Music Reviews

Tholfsen, David – “Walk With Me” – [Spoor LLC]

aarbor   7/20/2022   12-inch, A Library

David Tholfsen is from San Leandro and is definitely a KFJC listener. He says “The majority of these songs are conjured up while walking or hiking. The songs come home and three to 6 voices are multi tracked and mixed together. There are chants and rhythms that move your feet, climb that hill, cross that street. Pick out a song, set it on loop and walk for miles.” I suppose he’s attempting to inspire the listener to exercise – at least that’s what it says on the record jacket. It’s fun to hear his voice as multiple voices. There are 22 short tracks here. AArbor

Glacial Tomb “Glacial Tomb” [Gilead Media]

atavist   7/19/2022   12-inch, A Library

Metal from Denver, selecting and alloying elements of death and doom, blackened around the edges just so. Technical, but not dizzyingly technical. Thick, but not bone-crushing. Track A3 nearly buckles under its own weight. Tracks A2 and A4 have a momentum to them that carries them along better to this reviewer’s ears. The tracks are seldom fast, but also they aren’t mid-aughts glacial advances of doom riffs. I’ve been listening to a lot of projects lately that take this or that element to an extreme, while Glacial Tomb tread more to the middle. Skewed perspective aside, it’s still heavy and well-executed. The glaciers aren’t advancing, but receding to their oblivion, revealing a chaos of pain exposed to the sun. Soaring guitar solos that can’t help but be bright and soar above the murky detritus below. Each of the three band members experienced deaths of close relatives within months of recording the album, and they channeled that grief into the work.

Fachada – “Mundos Secretos” – [Electric Cowbell]

humana   7/16/2022   12-inch, A Library

This is Rob Smith, known as Fachada (facade), creating “secret worlds” from his home in Washington, D.C. Worlds filled with his percussive talents and influenced by a bunch of Brazilian LPs he once found in a junk yard. Each track on here is a short delight of Brazilian rhythms, funk, jazz, Afro beats–and it’s his debut release. If you love Brazilian music, you’ll love this.

Cyrillic Typewriter, The – “Buzz” – [Jaz Records]

humana   7/16/2022   12-inch, A Library

This album contains some incredibly mellow music composed by Jason Zumpano of Vancouver, BC. Side A has more of a soundtrack feel to it with the channeling a mellow saloon (A2) or an otherworldly atmosphere (A4). Paul Rigby’s pedal steel contributes to this feeling. On Side B, Zumpano’s rhodes and synthesizers create more of a solemn feeling like wind whistling through a graveyard (B1) or a hushed cathedral (B3), although the pedal steel threads in and out to give an unexpected Hawaiian feeling. All instrumental, this is a pretty, gentle aural experience despite the eerie moments.

Raw Radar War – “== (Double Equals)” – [Land O’Smiles]

whngr   7/15/2022   12-inch, A Library

Doom Sludge Hardcore. 

Four young men smash genres, colliding in an onslaught of contemptuous vengeance and unfettered spite. Blaring guitars wind between ejaculations of anger, detuned grooves, smashing percussion, and some intermittent noise elements primarily bookending tracks.

Sweaty bodies writhe with vigor. Danger pervades. The odor of vagrants. Blinding white light, an elbow to the face, you’re falling. Bodies swarm around you as unknown hands slide beneath your arms; you’ve been erected. Guitars push the fetid air over your ringing ears. Your lungs heave as unknown moisture spatters your neck and hand as the maelstrom resumes in the key of despair.

Lazy dj’s beware: much tracking / short intervals between songs and several very short songs.

FCC on B5 Your Prime Directive: “Fuck You”

Boston – 2007

Rodriguez de Lima, Davi – “Fantasma” [Sulatron Records]

carsonstreet   7/11/2022   12-inch, A Library

In 2012 Davi Rodriguez de Lima left Brazil to live in Germany. Former drummer from relatively well known Brazilian indie band Ecos Falsos and from experimental punk band Orange Disaster left Brazil to join his girlfriend. The time adapting to a new country, studying in a foreign language and isolation brought not only into two kids into the world, but also his solo debut Fantasma. Davi composed, played, recorded, mixed and mastered the album by himself. “Working alone has its ups and downs. Self-criticism, loneliness and pressure together with freedom, independence and self-awareness. Time becomes a mix between neurosis and patience.“ Those sensations translate to the album concept. Ghosts (fantasmas) are normally lonely beings, lost between worlds and bubbles, expatriated from life, family and friends. “This is exactly what I have been through in the last years – a Brazilian immigrant building a new life in Germany – though with strong ties to Brazil“. Fantasma has eight songs about this ego trip and all the trips between those sensations. It is also trippy in a more psychedelic sense: lots of delays, weird industrial noises, soundscapes and blues-punk. The album was a part of Davi’s Master thesis in sound design and is therefore very experimental in its production concept. Davi says: “The drums, for example, are not real drums, they are actually a self-produced sample-based drumkit that uses foley techniques noises and recordings. Davi says: “I recorded a wide range of sounds, from construction sites to milk cans; when nothing worked, punching a window did the trick“. Instead of a bass, he used a Moog synthesizer and built a tube guitar amp himself to achieve different timbres. “All part of taking risks. A matter of trial and error, of experimenting, failing, trying again and failing better.”

Kikagaku Moyo – “Masana Temples”

carsonstreet   7/11/2022   12-inch, A Library

Masana Temples is the fourth album from psychedelic explorers Kikagaku Moyo. Kikagaku Moyo is based in Tokyo, Japan. The band’s experiences traveling through life together, ranging from the months spent on tour to making a pilgrimage to Lisbon to record this album with jazz musician Bruno Pernadas. The band sought out Pernadas out of admiration for his music and in an intentional move to work with a producer who came from a very different background. With Masana Temples, the band wanted to challenge their own concepts of what psychedelic music could be. Elements of both the attentive folk and wild-eyed rocking sides of the band are still intact throughout, but they’re sharper and more defined. Life for a traveling band is a series of constant metamorphoses, with languages, cultures, climates and vibes changing with each new town. Inspecting the harmonies and disparities between these perspectives, the group reflects the emotional impact of their nomadic paths. Every track has a different feel and describing the music as psychedelic is pretty loose. The album artwork is a trip. Very enjoyable.

Earthmonkey – “Underground Carousel”

carsonstreet   7/11/2022   12-inch, A Library

Peat Bog’s Earthmonkey does it again with this psychedelic and macabre double record entitled “Underground Carousel”. Pete is best known for his contributions to Rock and Roll Station along with Steve Stapleton of Nurse With Wound. Forced Exposure says of Earthmonkey: “We live in a world where the term ‘psych’ is thrown around with such frequency that it seems to mean little more than ‘weird guitars,’ which is everything nowadays, and could well mean Cher for that matter. So, when we say ‘psych’ in relation to Earthmonkey, we mean Monks. We mean Bonniwell Music Machine. We mean Wolfgang Dauner. We mean Amon Duul II. We mean Taj Mahal Travelers.”After all is said and done Earthmonkey is Earthmonkey.

Hatespirit – “Ageless Wilderness” – [Altare Productions]

whngr   6/29/2022   12-inch, A Library

Shivering Northern Declamation

Highly adept, if not terribly unique, Black cum War Metal, recorded and mixed proficiently that fully captures the vehemence, violence, and venom of its creators. No quarter is given on this devastating assault, barring the first track which is a brief electronic drone affair, the pace is relentless; absolute carnage. However there is enough variation in structure and execution to highlight the abilities of this impressive release from Finland.

Thematically Hatespirit embraces the ouvre of their Scandinavian counterparts noting death, darkness, misery, misanthropy, and nature mysticism on their Metallum profile but further reading will unveil that the founding member and drummer, Woewrb (Serpenfyre) flirts with forbidden ethos citing an apolitical stance and an unapologetic devotion and respect for Northern ancestry. It isn’t difficult for this miserable volunteer to relate to, and be slightly jealous of, these perspectives as the trickle of Nordic blood in my veins longs for those frozen climes, filled with trolls, fjords, and forests. Regretfully, it is impossible for me to truly connect with my heritage, as my bloodline is so muddled and impure, the connection to my homeland so tenuous, and the society that I inhabit so utterly enthralled with inclusion and misconceived virtue that I must relinquish the truth. I belong nowhere. Unlike this fine album which belongs squarely in our library henceforth to spew vitriolic rage and a veneration of the withering natural world at our listeners until the end of civilization which, given the current social and political climate, seems to point to early in 2023.

Oulu – 2018

Genogeist “Genogeist” [Black Water]

atavist   6/29/2022   12-inch, A Library

Fast, furious, crusty thrash metal. Definite hardcore element as well. Quick tracks that drop in fast and get right to the pummeling. Old-school, grimly focused on the proper expression of hatred for the machinery of control. An older form of sonic fury pressed into service to fit our current moment of inexorable decline. The excellent recording captures what I imagine to be a ferocious live sound. There’s an FCC in Gridlocked but you’ll be hard-pressed to make it out.

Spunt, Dean / Weise, John – “Echoing Shell, The” – [Drag City]

Mister S   6/29/2022   12-inch, A Library

Released 2022.

Musique Concrete, Experimental, electronic freakout for the adventurous. Go down this rabbit hole of noise cut-up wildness and hang on to the handrail and do not let go. Wonderful heavyweight vinyl for the connoisseur of the black crack. Fans of Framework radio and industrial sounds will be in heaven, or perhaps hell. YMMV. Beware of what additives you choose for your listening experience and consciousness expansion.

Interracial Sex / Bacillus – “Tropics: Modern Methodologies, The” – [Fusty Cunt]

abacus   6/25/2022   12-inch, A Library

inevitable collaboration between PNW power electronicists bring us a brief study in postcolonial epidemiology: spread and origins. enveloped in humidity ideal for festering, lingering, mutating; dense with vicious feedback and jagged edged noise; rife with geographic exploitation and exclusion. both artists’ portfolios pose hopeless charges for the human condition and its kismet: mankind as the nemesis of its own annihilation: race and disease as its weapons: this is the soundtrack of the plagued scourge and roar of slow extinction

Weaver, Jane – “Flock” – [Fire Records]

puplaif   6/22/2022   12-inch, A Library

Do you look at yourself and find nothing? Jane Weaver ponders this, and other existential queries on her 11th album Flock. 

My ears gravitated towards the album’s whimsical and blissful sounds. The lyrical content is, at times, difficult to decipher among the mix, though that didn’t stop me from singing along! Weaver’s airy vocals mimic the songs of the various birds in her flock. It’s as if she’s summoning them through each song, awaiting their return as depicted on the album cover’s artwork, which features a portrait of Jane seated in a peacock chair, surrounded by a fortress of colorful birdhouses. The overall sound is dreamy, poppy, and a little bit funky. Touches of chimes, flute, and guitar intermingle with space age laser beam synths and drum machine loops. 

Pressed on buttercream vinyl. 

BeNe GeSSeRiT – “Fashion Is a Dirty Word” – [Domani Sounds]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   12-inch, A Library

A completely tweaked treat from 1987 Belgium via Alain Neffe. Here Alain is “Benedict G” synthing his way around and besides his wife Nadine Bal (aka “B. Ghola”). Things start with a mirror world take on G-L-O-R-I-A but the whole album is glorious with some songs taking longer to read their titles than to actually listen to them. Check out #2 like a shot of la-la-las in a bar from Blade Runner. Nadine’s imbalanced vox are so perfect, often in a kind of clipped and buzzed English. Insane Music for Insane People is not just an appropriate assessment, it was the title for Neffe’s series of collections in the 80’s. Kookoo keyboards, drum machines with dimples, occasional sax/clarinet squalls, brief processional guitar. But mostly the analog keys carry the sound for art-inflected minimal music, which is not afraid to
be catchy at times. Or to be imitation Chinese or an Xmas carol in exile. “You Can Dance If You Want To” is like the Waitresses meet the Kinks. Things are definitely kinky strange through-out, but less red-light district and far more playful wonder for your inner child bouncing on a trampoline of reverb.
Forget fear, Fun is the mind-liberator.
-Thurston Hunger
PS KFJC has a Feeding Tube Bennie & the G lp for further frolic

Kungens Man – “Kungens Ljud & Bild”

carsonstreet   6/19/2022   12-inch, A Library

Kungens Män (The Kings Man) started out in 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. Always new sounds and improvisations, different guest musicians, different happenings. Kungens Män are rooted in the psychedelic/drone rock tradition of bands such as Träd, Gräs & Stenar, but also add influences from krautrock, shoegaze, noise rock and free jazz. On bandcamp Kungens Män describes themselves: “What started out with the sole purpose of hanging out as friends, occasionally with instruments in tow, has resulted in records on several labels and numerous European tours. The fundamental idea has never changed though – to get immersed in sound, and let the drone be the main trail taking the band to inner space – may it be through folkish melodies, noise, shoegaze sheets, free jazz outbursts, motorik beats or just good old head melting rock. And of course, it’s all improvised on the spot.” I have included English translations on the sleeve and in spidey. Highly encourage using the translations unless your Swedish is very good.

Black Arkives [coll] – [Justice League]

Mister S   6/17/2022   12-inch, Reggae

Recorded at The Black Ark in Kingston, Jamaica and produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry in the period between 1973 and late 1975.

On The Black Arkives Lee “Scratch” Perry explores the possibilities of his equipment, trying to get the sounds in his head onto tape and ultimately emerge from our speakers. This period is thought to be some of his most personal creations. Sonic euphoria.

Mamiffer “The Brilliant Tabernacle” [Sige Records]

atavist   6/15/2022   12-inch, A Library

The KFJC library currently has a handful of Mamiffer tracks on splits and collaborations. These are spare, almost austere compositions built around keyboards/piano with a light touch of additional instrumentation, exploring spaces of loss. In contrast, “The Brilliant Tabernacle” is a collection of gentle songs about new life, the experience of parenthood, seeking a spiritual mooring in a new world created from the ruins of the old. Primary collaborators Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner had their first child during the album’s approximately six year development period, and the album’s title came to Coloccia in a dream. This work provides a further exploration into the Mamiffer sound, operating in spare composition, with folk instruments folded in. The sound is anchored around Collocia’s vocals and keyboards. There are at times loud things, pounding drums and distorted guitar, that seethe below the surface. The group wants this played loudly so that the dynamic range Randall Dunn created can be fully experienced. Beautiful and at times ethereal and haunting.

die Angel – “Live in Austin” – [Erototox Decodings]

Max Level   6/15/2022   12-inch, A Library

Two side-long drone pieces, recorded in Austin TX in 2019. This long-running duo (Ilpo Vaisanen of Pan Sonic and Dirk Dresselhaus of Schneider TM) use electronics, prepared guitar, and effects to create their mildly tense ‘instant compositions.’ Side A has a slightly rough, buzzing quality and Side B is somewhat the same except it has a subdued electronic beat layer during most of it. Nice.

Studio One DJ Party [coll] – [Soul Jazz Records]

Mister S   6/13/2022   12-inch, Reggae

This double album gatefold is a great place to enter into the world of Dancehall DJ’s. Included in the gatefold sleeve are not left over roaches, seeds or shake but fantastic liner notes about the various founders of the genre for those seeking entry into a wonderful world of reggae music. Roll a spliff of less than quality ganja utilizing the gatefold, perfect for filtering away the seeds. Recline comfortable and take a listen both on your headphones and also your speaker system when you can play at maximum volume. Studio One is a classic provider of reggae of all genres, this in particular features some of the greats of Dancehall.

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