KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

CIA Debutante – “Dust” – [Siltbreeze]

Mister S   6/13/2022   12-inch, A Library

Gloomy Lofi low BPM electronica. Almost deadpan spoken word vocals remind me of Lady Godiva‘s operation by the Velvet Underground. Imagine the Sleaford mods on drugs that make you very slow. Simple synth sounds hark back to 80s electronica. Oddly interesting and somewhat disturbed sounding. Could be layered in with another track playing simultaneously by the adventurous dj. Definitely worth at least a few listens if you are into a gloomier sounding electronica experience. 33 rpm but try pitching down further or pitching higher as well as playing at 45rpm.

Sky Furrows – “S/T” – [Tape Drift Records]

Mister S   6/13/2022   12-inch, A Library

Indie emo pop. Spoken word vocals. Nice simple clean single note and arpeggio guitar, bass and brush drum style accompaniment. Reminds me a bit of Red Stars Theory. Maybe a bit of a Mission of Burma feel about the band sound. Perhaps the Minutemen. Definitely a Lee Ronaldo accompaniment style. NYC downtown art rock.

Fronted by poet Karen Schoemer. Schoemer collaborates with bassist Mike Watt in Jaded Azurites, and with Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby. Eric Hardiman, Mike Griffin and Phil Donnelly are members of psych rock unit Burnt Hills.

Clint Eastwood – “African Youth” – [Radiation Roots]

Mister S   6/4/2022   12-inch, Reggae

Do you like the dub? Do you like the reggae sound? Then you’ll dig this fantastic fantastic 12” vinyl by Clint Eastwood. On this album vocalist Clint Eastwood is backed by the Aggrovators (Sly and Robbie with Earl Smith on Guitar). Engineered by King Tubby. Produced and arranged by Bunny Lee. Listen on your speakers and also on your headphones so that you can discern the subtle nuance of sound. Take a taste. Enjoy an adult beverage. Roll and smoke. Eat and ingest or imbibe via the aural senses alone and you will be back for more.

Coll: Home Schooled – “The ABCs Of Kid Soul”- [Numero Group]

Mister S   6/4/2022   12-inch, Soul

A collection of child bands that sought to follow on the success of the Jackson 5. Check out the liner notes of this double LP gatefold for an interesting history of the recordings. A collection of adult promoters who in some instances are altruistic and others exploitive taking advantage of commercial opportunity. Musically if you’re a fan of RL Burnside, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, early Jackson 5, and Motown recordings you will be enthralled by this collection. Tight rhythm sections. Delicious wah guitar and twisty vocals by young unknown vocalists. Not one but two  dynamic LP’s.

Massage – “Still Life” – [Bobo Integral Mountain St. Mtn]

humana   6/2/2022   12-inch, A Library

Think of how good you feel during a massage, and you’ll come close to the amazing feeling you’ll have as you listen to the songs on this release–nary a track that isn’t upbeat, pure pop joy. The vocals are smooth, the lyrics are sweet, the drums keep the guitars, keyboards, and bass in line. “Somersaults and summer days” (from A3) is about as good a descriptor as any for this entirely enjoyable album. There is really nothing still about the way it makes you feel.

Fisher, Mark & Barton, Justin – “On Vanishing Land” – [Flatlines]

humana   6/2/2022   12-inch, A Library

Fisher (RIP) and Barton took a walk along England’s Suffolk coast one day, and this album, which is really more of a docu-fictional aural experience, is the result. Barton’s narration of the walk is interspersed with interviews with people encountered on the walk, and all of this spoken word is set into music composed by ambient artists who are listed on the album. It is nearly impossible to figure out exactly whose music is accompanying the different narrations, but this is not of great consequence. The atmospheres are alternately eerie (very appropriate since Fisher, a cultural theorist specializing in hauntology) and calming. Read the liner notes and listen to the “dream within a dream,” and figure out what the sound is that comes back when the radar clicks mentioned at the end of Side B are sent out into the unknown. The land may be vanishing, but are we?

Cryptae “Nightmare Traversal” [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

atavist   5/31/2022   12-inch, A Library

Riffs with machine-like rhythms. Growling guitar sound that never roars, with a surprising amount of depth. Cryptae exhibit discipline and even some restraint. This is weird metal, doom leavened with an almost math-rock element. Simple patterns repeat and continuously evolve. The effect, in tracks like Oubliette, can swerve into the mesmerizing. Simply a guitarist and a drummer from the Netherlands, with deathy vokills buried in the mix. Maybe they used some other stuff in the studio, some synths maybe. The drummer is Rene Aquarius, current drummer for Dead Neanderthals, who also appeared on Coffin Lurker’s “Foul and Defiled” and Plague Organ’s “Orphan”, a 39 minute masterwork of menacing beauty within frenzied repetition. We also have one of his solo pieces in the library. Aquarius’s work helps contextualize Cryptae in the mathy and strange but starkly and uncompromisingly heavy terrain, here paired with relative newcomer Kees Peerdeman on guitars. Submit to the machine.

Weather Report – “Heavy Weather”

carsonstreet   5/31/2022   12-inch, Jazz

Weather Report was an American jazz fusion band active from 1970 to 1986. The band started as a free improvising jazz group with avant-garde and experimental electronic leanings and then moved to a funky, edgy sound incorporating elements of R&B and world music. Joe Zawinul used the latest developments in synthesizer technology and took advantage of a large variety of sounds and tone colors to make the band stand out. During the first half of their career, Weather Report were seen as one of the defining acts in modern jazz, winning the DownBeat “best album award” five times in a row. Heavy Weather is Weather Report’s eighth album was a commercial hit thanks to “Birdland,” a catchy change of pace for FM radio and a nice unification with older jazz styles. Austrian leader and keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter were the only original members left. After their introduction on 1976’s Black Market, Florida bassist Jaco Pastorius, Peruvian drummer Alex Acuña and Puerto Rican percussionist Manolo Badrena were promoted to full-time players on Heavy Weather.

Centre El Muusa – “Purple Stones”

carsonstreet   5/31/2022   12-inch, A Library

Centre El Muusa is an Estonian psychedelic rock quartet founded in 2018 (previously named Centre Electronique Muusa). The project, which started as an avant-garde electronic duo of Panfilov and Brodsky in 2015, developed into a rock band, when it was joined by Erdman and Semenihhin. Gradually, the band transformed their sound from uncompromising garage krautrock to more spacious psychedelia with noticeable elements of ambient and country-rock, while maintaining their signature lo-fi approach to recording and not avoiding risks. Another great release from Sulatron Records.The cover art is Peter Max and Yellow Submarine on an extra tab.

Brandsdal, Kjetil and Warland, Thore – “Stavanger 11/12.6.2021” – [Drid Machine Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/25/2022   12-inch, A Library

If you were to tag this as experimental trip hop I don’t think the genre police would pull you over. The turntable has been drinking, not I. Kjetil runs this fine label (and has committed Noxagt acts on KFJC in the past) pairs up with drummer Thore Warland (Staer and Golden Oriole) and they spin out two sides that sound the way the marbled grey vinyl looks. The material is taken from the debut performance in Norway of the duo working together and is part of a new lp  series/art packaging on Drid Machine. Danceable musique concrete floor on side A gives way to a sort of Sun Ra funk eclipse on a cold meteor on the flip. Definitely more spacey on Part 2. Both sides deliver an outsider turntablism tribe vibe, with Warland not simply pummeling away on percussion (and he adds his own odd electronics). Oddly chilled and refreshing, like napping on a mortuary slab. Recommend setting your life support here to 45 rpm, but you can turn the turntables on Kjetil and pitch it down or up as the sonic spirits move you.

-Thurston Hunger

Cthonica “Typhomanteia: Sacred Triarchy of Spiritual Putrefaction” [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

atavist   5/25/2022   12-inch, A Library

So cold…vocals like an icy wind that pierces all coverings. Numbed and delirious, the listener stumbles to a barren earth of jagged stones as the freeze takes over. Lo-fi drums buried in the mix like an awareness of physical harm being done, but numbed senses can’t fully feel it. The first track is an epic length of disparate parts, weirdly put together. Nihilistic death metal with black inflections gives way to a menacing atmospheric interlude gives way to home-recorded-sounding doom passages. Generally there are a lot of great tones and textures within a palette of death and decay throughout the record. Within this desolate medium, Cthonica unearth their own unique derangements. Debut double LP from 2019 by this Venezuelan project.

Dogsflesh – “Never Give In” – [Queer Pills Records]

whngr   5/19/2022   12-inch, A Library

Anarcho D-beat Punk

A thumb in the eye socket of Magaret Thatcher, two fingers up the arse of the royals, and a long middle one to the system, these modern times, and yer mum.
Good ol’ rebellion in the vein of Antisect or Icons of Filth with a bit of echo on the vox and a tiny gob of wanking guitar. 

Incepted in 1982 by Rob Moore and sometimes known as UK82, Dogsflesh would tour with GBH, Broken Bones, and The Exploited before hanging it up in 1985… and reforming twenty years later with the bulk of the original line-up. They have gone on to release several more albums since but this one is composed of their early works (82-84).

Oi! This slab is radio friendly, ya cunt! (no FCC’s)

There Were Wires – “Somnambulists” – [Tor Johnson Records / Iodine Records]

whngr   5/18/2022   12-inch, A Library

A sprawling and intense epic that weaves through the impassioned rage and confusion of youth, around quiet passages that required patience from an audience that was expecting only vehemence, gravid swells, terse punctuation, and arriving finally at an oblique and unexpected shore, a pensive cover of an independent juggernaut. Sonic Youth’s, Tunic (Song For Karen) will surely attract the attention of many listeners as an oddity or a trifle but considerable effort has been put in to this album (both in 2003 and in 2021) that proves this was no novelty. That this polished re-release, the first on vinyl, is a commendable and worthwhile effort to mitigate the failings of a label in financial ruin and one where considerable pains have been taken to inject new life into a recording that feels modern and relevant after 20 years relegated to a shelf. 

There are many paragraphs written and interviews available that explore the band, this release, Iodine’s role in its lack of promotion, and the thoughts and feelings surrounding them for those interested in the history of this primarily unsung project, but let it be said here, in this miserable volunteer’s review, that I might not have given this album a chance in 2003 if I had heard it. I might have said something like, “This new brand of hardcore is too high-minded and erudite for me, I appreciate passion and vision over virtuosity… etcetera”. But I was interested after two songs and hooked by the end of the album… after a single listen. No small feat, being as jaded as I am.

Many of the current DJs may pan side A, favoring the meandering and (slightly) more gentle B side but this is a fully realized album, slightly disparate from the projects of their ilk, with an ebb and flow, passages, and chapters that all work together to create a cohesive tale. A sonic novella and a beautiful, if somewhat dark, snapshot of a bygone era by four young men in their prime and the label that would not let their past transgressions lie.

Talbot Brothers of Bermuda, The – “Talbot Brothers of Bermuda, The” – [Maaula Records]

aarbor   5/18/2022   12-inch, International

The Talbot Brothers of Bermuda were a musical group based in Bermuda that were among the most popular calypso performers of the 1950s. The band was composed of brothers Archie (lead singer, acoustic guitar, harmonica), Austin (acoustic guitar, harmonica), Bryan, a.k.a. “Dick” (tipple, a large, 10-stringed ukulele), Ross, a.k.a. “Blackie” (electric guitar) and Roy Talbot (bass), and their cousin Cromwell “Mandy” Mandres (accordion). Their sound is a variation of Trinidadian calypso in a smooth melodic style influenced by popular music. They performed and recorded cover versions of calypso classics in addition to their own originals, and were a popular attraction in local hotels. This record was originally released in 1958. AArbor

Spence, Joseph – “Encore: Unheard Recordings of Bahamian Guitar and Singing” – [Smithsonian Folkways]

aarbor   5/18/2022   12-inch, International

Joseph Spence, who died in 1984, was a Bahamian guitarist and singer. He is well known for his vocalizations and humming while playing the guitar. A number of musicians, including Taj Mahal, the Grateful Dead, Ry Cooder, and Olu Dara,were influenced by and have recorded variations of his arrangements of gospel and Bahamian songs. Spence played calypso, blues, folk music and sacred songs. He played a steel-string acoustic guitar. Nearly all of his recorded songs have a guitar accompaniment in a drop D tuning. You’ll hear his magnificent voice (singing and kind of scat singing) moving bass lines, interior voices and a driving beat that he emphasized with foot tapping. He adds blues coloration and calypso rhythms to achieve a unique and easily identifiable sound. This album from 2021 is the latest recording to be released of his work, making a total of 4 released after his death. His sister Edith Pinder and her family also sing on some of the songs here. The recordings are from 1965 (the peak of his career) his only New York concert, at his cottage in Nassau, Bahamas, and at Peter Siegel’s (producer/recording engineer) apartment in Manhattan. AArbor

Karloff, Boris – “Reading Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and Other Tales” – [Caedmon]

aarbor   5/18/2022   12-inch, A Library

Boris Karloff (whose real name was William Henry Pratt b. 1887), best known for his portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster in the various early Frankenstein movies. Here he is the kindly British story reader of Rudyard Kipling’s well-known JUST SO STORIES. The Kipling stories here are How the Whale Got His Throat, How the Camel Got His Hump and How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin. The B side is an abridged version of Mowgli’s Brothers from THE JUNGLE BOOK. AArbor

Sumrra – “7 Visions” – [Clermont Music]

Cousin Mary   5/15/2022   12-inch, Jazz

This fine piano trio from Santiago de Campostela in Spain looks at stellar time from different viewpoints in this album. Very accessible but unusual. The piano lead sometimes seems more in line with classical etudes than jazz riffs. I was curious about the language on the cover, it appears to be Galician rather than Spanish or Portuguese. Manuel Gutierrez on piano, Xacobe Martinez Antelo on double bass, Lar Legido on drums.

Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Infinity Arkestra – “Night of The Purple Moon, The” – [Saturn Research]

Cousin Mary   5/15/2022   12-inch, Jazz

1970 recording where the Arkestra is down to no more than 4 members, with some solo keyboard pieces. The first track on each side is a bit more accessible than most Sun Ra, while the remaining tracks soon launch into outer space. Sun Ra plays the Moog synth and also the Rocksichord electric harpsichord. Just when I thought the KFJC library did not need another Sun Ra album, this comes along to prove me wrong. With John Gilmore, Danny Davis and Stafford James.

Carney, Jeff – “Live Electronic Music” – [Lion Productions]

cinder   5/5/2022   12-inch, A Library

Recorded live in 1989 without any overdubs. Long, ambient slow knob turning and sound shifting electronics. Very much in the vein of Tangerine Dream, Vangelis & Klaus Shulze. Extended notes that intertwine and weave through like stars in light speed. Slithering synths. Sci-Fi soundtracks of the past. Mastered for vinyl by Krautrock musician and sound engineer Eroc.

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