KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Red Mass – “Red Mass” – [Red Lounge Records]

ophelia necro   1/20/2010   10-inch, A Library

Montreal based project featuring the Roller of CPC GANGBANGS. Sounds like CPC Gangbangs meets Velvet Underground. Psychedelic space rock ‘n’ roll with elements of noise, folk, punk and electronic music. Dark poppy hooks laced with strange sound effects. Male vox, guitar, drums, electronics, keyborads and flute (on Little Man). Red Mass is a collective featuring many artists/musicians from around the world.

Regular 10″Comes in ultra deluxe Gatefold Sleeve!!
Limited edition of 400 in Black Vinyl

Hintz, Daniel – “Grey Goat, The” – [Nice Ass]

Cousin Mary   1/12/2010   10-inch, A Library

???The Grey Goat??? is skull piercing, high frequency buzzing intensity from San Francisco noise artist Daniel Hintz who has also recorded with or as Hydrogen Pellets, Prolific Offender, and Leavenworth. Recorded during a 2005 KFJC live mic on Nozmo King???s show Psychoacoustic Soundclash, this is the last section of a 20-minute electric guitar improvisation using a Fender Stratocaster, a digital delay pedal, and a Marshall amp ??? at times rubbing the guitar across a ladder that happened to be in the KFJC pit.

Nice Ass features mp3s on its website and offers artists the opportunity to make a one-sided 78rpm for the radio station of their choice.

Bad Secrets – “Bad Secrets” – [Robotic Empire]

ophelia necro   10/7/2009   10-inch, A Library

BAD SECRETS debut 9″+CD release of seven tracks. Two-color silk-screened covers, custom 9″ records, color vinyl, CD of the same jams included. Musically it’s a cross between pinnacle shoegazer stuff and lo-fi, psyched out blues… brought to you by folks from YOUNG WIDOWS / BREATHER RESIST and KODAN ARMADA. On the Robotic Empire label out of Richmond, Virginia.
PRESSING INFO:
* 600 copies of “metallic red” (custom “metallic” pinkish-red color)

No language.

 

Mazawa, Julia – “Air Train” – [Nice Ass]

Max Level   9/12/2009   10-inch, A Library

Here’s something you don’t see every day… a one sided, 10″ slab of clear vinyl, meant to be played at 78 rpm! Get ready to hear a four minute audio verite portrait of what appears to be an underground train station, all rumbles and squeals and voices and transit announcements and such, presented by J. Mazawa, a local music mastermind and close personal friend of our own DJ Cousin Mary. It’s an interesting release on more than one level: the real-world sounds, the unusual physical format, the potential challenge of actually playing it, and so on. The piece cuts off cold at the end when someone conspicuously switches off the recorder.

Burning Star Core – “Amelia” – [No-Fidelity (UK)]

cinder   8/21/2009   10-inch, A Library

This is a release of BSC 2003 EP, originally out on CDR. The first track is an awesome looping, wavering synth track that creates images of bubbles floating to the surface. Sort of in a 70s electro way. Love the track title of the second…..Pigeon Homing Device. With that in mind, you can see a sketchy little rock dove freaking out and pecking at the ground with a computer tied to its back. Is this the sound of pigeon thoughts? Yes. Side B is 11 minutes of layered finger-purring synths that trickle down like waterfalls, and swooping electronic breezes.

Castro, Nick and The Young Elders – “a Day Without Disaster” – [a Silent Place]

lombard   5/26/2009   10-inch, A Library

This is a beautiful little EP from 2007, full of folk songs by L.A.-based Nick Castro and the Young Elders. Nick Castro had his solo debut in 2004 and has had notable co-conspirators ever since, including Josephine Foster and members of the Espers, Cul de Sac and Current 93.

On this particular release, Wendy Watson’s gorgeous voice sails above “Great Divide,” while other tracks are more of a back and forth with Nick Castro’s voice. “Sirens,” in particular, is a standout track featuring vocals by both. Whistle, harmonium, saz (a type of lute), mandolin, guitar, banjo, contrabass and dobro round out the decidedly retro sound. Other players include Christof Certik (banjo, mandolin, guitar), Ryan Kirkpatrick (contrabass) and Jebediah Lipson (dobro).

Hochstedder / Anchient Forrest [coll] – [Needleteeth Records]

ophelia necro   5/5/2009   10-inch, A Library

Needleteeth Records is a fledgling label out of Brooklyn, New York. This split 10″ is the first release on this label.
Side A brings you Hochstedder, a 3 piece project out of Brooklyn, NY with Dave Gilbert on bass & vocals, William Lacey on guitars and John McClellan on drums. Heavy, loud, pummeling metal. The first two songs track together at 5 minutes 4o seconds. Track three clocks in at 3 minutes and 5 seconds. All three tracks have language. The painting used for the cover for the Hochstedder side was done by Cynthia Alvarez.

Side B is Ancient Forrest out of Oakland, California with Polly Anderson on bass & vocals, Alicia Burbridge Digiovanni on drums and Tim Anderson on guitar.?? Sadly, this band is now defunct. This is also some hard rocking shit but with a witchy edge. “Transgenerational Haunting” runs 6 minutes and 42 seconds, “The Grand Empire of Granbretan” runs 5 minutes and 14 seconds. The cover art for the Ancient Forrest side was done by Tim Garside.

Twitch’s 10 Inches of Fear [coll] – [RVNG]

ophelia necro   3/10/2009   10-inch, A Library

This 10 inch is the companion to Mx6: Twitch’s 60 Minutes of Fear. The release includes 4 “Twitch re-edits” of songs by Flux of Pink Indians, Honey Bane, The Mob and Zounds. All 4 bands were part of the anarcho-punk scene of late 70s and early 80s UK. JD Twitch is one half of Glasgow’s dj duo Optimo which host a long running Sunday night based club. The “re-edits” are subtle and emphasize the rhythmic and dancier aspects of the tracks chosen. Don’t get hung up on the use of “dancier”, these are all exceptional post-punk tracks.
Flux Of Pink Indians were an anarcho-punk/post punk band that originated from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England.
Honey Bane (born in London) is an English singer and actress who began her musical career at the age of 14 in when she formed the punk rock band the Fatal Microbes. After the 1979 breakup of the Fatal Microbes, she began a collaboration with the Essex-based anarcho-punk activist band Crass.
The Mob were an anarcho-punk band originally from Yeovil, Somerset, England during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Zounds were a UK anarchist band formed in 1977 out of Reading, United Kingdom (1977 ??? 1982). They were part of the cassette culture movement and were also involved in the squatting and free festival scene.

We have material from each of these artists but the Honey Bane track “Guilty” is the only original version from this release that we have in our library.

Black Forest/Black Sea – “Portmanteau ” – [Secret Eye]

Cousin Mary   1/12/2009   10-inch, A Library

BF/BS is Miriam Goldberg (cello) and Jeffrey Alexander (guitar). They are joined by Joe Graham (fiddle) and Miriam???s sister Margot Goldberg (phonorgan). A phonorgan is a machine that plays 45???s and 33???s and has a push button keyboard and a pitch knob for playing along with the record.

Free form ??? I hear folk, psych, and electronic music. Limited 500-copy edition. Very cool!

Free Spirits – “Presents Acknowledgement For JC ” – [Kindred Spirits]

Cousin Mary   1/12/2009   10-inch, Jazz

Dwight Trible???s vocals are rich and full and his improvisations write the book for jazz singers. Here he is working with Billy Higgins (drums) and Charles Owens (sax) on side A and members of Build An Ark on side B. Side A???s ???A Love Supreme??? is a very worthy and moving cover of the Acknowledgement section of this masterpiece written by John Coltrane. Side B???s ???A Love Supreme??? is a one-minute track that doesn???t go very far. Side B has fine renditions of Abbey Lincoln???s ???Wholly Earth??? and Bill Lee???s ???John Coltrane???.

Garland, Peter – “Matachin Dances ” – [Cold Blue]

Thurston Hunger   7/29/2008   10-inch, A Library

Live recording from 1981 up in San Francisco, that has aged
as well as these dances themselves. While it seems modern
matachin (or matachine) dances focus on shaker percussion
and steps to match, typically with large throngs of dancers,
here the sound is stripped down and isolated in sentiment.
Kicking around an emotion, rather than kicking up heels.
Garland himself on the gourd rattles here is the *background*
to the dualing violins. The strings move with elegance and
a hint of elegy. Except for the nimble closing sixth piece
and a little rush on #3, the pace is as stately as a
hand-maiden’s parlor. Garland’s compositions stir more sorrow
than dust. One violin will split off counter-harmonically to
the other and then rejoin. The piece dead-icated to John
Lennon is the most lachrymose, but it really has a lasting
beauty to it. The second dance two has a melody that sort of
falls down, and then the gourd lifts it back to its feet.
That was my favorite. All pieces are fairly short, with space
inside and between them that can lead a DJ into tracking them
which is not so bad, as they are all cut of roughly the same
cloth. Speaking of rough, I found an online recording that
had two more grizzled violins doing a matachine, quite
compelling. The dance allegedly may have colonizing roots,
so that online version might be the more indigenous weed
whereas Garland sort of recaptures and recolonizes the source.
Quite a lot to this spare 10″. -Thurston Hunger

Fun fact? One of the violinist has been concertmaster for
Joel Grey, Liberace, Dionne Warwick and Tony Bennett, so now
you’ve got to play it?

Suffering Bastard / Cock E.S.P. [coll] – [Breathmint Records]

cinder   7/11/2008   10-inch, A Library

Suffering Bastard (from Rhode Island of all places) take the A side by the balls. Brutal dual bass & drums GRIND. Short blasts leaving you with a sore throat. The tracks get more muffled as the side goes on. Unintellagible lyrics, but I’m sure there’s some fucks on A3. Reminds me of house parties in downtown San Jose. Tattoos and beer welcome.
Cock E.S.P come out of Minneapolis. A trio of electronic noise and shrieking vocals. Sounds like a chick is being shot through a water hose of damaged radio frequencies while her hair is on fire and her face is melting. I guess a Wicked Witch of the West would be a good fit. Painful beautiful scraping electronics. Last track is live (but swears at the end, boooo!)

Beequeen – “Sandancing Demos ” – [Important Records]

cinder   5/8/2008   10-inch, A Library

Beequeen is Dutch musicians Freek Kinkelaar & Frans de Waard. This is actually a 10″ featuring 8 short demos for their Sandancing album. Mostly (Lou Reed-ish) male vocals, but Olga Wallis lends a female voice on a few tracks. Other guests include Barry Gray (known for his work in the early 80s with The Legendary Pink Dots) and Kees Rietveld on guitar. Simple, mellow pop songs with a semi-melancholy feel to them. Original versions, stripped down, rough mixes, and one unreleased (B1) track!

Stott, Andy – “Handle With Care / See In Me ” – [Modern Love]

Thurston Hunger   3/14/2007   10-inch, A Library

Ahhhhhh, bass that can relocate your solar plexus. That’s the first thing
that hits you off this record. Also some Basic Channel moves, but with
a lot more space…and a lot less pace. “Handle with Care” is the happier
of the two numbers and its dub vibe is the warm aquatic variety, with some
synth-snare and hi-hat snapping like a soda can. Pop top low end drop!
There’s also a hint of mournful cathedral organ keyboard that foreshadows
the beauty on the flipside. On “See in Me” the dub moves from island
waters to outer space. Very dark, wonderfully minimal, and bleak. But the
bass is so heavy on this it might make Stephen Hawking believe in black
holes again. Deep and deeper still, it doesn’t enter your ears, it just
sort of permeates them…and your whole skull at the same time. Halfway
through the cathedral organ enters, although this time is more like
that sort of mortuary drone. Very somber, shifting gently, droning
alone. Then some isolated bass and drum for a few measures before
channeling out. Thick and thin at the same time…

-Thurston Hunger

Wooden Shijps – “Shrinking Moon For You ” – [Self Release]

Anthony Fremont   3/9/2007   10-inch, A Library

A swirling tempest of pop inflected psychedelic scourge from one of SF’s up ‘n comers. Side A takes no time to grab hold and launch into a sonic romp of repetitious forging melody and rhythmic clatter as flaring guitar weaves throughout the constant driving pulse. Side B opens with a tuneful psych-pop number with hyper-tensive keys and infectiously memorable stretched out hooks harkening back to the Spacemen 3 sound. Closing track shows an experimental drone side with recurring pulsation through oscillating electronics, spoken word and feedback loops. An all too brief voyage through this limited edition.
-AFremont

Fear Falls Burning – “We Slowly Lift Ourselves From Dust ” – [a Silent Place]

Max Level   2/10/2007   10-inch, A Library

Interesting atmospherics by way of Belgium. The one-man drone project Vidna Obmana also plays solo guitar as FFB. Here he performs two long drone-driven pieces completely live, direct-to-digital, with no editing or overdubs. Side A (13:57) starts with a deep, slow, stoner fuzz loop, then adds other subtle, shimmering loop activities as it goes along. The fuzz guitar fades away at perhaps the nine-minute mark, leaving us with an airy Emaj chord (think ???In A Silent Way??? by Miles Davis) to carry us home. Strangely, this side cuts off cold at the end, goes silent for about ten seconds, then returns for one final quiet chord. So it???s not quite over when you think it is. Side B (13:47) picks up more or less where the other side left off, jumping in with a similar floating, sustained chord. Although the sounds are nice, the quiet rhythmic thumping heard throughout most of this side is distracting; it sounds like a minor vinyl pressing defect, but I???m pretty sure it isn???t. Just an artful audio touch, I guess. Unlike Side A, this side really does end cold.

NV Groep ’65 – “Dank zij de Heer ” – [Grey Past Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   10/26/2006   10-inch, A Library

The A-side of this 10″ EP is just amazing. Droning, sacred vocals
strafe the title track (they even shine in the dirtier demo version
on side B). Heart-breaking, staircase down chords, they even mutter
something about “Ave Maria” to accentuate the Gregorian jonesing
going on. The piece see-saws between major and minor keys and could
sound as great in a dank hall in 1965 as it could sound in a set
with Crescent today. The second track is a paean to pot (well this
was recorded in Amsterdam, where people are required by *law* to
toke ;>). Speaking of winks, evidently the lead singer was referred
to (and possibly by himself) as Jesus…and hey he didn’t even feel
compelled to kill anyone! Take note all you budding messiahs! But
anwyays the pop here, and the harmonies in three spirits are divine.
They soar on “Lost” which gallops, as the girl gallops away and Pim
Abbestee hits a few high notes and has his voice break perfectly.
At other times Pim just let’s his falsetto flag fly! Finally on
“Pipe and you like it” more smoke, and harmonies that contract and
expand. Breathe in, breathe out…and then here’s a hippie hoedown
break. Again the A-side of this is remarkably good garage with a
psychedelic Dutch door! The B-side has two Mersey toe-poppers,
“Show me the right way to find her…before I kill myself.” Ah,
sweet innocent pop, and young obsessive love. With a tambourine
that means business! A great re-release, and lengthy notes in
packaging, minus two points for labelling four tracks wrong.
Seriously, do not miss this timeless gem!!

-Thurston Hunger

Mas Rock and Roll [coll] – [Electro Harmonix]

Thurston Hunger   5/3/2006   10-inch, A Library

Just plain fun on a stick, deep-fuzz-fried and sweet. Yep
behold a musical churro. Mighty tasty, throughout. Never
taking itself too seriously, often the music sets up some
dramatic charged reverb monologue, as if it were plucked out
of a B-movie. Psycho-active garage rock, some weird ass
herbs and tape mod make things often better than the original
Yanqui roots. There are some covers here, but as with the
Cambodian and Thai comps, the best results come completely
indigenous. Still you may enjoy “A Magic Carpet Ride” dipped
in mescal (D-4), or “Baby Please Don’t Go” (C-2) with its
great twisted playout. Evidently the 5 Torquays were later
to become the Monks, but they’re not even the tops here with
their sort of Everly effort. The first four tracks on lado
uno are loaded with lardo. Greasy rumble rock, delicioso!
Check the raspy vocals of Peru’s “Los Saicos” or Mexico’s
“Los Yaki”, ruling! Surfers De Los Campeones win a ragged
drag race claiming the “Checkered Flag” with a flat-tire of
an amp. “Los Sinners” dance El Baile Final!! Annette and
Frankie ear your corazons out. Los Holys serve up swank spy
organ and shadow guitar. The last disc (os?) mutates towards
psych, but there’s great garage, pop with those old wheezy
keyboards, even Beatles inflections on the other three discs.
Really this just has the rock and roll spirit in abundance.
-El Hombre del Hambre

ultrasound & Acid Mothers Temple “In G” [Time-Lag Records]

cujo   2/20/2006   10-inch, A Library

Recorded at an Austin radio station at SXSW a few years ago, this is a half-cadencing collaborative homage to Terry Riley’s In C from ultrasound and the Acid Mothers Temple. Of course, this being a space-rocking pot-spinning physics experiment, the result bears practically no resemblance at all to In C (except for a token reference made around 4 minutes into side A). Mothers’ Higashi Hiroshi in particular gets a workout on the theremin, as does Cotton Casino on synth. They’re busy enough that the rest of the gang rarely gets more than a few moments of their own to shine, unable to bust out in fireworks of
their own. Printed on transparent 10″ vinyl with no markings whatsoever; unable to aurally distinguish a side A from a side B, I arbitrarily named the sides.

Side B: 11:00
Side A: 7:10

-Cujo, KFJC, February 2006

*March 18, 2006 edit: Apparently an anonymous staffer more discerning than I discovered which sides were actually A and B. Naturally, my assignments were wrong. I have corrected the references in this review.

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