KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Orchid – “Dance Tonight! Revolution… ” – [Ebullition]

Max Level   1/29/2006   10-inch, A Library

More over the top hardcore from Orchid, in my book possibly the most astonishing band ever. Short blasts of furious guitar/bass/drums power, and unbelievable screamed vocals. Read the lyrics, they’re somewhat vague but thoughtful as hell. Revolution, philosophy, love, it’s all here. The final two tracks are longer than the others and slow things down once in a while for contrast. This material was recorded in 1999; Orchid is, sadly, now defunct. I’m sure gonna miss ’em.

Man Is the Bastard / Locust – “Split ” – [King of the Monsters]

Max Level   1/4/2006   10-inch, A Library

1996 release. MITB provides three tracks of pissed-off apocalyptic ranting over harsh, ugly noise tracks, with tiny noise vignettes in between. This is part two of MITB’s “Our Earth’s Blood” series. Locust (this 10″ was their recorded debut) stick to raging thrash and crazy yelling. Both sides are classic horrorshow material.

Aranos – “Whilst Your Gaiety Melts ” – [Beta-Lactam Ring Records]

Max Level   1/2/2006   10-inch, A Library

A limited release on this fearlessly experimental label. Aranos (pronounced, I believe, AIR-an-yosh), of the Czech Republic, offers two medium-long pieces. Side A (10 minutes) is the stranger of the two: it starts with bouncy piano/violin, adds some creepy crooning, then moves into a long, pulsing, echoing mass of violins. A melancholy violin solo appears, then some abstract whispering (“dragonflies! fragrant villages!” etc.) Finally, rattling percussion takes it out. Side B (15 minutes) is a soundscape thing, deep and mysterious; mostly quiet, things being bowed, rattled, etc. Very nice.

Amber Asylum – “Garden of Love ” – [Self Release]

Thurston Hunger   7/23/2005   10-inch, A Library

Bio-fidelic biofeedback from the living dead? Amber Asylum has
always had the prettiest corpses, whether suspended in amber,
or glimpsed ghostly in mirrors, or shrouded in white water
lillies on a black river. This self-released 10″ starts of
with a cello “death” march while Kris Force’s violin gathers
overhead. Actually the morbidity seems diminished on this
aspect of the Asylum. Instead the feeling of a fantastic
dream state is more in focus. The pace is very deliberate,
as in a dream when you cannot move your feet. It quickens
a bit in sections of the “Autonomy Suite” (which has a nice
gladiator stand-off contained within it…) Eventually vox
do arrive fashionably late on the first and final track of
this three song record. On the latter, “Still Point” while
Force’s counter-vocals still soar, Lorraine Rath’s lead has
a sort of jazzy croon to them. Sort of a strange contrast
for me, but surely KFJC’ers will eat this up like kids eat
up Halloween candy. One cautionary word about that last
track, it really does hit a “still point” about 2/3 of the
way into it. We get a death knell, someone says faintly
“that sounded okay” and then a reprise of dripping piano
and instead of a violin flying above it, it’s Liz Allbee
on trumpet at first. But then the Force is with us again,
some string jags and then breathless shrieking (looped?).
Could Amber Asylum be in the midst of a sea-change, what
waits beyond the pale silence at this ep’s end?

Navies/A Day in B&W [coll] – [Level Plane]

Thurston Hunger   7/23/2005   10-inch, A Library

Washington DC ticket, w/ promising candidate trios of Navies
and A Day in Black and White. Navies gets the top spot for
me, delivering static electricity generating rock…frenzied
tick marks along the neck of two guitars. Plus their lyrics
have more askew urgency, delivered in a sort of telegraphic
style…bursting dots and dashes. Guitar work is just rock
solid, good buzz and brittle scratch in addtion to voltage
chords. They are frenzifiers and a band to watch!!

On the flip side, ADIBAW can deliver the swing vote, voting
more down the middle of road, with a lyrical platform that
often tackles the inability to communicate. “All Plots” has
that sort of stop/start powered ballad that Speaks Canaries
to me, if you know what I mean…and even if you don’t. The
closer, “Old Songs” seems like a toss-away three-chord
monte…but the deal collapses in flaming house of feedback.

Navies make this a marbled marvel!

Khan – “Sweet Pink Lemonade ” – [Mille Plateaux]

Rococo   7/5/2005   10-inch, A Library

An ambient electro classic from 1994, courtesy of Can Oral (aka Khan) and the Mille Plateaux label. Part 1 of ‘Sweet Pink Lemonade? is a delicious 10-minute excursion into throbbing basslines, stuttering percussion, and oscillating, interweaving melodies. Flip the record over for Part 2 and you will find two shorter tracks, the first one a bit more rhythmically quirky (think Plaid, Black Dog, etc.) and the second one slightly more ambient. This lemonade may be over ten years old, but it still tastes mighty sweet to me.

Home Video – “That You Might/Dialogue Box ” – [Warp Records]

Rococo   7/5/2005   10-inch, A Library

The debut release from NYC-based Home Video is a pop/electronica hybrid that fits right in with a lot of New York’s output of late. ‘That You Might? features a thudding, retro synth beat straight out of New Order and some faintly croony, Thom Yorke-ish vocals, culminating in a crescendo of electronic distortion. ‘Dialogue Box? on the flip is a little more atmospheric and electronic, Boards of Canada style, with multi-tracked, dubby vocals. Still not sure what they’re singin’ about, though!

Parker, Andrea – ” Ballbreaker/Some Other Level” – [Mo Wax]

Rococo   7/5/2005   10-inch, A Library

One of the few women in contemporary electronic music returns for her third, eagerly-awaited release on the Mo’ Wax label. Following the “Melodious Thunk’ and “Rocking Chair’ EPs, this 10” finds Ms. Parker venturing into more abstract/experimental territory with two dark exercises in electro-dub. ‘Ballbreaker’ begins minimally and rather aimlessly before being focused by a heavy, stabbing synth pattern and some skittery, Autechre-ish beats. Eventually the whole thing decomposes at the end. “Some Other Level” uses similar textures but adds what sounds like an electric bass and strings for a fuller, and even funky, sound. Like its predecessor, this track too decomposes at the end. Parker is certainly widening her palette with this release and it makes her forthcoming album even more eagerly anticipated.

Bailiff, Jessica w/the.dithering.effect s/t [Resonant] (45 rpm)

outlier   3/12/2005   10-inch, A Library

Drift and reverb drench the haunting vocals of Bailiff while echoes of spacecraft vapors fill the void. The label is well-named, waves of drone are the attendant feature on this release. A slower, hazier, Twisted Village version of Amber Asylum. Or maybe drop Kendra Smith’s vocals in on the Garbage and the Flowers (TW-Deep Funnels of Entry comp), add drone and strum, chill and serve. A very enchanting sound, not quite sirenesque, but of the earth and sky. Some sundown haze and fresh air on the ‘there’ side. Jessica Bailiff is the female half of Clear Horizon (with David Pearce of Flying Saucer Attack), no letup on this release.
3w: HER MAGIC CONTINUES
– Outlier

Rocket 455 “Sees all- Knows all – Tells all” 45rpm [Get Hip]

jack soil   3/6/2005   10-inch, A Library, Format

With a name derived from an extremely powerful motor produced in motor city for
Oldsmobile in the early 70’s, it isn’t much of a stretch to figure out that Rock
et 455 tip their hat to the MC5 and Iggy Pop in a major way. Fast forward 25 ye
ars and not much has changed in terms of music stylings -this is a good thing.
You get 6 fast paced rockin tunes carved into this little 10″ gem. This is their
3rd release after two self-released 7″s. Rip roarin, full blown Detroit punk rock
with serious attitude and plenty of energy. Line these guys and gal up with
the likes of Duradelinquent and Lucky Thirteens for a dangerous evening. Sure,
there are alotta imitators out there, but few come as close to sounding like th
e real thing as Rocket 455. Fun and over wayyy tooo soon.

Christus and the Cosmonaughts “The Four Whore’s Men” [Beta-Lactam Ring]

Thurston Hunger   1/25/2005   10-inch, A Library, Format

Gear-head driven pagan prog rock to play Dungeons and
Dragons to, except it goes by too quickly. Scot Solida
is the lead sorcerer here, transmuting some personal
tragedy into music, by way of Midi cables and some at
times “overly clever” punning in lyrics. Their heart is
in the right place, but their head is at the forefront
enmeshed in a lot of synthesizers and some guitar
chain mail. They lose some hit points for drum machines
and faux British accents, but given some more time and
more faith in acoustic instruments, C & the C’s could
lead a revival of the nearly extinct brand of prog
rock Americana! A flesh drummer really would help
overcome the bred-in-captivity traps of trap-less
percussion. Does anyone remember Pestilence?

Sixtoo – ?Body Ache Summer (EP)? – [Ninja Tune] – (33 rpm)

Hunter Gatherer   1/23/2005   10-inch, A Library

Sixtoo is the prolific Canadian producer Robert Squire. We have a few of his many other releases filed under both Hip Hop and A Library. This is his third release on Ninja Tune.

This EP continues the dark, downtempo direction of his previous full-length Chewing On Glass and Other Miracle Cures sampling live musicians instead of records, laying down fat, slow beats, and permeating each track with a sense of dread.

Though only three tracks are listed on the back, there are six ‘songs? total.

A1: The first side is instrumental and made up of two main parts with a ‘bonus beat? coda that would be ideal to talk over on a quick break. The first part has a repeated theme, and the second part long string chords throb over the beat. This is somewhere between modern classical and hip hop.

B1: A quick song with loud drums and some synth sounds.

B2: Two songs from Chewing on Glass? separated by silence and remixed by Anticon artist alias featuring Sixtoo on the mic and some doodle-y harpsichord(!).

Language: B2 (Funny Sticks):?’shoved it up his ass? though it is unclear what is being shoved.

Rhetorical question: Why isn’t Michael Tilson Thomas working with new artists like Sixtoo who are putting out interesting music instead of Phil Lesh and Wynton Marsalis?

–Hunter Gatherer

Copyright © 2021 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File