Music Reviews

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.

Disforterror – “Impalement and Holocaust Stench” – [Nuclear War Now! Product]

Laethaka   7/10/2012   10-inch, A Library

Throw a 20 minute tantrum with some satanic war metal from Brazil 2008. #2 on Side A has the sparsest lyrics and is also the best, reinforcing maxims of expressive refrainment w/r/t ill-will the world over. Not that there’s a whole lot of refraining going on here. Lyrics are of the genocidal strain you really only see coming out of Catholic countries these days. The worse parts are sloppily dissonant, detracting from focusing on that hateful coworker and this fucking highway traffic and those execrable tv commercials. Keep it tight and hard is what I say. Kill the person that wrote that advertisement, kill their families, kill their friends, kill everyone in their company, kill, kill, kill, there is no peace on earth, only an eternity of carnage and fire and the laughter of the thirsting gods.

Recchion, Tom – “Incandescent Gramophone & The Song of Mister Phonograph, The” – [Poo-Bah Records]

Cousin Mary   6/23/2012   10-inch, A Library

78rpm vinyl noise recording with samples from 78rpm records – voice, music, scratches, clicks, etc. Recchion wanted to create a mysterious object – he left 100 of them in public places for people to figure out. It is also an homage to early recording technology and the obsolete.

PGM: Play at 78rpm. TT3 has a 78 stylus to use for 78rpm only. Get instructions in its use if unfamiliar.

Stetson, Colin – “Those Who Don’t Run / The End of Your Suffering” – [Constellation]

Cousin Mary   4/24/2012   10-inch, A Library

Listening to this album with no prior information, you might guess it is electronic sounds that have been manipulated, processed, and layered. Not so. It is one musician, Colin Stetson, playing solo horn (bass sax side A, alto sax on side B) with no overdubs or looping, using 24 different mic positions. Drone-y but melodic. Refreshingly original, beautiful.

Dundov, Petar & Tresher, Gregor – “Duo Tone” – [Music Man Records]

Belladonna   4/3/2012   10-inch, A Library

What happens when two genius techno artists (one Croatian and one German) team up for an adorable little 10″ collaboration? It’s pure awesomeness: gorgeous shimmery, quirky and trance-y techno. “Geist” is a bit moodier and therefore my favorite but “Duo Tone” has a nice groovy beat. Both have enough trippy moments that even the non technoheads should enjoy. It’s pretty addictive.

Castle Face Presents: Group Flex, Vol. 1 [coll] – [Castle Face Records]

Grizzly Adam   2/3/2012   10-inch, A Library

ah-e ah-e Ah-e Ah!
Garage rock, always almost not that tune no one could
ever guess, and by just a smidgen; and it couldn’t
matter any less, of course it sounds good, it’s that
almost not that really great tune. Less simple, not
fine touches, catchy mathy, fit for a sprint, Blank
Club enthused, ha ya ha ya ha. By technicality, better
than the rip off originals, rewrites for performance,
this is not perfectionism at work (still cool too, by
the nature of music, it’s still enjoyable.) Whether
it’s Sunset Strip, Great America, Laguna Beach, or
Police Academy 1 or 2, wherever you play your music,
may it always sound good like this. Hear it on No Way
Out, Record Roundup, Hippies Graveyard, any place that
has room for Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life and bubblegum
rock, has room for this.
-Eveningly Infinitely Wipes Scrub Sonny Atoms Grizzly

Death Sentence: Panda / The Dreams [coll] – [Bibimbap]

Max Level   2/27/2011   10-inch, A Library

Nicely moody stuff and I like it.
Side A: Death Sentence: Panda! An intriguing 7-1/2 minute composition that moves through a few different territories: a flute-led march leads to a noisy vocal section, which turns into a noisy instrumental section, which devolves into a droning throb that ends the piece.
Side B: The Dreams turn in a set of raggedy no-wave tribal rock. Mostly percussion, guitar, and vocals, with occasional keyboards and flute. Semi-hypnotic stuff, reminding me of some of the material I’ve heard by the Hop-Frog folks.

Divorce – “Divorce” – [Optimo Music]

ophelia necro   2/20/2011   10-inch, A Library

Five piece out of Glasgow making punk rock/noise inspired by No Wave. Divorce is Sinead Youth: vocals – Hillary Van Scoy: guitar, vocals – VSO: bass, vocals – Andy Browntown: drums, vocals – Vickie MacDonald: guitar.This album is from 2009. It was their debut 10″ and is on red vinyl. Optimo is a label run by JD Twitch, one part of a DJ duo out of Glasgow. Refer to the collection “60 Minutes of Fear” for more info about J.D. Twitch. This would work well in a set with Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Uxa, Swans, etc.

Mountain Man – “Sun Dog” – [Underwater People’s Records]

Sir Cumference   2/11/2011   10-inch, A Library

From Vermont, we have three talented women who sing folk harmonies with minimal to no accompaniment. This is just a taste of this delicious trio’s talents, with only five songs to whet your appetite (a full length release has also been released, which include variations of the songs from this EP). What I can come up with in terms of a comparison, and perhaps a little unfair, is an acapella Neko Case times three. The songs are sweet and – sadly – short. So if you’re even marginally inclined to play folk, or acapella, or women singers then you should definitely give this a go. If you’re not so inclined, then just play “Honeybee” as it’s the shortest…

Bomboras, The – “Organ Grinder” – [Dionysus Records]

Cousin Mary   1/14/2011   10-inch, A Library

The Bomboras are from Southern California; they were mostly active in the late 1990’s. Organ Grinder from 1995/1997 is ten exuberant, noisy tracks that sound as if they were recorded live. Great energy, fine guitar, bass, and drums, organ is a plus. Production values are not super great, but this sort of adds to the charm.

PGM: Vocals on track 9 (side B, track 4). Breaks between tracks are sometimes filled with audience noise and talking.

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