KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

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

Human Guilt – “Coordinates” – [No Rent Records]

lexi glass   7/29/2020   A Library, Cassette

This cassette is Ashley V. Bennett’s first work as Human Guilt (her previous work as Nadia can be found in our library). Each track in Coordinates surveys one of three geographic locations. At the first (T1), restless static intensifies into convulsive noise and distorted cries, a rush of sounds that finally converge into a single, sharp tone. The second site (T2) recalls the churn of machines, a storm of metallic clashes and vicious screams. The final coordinate (T3) orients inward: an empty roar, distant buzzes and beeps, wavering drones. 2020 release from Philadelphia’s No Rent Records.

Fetters / Esperik Glare [coll] – [Black Horizons]

whngr   7/23/2020   A Library, Cassette

Split cassette from 2018 on Black Horizons.
Fetters (Morro Bay, CA) is a  two piece that performs dark ambient industrial, dreamy electronic beats with a sparse, misanthropic, and hopeless message of despair (for the world). 
Esperik Glare is Charlie Martineau of Gillette, WY now residing in Eugene, Or who’s contribution to this cassette is more abstract and devoid of rhythm but retains a similar dark and gothic feel to the Fetters’ side when not twisting the noisy knobs, delivering the drone, or speaking the barely discernible spoken word. 

Perfect Pussy – “I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling” – [Not On Label]

whngr   7/11/2020   A Library, Cassette

Syracuse noise punk ca. 2013. Formed for a film project with an associate of the singer Meredith Graves whom after the filming had ended refused to stop playing with one another … until 2016. This cassette is their first release of dirty, female fronted, low fidelity punk rock that employs some killer keyboards with serious sustain. Pissed-off, youthful, exuberance that if the lyrics were discernible would most likely be a call to action, righting injustices, and cultivation of equality across all social strata. But when I found them on Discogs I simply thought: That is a great band name and their sound pleases me… I simply can not get enough of that ugly buried organ and the vigor of their (misplaced?) optimism. It harkens back to a distant time before my soul was crushed by a life of despair and shattered dreams. One quick note: the B-side is an identical recording to the A-side but with an even shittier sound quality. Murky and miserable… which appeals to me so I burned them to the compact disk as well. But feel free to navigate the insert and staples to play it like it’s supposta be heard. Analog af baybe.

Interior One – ‘Family’ – [No Rent Records]

Lord Gravestench   7/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Rusty Kelley and Emelia McKay, who operate the Breathing Problem Productions label, also perform as the similarly named industrial noise duo Breathing Problem, of which Interior One is an offshoot. The difference between the two projects lies primarily in subject matter: while their Breathing Problem material tends to explore topics of eroticism and sexual angst, Interior One operates within the time-honoured industrial noise tradition of true crime, charting the psychic terrain in the vicinity of serious breaches of the social contract— ‘evil’ acts, if you like— with a particular sympathy for the victims.

2019’s ’Family’ EP deals with perhaps the greatest of all anti-social acts: a father deliberately harming the family he is supposed to protect. The artists say: “Interior One is a personal research project . The audience is always secondary. This release is based around family annihilation cases and abuse at home. For perfect fathers.”

T.s 1, 4 and 5 deal with fathers who killed their families. T.s 2 and 3 deal with sexual molestation. This is not pretty stuff, but it is sensitively approached, compiling a variety of primary sources (e.g., 911 calls, personal testimonies) into an immersive, documentary-like experience. The sounds composed by Kelley and McKay themselves — needling electronic synthesis, clattering scrap metal, heavily distorted ranting vocals— will not be unfamiliar territory for fans of power electronics, but all are very well done. The synthesised tones are not full-on headsplitting harshness, but rather seem calculated to convey apprehensiveness and paranoia. At moments they are strangely beautiful. All in all it’s a harrowing 22-minute listen. “There was no specific reason why he did this.“

PGM: t.s 2 and 3 contain fairly graphic references to child sexual abuse.

Lapis/Demo

carsonstreet   6/24/2020   A Library, Cassette

Cold Wave from Oakland. Simple open electronic beats and tones with male and female vocals. Wondering what the hell Cold Wave is? Ask Wikipedia: “a loose music genre that emerged in Europe the late 1970s, characterized by its detached lyrical tone, use of early electronic music instruments and a minimalist approach and style. It emerged from punk rock bands who, influenced by early electronic groups such as Kraftwerk, made use of affordable portable synthesizers.”        

Scum / Unsustainable Social Condition [coll] – [Skin Trade Recordings]

whngr   6/11/2020   A Library, Cassette

Hot from the harsh presses at Skin Trade, this noise-wall split is caustic, terra inferna, cornea peeling red-line texture. I believe SCUM to be Japan’s Sou Inomoto. Active since 2010 his A-side is the  less comfortable one as the erratic frequency changes are jarring and otherworldly. Like TRON on brown-acid. Electronic helicopter space-warp. Sub-sonic rumbles, cascades of electronic lemmings plunging towards their imminent demise in an ocean of white noise. Automatons march to war with laser wielding cyborg-centaur as the sky turns to strata of glass and then implodes, sending panes sheering and then slipping through an anomalous atmosphere. Ruin.
Unsustainable Social Condition is Matt Purse of Oxen records (Los Angeles) and his offering has no nuance, no inflection. Just a pure white-noise avalanche with what might be buried vocals though often this kind of sound can blur the lines of reality for this miserable volunteer, exciting my tendencies towards auditory hallucination and mild psychosis, my mind searching desperately for patterns and meaning that simply do not exist. I imagine, if he had his druthers, U.S.C. would be capable of disrupting the listeners’ ability to modulate the volume, keeping it pinned with excessive amounts of amplification. However, I submit that at low volumes this recording could in fact (undermining to the intentions of Purse) be therapeutic. Possibly heightening the composer’s antipathy towards his audience, bolstering the prevalent paradox of the harsh noise paradigm.

Disciples of Mockery – “Prelude to Apocalypse” – [Necroharmonic Productions]

whngr   6/5/2020   A Library, Cassette

Death Metal from New Jersey ca. 1999 with a sepulcher full of nauseating vocals. Speed, dirge, lurching, driving, pick scrapes, feed-back, shredding, pummeling, and an unbearable amount of pinch harmonics. Clutch your soul and a hurghll a wave of sick into oblivion as you thrash your greasy hair and blaspheme in the key of misery. Includes three ex-members of an early incarnation of Incantation ca.1991. The sounds might slightly date themselves but this miserable volunteer approves of the imagery and packaging on this malevolent cassette from yesteryear.

Machine Girl – "Gemini" – [Orange Milk]

abacus   5/26/2020   A Library, Cassette

machine girl seems to be the moniker for a matt stephenson out of NYC aka Artie’s Kryptonite aka some seriously chaotic pixified millennial dance music. idk if theys a gemini for sure but speaking as one, it sure sounds it: vaporwave? who tf knows, but there sure is some labile attention shifting genre mashup: energetic breakcore, bright bodied trance, some juke and footwork tweaks and twerks, all constantly zone switching then dropping back into vibe. i feel like im missing out on something listening to this digitally, this has a serious mixtape feel and the aesthetic lends well to lofi textures, but alas all the tapes seem to sell out, even this re-release. late spring grooves right in time for this sun’s season.

Crazy Doberman – "Illusory Expansion" – [Astral Spirits]

abacus   5/26/2020   A Library, Cassette


new release of psy skronk din spiritualism from this revolving door collective of jazz deconstructionists hailing across the wasteland of middle america. alternate zoning from one psychic plain to the next tracking rapidly across two expansive tape sides; feels like a DMT dissociation with the amount of space travel power packed into so little time. the whole trip flows like orchestral movements, and the attendance is there, with the density of players producing such cohesive sound. equal parts harsh and ethereal, jazz and psychedelic, there’s something for everyone here so tune in and drop out

Corum – "Panics In Mayfair" – [Lost Discoveries]

abacus   4/22/2020   A Library, Cassette

another artifact of otherworldly trance psychedelia unearthed from the Lost Discoveries Exotic Music Shop. I’m pretty sure this label is run by Grant Corum himself, (maybe?) associated with the Psychic Sounds label listed outta Maine (maybe), but honestly out of the wealth of information online I can discern very little as far as solid info, elusive is an understatement, as concerns the sounds as well for that matter, like some kind of subconscious alternate mind-fuck.
lethargy ritual
delusional catatonia
bobbling along

Seeded Plain – “Flying Falling” – [Public Eyesore]

lexi glass   4/22/2020   A Library, Cassette

Seeded Plain are the local electroacoustic duo of Jay Kreimer and Bryan Day (of Collision Stories, and the head of the new music labels Public Eyesore and eh?). Over the length of this C60 tape, we’re drawn into a strange sonic realm made entirely from a collection of original homemade instruments invented by the duo. The devices used on this recording aren’t specified, but Day’s creations have names like Magnetoselqier, the Rotowhisker, and the Sputterphone, vivid titles that give clues to the origin of the unique sounds found here. At times they have a familiar counterpart – a plucked string, a toy piano, a vibration from a gong, a hiss of an insect. But others are utterly alien: the whistles, whirrs, and warbling tones from another dimension that melds with and subtly transforms our own.

Angelwings Marmalade – “World Music” – [Devine Records]

lexi glass   4/15/2020   A Library, Cassette

Angelwings Marmalade is one of the many incarnations of Chicago-based experimental electronic artist Angel Marcloid (see her other projects, the fantastic Fire-Toolz and Nonlocal Forecast, in our library). She describes this working name as “the catch-all moniker for sound collage, noise improv…I used to work a lot with hands-on electronics, cassette players, loopers, stuff with contact mics on it… that ended up evolving into Angelwings Marmalade when I began incorporating software into the experiments.” This 2019 cassette is a wild found sound timewarp where tribal percussion and drum machines, computer chimes and singing gongs, smooth jazz sax and pitch-shifting synths, demonic incantations and throat singing chants, harsh noise and muzak are sonicated and synthesized into a coherent vision of unrest, a scene of dissolving predictability that seems just right for the moment.

Primitive Isolation Tactics – “We Are Flaming and On Fire” – [Oxen]

lexi glass   3/26/2020   A Library, Cassette

Primitive Isolation Tactics is the alias of Taylor Geddes, of the Montreal-based distributor of fine noise, Scream and Writhe, and the Absurd Exposition label. This 2019 c20-length cassette on Oxen is his second release under this name. A massive storm slowly approaches at the start of “Alienate” (A) and sweeps us into its turbulent core. High speed winds kick up swarms of scrap and debris, until we reach brief moments of charged stillness, a dead calm. A heavy, smoldering pulse weighs down “You’ll Burn. You’ll Burn. You’ll Burn” (B) as an inferno of electric shocks, high-pitched squeals, strangled moans and searing noise flares, and, finally, flames out.

somesurprises – “voice memos” – [Happy Accidents]

mickeyslim   3/4/2020   A Library, Cassette

the stippled streetlight over a gravestone at 2:30am,

eating a fresh donut at the bustop
in the fog,

Reverb’s lovesong to Distortion,
a ghost’s songs buried deep
in the snow.

a psychedelic pop aesthetic that floats uncomfortably
above the madness.

solo release of seattle-based Natasha El-Sergany on vox/guitar/synth recorded onto a cell phone 2016

Livid – “Life Is Pain Life Is Shit” – [No Time Records]

whngr   2/20/2020   A Library, Cassette

Ghastly Detuned Bludgeoning


This menacing two-piece out of Kenosha, Wisconsin draw down on your sense of well being with a furious rage. Dirge, guttural bellows, feedback, blast beats, seedy samples, hair lashing, and neck snapping hXc riffage. Shake, rattle, and roll yourself off the precipice, brush the gravel off yer face, reset your shoulder, spit out a coupla’ teeth, let the blood to stream down your scowling visage, drag yourself up the cliff, and do it all over again on side B. @Bear’s_D.licious_honey, @slam_pit_with_loaded_deer_rifles, @PowerViolence, @TravisBickle, @Spock, @realtree_nail_bat, @malice_aforethought, @bring_a_straight_edge_to_hammered_fight
FCC on “Coward” (A4-B4) “Fuckin’ bitch”

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