KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Deadform – “Deadform” – [Brainsand]

whngr   1/26/2023   A Library, Cassette

Created with GIMP

Oakland It Hurts

Feels sick and hopeless with despair. Five sonnets scrawled in the illegible script of the forsaken psychiatrist who has given up on the oath of Hippocrates, wrote on the gutter stained prescription pad of a life filled with abuse, confusion, and loss. Moderately fierce, feverishly despondent, three-piece sludge merchants/doom-saints crust out with chugging and a few perverted nods to Iommi. Unsettling samples/ambience, furious kit abuse, and a bit of slightly cringe worthy guitar leads that are rough and pinchy but paradoxically enjoyable… with riffs and guttural bellows that stretch bestial tendrils into the primordial lizard brain. The endless search for heaviness continues by one of the absolute paragons of the dark crafts and cultivator of an unmistakably regional sound that effectively channels profound mental illness into a life devoted to suffering.  An arguably noble, if hellish, cause that has grabbed many of us by our foundations, executed by one…

Dino Sommese (Dystopia, Asunder, Noothgrush) drummer and vocalist of profound influence with bassist Brian Clouse (Stormcrow, Fema Coffin), and Judd Hawk (Laudanum) on guitar. 

When AIDS slid this into my box and I discovered Dino was up to something new I went straight to the internet to see if I could cop a feel off b-camp and was immediately enthused but when I went to dub the cassette it sounded pretty fucking murky. Sometimes that can be good… but I decided that I would purchase the FLACs for a bit of unit measurin’. Whose do you prefer #6’s dirty as fuck analog contribution or my super clean, soulless offering built with ones and zeros. They are both on the cd. Mark your preferrence, ya slag, and I’ll tally all two of your meek little votes, and award the winner with absolutely nothing… at the end of never.

Oakland CA – 2022

Black Cilice – “Banished From Time” – [Iron Bonehead Productions]

whngr   12/22/2022   A Library, Cassette

Cavernous screeches peel through the mists of an eternal nocturne.

Portugal’s misanthropic black anchorite low fidelity murk metal project returns to our library, this time on cassette. Five spectral black metal offerings with a thick mist of noise/drone. A total absence of life this recording feels like an extrasensory foray beyond the veil. Thin, dark, miserable; these are the sounds of the recluse who has dispensed with society.

Black Cilice is credited to the atirst “none” on Encyclopedia Metallum

Portugal – 2017

Living Sky, The – “Enter the Sky” – [Home & Garden Music]

carsonstreet   12/19/2022   A Library, Cassette

Jason Millard and Matthew Himes explore the outer regions of psychedelic rock, ambient and drones on Enter the Sky. If you ever wondered what Pink Floyd might have sounded like if Syd Barrett had not lost his marbles, these two veterans from the Minneapolis may have finally answered that question. There is folk lurking in the background hiding from the howling guitar as if Jorma Kaukonen has joined The Velvet Underground. Lo-fi fans will love this. Swirling guitar with feedback and echo. Garage psych at it’s best.

Artemeida – “Radio Lyric Irina” – [Alrealon Musique]

puplaif   11/16/2022   A Library, Cassette

Artemeida is the solo project of saxophonist, Irina Tanaeva, who is based in Moscow, Russia. She also performs with the band Moscow Noise Manufactory. She created this album during the COVID lockdown of 2020, while experiencing feelings of unease and confusion. She shares that her “goal was to make a dance mix with an experimental noise sound. Sound as a symbol of the unusual feeling of reality around.” Her expression of these feelings manifests across six tracks. Throughout the album she combines various electronic noises, almost imperceptible vocals, and  saxophone that weaves in and out of these compositions.

Track 1 starts and stops, like a commuter train whose destination is the cosmos. Track 2 has a pulsating rhythm and includes muffled spoken words. Track 3 is more beat driven, accompanied by echoing sax. Track 4 features a distorted vocal loop with haunting tones. The final track takes us back to the station with a marchlike beat. It took me a few listens to really absorb all the sounds happening here, but the more I listened, the more I fell into Artemeida’s trance. 

Thick Air – “Pillars of Creation” – [Not Not Fun]

cinder   11/10/2022   A Library, Cassette

Long form improvisations on a Yamaha PSS-270, slowly thrusting you into the cosmos. Pillars Of Creation takes its name from the iconic 1995 Hubble Space Telescope photo, definitely look that up to create the mindset for these sounds. Otherworldly synths float on top of large gas bubbles of bass. Meditative and serene. Drifting along the astral planes of sparkly space crystals. Solo project of Matt LaJoie who ‘cites intuition and accident as foundational to the Thick Air genesis, trusting the freefall process of creation and decay, motion and miasma.’ 

Surak, Jeff – “All Those Born Must Die” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

whngr   10/5/2022   A Library, Cassette

Dramatically varied abstractions of often quiet minimal soundscapes with impressive breadth in tone, feel, and volume. It is better, in my opinion, to just experience this album for oneself than for one to attempt to explain the sounds within, however, it is contemplative, cerebral, often quiet with just a bit startling contrast, and probably most compellingly, contains a couple incredibly unique percussive passages.
During a 2012 interview  with QwartzMusic Surak states when speaking of the Sonic Circuits festival that he directed from 2005-18, “This is Art, y’know, it’s beyond just regular entertainment. So therefore, it is harder to sell. Um… but it is possible, I think, to function commercially by making it easy for the audiences to experience this music.” (Is this music?) “So we try to make it open and as accessible as possible. Put on performances not just in underground venues, small clubs, basements, whatever… but also in big institutions, in large theaters and in places that are easy for people to get to, friendly, not intimidating… where people all dressed in black and look mean drink and smoke or whatever… No, it’s music that anyone can enjoy.” Woah mother-fucker! Stay in your lane, that is our job! We are the ones bringing “art” to the shut-ins and the pussies. We have been the ones working for decades to legitimize abstract, high concept musings of primarily straight white men, the Art school dropouts, knob twiddlers, and aurally productive acid casualties. We are their Champions! We are KF fucking JC! 

Surak appears to be as thoughtful and dedicated as he is prolific and also performs as Violet and 1348 and he seems to be kind of a glass half-full kind of a chap which honestly is a bit off-putting to this miserable volunteer, has lived in Russia where he was in several noise projects, most notably Sovmestnoye Predpriyatiye (Joint Venture), has collaborated with the likes of  Frans de Waard, and Michael Gendreau among others, and runs the Zeromoon label out of…

Washington D.C. – 2021

Nightfell “A Sanity Deranged” [Parasitic]

atavist   9/14/2022   A Library, Cassette

Massive layers of drums, bass, guitar, and vocals rendered by two Portland-based doomslingers in teeth-buzzing clarity by the evil wizard Greg Wilkinson. This is death metal shot through with sorrow and regret, to the extent that their slower passages, like the beginning of the track “To The Flame” moves into funeral doom territory, complete with a clean, lamenting choral element in the background. “Holiness Digested” is a short segue track before the epic title track is unleashed. Hear the darkness that has collapsed upon the self to torture that which would seek the light, only to find a prison of its own making, circling paths of infinity…

Greyhound – “Scorched Earth” – [self released]

whngr   9/1/2022   A Library, Cassette

A Hardcore Punk vignette etched in Power Violence and old-school metal.

An impassioned sonic treatise on survival in a system designed to crush the individual, the iconoclast, and the marginalized, with a bit of genre cross pollination and a furious delivery by their powerful and very present front person who espoused an unrelenting spite for the crumbling empire. Greyhound opened for Negative Approach a little while back and I was impressed by the intensity of the performance by Ry, who was the embodiment of ferocity before a ragtag group of misfits who clearly appreciate some of the musical arenas I had orbited in my youth. Kinda felt like the old days, sans emphasis on adhering to scene approved costumes. My assumption is these weirdos don’t give a fuck about your fashion sense, they play fast, hard, and mean with only a single song that might be considered vulgar by the…

FCC on Track 11 (B6) “Sorrow/Pain”: “… give a fuck…”

Though the use of prolonged guitar feedback might be dissonant or even distasteful to some; it is hardly obscene, nor will it incur fines, and sounds, to this miserable volunteer, like heavenly minstrels rejoicing in the divine light of pure, eternal, unconditional love.

*All proceeds (of the cassette) go to Self Help Hunger Program’s Temporary Housing Fund in Oakland*

Oakland – 2022

Montgomerie, Jo – “From Industry Home” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   8/19/2022   A Library, Cassette

Deliciously decayed sounds from Jo Montgomerie, of Manchester. She originally planned on being a concert pianist, but ended up falling into the world of sound design, foley work, and post-production. Utilizing objects around her home as well as connecting contact mics to her own body, she creates snaps, cracks, sizzles and delectable drones that waft through open steel warehouses and cold dark places. Industrial ambience, forlorn fevers. 

Forgiveness – “Forgiveness” – [Not Not Fun]

cinder   7/27/2022   A Library, Cassette

It’s a downtempo, trip hop excursion floating through magic hour pastel hazed clouds, straight from Moscow. Chilled, laid back beats in half time… the feeling after that first sip of Cabernet. Subtle, sublime, summer synthy splendiferous-ness.

Vic Bang – “Lira” – [Kit Records]

Max Level   7/25/2022   A Library, Cassette

Colorful, percussive, sample-based compositions by Victoria Barca aka Vic Bang, who is based in Buenos Aires. The tracks are crazy catchy and don’t sound much like anything I’ve heard before. The way the perky rhythms and ingenious sounds are assembled push my happy button bigtime. If this doesn’t put a wide smile on your face, I don’t know if we can be friends.

Severed + Said – “Tragic Seeker” – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   7/1/2022   A Library, Cassette

Solo synth and drum machinery from John Touchton, of Florida. Dystopian midnight hovering car rides in swampy neon-lit cityscapes, 100 degree minimum. Razor sharp melodies intertwine and weave through synth drenched rhythms. Recent descriptions of equal parts synth-wave séance, abduction hallucination, and paranormal noir. Drift + Lift.

Hure – “1-11_112///” – [Autonoma Industriale]

whngr   6/29/2022   A Library, Cassette

Thunderous squealing Power Electronics with textures and buried screams that do nothing to mitigate the horrific and appalling synaptic disturbance. Modulated frequencies, pulses, throbs, and white noise ejaculations. Not a wall of noise but structured, and perhaps composed expulsions of sound.
“Hure” is German for “whore” though little more information can be coaxed from the sopping wet panties of the web with my pathetic grasp of the German language. 

Also of note is the apparent use of theater during their copious live performances. It appears that the two members are clad in masks and bandages of duct tape while manipulating their hand made instruments that are strapped over their shoulder like guitars and may even utilize strings and magnetic pickups but are also festooned with electronic hardware like laptop keyboards and mysterious black boxes with cables spewing out of the sides like the proper post-apocalyptic horror show they appear to be. HURE is a viable and appropriate accompaniment to our modern cataclysm, slide in the cassette and imagine our listeners lurch, nod, and spasm as we embrace the End Times.

Berlin, Deutschland – 2022

Black Leather Jesus – “Bride of The Lamb” – [Deadline Recordings]

whngr   6/23/2022   A Library, Cassette

Sado-evangelic Noise Wall

Two perverse sides, two heretical slabs. Play in reverse and the holy ghost might cum on your stigmata. Play front to back to induce immaculate abortion… either one will put another nail in the cross of listener alienation.

BLJ is one Richard Ramirez. Impossibly prolific noise producer with irons in more fires than anyone else, including the avantgarde fashion industry. Initially from Texas, indefatigably active since 1989, and now residing in the Philadelphia area with his husband and collaborator (Same guy. His name is Sean).

A re-release from 2019 but made originally in 1994.

Coral Club – “Turn To” – [Not Not Fun Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   A Library, Cassette

Alexander Sirenko’s sophomore NNF release as Coral Club. Aquatic washes of sound, seabird samples. Floatational drone, waves of synth. From the color trio, “Red” had a light Terry Riley flair to start, more keys and even drum machines get stacked on top. “Turn To Blue” evolves into the most tense of the tracks. “Spectrum” with little ticker-tocker techno trills dives back into the aquatic. When percussion shows up on the cassette, it’s pretty non-intrusive and this is largely all about a warm chill and drift.
-Thurston Hunger

No Artist – “101 Notes on Jazz” – [Suite 309]

mickeyslim   6/8/2022   A Library, Cassette

This CD is a brilliantly concocted and collection of 60, that’s right, SIXTY mic breaks from a (sadly) fictional jazz radio station from the mixed-up mind of Tim Thorton. While these improvised tracks range from about 20 seconds to 80 seconds, any of these would fit seamlessly between practically any two tracks you wish since their absurdity falls perfectly in line with KFJC’s. It was impossible to listen all the through only because I had to pause it due to my uncontrollable fits of laughter. Here are a few of my favorite lines from these tracks…

“Trust me on this one, there’s nothing softer than the tip of a dolphin’s nose, but I guess that depends on where he nudges you…”

“It’s opposite Day here at the station, it’s actually not, and we’re not going to be playing your favorite bossa nova hits…”

“Broadcasting live from Reggae Fest! They put me in the tank! And they, uh, just dunk me when they get the answers wrong, it’s filled with reggae, uh, trivia, and I actually got to touch a steel drum so…”

“We have a shoe that was left behind at the hot dog roast, it’s a men’s size 7 and a half tap shoe, the color is not important, but I would like to get this shoe out of the studio as quickly as possible…”

“I went to an art’s gallery this past weekend, and let me just say, I didn’t realize that poetry could be an art, uh, and I still don’t realize it because you can’t just describe a bunch of flowers out loud and expect people to take you seriously…”

“Welcome back to ‘Jazz Music To Meet Your Wife To,’ and I did meet my wife to this song, that’s why I play it at the top of every hour…”

and much, much, much, much, much more.

There is no reason not to play this.

Solo Se Oye Punk #4 [coll] – [Silenzio Statico]

beastofbourbon   6/1/2022   A Library, Cassette

This cassette released in 2013 by Los Angeles based Latino punk label Silenzio Statico put together this international compilation featuring some of the best and obscure bands from Finland to Brazil to Japan and anywhere in between. Mostly compiled from hard to find records from the 80s the music spans various genres including Anarcho-punk, Crust, Oi!, and melodic hardcore. The music is fast, aggressive and catchy but not abrasive or very long. There are only a few songs in English but song titles and some of the lyrical content that can be understood suggest it’s anti-war, anti-nuke, anti-totalitarian, anti-conformity and general human angst. The types of issues that are still relevant today.

Beast of Bourbon

Soyuz Bear “MMXV” [Zanjeer Zani Productions]

atavist   4/19/2022   A Library, Cassette

This limited edition cassette from 2015 captures a crusty slab of French doom from a project that has since disbanded. Side A has three more polished studio tracks, and side B has three rehearsal tracks engineered by the band. Side A checks the boxes for the bongrip soundtrack though the riffs aren’t super original. Side B, being a rehearsal, captures a little air and space and basically squashes the vocals in the mix. And though I usually don’t advocate for the live stuff, track 5 “GHB Uber Alles” might be the most vital track on the release. Where the studio stuff walks the path, the rehearsals capture a band imbibing and going for it, and it works in their favor. This is followed by the closer “In the Abyss”, with some groove-laden riffs to get stoned heads nodding in unison. Possible FCC in track 1; in this genre it can be hard to make them out, but steer this one into safe harbor.

Nihil Communication – “Live: The Lab In San Francisco 12 Nov 2011” – [Danvers State Recordings]

Max Level   4/17/2022   A Library, Cassette

One 22-minute track of atmospheric sound-noise-scape. For this live 2011 performance, Andre Custodio’s solo project Nihil Communication expanded into a quartet lineup including members of other projects such as Conure, Sutekh Hexen, and Neurosis. I hear laptops, microphones, and instruments such as flute and guitar in the mix. The dynamics vary from medium quiet to medium noisy. Nothing harsh or scary, though—just intriguing caverns of sound created by people who know how to do this stuff.

Preachers That Lie – “Discography” – [Legion Productions]

beastofbourbon   2/21/2022   A Library, Cassette

Preachers That Lie (PTL) formed in 1986 in San Jose, Ca at the end of the Bay Area “Skate Rock” era and beginning of “Crossover”. By the late 80s PTL was playing all over the Bay Area, including Gilman Street Project in Berkeley, CA, alongside Neurosis, Jawbreaker, NOFX, No Use For a Name, and Green Day. They recorded a demo tape, 7” EP and were featured on several compilations.

Their brand of hardcore punk dealt with abortion, right wing Christians, conformity, Gilman Street elitism, beer and sex with a satrical sick sense of humor. This may have led to their getting banned from Gilman. PTL broke up in 1995 in the middle of a West Coast tour. The members went on to form other bands including Apeface, The Flames, Angry For Life, Whiskey Sunday, and Boar Hunter.

This cassette is a re-release of the “Last Call” CD from 2010 (Vinehall Records) that coincided with a reunion tour of Northern California and several shows in Hawaii opening for Dead Kennedys, Misfits, and TSOL. It includes songs from compilations and  1993 7” EP. Hopefully a copy of the demo tape can be found someday. 

Beast of Bourbon

Copyright © 2023 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File