KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Cyclist, The – “Weather Underground” – [100% Silk]

cinder   12/21/2020   A Library, Cassette

Fresh sounds from Andrew Morrison, known as The Cyclist. Rhythmic electronic beats rotate and churn like LED-lit wheel spokes. It’s a chill house sound with throbs of “industrial hypnosis, basement dub, and soul lament within his signature saturated “tape throb” palette”. A refreshing spin!

Powerplant – ” Spine / Evidence” – [Static Shock]

whngr   12/15/2020   A Library, Cassette

 Synth-Punk-Rock “Pop op”. 

Ukraine / London oddity unleashes five tracks that are, to my ear, more profoundly dissimilar to one another, more dynamic, and take more risks than any rock outfit I’ve heard in recent memory a fact perhaps made even more exceptional when one notes that it was made by a single person, one Theo Zhykharyev. Bouncy, up-beat, danceable, and a bit dreary as well. Top-shelf good times.

Occelensbrigg – “Frostbitten Cleansing” – [Harvest of Death]

whngr   12/15/2020   A Library, Cassette

Murky, blown out Black Metal by this lone soul hailing from Portugal. Part of the  Aldebaran Circle, a clandestine group of projects that include:  Aldebaran, Degredo, Espírito, Ginnungagap, Mallitiae, Nox Insultum, Ordem Satânica, Trono Além Morte, and Voëmmr.  Cold, grim, ugly, and culminating in a brief passage of perverse valiance, these five tracks are like a plunge into a frozen lake occupied by a legion of medieval corpses. Drifting through the icy water, their hollow stares intermittently falling upon your empty soul while casting scowling aspersion before lolling on through the icy void.

Stigmatism – “Promo Tape” – [Static Shock]

whngr   12/5/2020   A Library, Cassette

Montreal/N.Y. two piece HXC with conscripts for the road back when that was a thing (fml). Three tracks each under a minute. Lean, mean, and the opposite of pristine with a 46 second rendition of  The Animals’ We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. Play the tape, flay and scrape.

Sordid Crest – “Demo” – [Feral Heart]

whngr   12/5/2020   A Library, Cassette

Subterranean Black Metal two-piece from N.Y. and Texas though Metallum lists no members. No other information is available. Hideous, off-key guitar bends and a warped tape (effect?) that upset the equilibrium, thunderous buried drums, misery, cursed string interludes, screechy guttural vocals, wretched, profane, and ravishing.  Avoid at all cost or simply embrace your suffering.

Hauras – "in these coming days" – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

Thurston Hunger   12/2/2020   A Library, Cassette

KFJC’s Helen Scarsdale diet continues, with this 2020 cassette from Hauras (aka SF’s Howard Ryan see his Snickers lying on the HiFi in our library). Percussion free, clouded sounds – guitar/bass/synth. Ryan’s voice when it appears blends with the murk, “flint, michigan” both sings of and in contaminated water. His singing is soft and buried like a deceased kitten. Occasional “narration” drops in via what sound like air traffic controllers (sometimes reversed) – clarity is not desired Clarence, and I don’t know the exact frequency Kenneth. Hauras prefers to not touch ground, just stay aloft…in what may well be a decommissioned aircraft/bedroom studio. On a later listen, the aforementioned narrator in reality is a police dispatch. So fire up some old Robin Rimbaud/Scanner to cross-pollinate maybe?

-Thurston Hunger

Coughin’; Vicars – “Post Omission Overtures” – [Self Released]

whngr   11/27/2020   A Library, Cassette

Rock from Britain reminiscent at times of Killing Joke or early Wire, elsewhence The Cure, Joy Division, ersewhile Echo and the Bunnymen or maybe The Fall. Building on the well-laid foundations of their forebearers, there is a something slightly retrospective about CV but not necessarily derivitive. An homage to post/death/goth/punk perhaps while still offering their own unique, and in my miserable opinion, exceptional voice to the arena (killing floor). A majestic sermon for the lost, an admonishment for the defeated, draped in lavish guitar effects. A shouting chant bellows above the angular and terse rhythm. Reverb and chorus swell and fade like shadows in the dreary pre-dawn of a deserted Liverpudlian landscape. We are being watched…

FCC on 3 Karma RuminationTrack 7 is an unlisted reverse tracked, somber and heavily affected guitar signal. Coughin’ Vicars is helmed by Russ ‘WeasHELL’ Longmire aka @sketchstance and credited as Roman Remains, vocalist, artist, skateboarder, and man of the 11th hour. Limited, numbered, and hand crafted on this second run of cassettes released by the artist.

Wild Tone – “Wild Tone” – [Helta Skelta]

whngr   11/23/2020   A Library, Cassette

Dreamy and slightly discordant synth driven pop with an edge from Perth. Like Suicide and The Screamers dp’d DEVO to ecstatic climax in a cascade ones and zeros. Beautiful, strange, and kinda seedy with a fucking well done cover of Gun Club’s “Sex Beat”.

Gaffer – “Gaffer” – [Helta Skelta]

whngr   11/21/2020   A Library, Cassette

Perth’s Gaffer (Aussie for geezer or old man) is a guitar-centric (post) punk power-house. Terse, driven, and pissed, they want us to slit our wrists, dance and spin as the blood hits the floor, scream, writhe and beg for more. Fight your boss, wake-up, and live like you give a toss.

Terra Soror – “Revenge” – [Self Release]

whngr   11/20/2020   A Library, Cassette

Devastating echoed-out nature-punk from London that crush my weary, wounded heart with catchy doom-laden riffs. Short, sweet, and steeped in sorrow and spite; a witches-brew tasting of loamy soil and moss, inducing harrowing psychedelic fever-dreams of humanity’s imminent annihilation.

 
Am in love with their bio I nicked from their myspace:“Post punk three piece, fresh from a ritualistic naked action on Leytonstone flats witnessed by dog walkers and doggers, and involving tree loving, mud and filth in the rain. Their recently released first tape is a feminist take on wildness, plants, the earth (and its possible brutal revenge) and our place in it, and vegetables as eroticism. Members include those of Frau, Es, and Good Throb.”  

Lucta – “Black Magic Punk” – [Self Release]

whngr   11/14/2020   A Library, Cassette

Milan, Italy – April 27, 2018. Shrill, echoing Italian vocals pierce through a tirade of cymbal crashesss, guitars crush. The energy, the drive… relentless and vital. Pissed mysterious hardcore. Nothing else is known. You must find your own reality… but I have found this compelling photograph:

Arson – “Savage Butchery” – [Self Released]

whngr   11/12/2020   A Library, Cassette

Leeds, England. Neo-post-Thatcher hardcore. Nihilistic, low-fi and crusty, it might remind one of the East Bay in the early 90’s. Furious and miserable. D-beat from the damp. Hardcore from the core of the heart. Breathy barking and growling over an onslaught of frenetic guitars not dissimilar to G. Ginn ca. mid to late B.F. Peeling away the skin, the bass throbbing like the pulse of the not yet defeated. Ex-members of Perplex Flesh, Whipping Post, Moloch, No Form and many other projects that, admittedly, only now have I become cognizant of… partially asocial goblin that I have become.

Mosses & Lichens – "Piss On The World" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   11/8/2020   A Library, Cassette

Album was made in two days on New Year’s Eve 2018, using battered synthesizers, drum machines, and a 4-track. It’s got that rough nostalgic feel to it. The tape sounds have a fuzzed, hazed and gritty graze to them. Synths from a dystopian future, time capsuled in an apocalyptic nightmare. Random spoken words twist into the mix, giving a glimpse that there was once human life. Cold minimal wave electronics.

Gesture – “II Tape” – [Static Age Musik]

whngr   11/8/2020   A Library, Cassette

Words gleaned from internet sources: Self-reliant enclave of high-output low-info punks / anarcho / death rock / London /  petite mort / spiritual cramp / Berlin / real ugly / claws at the ether / chorus pedal / disaffected / unravel / kill you…

Words that seep from my brain: The youth are still angry, still miserable, still wearing black, still want to fuck… and they still enjoy a good down-stroke. Meandering, buried, dispassionate female English vocs over heavily modulated guitars  and primal garage/hardcore drums. Gesture is… desirous.

V. Kristoff – "Sydra" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   11/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Jared Carrigan. Crystallized tones trinkle and mist overhead as you drift slowly down the aquamarine, star filled river of imagination. Recorded in California and Catalonia, while some tracks were crafted using only an iPhone and FX plug-ins while sleeping in cars along Costa Brava last spring. Synth dreamscapes and whimsical optimism. Quite relaxing and chill.

Vague Imaginaires – "L'ile D'or" – [Not Not Fun]

cinder   10/21/2020   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Frenchie, Denis Morin. Lush, dreamy, whimsical, chillout grooves from this release entitled L’ile D’or (Golden Island). That name perfectly encapsulates the sounds that drip like freshly warmed morning dew into my ears. Soothing and meditative, in a futuristic fantasy island way. Track titles like Floating Mountains, Sunken Volcanoes, and Up There On The Dune… you can almost envision the candy colored swans with crystal diamond eyes, floating in their pastel lagoons. This is an instant relaxer! Float with us.

Lotto – "Ask The Dust" – [Endless Happiness]

Thurston Hunger   10/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Polish three piece, operating in the same instrumental territory for me as the Dirty Three, albeit sans violin. Their songs have the listener wandering in a state wondering whether they really just saw (or unjustly committed) a crime. Lukas Rychlicki’s guitar is bayonet sharp, check out the closer. Pawel Szpura on drums is a heavy hitter, pistol-crack snare. Bassist Mike Majkowski has an alibi as he often holds down the sound while a form of free-rock flares up around him. Dig Mike’s bowing on the ominous intro – “Gremlin-Prone” while Pawel is thunking what sounds like a chemical drum and Lukasz slide jangles on the “alap” of that track. Eventually an insistent piano joins the mix, and the vibe is hypnotic like The Necks work. The first and last two cuts move with more purpose for me, while the pieces in-between have a searching, sprawl to ’em. This is our second KFJC add with
a title possibly connecting to John Fante’s novel. The cover image features sun-drenched cacti from a desert near the sound of the crime perhaps, that said I bet this album was recorded at night. A very dark and yet beckoning call for a reckoning. Looks like this was their debut and recorded in 2014.

-Thurston Hunger

Black Taffy – "Opal Wand" – [Leaving Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/29/2020   A Library, Cassette

Black Taffy all over your teeth and ears. Donovan Jones is pulling the sounds here, sea-salt gritty in the sampled grooves is a key element, I imagine Black Taffy and The Caretaker share the same dirty needles and addiction to ancient vinyl. Jones adds crisp synthetic snares broken starkly over the top, and muscle car bass beats beneath all that, and one more ingredient to find some weird harmony of the elements, the album has more harp than a pixie princess hen party. It’s a unique and compelling
combination and one that Black Taffy keeps consistent on this release. The angels occasionally trade their traditional harps for guzhengs, there are other instruments that drift in at times, toy piano tinkles, and sampled horns offer some sad prana breathing. The slow pace of the beats heightens the elegiac feeling. There is a flair of triumph in “And They Saw” and quick ripples percolating “Ocarina” but overall this cassette is for music box ballerinas who’ve run away to dance for themselves atop abandoned Dallas warehouses.


-Thurston Hunger

Irmert, Jana – “Flood” – [Fabrique]

lexi glass   9/23/2020   A Library, Cassette

Jana Irmert is a composer from Berlin who has collaborated with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Christopher Chaplin and other artists that blend music with film and visual media. While this 2017 release is a stand-alone album, Flood surely summons rich imagery with its mix of field recordings and electronic sounds: a vision of massive walls of ice meeting a slow thaw. We hear the ice breaking and cracking, its melt flowing into the oceans. The catastrophic process is overseen by an outside consciousness that pulses from above, as if to sound a warning. It unfolds in three parts: a 22 minute track, a shorter interlude, and a final long form piece. Though quiet and slow moving, there’s movement and detail that keep Flood consistently engaging throughout, an impressive feat. Our first release from the Vienna experimental label Fabrique.

Sour Spirit – “Cataclysm, OK?” – [Self Release]

lexi glass   8/5/2020   A Library, Cassette

First addition to our library from this Philly experimental two piece of Rodnie King and Riot Dent. They floor it right out of the gate, ripping through the first four tracks with blasts of drums, filthy bass and monstrous screamed vocals. There’s hardly chance to catch your breath between the call to lose yr shit on the dance floor (T5), a hip hop interlude on the slow suffocation of being black in America (T6), a sludgy, squirming jam (T7), and an increasingly familiar moment of disbelief, where there’s no words but “oh, fuuuuuck” (T8). The tape runs out with total noise breakdown of “endless death” (T9), while the last couple tracks swerve into oncoming traffic to end it all. Recorded and self released in 2017, but hits just right during the current cataclysm.

FCC T8

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