KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Thee Irma & Louise – “Roswell Beach Nightmare” – [Self Released]

Thurston Hunger   8/8/2015   10-inch, A Library

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.
-Thurston Hunger

Soft Healer – “One-sider” – [Monofonus Press]

Thurston Hunger   5/6/2015   10-inch, A Library

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.
-Thurston Hunger

GX Jupitter-Larsen – “Pump Powered Permawave” – [Oxen]

abacus   12/17/2014   10-inch, A Library

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

Yuen, Kevin Gan – “Emerald, The” – [Utech]

Thurston Hunger   10/2/2014   10-inch, A Library


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?

-Thurston Hunger

Rocket Infinity: The Global Rise of Rocking Music 1942-62 [coll] – [Canary Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/19/2014   10-inch, A Library


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…
-Thurston Hunger
PS Some spoken film moments at the of A4

Huguenor, Mike – “Bardamu” – [Suitors Club Records]

Thurston Hunger   8/16/2014   10-inch, A Library


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.

-Thurston Hunger

Kelompok Kampungan – “Kelompok Kampungan” – [Strawberry Rain]

humana   7/4/2014   10-inch, A Library

Here’s what I know about this Indonesian band: Their Mencari Tuhan album was banned by the government when it was released. This particular 10-inch lured me in right away with the cover photo. Men and women musicians wearing batik and playing guitar, flue/recorder, cello, and fiddle on a stage in Yogyakarta. Memories of being in Yogyakarta myself flowed through me as I listened to the clear male vocals and smooth tempo changes of A1, the nice flutes, of A2, the upbeat guitar of B1, and the drums and fiddles of B2. This is a pleasurable listen. Its sound is timelessly good and true.

Gloria Diaboli – “Libation Unto He Who Dwelleth In The Depths” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

billiejoe   4/30/2014   10-inch, A Library

Canadian Black Metal with indecipherable cookie monster vocals over cymbal heavy drums and choppy/repetitive guitar.
Previously known as Crypt, this group is made up of Narcoterrorist, Funeral, and Mal. They are associated with Havoc, Miasma, AMSG, and Godless North.
Second side is called “sheol” which is the Old Testament or Hebrew word underworld.
Satan-worshiping fun for the whole family. I dig it.

Father Murphy – “Pain Is On Our Side Now” – [Aagoo Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/5/2014   10-inch, A Library

I’m not sure if the verbal concept here is a lot of Papal Bull
or just Father Murphy getting irreverent. I get that Failure is
a good thing, it’s all the Pain/Shame stuff that evaporates
my holy water, that being said the album is definitely a
success on sound alone. And since I’m limited at home by
a single turntable, I didn’t get to try out the mechanical
concept, where these two single-sided 10″ records could be
played at the same time. KFJC has a trinity of turntables so
I expect our DJs will be mixing and backward masking like the
renegade heretics we are. Each side starts with an industrial
music call to prayer. Side A with a siren/fog horn blast and
Side B with breaking glass. Each Side has two songs, with
some lyrics on A2, and quite the dream machine slice and
dice vocals on B1, my favorite piece that has no peace. A
woman’s shrill but strong voice is cut and pasted with the
same jagged edge of that broken glass that failure produced
but perhaps Father Murphy is healing together again. If you
are keeping score, the banshee is Ezra Buchla from Gowns.
Side B closes with a smooth steady industrial hum of the earth.
Back on Side A, the two songs felt like three (the failure,
the sun and the holy smoke?) Some very dramatic drums on A1,
and on A2 some guitar lost in a lighthouse. I remember
hearing synth that sounded like it had a flame ignition
pilot at some point, maybe a clarinet exorcism too? I must
confess my Father Murphy worship has been sinfully abstemious
in the past that, I vow on my vinyl rites to say five Our
Father Murphies and play 3 LPs.

-Brother Hunger

Mukunguni – “New Recordings From Coast Province Kenya” – [Honest Jon’s]

humana   10/21/2013   10-inch, International

This is authentic traditional music featuring metal rings, marimbas, drums, hand-rubbing, bottlecaps, deep voices, field recordings, and many other traditional instruments recorded in the Mukunguni village during September 2011. There are spiritual, healing, and love songs here, and reading the liner notes on the sleeve is helpful, especially in learning the history of the music and rhythms contained on this 2-LP release.

Hidden Orchestra – “Archipelago Remixes” – [Tru Thoughts]

incognito   10/2/2013   10-inch, A Library

This is a double EP of remixes of Scottish quartet Hidden Orchestra’s “Archipelago,” a limited, autographed 2×10 run of 500 copies (we have #293). The group works in a fusion of jazz, classical, rock, hip hop and electronica. Here some of their tracks from “Archipelago” are remixed into purely electronic tunes. The original track “Vorka” is an organic, lush jazzy number which almost sounds like Cinematic Orchestra lite, remixed here by DC Breaks into deep, spacy drum and bass (think Calibre, High Contrast, Hospital circa 2006) and a mellow, soulful house tune with a 2 step feel by the one and only King Britt. Disc 2 has tracks “Fourth Wall” remixed by Kelpe and Reminder remixed by Long Arm. The two are more along downtempo and trip hop lines, thus sounding fairly true to the original songs while adding a bit of original flair. Both are quite lovely and beautiful, lush tracks preserving much of the original instrumentation.

 

El-P – “Sunrise Over Brooklyn” – [Definitive Jux]

mickeyslim   9/24/2013   10-inch, A Library

Looks like some avant-garde jazz dudes get a place in KFJC’s Hip-Hop library! Matthew Shipp, William Parker,, and the rest of the Blue Series Continuum team up with producer El-P on this one-sided 10″ single. Released in 2003 around the same time these jazzists worked on another hip-hop album with Antipop Consortium.

Ten minutes of driven beats a la Guillermo Brown with waves of dark synth sneaking in to stir up the madness and compliment the melodic brass section (Roy Campbell, trumpet; Daniel Carter, reeds; Steve Swell, trombone.) Skronky at times, but mostly driving the beat and synth warbles along through twisted feelings. Mellows out toward the end for a loud finale. Groove on.

AU – “Versions” – [Aagoo]

humana   4/13/2013   10-inch, A Library

Original Au band members Luke Wyland (singer/songwriter) and Dana Valatka (percussion) here rework songs from old albums and offer some original material on A1 (which has flowing guitars and a dreamy, psych element to it that will appeal to many). Wyland’s echoey voice can be heard throughout, accented nicely by Valatka’s percussion. A3 and B2 are a bit more driving and intense numbers, with screeches (A3) and a Middle-Eastern sitar-like drone (B2). A2 and B1 are my favorites, with cute, upbeat electronics and handclaps in A2, and pretty slow piano in B1 that builds amidst haunting chants to an intense, Philip Glass-like workout. Very nice indeed.
PGM: Almost non-existent segues.

Voyager 8 [coll] – [Slovenly]

incognito   4/9/2013   10-inch, A Library

 

A collaboration between Acid Baby Jesus and Hellshovel that happened in Greece in 2010, including 2 new tracks from each band. Spacy, psychedelic weirdness; at times it sounds like a western movie and sometimes like early Velvet Underground. Noisy, folky rock, trippy, warbly, short and sweet.

Daega Sound – “Fonica” – [Crude Records]

Belladonna   3/13/2013   10-inch, A Library

Vancouver based Daega Sound released this limited-run white label 10??? vinyl celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Crude Records. The B-side is a remix by DJG aka Grenier. Both sides are great, the remix has a bit more punch. Its great tribal-ish beat-y dubsteppiness, that really verges on techno. I would almost consider this more “dubstep lite”. Great bass-y heaviness and roll. I only wish the tracks were way longer! Enjoy!

3 Way Split [coll] – [Sweat Band Records]

surferrosa   12/12/2012   10-inch, A Library

Three way split is a 10” record full of booby traps and sounds from three very different bands. Three tracks on each side.. you can hear them change but good luck cueing this up..you will have to rely on your ears, not your eyes. Now the bands..Sac delivers noisy nonsense, riddled with samples, feedback , broken vocal loops and god knows what else. An electronic, manipulated face morph.. fantastically unpleasant and weird. Razzle Blaster initiate the heavies..angular, spastic punk-thrash-doom with a lyrical fuck you and a touch of electronics. All over the place. Mosh worthy. The Manx are a group of creatures that crawled out of the swamp to play a little ditty. Banjo, accordion, mandolin and bass make for a twangy gypsy romp.. sorta bloody and sweaty but it still makes you want to dance. These guys totally shred.. Their track Sacred Thistles ends side A and begins side B, which is unfortunate because you’ll have to choose which half of the track to play. Ok. Now the booby traps. Side A starts off with a locked groove. Side B has reverse grooves, so the needle will move outwards. B also ends with locked grooves ( I counted 9) sounds like they were taken from various tracks on the record.. a fun tool and a great way to make listeners uncomfortable. Each side lasts about 6 minutes. All and all this rips. Good luck. -Surfer Rosa

Prawnyxx – “Prawnyxx” – [Self Released]

surferrosa   10/10/2012   10-inch, A Library

These tunes are like fucked up cheers at a trashed out school pep rally where all the kids are pounding beers, taking bong rips and dancing around. Two dudes from Seattle. Drums, sax, theremin and vocals delivered with churning, noisy ingenuity. The Saxophone belches and spits..doing a service to the gods of skronk. Intoxicated vocals are hollered with brute directness and punk rock sensibilities… ranting… cracking jokes. Floor heavy, almost tribal drum beats drive the nail all the way into your head. This is massive.Its ineruppting. Drop the needle anywhere and wreak some havoc. -Surfer Rosa

Dead Machines – “Futures” – [Troubleman Unlimited]

cinder   10/5/2012   10-inch, A Library

A duo of John Olson (Wolf Eyes) and his wife, Tovah O’Rourke.
Death, dying, dead. Electronics that whiz, whirl and shred through your ears.
High pitches and deep ditches.
Growling knobs and twisted wires. Perhaps dipped in the tub.
Side B – farting popcorn computers? Peppered with a side of noise.

Five Minutes to Midnight [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

humana   9/14/2012   10-inch, Blues

Here we have some gospel blues from the 1960s and 1970s , rather austerely sung against guitar backdrop, from the likes of Missionary Mamie Sample and The Sensational Six. Rev. R. Henderson’s voice is difficult to understand in his album closer, “Stop Living on Me.” How many people have you wanted to say that to? Give this a spin and commiserate.

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