KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Shore, Howard – “Fly, The (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” – [Varese Sarabande]

whngr   8/4/2021   12-inch, Soundtrack

An ominous foray into madness and decrepitude in symphonic splendor.

Pensive strings and sparse percussion portray suspenseful and ominous tones, discovery turns to delirium, intrigue becomes horrifying discovery. Short tracks that will grow on you like a labium. David Cronenberg would employ Howard Shore as his primary conductor (excluding only The Dead Zone) and would soon become a film industry mainstay (The Silence Of The Lambs, Ed Wood, The Game, et al), being both prolific, popular, and recognizable as composer, conductor, and orchestrator in myriad popular culture vena. But try not to hold that against him as this film represents the first in his long and storied (if mostly mainstream) career after leaving Saturday Night Live as Music Director, when he was perhaps at his most ambitious. In essence, this is the shit he cut his teeth on.

A hauntingly beautiful accompaniment to Cronenberg’s (Crash, Naked Lunch, et al) teratologic study of the classic 1958  American b-movie starring Vincent Price (of course) with a narrative that strongly parallels Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” (though for what it’s worth this miserable volunteer prefers the sequel, “Return Of The Fly” […you guinea pig!]). The score of this 1986 re-imagining represents an epically strange cautionary tale delivered convincingly with unnerving conviction by Jeff Goldblum (Seth Brundle).

The vinyl this release is on is “fog colored” according to Discogs, who tend to be fairly meticulous about their accuracy, but to the fading eyes of this miserable volunteer it looks like an old Coke bottle color but whatever name it goes by one might note that it adds a somewhat spooky challenge to cueing. Thirty-three and a third baby… in your bed.

Kohoutek – “Jurad” – [Feeding Tube Records]

SlartiBartfast   8/3/2021   12-inch, A Library

Kohoutek – “Jurad”

This 2021 release from Kohoutek will transport you from an ambient, drone, electronic paradise into an electrified psychedelic rock/n/roll jam that will blasts you into space. “Jurad” is the newest release from Kohoutek, a improvisational music collective from the Mid-Atlantic coast formed in 2003. Side A is a 24 min, ambient, electronic, drone warm up with the guitars, bass and drums playing lightly in the background exploring the perfect nooks and crannies of their improvisational sound. Side B……prepare to launch yourself into interstellar psychedelic space with a huge helping of driving guitar, bass, and drums for your dessert. Refreshments recommended before launch time. Alpha Centauri will be approaching on our left in just under a nano-lightyear.  

Seven That Spells – “Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Omega, The” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   8/3/2021   12-inch, A Library

Seven That Spells “The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Omega”

Seven That Spells once again cast their musical magic into the realm of psychedelic, prog, spaced out Krautrock on this 2018 third in a trilogy release “The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Omega”. Having formed in 2003 in Zagreb, Croatia, Seven That Spells has had a tremendously talented group of musicians come and go, all with fantastic musical releases. This lineup is no different and they provide a fantastic journey through several musical genres and ages. This line up of Blake Fleming on drums, Jeremy White on bass-vox, Gordan Tomic on guitar-vox, and Niko Potocnjak on guitar-synth will not disappoint, and will keep you coming back for more. Spaced out Krautrock lives on!

Lewis Bailey – "Instrumental Stylings of .., The" – [Laguna Bay Records]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   12-inch, A Library

As explained in the album insert, Lewis Bailey was involved with a number of instrumental surf bands after leaving the Woggles. This limited edition album includes the bands Stingray International, The Surf Kings, and The Novarays. Extremely well played and arranged surf standards and originals. Bailey has relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area from Florida, much to the delight of the local surf music community.

Santo & Johnny – "Hawaii" – [Canadian-American Records, Ltd.]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   12-inch, B Library

Santo and Johnny are of course known for their classic Sleepwalk. This 1961 album featuring many Hawaiian cornball tunes is saved by their fine steel guitar work. The Hutch Davie Orchestra and Chorus add some campy harp glissando and vocals that are almost too much, but there is a sweetness here that will take you to a different time and place. I especially liked the tracks written by Santo and Johnny – Sea Shells, Reflections and Isle of Dreams. A fine way to cool off on a summer day or warm up in the winter.

Cruisin' Ann Arbor [coll] – [Ann Arbor Music Project]

aarbor   7/28/2021   12-inch, A Library

From what was billed as “Ann Arbor’s First Compilation Album” this 1982 release by the Ann Arbor Music Project is a compilation of bands from lovely Ann Arbor, MI. Note that our own Dan Gunning was on the stage crew for the events on September 15-18, 1982 at Joe’s Star Lounge, at which this was recorded. This was an attempt to put Ann Arbor which had earlier spawned Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, the MC 5, Commander Cody, the MC5, Destroy All Monsters and the Silvertones, back on the “musical map”. Roger Miller’s brothers Ben and Larry (Laurence) show up here as “Non-Fiction” playing Larry’s song “Walkie Talkie”. In 1982 they had already recorded as a part of Destroy All Monsters. Some very fine up and coming bands. It’s a good variety of bands and music. AArbor

White Wards – “Cigarette Burns” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

Guitar fueled, up to mid-tempo tripped-out Hardcore Punk with human teeth.

Bedraggled, in black, blood in their mouths and cans of soup in their backpacks (perhaps?) this five-piece is simply chock full of piss and vinegar. 

Dissonance, distortion, and (hypnotic) repetition. We used to appreciate short tracks… but now I’m a DJ (we still do).

Copious amounts of echoes, feedback, and echoing feedback. A ratio of upstrokes to downstrokes that pleases this miserable volunteer, real drums (crushing), and mental health issues (probably). 

Guitar fueled, up to mid-tempo tripped-out Hardcore Punk with human teeth.

Anger

Hurt 

Confusion

…and (100%) certified organic honey in hot lemon water.

Have a peek at the delicate inserted booklet (before it is shredded by its vinyl cohabitor) and witness the carefully crafted aesthetic and lyrical themes that seems to carry throughout White Wards’ releases. 

Portland, OR – 2014

DJ Marky, DJ Patife, ESOM Feat. Fernanda Porto – "Brazilian Job, The" – [Movement]

aarbor   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

From 2001 in Brazil this was the sound and people who became key players in the emerging Drum ‘n Bossa scene. This is the promo single for their very first album. It’s 2 versions of So Tinha Que Ser Com Voce. All four went on to do many recordings: Dj Marky (a/k/a Marky Mark) is a drum ‘n bass innovator (real name Marco Antonio Silva), DJ Patife (Wagner Borges Ribeiro de Souza), ESOM (Eduardo Marote), and Fernanda Porto (Maria Fernanda Dutra Clemente). AArbor

Dubben – "Rainha Do Dub EP" – [G.A.M.M.]

aarbor   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

Three very dancey latin tracks here remixed by Dubben (who may be from Sweden):

A. Rainha Do Dub [pron. Rayna-ya doh dub] 3:04 the original is called “Nereci” which can be found on the album called “Djavan”.

B1 Cuba Cabana Strand 4:10 the orginal is called “Take Me Back to Piaui” from a single by Juca Chaves.

B2 Funky Duck (Part 1) 3:51 the original is called “Cosa Nostra” by Jorge Ben from the Banda Veneno de Erlon Chaves album. AArbor

Achouri, Kad & London Latin Syndicate – "Latiname" – [Malek]

aarbor   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

This is Kad Achouri’s very first record release from 1999. It’s a dancey latin tune with 3 re-edits. Achouri who is of Algerian-Spanish ancestry, was born in France and has lived in Barcelona before settling in London. His friendship with Natacha Atlas boosted his career when she recorded 3 of his songs for a 2001 album. AArbor

Reefriders, The – “Reverb Island” – [Reefrider Records]

Cousin Mary   7/10/2021   12-inch, A Library

This Bay Area surf music trio has hit one out of the park with this album. In addition to an original by drummer Glen Campbell, the selection of surf songs (see composer origins on the album cover) is truly unique, representing great tunes that are rarely covered. Playing is solid, energy is good, the overall feeling is sweet.

Montoya, Carlos -From St. Louis to Seville- [RCA Victor/ BMG]

Thee Opinataur   7/8/2021   12-inch, International

Carlos Montoya was already one of the world’s foremost flamenco guitarists in 1958 when he stepped into a New York studio to record this album with some of the top studio jazz sidemen. It is an album of two distinctions as the name of the album ‘From St. Louis to Seville’ simply states. Side one (Jazz ) highlighted by Handy’s ‘St. Lous Blues‘ is quite remarkable, as Montoya puts his unique interpretation on a classic. However, don’t sleep on Montoya’s original ‘Improvisation’ where he truly immerses himself in the fusion of jazz and flamenco. 

Side two (Flamenco) – While the underlying foundation is traditional flamenco on these tracks featuring several of Montoya originals. What is fascinating as you listen closely is how he shares the limelight with his rhythm section, a collection of some excellent musicians steeped in jazz. Collectively they bring an element of freshness to the traditional framework. 

Carlos Montoya– guitar 

Osie Johnson– drums 

Milt Hinton– bass 

Barry Galbraith– rhythm guitar 

-Thee Opinataur

Spiral Wave Nomads/First Encounters

carsonstreet   7/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

Extended psych jams that mostly just relax your mind. This is the second album from Spiral Wave Nomads and was recorded live one afternoon in the pre-pandemic days of the summer of 2019. All songs were improvised live and recorded without overdubs by Spiral Wave Nomads in Delmar, New York. Spiral Wave Nomads are Eric Hardiman on guitar and Michael Kiefer on drums. First Encounters documents the first time Kiefer and Hardiman ever met in the flesh and played music together in the same room. Their self-titled debut (also in our library) was recorded by file-sharing between Albany New York and New Haven Connecticut. Take a trip with these guys.

Unknown Me – "Bishintai" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   7/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

A transcendental trip through “beauty, mind and body.” A cosmic, Japanese quartet of Yakenohara, P-RUFF, H. Takahashi, and Osawa Yudai. Computers, synthesizers, rhythm boxes, and a drizzle of space dust make this stellar relaxation journey something to wrap your yogi around. It’s like floating through candy colored comets, sparkling sequined moons and glittered galaxies. Spoken robotic words on a few. A utopian vision of the future, with therapeutic meditations. 

Fruit Looops – "Orangina" – [Whited Sepulchre]

cinder   7/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

Cincinnati art-punks blasting chaotic, spazzy and rhythmical sounds. Female fronted screamer, yelling in baby English, maybe just blubbering random made up words… It’s like tossing Melt Banana, Boredoms, and Les Georges Leningrad into a blender and getting a sharp, glassy smoothie. Noisey percussion, zipping electronics, wailing sax, and flunked math guitars. A short & sour cacophony!

Morricone, Ennio – "End of The Game" – [Dagored]

cinder   7/7/2021   12-inch, Soundtrack

End of the Game was a 1975 cult noir movie starring John Voight and Jacqueline Bisset. A drama/mystery/crime thriller – “When a Swiss cop is murdered, a veteran homicide inspector and a rookie are assigned to solve the case but they are obstructed by interfering Swiss politicians.” The score is classic Morricone – themes, rhythms and crescendos that pull on your heart strings and reach into your deepest, most vulnerable, inner emotions. His compositions are always so gorgeous, and full of cinematic perfection. There’s the lovely moody pianos, the soft strings, the gentle horns, the ghostly singing…. and of course there’s a dash of some funky 60’s sounding instrumentals! Ennio e magico!    

Pas Musique – ‘Psychedelic Talismans’- [Alrealon Musique]

Thee Opinataur   6/29/2021   12-inch, A Library

This electronic sound image has a very psychedelic effect and with its beats and mystical sounds, which in addition to the computer and keyboards includes electric guitar.

Tense guitar notes that emerge twisted and strangled alongside the impatient palpating beats, with an emerging sense of unease that surfaces in places. For the most part, there’s a certain mellowness that permeates the album. 

Side 1

Track 1 – Splash of Red Touch – perhaps the inspiration for the luscious red vinyl this album lives, an appropriate opening of welcoming the listener to this psyched-out journey. An uneven, sporadic beat underlies this kaleidoscopic visionary piece. 

Track 2 – Collected Fictions Brightly -An urgent Deep bass foundation, tribal and primitive, inaudible voices yearning to connect.

Track 3 –In Likeness of Me – Acid Swirl Open, playful rhythm halfway through, Field Recordings of random casual conversations to create a dreamlike sonic state

Side 2

Track 1 –ABC of the Telephone – Throbbing, delicate color illuminations. Lost at times is the listener trying to find their way on this trippy, psychedelic listen. Tribal, Convoluted, frustrating journey of sorts as it dares to alter its course to suit your comfort zone. 

Track 2 – The Hour – A warning illuminated that the end is indeed near. Irregular beats, awakening your mind and giving you a glimpse of the final moments. 

Track 3 – La Bas – with its cloudy, psychedelic guitar riffs, it captures the essence of the artist’s spirit, wonderfully dark, with a peaceful close. 

Recorded as a solo project by Robert Pepper during the Covid Lockdown, April – June 2020, released in February 2021. 

Genres = Electronic, Experimental, Psychedelic, Krautrock

Thee Opinataur

Penza Penza -“Beware Penza Penza”- [Funk Night Records]

SlartiBartfast   6/22/2021   12-inch, A Library

High energy, fuzzed out, funky soul that will melt your face off. Penza Penza is a side project of Estonia’s multi-instrumentalist and creator of an ever evolving musical catalogue, Misha Panfilov.  Misha’s Penza Penza collaboration is a celebratory master piece of funky, fuzzed out, psychedelic soul and R/B. A full LP stacked full of 3 minute songs that explore the funky side of life, and expands on that early fuzzy, psychedelic soul. Each track seems to stretch into eternity only to reset your ear to a new tight, funky adventure. Beware of Penza Penza, your speakers and ear drums just might melt away.

De Plata, Manitas – ‘Flamenco Guitar Vol. 2’ – [Connoisseur Society]

Thee Opinataur   6/18/2021   12-inch, International

Manitas de Plata was born in 1921 as Ricardo Baliardo in southern France to a traditional Gypsy community. His name bestowed upon him by his community means ‘Little Silver Hands’. His uncle taught him the guitar as a boy and ultimately evolving into a virtuoso. He exclusively played for his Gypsy community most of his life until he was recorded in 1963 in Arles France and his subsequent albums helped to popularize Flamenco music all over the world. He became somewhat of a cultural icon from that point, as his friends included Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Charlie Chaplin, and even Brigette Bardot. 

He was French rather than Spanish, and his unpredictable improvisations depart from the formal structures of the compás, the metric conventions that enable Flamenco singers, dancers, and musicians to perform together. De Plata achieved prominence as a unique individual who made his own rules.

Several of his sons Toninio, Paco, and Diego Baillardo, as well as nephews, went on to form the Gipsy Kings in the early 1980s that continued to popularize this music for future generations. 

Manitas de Plata died in 2014 at age 93, in France, he continued to tour the world and record extensively, until his death in 2014 having never lost his gypsy ways and outlook on life, pursuing his joint passions of music and women and utterly careless of money and the trappings of wealth.

He wears his emotions on his sleeve, there is no posturing, only the authenticity in his exquisite playing. 

Track 1 – Fandangos -. Dark and introspective, raw and intimate. sweet subtle expression. It is as if he is playing just for you. Taking delight in the transference of his spirit to us the listener. 

Track 2 – Tarantas y Bulerias – combines two forms. The Bulerias originally a slow dance, considered the most festive of Flamenco dance along with Tarantas, expressing a feeling of melancholy. 

Track 3 – Gypsy Rhumba – Impromptu, an example of chico flamenco (light-hearted). An after-hours party with singing, clapping, stomping, and some percussion elements such as scraping corrugated cardboard. Singing alongside Jose Reyes and his son Manero Baillardo.

Side 2 – Moritas Moras -(Little Moorish Girls) Delves into the heart of flamenco. Jose Reyes and Manero Baillardo take turns sharing the raw unrefined Gypsy Blues. This song digs deep into the heart of the Gypsy experience. 

Thee Opinataur

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