin
selections from this. I will say my favorites are
A1 Spanish flare meets Molam
A3 Check the Chuck Berry shamisen from this real gone geisha
her kewpie doll oogie-boogie vox might flirt some Berts
B1 Fans of Eblis Alvarez might dig this ol’ cumbia-tronic action
B4 Eenie Meanie Miney Whoa, even before you’ve heard this
you’ve heard this, stored in your playback memories
It’s a big little record for a small Qawwali Polka Jump Blues
world after all. Spin it…
PS Some spoken film moments at the of A4
You know the girl who finally gives in to the nice guy who
stands outside her window for months through rain and peer
derision? I’ve never been that girl, but this album sorta
turned me into her. Huguenor’s voice and the lyrics, and
one suspects his life-force, exude a kind of earnestness
that kind of kicked me back to my KFJC childhood. When
labels like Shrimper and Squealer looked you in the eye
and even your GrandMa would listen in and say “At least
that’s a song…” So you’ve got a clean electric guitar
and some simple homemade 4-track drum tap-tap accompaniment
and Huguenor’s mind/voice/being. His anguish fights back
instead of settling into apathy or blitzkrieg’s noise.
He even pulls in some horn charts for the focused piece
here, “Agues” which comes after a sort of guitar maj7th
see saw intro. He spells “Bourgeois” correctly, he only
says “Fuckin'” once (on “Great Plans”) and he means it.
He yells “Yeah” before going into the outro of the
country-tinged “Montreal” And again, it appears he means
it. He uses repetition of words to hit on a point but
not necessarily harp on it. The album might be a reference
to Celine’s “Journey to the End of the Night.” I didn’t care
for the book that much, but I admire the effort. Reviewing
the lyrics (thanks bandcamp) perhaps Huguenor suffers more
misanthropically than the toe-tapping ditties had
me believe. Maybe he’ll be your Mountain Goats, putting
out a 10″ record alone is a smart sign of hope.
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
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