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Music Reviews

Headboggle – "Digital Digital Analog" – [Ratskin Records]

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

Local San Franciscan, Derek Gedalecia creates modern day “library music”! But seriously, it’s magical, quirky, bouncy, soundtrack-esque, synth lounge electronics. MIDI and digital synths as well as a Steinway grand piano create the sounds behind the title “digital digital analog”, as well as it being recorded and processed digitally, and pressed onto vinyl – analog. Shorter tracks, mostly under a minute each, of zippity zappaty rhythmical excursions. It’s adorable, cheerful and delightful – a rainbow lit floating carousel of smiles in the sky! 

Estrada Orchestra – “Playground” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   12/13/2021   12-inch, A Library

EASTRADA ORCHESTRA – “Playground”

Tallinn, Estonia’s own ESTRADA ORCHESTRA bings you a set of live improvised music that will capture your consciousness and send it to new aural galaxies. Playground was recorded live at the Ganna and Sophia Playground in Tallinn, Estonia November 2020. An open, almost hallow like sound emanates from the field mics in the Playground’s cavernous void while Misha Panfilov, Volodja Brodsky, et al create an improvised Jazz?, Prog?, Space jam?, Ambient?, Drone?, soundscape? All of this and more.  Let the “Playground” bring the spontaneity back into your day dreams while leaving you to ponder where the remnants or your grey matter might be currently floating around in the musical universe.

Ragab, Salah & The Cairo Jazz Band – "Egypt Strut" – [Strut]

aarbor   12/8/2021   12-inch, International

Salah Ragab was an Egyptian drummer and bandleader. While serving in the Egyptian army, Ragab tried to form a jazz band with American saxophonist Mac X. Spears in the early 1960s, but Spears left the country soon after. At a concert by Randy Sexton, Ragab befriended German diplomat Hartmut Geerken and Eduard Vizvari, and they became the Cairo Jazz Band. In his work for the military’s department of music Ragab selected musicians to join the big band and taught them jazz. The Cairo Jazz Band performed for the first time at American University in 1969, performing original works in addition to music by Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie, then in Alexandria and Cairo. The band recorded in the early 1970s. Geerken invited Sun Ra, who made a few visits to Egypt. Ragab performed with Ra in 1971 and 1983. Ra recorded two of Ragab’s songs: “Dawn” and “Egypt Strut” (both on this record). This is the Strut re-release of an important record – it’s his first of 3. Like many other jazz recordings made around the world during the 1960s and ’70s “it refracts the language of jazz through the prism of local traditions”, culture, politics, history… AArbor

Fashion Pimps & The Glamazons – “Jazz 4 Johnny”- [Feel It Records]

beastofbourbon   11/30/2021   12-inch, A Library

“…if all the members of Devo were going through a divorce at the same time and decided to make a record with Rozz Williams (Christian Death) where they really cut loose and did a lot of amphetamines you’d expect it to come out sounding like ‘Jazz 4 Johnny’ ” – New Noise Magazine 

Fashion Pimps and The Glamazons is a side project of various members of the Cleveland, Ohio indie, noise, and hardcore punk scene. The psychotic noise synth-punk they produce is as disturbing as the album cover. It’s loud and chaotic, and from either a long time ago or the future. I can’t stop listening to it. It’s ideal for a fast paced work environment or an all night bender.

Beast of Bourbon

Myrrors, The – “Invocaciones: Singles and Strays (2014-2016)” – [Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz]

SlartiBartfast   11/30/2021   12-inch, A Library

A hypnotic, tribal, psychedelic rumination that will hit you head on and leave you clambering for more of this musical tranquilizer. The Myrrors’ “Invocaciones: Singles and Strays” leads you down mystical instrumental rivers yet unexplored. The Tucson, AZ duo of Nik Rayne and Grant Beyschau employ and array of instruments from bouzouki, violin, harmonium, wooden and brass wind instruments to primitive organs, synths, and percussion of all means. The result will leave you wondering how you ended up in the desert at midnight tripping on the cacti while staring at beautiful milky-way lit sky. Jump on the Myrrors Great Canoe and explore a wave of otherworldly outer body experiences as you float down the hallucinated spiked waterways where consciousness flows freely….

Anthroprohh – “OMEGAVILLE” – [Rocket Recordings]

SlartiBartfast   11/27/2021   12-inch, A Library

Anthropropph – “OMEGAVILLE”

This double LP release from Anthropropph explores nearly every cochlea crevice in your unsuspecting eardrum that will leave you huddled in a drooling pool of psychedelic madness. Starting off with side A there is a relentless barrage of fast, up tempo modern post punk sounds to get the juices flowing. 2-3 minute tracks that set the tempo. Survive that aural attack and you will slowly enter a psychedelic musical underworld with sides B-D that will blow the doors off your hobbit hole abode. This is a listener’s paradise. Every track on this double LP gets longer and longer while each side explores musical realms that push the boundaries of a world you thought you knew. May your consciousness end up up in the cosmic journey in and out of Omegaville.

Dramachine – “Emotional Plague” – [Erste Theke Tontraeger]

mickeyslim   11/27/2021   12-inch, A Library

Greecian, synth punk trio of Babis Sugar, Eleni Mandy, and Lisa Klez. Analog synth, guitar, bass, pedals, vox, drum machine, nagging, gossip, and drama. Each provides vocals, which are really different from each other in the best way. What’s not to love? Witchy, wooshy, twitchy, thumping, bumping, egg-cellent, weird-enough experimentality. Dip in!

Million Brazilians – Red Rose & Obsidian – [Lullabies For Insomniacs]

Thee Opinataur   11/25/2021   12-inch, A Library

Psych-folk, experimental underground, neo-folk, mystical soundscape, 

Red Rose and Obsidian, released in 2017 is yet another genre-bending experimental installation from Million Brazilians, originating from Portland, Oregon, and now thriving in Maine. This is their first release on the Dutch label, Lullabies for Insomniacs, and it is masterfully mixed and recorded by Big Blood’s Caleb Mulkerin. It is an esoteric soundscape influenced by the rugged coastlines of their home in Maine. It is a heart-rending interpretation of a stark, treacherous sonic landscape, that permeates your spirit.

As usual with this group, there is a wide array of instruments of traditional, ethnic, self-made as well as a healthy dose of creative electronics. It’s a fascinating evocative improvisational trip that will leave you wanting more. 

Suzanne Stone – voice, bass, khene (Lao mouth organ), Alto Sax

Grant Corum – Tin whistle, balloon flute, conch, Tarka (Andean Flute), trumpet, vocals

Bob New – Drums, keyboard, lap steel, vocals

A1 – When the Ship comes in

Swirling, thick, open, haunting siren-like vocals .. thick luscious beats underscore, woodwinds meandering through the fog. Minimal chaos echoes as the captain attempt to steer the ship through the shrouded fog. Stone on bass and voice is slow and steady, ensuring the ship to safe harbor amongst the jagged cliffs, in the cold stark darkness of the remote port. conch/balloon flute. Slow, steady…mooring.

A2 – Dark Clouds Gather

 serves more like an interlude, and the instruments almost create the image of overlapping waves, while Stone’s voice, this time in a more Germanic vein, and seems to hover above it all. Towards the end, Stone’s voice is complemented by a male ethereal voice.

A3 – Red Rose and Obsidian

Slow and steady jamming with a psychedelic intervention. lap steel. Stones voice is yearning for a clear landing, but she is adrift, meandering. (Tarka) sweet, and hypnotic, plays in tune with Stones vocals. Just a sweet, psychic, slow, and steady meandering trip. Calm, reassuring, until the distorted end, radio wave break up.

B1 – Geodelphic Empathies

Khene/alto sax combine opening framing the stark, grey, jagged cliffs.

Toussaint St Negritude’s Poetry is featured, behold, behold…..

 Tin whistle meanders along with the mountainscape, stars reflecting on the dark waters.

B2 – Traversing The Violet Skies

Congas, Khene…beautiful starlit Autumnal evening at sunset, orange/red reflections off the granite, a prism of colors illuminate the setting. Deep breaths of cool air blow through the skies, 

B3 – Behold

Timing changes, things pick up… trumpet, Bass and drum keep things moving, but not too fast. In fact, it slows down steadily. Stones Vocals once again appear to bring to a close this psychic trip, Chanting echos with Corum joining in, woodwinds, achingly support, voice strong, confident. Once again, things pick up again and fade to a close. The Journey has ended.

-Thee Opinataur

Crazy Doberman – "Everyone Is Rolling Down a Hill" – [Astral Spirits]

cinder   11/24/2021   12-inch, A Library

Sludgy, slimy and seductive. Noisy experimental excursions from a group that consists of 17 players. Muted vox, hypnotic sax, lofty percussion, soft textures of melody. It’ll sound like a warm-up/tuning then all of a sudden come together in something that sounds delicately planned. Tranquilizing psychedelic journeys across multi-plains. Both sides track seamlessly so chill and enjoy it as one.

Filippo Diana – "Formula Abstracta" – [Medical Records]

cinder   11/24/2021   12-inch, A Library

Solo electronic outing by Filippo Diana (real name is Joe Drive). They’re calling it mutated library/soundtrack nu-disco, which is pretty on the dot. It’s chill, kinda kick back minimal wave. It’s got that riding your motorbike at sunset through a dystopian future highway… black sunglasses, flat top, leather pants and technicolor sky vibe. Track 3 brings a little goth club vox to the party, most of the others are instrumental with maybe a few words. Some great drum machine beats happening here as well!  

Badge Epoch – "Scroll" – [Telephone Explosion]

humana   11/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

Max Turnbull offers up selections from eight years of songwriting in this wonderful two-album release that he self-describes as “a cosmic hodge podge of funk, jazz, ambient techno, aggressive guitarmonized rawk, musique concrete, and hip hop.” Andrew Zukerman collaged Turnbull’s music into the aural experience that is as varied as the hairstyles on the album cover. You can drop the needle anywhere and find something appealing.

WEEED/Do You Fall?

carsonstreet   11/16/2021   12-inch, A Library

Weeed (from Portland, Oregon) is a quintet of experimental musicians on double drum sets, percussion, bass, guitar, flute, synthesizers, vocal harmony and ambient live looping. They’ve shared the stage with bands such as Kikagaku Moyo, Connan Mockasin, OM, Acid Mothers Temple, Earth, and Dead Meadow. Hints of lysergic folk pass naturally into and out from hypnotic and energetic jams inspired by North and West African songs and rhythms. Complex time signatures, vocal harmonies, and raw heaviness. Setting aside bass for the first time ever, the band relies on twin electric guitars and a milieu of percussive and acoustic instruments to weave a rich tapestry. Just take a look at the bands they have shared the stage with and you will know who they are.

Elara Sunstreak Band/Vostok

carsonstreet   11/16/2021   12-inch, A Library

These cosmonauts celebrate a progressive psychedelic record on which monologues with the lizard king and the 60th anniversary of Gagarin‘s maiden flight do not seem to be out of the realm. Beautiful blend of heavy jams, middle eastern tinged passages and prog influences. Like the perfect mix of Causa Sui, Elder, My Sleeping Karma and a bit of Kikagaku. Vostok was a Soviet manned space flight program and Vostok 1 was the first human space flight (Yuri Gargarin at the controls). This one knocked me out – best musical trip in a while.

Daniel Wieland – Bass, FX, Vocals
Felix Schmidt – Guitars, Sitar, Sounds, Synth
Martin Wieland – Drums
Christian Wick – Hammond Organ, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes

Anatolian Weapons – "to The Mother of Gods" – [Beats In Space]

Ms. Conduct   11/15/2021   12-inch, International

Postulating a kind of inverted oracular through the sonic landscapes of this collaboration between Greek musicians Aggelos Baltas and Seirios Savvaidis, the album reconstructs an acoustic imaginary of ancient folk traditions with upgrades from psychedelic and space rock contemporaries. In the reverb cycle one hears a certain agrarian re-envisioning of the world, replete with harvest rituals and celestial incantations. Only once or twice one might hear a wrong exit in the direction of slipstreamed Neo-Classical utopias of the 1970’s sepia sci-fi variety (replete with columnated bathing chambers and shopping malls of the future-past). For the most part, this is a folksy reckoning of ancient Grecian musical traditions with a modern upgrade. The utopic yearning reaches full crescendo in the closing track where a ‘new dawn beginning’ solar horizon opens on to a suggestion of futures.

75 Dollar Bill – “Little Big Band Live At Tubby’s” – [Grapefruit Records]

SlartiBartfast   11/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

75 Dollar Bill – “Little Big Band Live at Tubby’s”

What an improvisational, jazz/jam/rock-n-roll musical treat. Che Chen and Rick Brown team up with a multi-instrumental ensemble for this live recording at Tubby’s NYC in March of 2020, just before COVID lock down. Masters of blending Moorish guitar sounds in an experimental interpretation that collides with improvisational free jams, this live recording includes many other musicians such as Karen Waltuch on viola, Sue Garner on bass and Cheryl Kingan on alto and baritone sax. This collaboration leads to a meditative, contemplative, and other worldly musical consciousness that recalls the days of The Factory. A live musical happening that will find its way through you to the far reaches of the galaxy and beyond. Enjoy all you space spiders…

Lansdowne, J. – “J. Lansdowne” – [Self Released]

SlartiBartfast   11/9/2021   12-inch, A Library

Lansdowne, J.  – “J. Lansdowne”

“J. Lansdowne” is a solid fantastic debut release of dreamy, psychedelic, stoner rock with a heavy blues backbone. This fuzzed out captivating musical journey is the brain child of Atlanta, GA’s own J. Lansdowne and drummer Ben Bauermeister with a little help from guitarist Arjun Kulharya on track 2. Rich with lyrics that reflect the insanity of the last couple of years and the wonders of unexpected cosmic happenings, these equally fuzzed out vocals will satisfy your itch for that cathartic musical escape. Grab your comfy chair, sit back and enjoy…..

Lay Waste / Future of Pulse [coll] – [Fusty Cunt]

lexi glass   11/9/2021   12-inch, A Library

2018 Fusty C— split LP between two of the best in American noise. First up is the maniacal, methodical scrap metal noise of Mania (Keith Brewer, also known for his main power electronics project Taint). The material here was created during the same sessions as the album Little Pieces of Violence, some of the last recordings before his untimely passing in 2019. “Lay Waste” opens with metal objects scraping and nauseating feedback. Brewer’s disturbed vocals and high pitched feedback build the intensity, finally achieving total destruction by the disc’s end. On the B side, the devastating power electronics of Deterge (Jim Haras, find his other excellent work as Laureate in our library, he also runs Fusty C). “Future of Pulse” was inspired by the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Miami. Absolutely relentless, Deterge pushes the electronics and vocals way past the limits to a space beyond.

Flowertown – "Flowertown" – [Mt. St. Mtn.]

humana   11/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

Listening to this right after Cindy’s “Free Advice,” I felt right at home, and there’s a reason for that–Flowertown is Karina Gill of Cindy, with Michael Ramos of Tony Jay. These two exchanged tapes during the quarantine of 2020 and came up with this great album. So more dreamy pop with mellow vocals against lovely musical backdrops. Who says good things didn’t come from the lockdown?

Cindy – "Free Advice" – [Tough Love Records]

humana   11/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

This is an entirely mellow album, not sad, but almost…not peppy, but almost…dreamy vocals sung by Karina Gill who also plays guitar, atop cool rhythms by Simon Phillips on drums and percussion, Aaron Diko on synth and keys, and Jesse Jackson on bass and keys. It’s hazy and pleasant, and if you want to read the lyrics, they’re printed on the record sleeve, or you could just let them wash over you with the music, which is an entirely pleasant experience.

Xiu Xiu – “Plays The Music of Twin Peaks” – [Polyvinyl Record Company]

Max Level   11/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

This stunning album originally came out in 2016, re-released now on its fifth anniversary with a bonus track (or more accurately a download code for a bonus track.) If you know the music from the Twin Peaks series you will of course recognize many of the themes here. The music is haunting, desolate, tense, and unnerving just as you would expect. Xiu Xiu—these days the lineup is pretty much just Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo, with percussive contributions from Shayna Dunkelman—reimagine Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack with all manner of keyboards, percussion, a howling guitar or two, sound effects, and Stewart’s distinctively off-kilter vocals. The final track on Side D features Seo reading a diary entry full of sex and fear and murder and it doesn’t do much for me; however it does seem worthy of inclusion and some may enjoy it. All of the other tracks are top notch, and the album flows beautifully. The bonus track is more musically aggressive than the rest of the album and the vocals on it are by Maestro Badalamenti himself.

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