KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Bunnett, Jane and Maqueque – "On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme" – [Linus Entertainment]

aarbor   9/9/2021   12-inch, Jazz

Jane Bunnett is a Canadian alto sax player, flutist and pianist, with many recordings to her credit. With Maqueque she set out to mentor up-and-coming young Cuban women jazz musicians. The group has become very successful playing at high visibility festivals.They are being touted as the “New Queens of Afro-Cuban Jazz”. They are deliberately trying to sidestep the machismo of the Cuban jazz scene and have succeeded, although I find myself wishing for playing with a bit more grit or attitude. AArbor

Brown, James / Live At Home With His Bad Self

carsonstreet   8/31/2021   12-inch, Soul

This album is a complement to the 50th anniversary release of Live at Home With His Bad Self (which itself is an expansion of a 1969 live show that was heavily edited into the LP ‘Sex Machine’), this Record Store Day Black Friday exclusive is the after-show set, featuring extended versions of rare cuts, new mixes, a duet with Marva Whitney and some revealing stage patter.

Davis, Miles / Live In San Juan

carsonstreet   8/31/2021   12-inch, Jazz

By the late ’80s Miles Davis had radically overhauled his style yet again, incorporating prominent synthesizers and using an ever-changing cast of young backing musicians. This remarkable set took place in the intimate setting of the Coach House Concert Hall in San Juan Capistrano, California, on June 15, 1989, and was broadcast on American Public Radio. It features just two tracks, a tribute to Jaco Pastorius from Davis’s 1989 Amandla album and the title-track from 1986’s Tutu. Check out the insert with lots of additional information. This is on serious 180g vinyl and is a UK import.

Mylingar – “Doda Sjalar” – [Amor Fati Productions]

whngr   8/25/2021   12-inch, A Library

Hideous Black Death

Devastatingly ugly bombast. Murky and bleak, unhinged growls and animalistic  howls  through a haze of terror, dissonance, and echoes. Searing guitar riffs, tortured cries, soupy bass, and buried drums propelling misery. An unhinged cacophony in the key of the savage hermit. Sometimes messy, often disjointed, but always reveling in discomfort and despair. A black series of psalms for the worship of the wretched.

From Encyclopedia Metallum: “Mylingar” is the plural of “myling”. In Scandinavian folklore, the word “myling” indicates a wandering ghost of an unbaptized child.

A compelling aside, Metallum also states ‘Members’ as ‘None”.

Tyranny and tortuous ruin without authorship adds value to this fiendishly sickening LP, their third offering in a feast of steaming viscera.

Sweden – 2019

Von Till, Steve – "A Deep Voiceless Wilderness" – [Neurot Recordings]

cinder   8/18/2021   12-inch, A Library

Known for being the vocalist and guitarist in Neurosis… a punishing, heavy band, Von Till’s solo efforts often take a soft departure and venture into new delicate territories. This release is his first solo record without a guitar in hand, opting this time for piano, cello, strings, French horn, mellotron and analog synthesizers, no voice. It’s drifty, ambient, reminiscent, gloomy yet optimistic. The cover art influences a vision of resting on an isolated island, soft winds and gentle waves, while giant moons and ships float by. A ghostly feeling, as if you’re watching your life walk down another path you almost chose.

Bassett, Marcia & Dimuzio, Thomas – "Losing Circles" – [Yew]

cinder   8/18/2021   12-inch, A Library


Collaboration between Buchla heads, Marcia & Thomas. She’s out in Phillie (I think), is a part of Double Leopards, GHQ, and Hototogisu & runs the Yew label that this is released on. Dimuzio is a local guy, known for his modular knobbery. This work explores ‘sound interference, texture, and ultra low-end synth waves’. They met each other at Thomas’s radio show, Frequency Modulation Radio at KFPA up in Berkeley, and then met together again and created this dark, sizzling, experimental noise nest. Crunchy, static, alien radio waves, computer squiggles of the past, cavernous synth sounds.   

Cat Stevens – Harold & Maude Soundtrack

carsonstreet   8/17/2021   12-inch, Soundtrack

Harold and Maude is a 1971 film that incorporates elements of dark humor and existentialist drama. The plot revolves around Harold Chasen (Bud Cort) who is intrigued with death. Harold drifts away from the life that his detached mother prescribes for him, and slowly develops a strong friendship, and eventually a romantic relationship, with a 79-year-old woman named Maude (Ruth Gordon), a Nazi concentration camp survivor who teaches Harold about the importance of living life to its fullest and that life is the most precious gift of all.

Critically and commercially unsuccessful when originally released, the film developed a cult following and in 1983 began making a profit. The film is ranked number 45 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Funniest Movies of all Time. Much of Harold and Maude was filmed in the bay area including Berkeley, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, Dumbarton Bridge, Emeryville, Golden Gate National Cemetery, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, Menlo Park, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, Mori Point, Oakland, Pacifica and the courthouse in Redwood City.

The music in Harold and Maude was composed and performed by Cat Stevens. He had been suggested by Elton John to do the music after John had dropped out of the project. Stevens composed two original songs for the film, “Don’t Be Shy” and “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” and performed instrumental and alternative versions of the songs “On the Road to Find Out”, “I Wish, I Wish”, “Miles from Nowhere”, “Tea for the Tillerman”, “I Think I See the Light”, “Where Do the Children Play?” and “Trouble”. This record is a Record Store Day exclusive on 180g orange vinyl.

Lizards Exist – Lizards Exist

carsonstreet   8/17/2021   12-inch, A Library

Croatian Psychedelic/Space rock band with a new approach to vintage psychedelia. Founded in Zagreb, Croatia in 2011. They played for almost four years, including live concerts, before they went into the studio to record their debut album in March 2014. This self-titled debut was recorded using only vintage equipment (pre-1976) which contributes to its warm and rich sound, typical of the 70’s psychedelic music. Recorded live at Kramasonik Studio, March 2014. It features a very interesting blend of influences including early Pink Floyd, krautrock bands like CAN or Ash Ra Tempel and Canterbury acts like Gong and Soft Machine. This is no exercise in nostalgia it is new, fresh and totally psychy. Album mastered at Abby Road and manufactured in England.

Boris Brozović – drums, percussions, thunder drum
Siniša Mraović – guitars, binson echorec, volume pedal
Roko Margeta – hammond organ, rhodes piano, mellotron, arp 2600 & kawai 100f  synthesizers, roland space echo
Tihomir Zdjelarević – bass, space effects

Flesh World – “Wild Animals In My Life, The” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   8/11/2021   12-inch, A Library

Sweet and somber sounds both emotive and indifferent in 4/4.

Depressive (reverb, down to mid-tempo, perspective/lyrical themes) 

Post (reverb, song duration)

Punk (Downstrokes, Distortion)

Local (to San Francisco… at least they were in 2017)

Queer (like most of the local talent they were probably evicted)

Rock (they did, they might again… if you put them on the radio)

Shoegaze (reverb)

Favorite tracks: Poolside Boys (B5), Strawberry Bomber (B6), Here In The Dark (B8)

We may already possess the lion’s share of Flesh World releases but they may have become too recognizable for kfjc to add “The Wild Animals In My Life” to our “underground” library when it was released in 2015 perhaps due to the attention they received by mainstream “hip” “subculture” media outlets. Perhaps we turned our backs on them like their soulless landlords did, maybe Greta Clue left for warmer climes, or could it be that we lost touch with the marginalized youth of our rapidly changing Bay Area? Got old, got lazy, sick, tired, cripled, jaded, and comfortable. I know I did… but I’m not giving up. Not like you. So put the record down and grab a fist full of thumbdrives, let the algorithm do it for you, give ‘er the ol’ “random play” and see how little your tastes have changed in the  the last 40 years ya fuckin’ codger. 

One can read fairly extensively online about Flesh World’s motivation, line-up, and perspective but what one can’t find out is whether they still exist. Do so and you might, like I did, discover that they are queer (a fact which eluded me, lummox that I am. An online article even stated, “…you’d have to be pretty dense not to get where they’re coming from”). That’s cool. It doesn’t matter much to me how an artist might get their kicks (though I am a huge fan of consent) but I recognize (more so in recent years) that being queer informs a slew of aspects around creative output… and I know that my favorite artists tend not to be that “well adjusted” so how you identify is fine with me. Just know that I think it is important that you hurt. Temper your art against the anvil of suffering. Do it again. Get strange. Get dark. Get relevant. And if at all possible stay… in the (once far more queer) Bay Area. Do it for me, do it for the art, and do it, if for no other reason, than to piss off your landlord.

Electric Moon – “Stardust Rituals” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   8/10/2021   12-inch, A Library

Electric Moon – “Stardust Rituals”

Dark, heavy, psychedelic, Krautrock on Electric Moon’s 5th studio release “Stardust Rituals”. Released in 2017, “Stardust Rituals” guides you through a heavy guitar and bass lead journey through the galaxy that will keep your musical soul entranced. Electric Moon delights the senses  laying down swaying, fuzzed out, psychedelic loops with the occasional infusions of e-sitar, Mellotron, and more that lead to musical….trips of your own experience. Strap on your space helmets dear listeners, and enjoy the Stardust.

Papir – “Jams” – [Stickman Records]

SlartiBartfast   8/10/2021   12-inch, A Library

Papir – “Jams”

Strap yourselves in, adjust your space helmets, and enjoy the cosmic space dust that Papir emanates on this double 12” LP. Papir is a psychedelic, space rock trio out of Copenhagen, Denmark that have been spreading their brand of space jams since 2010. Pushing the boundaries of how improvised, psychedelic, space jams are defined, Papir have driven this live, improvised jam session to new cosmic heights. “Jams” was recorded live, in studio during two recording sessions in January of 2020. Find your comfy chair, relax your mind, and let Papir blast you off to new galactic wonders.

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

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