KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Big Blood – “Do You Wanna Have a Skeleton Dream?” – [Feeding Tube Records]

SlartiBartfast   11/29/2020   12-inch, A Library

This is Big Blood’s 19th entry into the library and it is as worthy of any other. It starts out with a recording of Colleen Kinsella and Caleb Mulkerin’s daughter at the age of about 3 I’d guess with a 9 second introduction to the album. Quinnisa, Colleen and Caleb’s daughter is about 13-15 at the release of the album and sings lead and backup on many of the tracks as well as, plays guitar, bass, percussion, keyboards and other instruments. Quinnisa certainly compliments her parents creativity and talent, transforming this duo into a true family trio. The LP starts out with a very heavy Motown sound and continues into the dreamy landscape Big Blood is know for. One of my favorites is “Insecure Kids” where Quinnisa sings lead and plays lead guitar. Magical. Are we all not secure deep down……

Revenant Marquis – “Anti Universal Compassion” – [New Era Productions]

whngr   11/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

No fidelity spooky black metal with synth interludes from Wales. Dark, brooding and buried. Wet, caves of despair cloaked in a fog of misery with strange off-key hooks and brooding laments for the spiritually bereft. Solo project of one highly prolific and recondite, S. The sole member of this prolific Welsh abomination. Having released six(6) LP’s (one of which is single sided) since 2018 the one you now hold being the third and perhaps most visually striking. Who can deny the appeal of impending erotic violence or the allure ritual sex magic? “Not I.”, said the miserable sonic goblin, “Not fucking I.”

Kult Offenzivy – “Tak Jsem Ji Prizval K Sobe” – [New Era Productions]

whngr   11/27/2020   12-inch, A Library

Cold, inscrutable Czechian Black Metal. Grim and fierce. Guttural and hypnotic. There is little variety on this LP so wherever you drop the needle you’ll find buried blast beats, anemic trem-picked guitar, and stolid, grim pharangeal vox in Chechen. What it lacks in virtuosity it makes up for with pure unadulterated spite.

A slightly cryptic entry in Mettallum states:

“Some session members are also in Sator Marte, Dirris and Valraukar, but the main person and former behind Kult ofenzivy isn’t a member of any other bands.”

Horrid Red – "Radiant Life" – [Soft Abuse]

Thurston Hunger   11/25/2020   12-inch, A Library

Fourth full length from this band with Bay Area roots and a distinctly Teutonic tincture. Bunker Wolf sings in his native German tongue (while titling the songs in English) his voice is perhaps the most rough, brazen instrument on the record. Edmund Xavier (Glenn Donaldson) along with
Clay Ruby veer far from their Jeweled Antler daze and Burial Hex nights respectively. The drum machines here are happy little robots, not hammering industrial death magnets. No trace of sonic cthonics, or hazey
texture-based Blithe drone drifters. These songs have pep. And polish, while they would fit in with ein track from Cassettencombinant, they eschew the raw for refined. The German words I cannot decipher, I will say their songs “Still Suffering” and “Last Flower of Youth” both feel really happy to me. Hell “End of the Age” even has digital handclaps. Maybe Wolf is singing poems from Rilke, somehow I don’t think so? The title track has a nice slinky vibe to it (cool clinking percussion and a bass line that prowls).
The song before it “Pity The Sun” rang a doppelganger bell to “Under the Milky Way.” That might just be me. It also kinda echoes “Nothing in My Heart” from Horrid Red’s debut. That album had a more punk bent (or see the older Teenage Panzerkorps with Bunker Wolf aand Edmund/Glenn), this is solidly pop, but both have the unmistakable bite of Wolf’s vocals.
BTW: This one’s on the stellar Soft Abuse label, just saying a FreakWeek focus on that label would be mighty tasty.

-Thurston Hunger

Tobin, Amon – “Bricolage” – [Ninja Tune]

aarbor   11/25/2020   12-inch, A Library

Bricolage is Amon Tobin’s second album from 1997, the first released under his own name, and his first on the Ninja Tune label. It was a departure from his first album, Adventures in Foam as Cujo (which KFJC owns), incorporating a heavier blend of jazz melodies and intense jungle rhythms.  The track Easy Muffin has appeared in a soundtrack, an ad and other places online so you may have heard it before.

AArbor 

WOW – "Come La Notte" – [Maple Death]

humana   11/23/2020   12-inch, A Library

“Like the Night” is the translation of “Come La Notte”–and the sounds of this Italian “garage-pop” duo definitely give off the nocturnal vibe. I put “garage-pop” in quotes because it is as good a label as any, if you have to put a label on it. China Now is the percussionist and vocalist, and Leo Non is the guitarist, and together they create an atmosphere that does sound like their experimental night club Bad Peace. The pace picks up with the last track on Side A, and the first track on Side B sounds like surf guitar at the beginning. I encourage you to experience the music for yourself before boxing it into any genre.

Severed Heads – “Clean” – [Dark Entries]

lexi glass   11/18/2020   12-inch, A Library

This 2020 Dark Entries re-release of the first full-length album from Australian electronic music pioneers Severed Heads brings these tracks to vinyl for the first time since their original release in 1981. The 2XLP deluxe edition includes a track that was omitted from previous reissues (“Food City”, A1) as well as a bonus disc with live performances, a cassette called “Side 3,” and the original tape loop demos for the album. Together, the collection is a fascinating look into how the band formed what would become their original industrial synth pop sound. In the album’s liner notes, head Head Tom Ellard recalls the trial and error process of throwing everything onto tape and seeing what worked. The approach makes for an exciting listen, a rush of ideas that includes varied musical influences (Ellard admits to disco and Kraftwerk, but the Throbbing Gristle early industrial sound also clearly come through), instruments they don’t know how to play (guitar, violin T7, T11, and even toy piano T9 find their way into the tracks), Ellard’s intricate tape work collages pieced together from fragments of radio broadcasts (front and center on the “The Clean Loops” T16), and the synth and sequencer work that became the foundation of their later sound. Highlights for me include the demonic voices and tessellated synth patterns on “Chiarivari” (T3) and the bizarre guitar jam “Unbreakable” (T22), but all are essential.

Ade, King Sunny – "Mo Dupe (Gratitude)" – [Sunny Alade Recordings]

aarbor   11/18/2020   12-inch, International

Recorded and mixed in Lagos this album is from 1985. The record has no delineated tracks. Sunny Ade’s style is very traditional for Nigerian juju. He was adamant that Island Records which released 2 earlier, Grammy winning records, not “over Europeanise and Americanise” his music. Ade and Island parted ways – to his detriment IMHO. AArbor 

Flooded Church of Asmodeus – ‘Willing Followers of HIM, The’ – [New Era Productions]

Lord Gravestench   11/17/2020   12-inch, A Library

Meandering and perverse noise-doom from Finland. 

‘Judas Schindler’ [AKA Bestial Burst label-head Sami Kettunen, also of experimental black metal band Ride For Revenge and noise project Will Over Matter] handles ‘deth, deSStruction and malfunctioning power tools’ [AKA guitar and vocals]. ‘Martin Hitler King’ [real name unknown] plays ‘four extra heavy-gauge garrottes to strangle pencil necks’ [AKA bass guitar]. The power trio is completed by ‘Adolf Christ’ [AKA Pasi Markkula, the power electronics über-mensch behind Bizarre Uproar] on ‘gigatons of raging rhythmic hatexxxplosions’ [AKA drums].

Not exactly metal. No real riffs or song structure, but they still somehow manage to maintain an eccentric, diabolical groove for the duration of this single 30-minute session (divided in half for the two sides of this LP version). It takes talented musicians to make such dissonant cacophany sound so compelling for so long. Tortured lycanthropic growls, squealing feedback, frantic improvisation, raga-like hypnotic repetition and the occasional dialogue sample from the 1973 TV film ‘Satan’s School For Girls.’ An oddly compelling performance that’s more than the sum of its parts. 

Prosanctus Inferi – ‘Red Streams of Flesh’ – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

Lord Gravestench   11/17/2020   12-inch, A Library

Black/death metal (or ‘war metal,’ if you like) from the Ohio duo of guitarist/bassist/growler Jake Kohn (formerly of Father Befouled and Black Funeral) and drummer Jeremy Spears, hailing Satan together since 2005 and still going strong today. This 2011 EP saw release in between the band’s first (2010) and second (2013) albums. Taut, hammering, relatively short songs that lean more in the death metal direction favoured by influences like Angelcorpse and Morbosidad than toward the blackened chaos of Blasphemy or Profanatica, although those latter two bands still lurk in the background on this. Melodic old-school riffage, bestial rasps, and deadly-accurate anti-aircraft drums. A1 is an experimental intro. Plays at 45RPM.

Not exactly groundbreaking, but a reliable vintage nonetheless. Their sound got more ‘out-there’ on later albums. A great live band, too.

Abbott, Luke – “Music For a Flat Landscape: Original Soundtrack to The Goob” – [Buffalo Temple Music Recordings]

lexi glass   11/11/2020   12-inch, Soundtrack

Music for a Flat Landscape collects ten tracks that were originally scored for the 2014 film The Goob by electronic composer Luke Abbott. The film tells the story of a teenager growing up in Abbott’s hometown of Norfolk in rural England, and its soundtrack of softly shifting twilight tones and nighttime field recordings is meditative but in motion, flowing the way time passes when you’re young. Released on Abbott’s label Buffalo Temple.

Pop-Shopping [coll] – [Crippled Dick Hot Wax!]

aarbor   11/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

According to the cover this is “juicy music from German commercials 1960-1975”.  And in fact that’s exactly what it is: cars, shoes, safety at work… Cheery upbeat ‘60s pop rock sounds.   German lyrics with English words interspersed like “schuhe mit swing” (shoes with swing). Have fun with this, it’s silly, its trite, it’s commercials! AArbor

Paradisiac 3 [coll] – [Universal]

aarbor   11/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

From 2001 3 records full of lovely downtempo tracks from primarily European artists. Axel Krygier, Jaffa, Mr. Hermano, Jose Padilla (who covers Burt Bachrach’s Close to You), Zero 7, Ian Pooley and Roy Ayers are the better known musicians here, lots of tracks to choose from. Sorta jazzy or loungey with beats.                                                                                                          AArbor 

KMRU – "Opaquer" – [Dagoretti Records]

cinder   11/5/2020   12-inch, A Library

First release from Kenyan sound artist and producer KMRU (Joseph Kamaru). Beautiful sound collages of skittering textures, warm ambient washes, gentle tones, found sounds and field recordings. KMRU is at the forefront of an exciting scene of African electronic music pioneers. Drift off into a comfortable dreamland with this. 

Moor Mother – "Fetish Bones" – [Don Giovanni Records]

abacus   11/4/2020   12-inch, A Library

sophomore album from Camae Ayewa, the prolific and highly acclaimed native of Philadelphia- the city that gave us Sun Ra and the MOVE organization. afrofuturism rooted in the circularity of time, timeless protest music transporting us throughout centuries of black liberation against the necropolitical forces of subjugation and derailment. the tracks move fast between cyber-punk vignettes of hip hop soul poetry drenched in noise, avant-blues experimentalism, sci-fi spirituals, and bebop nightmares. for the past 5 years her output has been persistent and pertinent, always ensnared in the present moment. we’ve got a lotta catching up to do.

FCC 3,7,9

Sshe Retina Stimulants – “Krionika Soshiki” – [Urashima]

lexi glass   10/28/2020   12-inch, A Library

Vinyl reissue of a 1995 Slaughter Productions cassette from SSHE Retina Stimulants, the solo project of Paolo Bandera, one of the founders of the 1980s Italian industrial outfit Sigillum S. Heavy, hallucinogenic electronics emitting fluctuating patterns, rumbling melodies, trailing visions and scintillating tones, like a primitive consciousness emerging from a dense network of fried synapses, furiously dreaming. Limited edition of 99 from the excellent Italian harsh noise imprint Urashima.

Ljain – “Endasalmar Og Klofnar Tungur” – [Signal Rex]

whngr   10/10/2020   12-inch, A Library

Ljáin (Lē- yaw-in [scythes]) are an abstruse Icelandic black-metal project and this release is (originally from 2016 released on vinyl [currently in your trembling claws] by Signal Rex [Lusitania]).

The intro is a murky, haunting choral affair that segues into a brief echoing church bells before the avalanche of low fidelity metal ensues. A turgid, miserable flow of hollow wails, reverberating guitars, and buried, ugly drum assault. So murky and cacophonous that it could almost be atmospheric at lower levels but surely that is not the intent of Ljáin. In the red, all the way up, chaotic barrage of untethered rage sprinkled with spooky back tracked interludes. The vibes are of doom, terror, misery, death awareness, death longing, murder-lust, shivering spectral dissonance, famished troll worship, sweeping landscapes of jagged rock and ice…

Karpenter, Al – "If We Can't Dream, They Won't Sleep!!" – [Ever / Never]

cinder   10/7/2020   12-inch, A Library

Bizarro, deconstructed, confused, experimental, angry, delirious, ASMR, damaged.Cast of characters include Spain experimenters (Mattin, Joxean Rivas, and María Seco), early Fushitsusha drummer Seijiro Murayama, Lucio Capece, and Chie Mukai.
Skittering electronics, sloshy cymbals, jangled guitar, sloppy garage rock spurts, quivering sax, drunk drums, repetitive words.  

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