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Music Reviews

Chaotic Dischord – Don’t Throw It All Away [Puke N Vomit Records]

beastofbourbon   1/17/2022   12-inch, A Library

“Of course it was a joke, and we were actually quite disturbed when so many people took it seriously”

Evo Stix – Drummer -Vice Squad/Chaotic Dischord

Chaotic Dischord are a side project of the legendary Bristol, England punk rock band Vice Squad. Made up from a couple members and roadies as a joke in response to the anarcho-crust punk that started dominating the UK punk scene in the early 80s. The joke went over well enough to get them signed to Bristol’s Riot City along with label mates Abrasive Wheels, Chaos UK, Disorder, and The Varukers. They even gained the positive attention of the influential SF Bay Area punk ‘zine and radio show Maximum Rocknroll even though  founder Tim Yohannon was not fond of Vice Squad. They pulled it off with aggressive, crusty songs about the Government, “Sausage, Beans, and Chips’, Doc Martens, and even a couple of songs featuring Captain Sensible; one being an updated version of the Sex Pistols “Rock and Roll Swindle”. In spite of it being a joke they kept it up well into the late 80s and even re-forming for the Rebellion Festival 2022 in Blackpool, England

Beast of Bourbon

CR Dicks – Dick Moves [Slovenly]

beastofbourbon   1/17/2022   12-inch, A Library

“There is nothing wrong with your speaker. It’s supposed to sound that way”

Beast of Bourbon

Dick Moves, the sophomore release from CR Dicks is an eclectic collection of songs that grows on you. CR Dicks is a project from veterans of the Cedar Rapids, IA skate punk scene, including. Andy Caffery of ‘90s garage punk band The Horrors and Pete Balestrieri saxophonist of  Violent Femmes. All eight tracks bring different forms of music: stoney blues rock, psych, noise, hip hop, trip hop, acid jazz, and hardcore skate punk. I hope to get more of CR Dicks in the future

Beast of Bourbon

Music From The Motion Picture Black Snake Moan [coll] – [New West Records]

carsonstreet   1/12/2022   12-inch, Soundtrack

This soundtrack to the film written and directed by Craig Brewer is steeped in the Southern blues. The big surprise here is how well actor Samuel L. Jackson holds his own as a blues singer. There are tracks from Son House and R.L. Burnside so Jackson had some tough competition. He sounds like a throwback to the classic Delta bluesmen on “Just Like a Bird Without a Feather,” does a convincing take on the Blind Lemon Jefferson title track and rocks the juke joint on “Alice Mae” and “Stack-O-Lee.” Also on this record is the Black Keys’ “When the Lights Go Out”, Bobby Rush’s classic “Chicken Heads” and Precious Bryant’s “Morning Train”.” The Son House tracks run 12 and 22 seconds so if your “Current” tank is a little low – top it off.

Black Snake Moan is a dark modern tale of love, betrayal, sex, and salvation set in the Deep South and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake. The film is the 2nd feature by writer-director Craig Brewer, whose 1st film Hustle & Flow won an Academy Award for Best Song and the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. Black Snake Moan was filmed in Memphis, Tennessee and surrounding environs.

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 66% based on 157 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Uninhibited performances, skillful direction, and a killer blues soundtrack elevate Black Snake Moan beyond its outlandish premise.” On the television program Ebert & Roeper, filmmaker Kevin Smith described the film as “the best of the year thus far”. Smith praised Ricci and Jackson, saying this was “Ricci’s best performance and Jackson’s best performance since Pulp Fiction”. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone declared the film: “the year’s Worst Soft-Core Sex” on his list of the Worst Movies of 2007. When I first saw the album cover I thought “oh, boy – turkey” – maybe, maybe not. The music is great and Justin Timberlake doesn’t sing.  

Lamp of The Universe/Align In The Fourth Dimension

carsonstreet   1/12/2022   12-inch, A Library

This is the 6th chapter of the Psychedelic Battles. The concept of the Psychedelic Battles series is a split album between two bands. One must come from Italy. On this, Volume, 6, the band from Italy is Sherpa. The other band comes from Sweden and they are called Dean Allen Foyd. Both bands are playing modern psychedelic music.

Dean Allen Foyd is a psychedelic band based in Stockholm, Sweden, with a wide range of music styles. Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd, Arthur Lee’s Love and Captain Beefheart can be seen as some of their influences, but at the same time the band takes a step forward making their sound modern and updated.

Sherpa are from Sherpa, Italy and are described as psychedelic occult band. Bandcamp says of Sherpa: ” Sherpa is the new course. Sherpa is what was born from the ashes of Edith Aufn. It’s a necessary change, a natural evolution.”

The A side belongs to the Swedish guys. Dean Allen Foyd have managed since 2010 to establish their own unique style and the opener here “Atlas” is a characteristic Dean Allen Foyd track with a bluesy psych aura and a sharp late 60s rock edge. “The Return Of Burt Burrito” is a heavy rock instrumental while “The Shifting” is a psychedelic rocker, infused with huge amounts of high quality “psychedelic substances”.  The ‘A’ side closes with “My Bloody Walls”, full of acoustic guitars, harmonica, and a bluesy attitude emerging an acid spacey psych feel.

Side ‘B’ is two tracks by Sherpa. “Look To La Luna” starts by creating modern trippy soundscapes, atmospheric and mind-bending, with a spacey edge, becoming “controlled” heavy towards the end with this lazy torturous guitar feedback. “Moon’s Biology Portrait” has a creepy atmosphere under a foggy haunted psych background, a late-night effected tune becoming psychedelically trippy.

Dean Allen Foyd Vs Sherpa: Psychedelic Battles 6 [coll]

carsonstreet   1/12/2022   12-inch, A Library

This is the 6th chapter of the Psychedelic Battles. The concept of the Psychedelic Battles series is a split album between two bands. One must come from Italy. On this, Volume, 6, the band from Italy is Sherpa. The other band comes from Sweden and they are called Dean Allen Foyd. Both bands are playing modern psychedelic music.

Dean Allen Foyd is a psychedelic band based in Stockholm, Sweden, with a wide range of music styles. Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd, Arthur Lee’s Love and Captain Beefheart can be seen as some of their influences, but at the same time the band takes a step forward making their sound modern and updated.

Sherpa are from Sherpa, Italy and are described as psychedelic occult band. Bandcamp says of Sherpa: ” Sherpa is the new course. Sherpa is what was born from the ashes of Edith Aufn. It’s a necessary change, a natural evolution.”

The A side belongs to the Swedish guys. Dean Allen Foyd have managed since 2010 to establish their own unique style and the opener here “Atlas” is a characteristic Dean Allen Foyd track with a bluesy psych aura and a sharp late 60s rock edge. “The Return Of Burt Burrito” is a heavy rock instrumental while “The Shifting” is a psychedelic rocker, infused with huge amounts of high quality “psychedelic substances”.  The ‘A’ side closes with “My Bloody Walls”, full of acoustic guitars, harmonica, and a bluesy attitude emerging an acid spacey psych feel.

Side ‘B’ is two tracks by Sherpa. “Look To La Luna” starts by creating modern trippy soundscapes, atmospheric and mind-bending, with a spacey edge, becoming “controlled” heavy towards the end with this lazy torturous guitar feedback. “Moon’s Biology Portrait” has a creepy atmosphere under a foggy haunted psych background, a late-night effected tune becoming psychedelically trippy.

Suzuki, Damo / Numinous Eye / Eto, Steve/High School Pharmacy

carsonstreet   1/12/2022   12-inch, A Library

Recorded live at Pink Noise, Tokyo March 8, 2007.

Damo Suzuki is a Japanese musician who has been living in Germany since the early 1970s and is best known as the former lead singer of Can (1970-1973).

Numinous Eye is a project of guitarist Mason Jones (formerly of SubArachnoid Space). Usually working with a drummer, plying psychedelic waters filled with noisy waves of guitar, synth, and more.

Steve Eto is a Japanese percussionist. Born April 20, 1958 in Los Angeles. His younger brother is the percussionist Leonard Eto.

Mason Jones says: “In the spring of 2007 Numinous Eye had a short tour of Japan planned. We had all the shows booked and our plane ticket purchased. Then I discovered that Damo was visiting Japan around the same time. After a quick email we found that he was free to play on March 8, which was the date we would be arriving in Japan! It was providence, so we arranged to play together, and Damo invited Steve Eto as well. Playing an improvised show, with no planning ahead of time, after a transcontinental flight, was probably not wise, but it was psychedelic. And it was great.”

Rider / Horse “Select Trials” [Ever / Never]

atavist   1/11/2022   12-inch, A Library

Those familiar with Spray Paint will recognize the spoken/chanted vocal stylings of Cory Plump. Here he’s getting through a pandemic with some jangly, angular, minimalistic rock in collaboration with Chris Turco, who has contributed to projects like Trans Am and Les Savy Fav. We encounter pounding rhythms, jittery guitars, and various electronically induced textures running underneath. Some amorphous weirdness on the last two tracks must be the pedal steel by Zoots Houston. The sound quality is a little sharper than some Spray Paint stuff I’ve heard—props to Turco for handling the engineering where they opted to make this thing, in Plump’s COVID-shut down music venue. The sound is sharp, anxious, and full despite the minimal instrumentation. A dance of structure and discohesion. Chime Inn and Code Clicker are early favorites. “I’m growing tired of getting tired” he says in The Windows are Your Arms. For real.

File #733 UFO: Further Investigation [coll] – [Modern Harmonic]

Jay Omega   1/9/2022   12-inch, A Library

This is a unique double LP. It is basically a kit for blending a narrated interview with a Psych/Experimental/Electronic bed. The first LP is a reissue of a series of interviews narrated by Jack Jenkins from 1966, with the vintage sound and production you’d expect. The interviews are all with people who have either seen UFO’s, interacted directly with aliens, or have some other relevant expertise. The second LP is designed to be the bed for the first LP and consists of a collection of pieces by various musicians, including some A-listers like Mugstar, Kikagaku Moyo, and White Manna. These contributions have been overlapped and cross faded into one continuous track per side.  What’s great about this format is you can create your own blending by substituting something for one of the LPs. Or forgo the mixing and just play any part standalone. The point, I think, is to have fun with this.

Hyrrokkin / Merzbow – “Faltered Pursuit” – [Sleeping Giant Glossolalia]

whngr   1/5/2022   12-inch, A Library

Weirdo freak-out three piece Hyrrokkin (Yellow Springs, Ohio) join forces with seminal noise project Merzbow (Tokyo, Japan) like an international, sonic sūpā robotto, four separate entities uniting into one electronic ultra-unit, sworn to perforate eardrums and undermine sensible sound appreciation. 

Side A consists of two slightly more subdued, though still raucous, tracks with conventional instrumentation employing poly-metered art rock bursts, processed accordion and diminutive electronics. The reverse is a more oblique collection of mid-weight electronic abstraction and sound collage with meandering, buried vocals and apparently is a remix of side A by one Rob Mazurek though without knowing such one might be hard pressed to hear the source material extant in the side long track.

The name Hyrrokkin is taken from Old-Norse mythology. She was a jötunn (an entity that is similar to a frost giant that is not necessarily dissimilar to a god or a troll) who played an important role in the last decades Iceland’s pagan beliefs.
Merzbow or Mertsubau is drawn from the Dadaist, Surrealist, Constructionist, work of Kurt Schwitters who informed Masami Akita’s interest in the junk art aesthetic.

Transglobal – 2021

Dissevelt, Tom & Kid Baltan – "Fascinating World of Electronic Music, The" – [We Are Busy Bodies]

cinder   1/5/2022   12-inch, A Library

A reissue of the great 1959 album from Dutch electronic musicians Tom Dissevelt and Kid Baltan. It’s spy noir jazz, electronic squiggles and squirms, playful rhythms, BBC Radiophonic Workshop-esque, 50’s Disney documentary & mid century futuristic visions all mixed together. Magical, charming and whimsical fun! Each track really tells a story with the layout of sounds and themes.

Blectum From Blechdom – "Deep Bone" – [Deathbomb Arc]

cinder   1/5/2022   12-inch, A Library

Duo of composed of Kevin Blechdom (Kristin Grace Erickson) and Blevin Blectum (Bevin Kelley). Quirky, magical and entertaining spunky electronic cacophonies of interesting sounds and whimsical treats! A few with effected vox in robotical ways. Super fun and playful.
Two covers – Jackie (written by Jacques Brel, Gérard Jouannest, and Mort Shuman), and Noise About Boys (Olsen Twins, haha) featuring Eugene S Robinson beat boxing (Oxbow)!   

Wasted Cathedral – "I'm Gonna Love You 'til The End of Time" – [Centripetal Force / Cardinal Fuzz]

cinder   1/5/2022   12-inch, A Library

Hypnotic, drifty and transcendal. Solo project of Saskatoon-based musician Christopher Laramee (Shooting Guns, The Switching Yard, and The Radiation Flowers). This is definitely one to bring together both the psych heads and the electronic peeps. It’s chill, has a downtempo vibe, but also uses droned guitars and pedals for a floating tendril feel. Has the perfect rainy day, window gazing, cozy blanket and hot sipping broth vibe. They say if you’re into Flying Saucer Attack, DJ Shadow, Spiritualized, and Portishead (no vocals) you’ll dig this and I agree. Lovely!  

Platonos, Lena – “Balancers” – [Dark Entries]

humana   1/3/2022   12-inch, A Library

These are poems set to electronic backgrounds that were recorded between 1982 and 1985 by Greek electronic musician, composer, and poet Platonos. The liner notes describe the meaning and inspiration of each song, which is nice for those who can’t understand the very earthy Greek. A couple just have field sounds and electronics, while most of them focus on the spoken words of the poems set to minimal aural backgrounds. These previously unreleased tracks fill a nostalgic niche.

Aldebaran “…From Forgotten Tombs” [Kreation Records]

atavist   1/3/2022   12-inch, A Library

This 12” from 2008 compiles tracks from a couple of this Portland, Oregon doom band’s early 7” and split releases (plus a cover of “The Ghoul” by Pentagram). A little stonery, a bit crusty, all cranked into the red and heavy. Appropriately foul vocal stylings, guitars perpetually on the verge of careening into unrestrained feedback. They dig Lovecraft, and track 3, “They Bend the Trees and Crush the Cities” is instrumental save a Yog Sothoth incantation audio sample. “Aldebaran Red” is the big epic track, and “Tower of Famine” has a bluesy riff that gives way, in the middle, to a wild sprint before stumbling, as if catching its breath, into thick plodding doom. “The Ghoul”, with its satisfyingly ghoulish lyrics, closes out a consistent record. Every track does the trick.

Nadja “Sonnborner” [Broken Spine]

atavist   1/3/2022   12-inch, A Library

Two contrasting sides of a 12” from the stalwart minimalist guitar dronescape pioneers Nadja. Side A, played at 33rpm, is a 21.5 minute sonic landscape that slowly builds and builds from a quiet, somber beginning into a classic Nadja wall of sound via plaintive swells of strings. Having led the listener through the storm, the track fades out into an extended passage of haunting strings. Side B, played at 45rpm, consists of three quick, high-tempo and high-energy tracks followed by a slow tempo closer. Though distinct, the side B tracks essentially run together—the pauses between them are almost non-existent. Slabs of distorted drone wash with pounding programmed drums cut through with straight up metal riffs. Ghostly whispered growling vocals amidst a wash of echo. “Stillborn (A Fragment)” provides a respite from the onslaught, sunlight breaking through the thunderheads—but it clocks in under 2 minutes. Sunborn (Coda) wraps up the album with a return to Nadja’s typical tempo, eluding to side A before sinking under its own weight. This release sees Nadja trying out new textures and compositional structures and the result is moving and intriguing.

Bullwackies All Stars -Dub Unlimited – [BCP]

Thee Opinataur   12/31/2021   12-inch, Reggae

These dubs are from some of Lloyd ‘Bullwackie’ Barnes’s earliest recording years at the original White Plains Road studio in NY. Most of them reworked singles from various labels with the core rhythm tracks straight from Jamaica. The sound quality on all of these is good, clean, solid sound. But I sense they may also have lost some of the original grittiness in the digital transfer. Good track diversity, with soothing, relaxed dubs and hypnotic rhythms to fat & funky chill-out beats. Two to four-minute dubs to mellow out and lay back to.

Originally released in 1976 on his Senrab label (Barnes spelled backward) Re-released in 2006 by Berlin duo Moritz Von Oswald & Mark Ernestus via Basic Channel.
Barnes was a protege of Prince Buster while in Jamaica and played his engineering roots at Treasure Isle studios before moving to New York. Wackies was one of the first Reggae labels based in the US and is still going strong today.- Thee Opinataur

Kasai, Toshi – “Plan D NE” – [Joyful Noise Recordings]

whngr   12/16/2021   12-inch, A Library

Percussive Analog Synth from the industrious visionary Toshi Kasai of Big Business, Altamont, Deaf Nephews, engineer, producer, and collaborator of and with innumerable projects from Melvins, Totimoshi, Helmut, to Tool, et.alia, explores an anachronistic fantasy world evoking drug-addled dragons, alien psy-ops, aquatic sleep paralysis, and more artifice of one’s subconscious mind in a universe of seemingly unconstrained creativity that despite often feeling improvisational still flirts with the obsessive mad artist trope that I tend to enjoy.

A kind of sound engineer’s sandbox, Kasai employs several drummers from his esteemed (and varied) circle to ensconce themselves in his sonic throne festooned with MIDI triggers while he fondles his copious collection of analog synthesizers that can resolve to a sort of svelte prog. Only two instruments but with layers and complexity that may send some of you back to that Love In back in ’72 when you mixed your opium with your acid, felt your mind dissolve as the oil-lamps churned… and sound became your savior or perhaps more currently, a Nyquil overdose filled with aural hallucinations and irregular heartbeats.

You’ll probably dig this album in headphones. There are some spatial aspects that bend the mind and while the mixing feels carefully considered, the performances are at times chaotic and frenzied, while the element of improvisation (ostensibly) lends a note of immediacy existing simultaneously under a highly buffed post-production polish. There is courage and honesty in the arrangements and a sense that giving yourself up to the moment will yield otherwise unattainable results. Is it art or an exercise, an installation or a happening? Whatever it is, it isn’t easy… benefits from multiple listens, may be unrepeatable, and has no rival… excepting the other three three slabs from the four EP set, coming soon.

Los Angeles – 2021

Computer – “American Digital Prayer” – [Skrot Up]

whngr   12/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

A buffet of mostly palatable sound collage with a sprawling variety of sonic ingredients dumped on our plates and swirled with a wry wink, a nod, and perhaps even a résumé. 

Possibly the most diverse (neuro-divergant?) collection of sounds this volunteer has attempted to review on two side-long tracks. Profoundly bizarre, slightly humorous, abstract, and oblique sounds that tend to be unnerving but rarely dissonant and even more infrequently harsh. I, for one, found the country western vocal with guitar accompaniment portion on side A to be the most unsettling (about 25 seconds worth all told), but you may find the chicken clucks, soliloquy, monolog, lecture, and dialog between, intellectuals, lunatics, distressed townies, and artificial intelligences to be more disturbing. A leaning tower of previously unrelated sounds are sewn together with a thread of digitally generated abstractions including hip-hop, clip-clop, samples, and simple pimple problem goblins, dog barks, drowning sharks, sinking arks, and shimmering digital trouble bubbles. Side B is moderately less disjointed and a skosh more serene but contains many of the same elements and may still test the aurally thin skinned among us.

Computer is Kyle Borodkin (marketing/front-end developer, game designer, with (a) “demonstrated history of working in the airlines/aviation & GIS [Graphic Information Systems] industries”) of Seattle (now living in the Bay Area) and cohorts, James Vail, John Laux. Self ascribed on Discogs as:

Experimental, Abstract, Donk, Ghettotech, Happy Hardcore, Footwork, Gabber, Halftime, Rhythmic Noise, Musique Concrète, Vaporwave, Sound Collage, Psy-Trance, Leftfield, Skweee, Ambient, Dialogue, Comedy, Experimental, Sound Art, Field Recording, Ghettotech, Noise, Therapy, Special Effects, Sermon, Religious, Rhythmic Noise, Public Service Announcement

Originally released on cassette on April 1, 2020, this LP comes to us in late 2021 (about a year after we received the cassette) on Skrot Up and gives “special thanks” Stephen Spielberg’s 1971 action-thriller “Duel” on their bandcamp.

Quirky.

Cold Wave [coll] – [Soul Jazz Records]

cinder   12/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

Another killer compilation from Soul Jazz. This features current electronic acts that have all been influenced in sound by the early European cold wave artists of the late 70s and early 80s. Drum machines, lo-fi recording techniques, no wave post punk faux dance beats. Mostly instrumentals, some with vox. Cited influences call to Suicide, Patrick Cowley, The Normal, Martin Hannett, Laurie Anderson & Public Image. Soul Jazz always providing the best!

CIA Debutante – "Music For Small Rooms" – [Ever / Never]

cinder   12/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

Duo of Nathan Roche & Paul Bonnet out of France. It’s murky, lurky, stalker-like electronics with deadpan blase vocals. Ooooey gooey textures and gurgley synths with hints of The Shadow Ring & Cabaret Voltaire. Listen with one eye open, as they might be crouching in the darkness behind you.

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