KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

James, Timothy – “Wind” – [Tiger Shrimp]

Max Level   2/28/2018   12-inch, A Library

Lovely little guitar pieces by Mr. James. Some are on the floaty side, some are more insistent. Overdubs of multiple guitars, bass, and occasionally a simple drum machine beat. Lengthwise, most tracks are in the 2 to 3 minute range, with the longest topping out at just under 4 minutes. DJs who don’t enjoy playing short tracks on the air–I tend to be one of them–can take advantage of the fact that there is not much space between the tracks, which means one could create a “mini-suite” by playing 2 or 3 or 4 tracks in a row. All instrumental.

Vono – “Dinner Fur 2” – [Bureau-B]

Naysayer   2/27/2018   12-inch, A Library

How Dieter can you get? Not much more Dieter than this!!!!! Early 1980’s Berlin (of course) dark wave brothers duo, Norbert and Volker Schultze. Minimalist synth with bass. Minimal lyrics shout spoken rather than sung. Electro pop dance angular German wave akin to DAF but more stripped down and challenging. What they did was radical at the time, with it’s angular beats and sometimes shouted simple lyrics about such things as lottery numbers. They became very popular in Germany with the club kids with the release of their first album but then decided to add drums and guitar and … well… that just didn’t cut the mustard. Put on your black parachute pants, stand next to some venetian blinds, turn the tv on static and angular dance to your hearts content.

Bardo Pond Featuring Acid Mothers Temple, Guru Guru – “Acid Guru Pond” – [Fire Records]

Naysayer   2/27/2018   12-inch, A Library

Collaboration projects can be iffy. This one works on many levels, all satisfying, intriguing and inventive. Acid Mothers Temple (ACT) and Guru Guru have worked together in band variations to form new interpretations of their individual projects. Bardo Pond chose to work with the two to make a new Bardo Pond project, Acid Guru Pond. Two LP’s, four sides, five tracks, luscious color. These pieces really do sound like a mix of the three groups. You can hear their styles push through but then get enveloped in the soup of the jams. Long jams. Some psychedelic, some drone, some letting loose with guitar, drums, bass in an almost free jazz interpretation. A crowd pleaser for sure and for those in the know. Enjoy all the colors.

Pulse Emitter – “Serious Meditative Music 1- 5” – [Immune Recordings]

billiejoe   2/21/2018   12-inch, A Library

Tones from Portland by Daryl Groetsch, an electronic artist who is classically trained. This album is five discs of ceaseless building and patterns and plateaus. These are short tracks that can be played on continuous. The first four discs were made each year between 2007 and 2010. Disc 5 was newly released last year.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Goodman, Greg/ Gruntfest, John – “In This Land All The Birds Wore Hats & Spurs” – [Beak Doctor, The]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2018   12-inch, A Library

Time travel on two sides, improv pairing split on
side A’s mid 1980’s vs side B’s 2008. Side A launches
with “Pure Mind” feeling like that flavor of raga jazz,
a few laps of alap, the Goodman’s piano circular and
Gruntfest’s sax centered within. The next piece “Great
Bird” almost rolls into Terry Riley territory. Still a
flowing, rolling, bubbling composition.

Flip the disk and 2008 flies in the window, Gruntfest
wings some phrases, and woodpecker sputter on the
reed. Goodman a few bars of simple chords, then dives
into the prepared piano pluckage and plumage. Act I
is a lot of peck and pluck. Moving into Act II some
of the waves of piano from the 80’s turn up and churn
up darker waters. Free jazz takes flight, screech and
scronk sax and eventually some furious bass clef work
by Goodman. Act II closes with zithery work under the
hood. If Act II was a battle, and at times it felt like
it, here Gruntfest and Goodman find common ground, it’s
not the soothing flow found in the flip side of their
youth. Side A had them united in the song itself, here
the song serves to unite their own unique talents,
so you get more sparks and fire, as opposed to the
cool ripples from their earlier work.
-Thurston Hunger

Trashies, The – “Octagon, The” – [Fine Concepts]

Thurston Hunger   2/17/2018   12-inch, A Library

The place where the spastic stuck is where The Trashies
spot-welded their sound on your heart-shaped ears. They
step into the album like Chuck Norris into a rap battle,
in-it-to-win-it. The opening title track gives you
a little taste of the waste floating in the Trashies
stream of conciousness. Rhyming slang to put your mind
in a sling, and not afraid to play the Buttafuoco card.
Is this where hip hop meets gunk rot? Music escapes from
the drum machine circus, with an array of guitar moves
that might bust out twin-lead Thin Lizzy, or might break
off some thick and stumbly Beefheart chunks. Just because
the dork-o-meter is set on 11, doesn’t mean these itty
bittie ditties aren’t big on style. Of course most songs
come at your quick like a UFC round, 2 minutes is a long
one. This sure scratched my old Uzi Rash itch, sure enough
mighty Max Nordile is in the dumpster band. Erin Allen plays
something too, probably lots of somethings. Album
finishes strong, that “I’m Uh Stayn” and “Shovel” tag
team is a killer. Crazy choruses on both, “Shovel” offers
a sing-along for an asylum, while “Stayn” almost sounds
like he’s saying “Namaste” while a voice over like like
the Weatherman corrects the phrasing. “Fresh Hunny”
drips with sweat of a 100 Prince impersonators. Steel
dum-drums (sampled?) on “Rhinoline” are just fine, and
“Dumb 2 B Smart” is a loaded potato for this old spudboy.
5 Thumbs Up, and venom in my eye! -Thurston Hunger

Mungo’s Hi- Fi – “Serious Time” – [Scotch Bonnet]

rasbabo   2/7/2018   12-inch, Reggae

Mungo’s Hi-Fi Serious Times
Electro-Dancehall style reggae. Mungo’s Hi-Fi comes out of Scotland, but sounds like they are straight outta Kingston, JA. Great line-up of vocalists with many styles and dope rhythms from the sound system. DJs on the decks dropping bomb tracks, and MCs on the mics with excellent flows and vocals. Sides A and B are highlighted by female vocalists Warrior Queen, Soom T, and Marina, who help balance things out and add a sweet flava to a scene often dominated by dudes.
Sides C and D the Dudes are back in control and strutting their stuff. Cornell Campbell is a recognizable name on the last track, but all cuts are strong.
Ras Babo

Battles – “EP C/B EP” – [Warp Records Ltd]

Naysayer   2/6/2018   12-inch, A Library

Battles: math rock, post rock, art rock. Whatever. These two EP’s from 2004, brought together as a double album, are Battles as a foursome, including Tyondai Braxton. That’s early Battles. Exquisite interplay of guitars, bass, keyboard and drums, spilling out patterns, breaking them apart, overlapping, interpreting, adjusting. This is the project at it’s beginnings, establishing a foundation of what would follow. Calculate away.

Computer – “Internet” – [Skrot Up]

Phil Phactor   1/31/2018   12-inch, A Library

This is an album called ‘Internet’ by an outfit calling themselves ‘Computer,’ and well it sounds exactly like you think it would. Which is to say, cliched synth squiggles, slapdash Youtube sampling, text-to-speech, wrong-speed experiments, gratuitous power chords, all chopped up and run through Ableton by a pair of millennials on an Adderall/weed bender. Another reviewer writes: “just a big dump of digital trash that cannot be avoided.”

Tough Solar – “Tough Solar” – [Vibraphone Records]

billiejoe   1/10/2018   12-inch, A Library

This is Michael Lenzi on drums, percussion, voice, melodica (key harmonica), and sampler. He is from Chicago and has played in Number One Cup, Gold Medal, The Fire Show, Resplendent, and Lenzi. This album sounds like ethereal feels and sad voices. The looping makes it feel as if we are not alone. Pop sensibility question mark. My favorite track is track 4 Restless Navy.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Morricone, Ennio – “Il Mio Nome E Nessuno” – [AMS]

ophelia necro   1/10/2018   12-inch, Soundtrack

This is the original soundtrack to the 1973 italian western My Name is Nobody. Once the greatest gunslinger of the Old West, Jack Beauregard, only wants to move to Europe and retire in peace, but a young gunfighter, known as “Nobody,” idolizes him and wants to see him go out in a blaze of glory. He arranges for Jack to face the 150-man gang known as The Wild Bunch and earn his place in history.

This soundtrack starts off with a very heavy Room 222 seventies sitcom vibe with flute, etc. The next 2 tracks are more “westerney” with classic whistling and the regular tricks. Track 4, Side A is my fave, it starts off with a clock ticking and slowly the instrumentation and elements that create the perfect Morricone masterpiece. On side 2 the standout for me is the second track with a creepy sound (and that 70s bass!). Track 3 has a weird take on Ride of the Valkyries. The album closes with more 70s flutey sitcom stuff. Overall a nice addition to the library. Morricone is a true master. The liner notes are all in italian which was kinda lame unless you can read italian. This is a re-issue.

Burrell, Kenny – “Cool Cookin'” – [Cadet Records]

Hemroid The Leader   12/19/2017   12-inch, Jazz

Detroit guitarist Kenny Burrell recorded at the Village Vanguard with Rochard Davis (b) and Roy Haynes (d). Also includes a mess of reissues from his other Cadet albums, even Christmas tunes. This is head-in-the-clouds stuff, but not interstellar. “Cool” guitar jazz.

Rota, Nino – “Concerto Di Musiche Da Film” – [Cam]

Hemroid The Leader   12/19/2017   12-inch, Soundtrack

Nino Rota composed the music for all of Fellii’s great films as well as The Godfather. This record documents a concert that took place in Tokyo on March 22, 1976, featuring Rota conducting the New Japan Philharmonic. Side A features tunes from The Godfather, and B are from Fellini movies.

Bacteria – “28 Trax Demo” – [Regurgitated Semen Records]

lexi glass   12/18/2017   12-inch, A Library

Kawakami was the guitarist and frontman of Japanese d-beat punk band Disclose until his untimely death in 2007, when he chased sleeping pills with vodka. The same year Disclose put out their first album, 1994’s Tragedy, Kawakami’s secret side project Bacteria released this demo. On this 2015 re-release from Dan-Doh, the original 28 tracks are crammed onto a single side of a slab of pitch black vinyl to be played at 45 RPM. Blown-out vocals like a feral dog shrieking and howling, bursts of destroyed and demented guitar. If it weren’t for the drumming that appears a few minutes in and explodes as the record goes on, you could mistake this for a sludgy, fucked up noise record – a glimpse of Kawakami’s next act with the harsh noise project(s) Blackgoat/Goatworshipper. Filthy, raw, gut churning. Finally, a record that crust punks and noisedorks can all agree on!

Lord Fyre – “Destruction At 2013” – [Auris Apothecary]

Max Level   11/21/2017   12-inch, A Library

Droning, lo-fi, semi-bedroom recordings. Lord Fyre uses all manner of oddness to make their music–listen for hippie drums, various guitars, lap steel, viola, rhythm box, bells, tape echo, found sounds, flute, public address system, califone(!), solar feedback, sonic overload… there is even a Tony Conrad LP in the mix, adding violins.
A2 is an actual song with vocals, chord changes, and lead guitar. A3 and B2 have vocals too, but they seem more random and off the cuff, which fits the droning, stoned-sounding music.
For the most part, this record will satisfy your need for hazy, laid back, psychedelic drone experiences.