Music Reviews

Saturnia – “Stranded In The Green” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Fantastic, pulsating, smoky, psychedelic music from Lisbon’s own Saturnia. This 2021 12” is Saturnia’s 8th full length release, and a first for Sulatron Records. “Stranded in the Green” is an album that takes you on a psychedelic musical trip between quiet surreal whispers to driving heavy rock rhythms framed by lyrical vocals that guide your mind’s journey. Formed in 1996, Saturnia is the creation of multi instrumentalist Luis Simões from Lisbon Portugal, and was initially intended to be a communal musical collective. Since then Luis has kept the Saturnia spirit alive and well and collaborated with such musicians as Daevid Allen of Gong, Nik Turner of Hawkwind, and Stefan Kolek of Color Haze. Sit back, relax and enjoy this superb musical trip from the outer layers of your consciousness to the inner depth’s of your mind’s eye. 

Frkse – “Desecration Anxiety II” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Saffron robes smolder as the wounded ascetic continues his wretched search for a subversion of enlightenment amidst pensive strings, smoldering synthesizers, and a staggering array of percussive elements. Rhythm is the structure and drone the glue employed to construct this tremendous sonic stupa. Thigh trumpets wail behind down-tempo beats, conjuring images of the sprawling shadows of the Himalayas. Cloaked in a caul of schism, piercing eyes beam from inky darkness. They hold the terrible truth, a great lie awaits… For you… have faltered. Though your sins aren’t aberrant. They are in fact expected… and the charnel grounds await… 

Though this record is slightly outside the normal purview of my sonic interests, it is profoundly appealing and captivating. Tranquil yet unsettling,  a marriage of both ancient and modern sound construction. Purchased on a whim to flesh out an order from Iron Lung and by the grace of Kali we have been rewarded with a stunningly beautiful album with scope, vision, and an untitled, mind bending locked groove (untitled B9) that has opened strange new crevasses in my brain allowing for wider appreciation of sound and the possible merits of intermittent blind faith.

Frske is one Rajen Bhatt Residing in Jamaican Plain, a neighborhood in Boston, MA and formerly of Reno, NV. Formerly performing as Rajbot, and having ties to west coast powerviolence and Black Lung Records, as well as links to Italian hip hop and apparent rivers of disparate contacts and artists, as well as operating his own label, Divergent Series. Material that I have found on and by Bhatt has provided insight to a remarkably well rounded, prolific, and interesting individual that if Mahakala wills it, will be joined by its many brethren in our library in contributing upending our listeners’ labyrinthine path to spiritual illumination.

Oily Boys – “Cro Memory Grin” – [Static Shock]

whngr   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Abrasive noisy psy-core-rock outa this raging Sydney four-piece. Copious waves of feedback weave through pounding, knuckle dragging bombast. Sweat, incredulous fury, regret, woe. Warped tape, an effect laden guitar howl through gravel strewn cries, a trumpet weeps behind the title track reminiscent of Dan Raberg of Brain Bombs, calling to mind a disaffected stroll through city centers crawling with wasted, wrung-out rejects of society. Travis Bickle on bad dope or Wendy O Williams walking into the woods one last time.  

Proclamation – “Messiah of Darkness and Impurity” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Seminal beastial black metal, Spain.

Guttural bellows, blast beats, profane proclamations, and seething heresy, trem-bar abuse. Wallow in, and rejoice in the infernal inception of the infra-genre. Originally released in 2006, Nuclear War Now! Productions continue in redoubling their efforts in tearing open the earth to release the plague demons and the blood soaked anti-heralds of corrupted souls and the withering damned.

Haare – “Tantric Noise” – [Influencing Machine]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Esoteric and enthralling Buddhist themed mid-weight noise. 

Strange and subduing yet slightly unsettling and delirium inducing drones and electronic abstractions. Whirs, crunches, echoes, whistles, and cyber purrs. Tantric Noise includes a message on the reverse, In Memory of William Burger. May he rest in a parabolic continuum of anti-suffering.
Haare is one Ilkka Vekka of Hämeenlinna, Finland.

Disguise – “Signs of The Future” – [Static Shock]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Acerbic Assault on Apathy  

Dublin, Ireland 2015. Hammers drop on mirth and joy, crushing aspersions to indoctrination by a horribly sick society. Thrashing drums propel squealing guitar feedback and guttural expulsions of fetid, reeking breath permeated with rage. Pure, murderous dissent. Embrace the terror of human existence as you plunge your bloody fists into a wall of complacency and lose control under a sonic spell of berserker rage. Hardcore punk meets crusty grindcore on this E.P. that lacks recognizable language, no Fcc’s, no dreams, hope, or ability to cope .

Meirino, Francisco – A New Instability – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   3/31/2021   12-inch, A Library

A 2019 release from Swiss power-acoustic musician, Francisco Meirino. Unsettling high pitches that induce migraines (half of side A), mixed with field recordings from a martial arts dojo in his hometown of Lausanne. Electro acoustic rumblings, electronics in a subdued state. Creaking floors, rotating and rustling sounds. Slaps, hits and cheers & jeers from fights linger in the background. Experimentally visual. Cobra Kai!  

Yaz and Miko – "Late Spring Ep" – [Ascend Recordings]

aarbor   3/31/2021   12-inch, A Library

Yaz and Miko are DJ Yaz (Canada) and Tarik Alj (from Morocco) now both working in Canada and founders of the Edit Recordings label. This release from 2002 is among their first. Described as tribal and techno, it is pounding beatsand none of the subtlety and melodies which Tarik Alj
weaves into his own music. AArbor.

Cyrnai – “Charred Blossoms” – [Dark Entries]

lexi glass   3/30/2021   12-inch, A Library

As a teenager in the Bay Area in the early 80s, Carolyn Fok was painting, writing poetry, experimenting with synthesizers and reel-to-reel recorders, and getting deep into the local post punk scene. Her many artistic influences came together under the name Cyrnai, beginning with the release of her debut album Charred Blossoms in 1985, now reissued by Dark Entries. The record is gorgeous; a collage of industrial rhythms mixed with instruments like flute, piano, saxophone and mandolin and her surreal spoken word poetry. As Cyrnai describes it, “the sounds on the record are depressive, yet should fit perfect in a bouquet of flames,” and if that isn’t the most spot-on description of a typical KFJC set I don’t know what is. Cyrnai went on to release several more solo albums and to play in other Bay Area groups including Rhythm and Noise, Trial, and A State of Mind, whose records can be found in our library.

Thuja – “Hills” – [Rose Hobart]

whngr   3/26/2021   12-inch, A Library

Languid Arrhythmic Hum Gentle washes of various drones and myriad traditional and found/constructed percussive elements that will lull you into a slightly twitchy narcoleptic repose. 




Thuja (a variety of cypress tree) are a group of avant-garde creators of sound that are self styled “organic drone folk-noise” and employ myriad natural found-objects in their improvisational sound and aesthetic. San Francisco (one currently the other formerly) sound explorers, sculptors, naturalists, and two parts of Thuja, Loren Chasse (The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers, Of) and Glenn Donaldson (The Skygreen Leopards, The Blithe Sons, Flying Canyon and his solo projects The Birdtree and The Ivytree) were the backbone of an entity once known as Jeweled Antler, a collective of friends and musicians bound by an ephemeral and conceptual yet “methodically constructed” aesthetic that contain “hermetic symbolism and mystical nature imagery.”

Yevtushenko, Yevgeny – “In Readings From His New York and San Francisco Concerts” – [Columbia]

whngr   3/22/2021   12-inch, A Library

Readings in English and Russian by acclaimed poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko with friends on both American coasts ca. 1972.

Exploring themes like the Vietnam conflict and genocide, Yevtushenko was criticized by fellow Russian poets for working with the Communist Party.; allowed to travel extensively during the Cold War and often critical of the West, Yevtushenko was able to forge new ground, delivering passionate, compelling, and rousing performances while casting dispersion. Though the topics are well tread in 2021 and can feel a bit trite at times, they are nonetheless, valid criticisms of some of humanity’s darkest days. However, the performances by all parties are what makes this recording engaging. The meter, and projection is fierce, words as weapons with lashing tongues rolling ‘r’s like vitriolic peals of thunder… barring Allen Ginsberg who really seems to struggle with the emotional depth of the suffering conveyed by all the other performers… including the heckler on Babi Yar (B3) whom Yevgeny shuts down just prior to his performance, eliciting a round of applause from the audience, who I gather were communist sympathizers and anti-empirical yet far too soft and weakened by capitalism to survive in Mother Russia… besides their political radicalism was merely a phase and they probably became a bit complacent after profiting greatly through their early investment in Apple™.

Yevtushenko passed in April 2017 at the age of 83, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Rotting Sky – “Sedation” – [Black Horizons]

whngr   3/19/2021   12-inch, A Library

Fervent Obliteration Ritual

Devastating Harsh Noise/Black Metal. 

Abrasive yet ethereal. 

Sullen and fierce.

 Remote, impervious, and elusive though personal and uncomfortably intimate.

Throbbing. Peeling. Clawing. Bleeding. Crying. 

Cold and implacable.

Miserable yet divine.

A colorless crawl through a gauntlet of polar extremes.

It is likely that this is not for you. Put the record down and walk away.

Forget you crossed paths with this horrifying monument to pain.

That was close. A narrow escape. But you’ll carry on… for a while anyway.

Rotting Sky is one Tim Messing of Portland Oregon and guitarist of the now defunct Nux Vomica. 

Berk, Ernest – "Electronic Music For Two Ballets" – [Trunk Records]

aarbor   3/17/2021   12-inch, A Library

Ernest Berk was born in Cologne, Germany. He was known as a pioneering ballet dancer, teacher and electronic music artist. He went to England and started a dance company there. This album is consists of the scores for 2 of his ballets: Initiation and Gemini. Initiation is about “modern youth’ and its ritualistic behavior, being “initiated” in order to belong. Gemini is about a young man falling in love with identical twin sisters. Forget that these are ballets. This music can be used for many other purposes and will appeal to a broad audience. Berk created an electronic sound suited to his experimental dance style – it is abstract and great listening. Towards the end of his life Berk gifted his entire collection of work to the Historical Archive of the City of Cologne – most of which was destroyed during the construction of an underground railway. These 2 recordings come from an original which the family had. AArbor

Villard, Michel – "Les Musique Des Films De Charlie Chaplin" – [Disques Vogue]

aarbor   3/17/2021   12-inch, Soundtrack

Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker and composer who rose to fame during the silent film era. His life was a true rags to riches story as his childhood in London was quite impoverished. His best known character is “the Tramp”. He directed and produced his own films, also wrote them, edited them, starred in them, and wrote the music. On this album you’ll find music from: his silent films: The Kid (1921), A woman of Paris (1923), The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928), City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936), his first sound film The Great Dictator (1940) which satirized Adolf Hitler, and his later films: Limelight (1952), A King in New York (1957) and A Countess from Hong Kong (1967). AArbor

Sula Bassana – “Shipwrecked” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   3/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

Psychedelic, electronic, krautrock from Germany’s own Dave Schmidt (AKA Sula Bassana). From uptempo, hard diving compositions to more mellow ambient tunes this 2016 solo release “Shipwrecked” is sure to please your ear drums and your mind. Recorded using vintage synthesizers,  organs, drum boxes, and guitar in Sula’s “Amoebeklangraum”, or little sound room as Clemens Mitscher describes it, this Sulatron Records release will keep your head bobbing and your mind throbbing with pleasure as you enjoy some thoroughly out of this world kosmische musik. 

Max de Wardener – “Music For Detuned Pianos” – [Village Green]

Max Level   3/14/2021   12-inch, A Library

Composer de Wardener’s pieces written for pianos modified with various ‘non-standard’ tuning systems. If you enjoy the unusual instrument tuning concepts of composers such as Harry Partch and LaMonte Young, then you will no doubt appreciate what’s going on here. I’m just a dumb bass player so I can’t tell you much about tunings such as “seven-limit just intonation” or “overtones from three interlocking harmonic series” but I can say the music they produce is pleasantly otherworldly. I do wonder why four pieces played in standard piano tuning are included–the liner notes say it’s “to provide a familiar perspective” but one track like that would have been plenty. I’m here for the modified tuning stuff. Pieces performed by pianist Kit Downes.

Cobra Thief /Animal Oxygen

carsonstreet   3/11/2021   12-inch, A Library

Cobra Thief/Animal Oxygen

Cobra Thief says of themselves on bandcamp: Cobra Thief is a perfect mix of Kyuss, Soundgarden and Mountain. Deep, spaced out Rock’N’Roll since 2017. They are often described as Desert Rock. Their sound floats along the dividing line between heavy psych and stoner rock in a way that is unique. Very cool stuff.

Boy Dirt Car – “Familia”- [After Music Recordings]

whngr   3/8/2021   12-inch, A Library

 Fractured Dada with Resonance.
Mid weight noise, subverted rock, confrontational tirade, drone, monkey screeches, feedback and malevolent psychedelia. Defies description but could potentially be an aural analog of the brown acid of upstate New York circa 1969.
While preparing this album for our MP3 database I found that I was having a hell of a time finding any delineation between tracks, listening repeatedly until I felt a lurch and madness began to creep through my mind in the shape of a fractal of oxidizing steel leaning in to the sky on a cold winter’s afternoon. Exploring the hive mind I discovered track lengths from multiple sources, none of which corresponded with my increasingly worrisome recording. I searched harder and decided the speed must have been wrong on my turntable so cutting corners I began to stretch the track lengths warping the sound but it still wasn’t quite matching up with Spitify. I decided to pan my recording all the way to the left and listen to it on brandcamp to see where they diverged but still they only seemed to be in sync momentarily before I became lost in the echoing swarm of voices and irregular percussion. I panned all the way to the right but the only thing I could truly discern was that I was no longer tethered to my faculties as I felt reality become diaphanous and I slipped further into my confusion. I began to hear something or someone breaking into our house or perhaps raccoons had penetrated the walls… I threw down the headphones. What was that sound? I descended the stairs while surrounded by an unfamiliar noise, lunacy, and an unremitting need to discover the source. I threw open the front door and was met by an impromptu storm; huge globs of water striking the earth and the awnings accompanied by moderate wind and the return to my senses. Back in my room I decided to take a new tack. What could the record tell me visually? I found that where I had intuited the end of the tracks and the beginning of the next were totally in line with a minor interruption in the grooves and that the track titles did not correspond with the streaming sites online; this album was not the same as the one online. Clarity and insight followed, I had something analog and different from what was readily available to the masses and it was a puzzle, one that had pushed me into the gaping maw of madness before being solved partly due to an atmospheric shift and a seemingly random coincidence of procyonic sounding reverberations and upon reflection; this was an appropriate introduction to Boy Dirt Car, one the group I’m sure, would appreciate.
Formed in Chicago in 1981 by Darren Brown and Eric Lunde. They were soon joined by Keith Brammer and Dan Kubinski of Die Kreuzen,  building an avid and devoted following before crumbling in 1989. They were rebuilt sans E. Lunde in 2001.

Hissing – “Permanent Destitution” – [Profound Lore Records]

whngr   3/8/2021   12-inch, A Library

Frantic, demented Death Metal from Seattle Washington.

Grinding gloom with sparse, uncomfortable, perverse mathematics. 

Anger, hurt, toil, apathy.

 Furious guitar, drums, and bass with guttural bellows and sparse noisy abstraction.

Numbness, intellect, drudgery, despair.

Not quite lo-fi with attack, vision, and a deranged masochistic bent.

“The miasma of the human hive in the city we live in. Rather than active human malice and cruelty, I think we’re more interested in the dull violence of tedium, the slow corrosive way that modern life saps your passion and vitality day by day and we let it happen.” -Z. Wise of Hissig

Trumans Water – “Godspeed The Static” – [Drunken Fish]

SlartiBartfast   3/6/2021   12-inch, A Library

Fantastic, raw, energetic, Low-Fi, garage sounds from Trumans Water. Transport yourself to that underground, post-punk, improvisational sound emanating from a warehouse party of the early 90’s. A band appears and begins to test the limits of expression and noise. All distortion on instruments and mic’s at 11. Perfection! “Godspeed the Static” is Trumans Water’s first in a series of limited releases of the Godspeed series. The Godspeed limited releases are all live, in studio, improvisational sessions. “Godspeed the Static” is a noisy, fuzzy, gritty gem of an intro to the Godspeed recording series. From “Sweet Sister Gay” to “California Lies” This is a four track LP sure to let that pent up anxiety disappear into the fuzzy distortion of Trumans Water’s loud, noisy and impressive improvisational escape. 

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