KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Gates – “A Mask Hidden In Memory” – [Hypaethral]

whngr   4/6/2021   A Library, Cassette

Sleepy Creepy Un/Comfortable SpaceGuitar based ambience and feedback with minimalist electronics.

Bleak drones, hums and aural shapes coexist in subterranean echo chambers of unearthly horrors or a sonic sculpture of your anxieties suspended in alien space. Track 5 is a reinterpretation of The Passing State of Plurality by Aidan Baker and includes an outlying instrument, drums played gently and with swelling complexity behind slightly more glitchy drones.

pulses / waves / plunks / squeaks / drone / soft percussion

Gates is one Bryan W. Bray (Jugurtha and formerly Demonic Possessor) of Toronto, ON.

Nihilum – “Dead and Forgotten” – [Insikt]

whngr   3/26/2021   A Library, Cassette

Sparse Sullen Dungeon-synth 


Miserable sounds for the bereft and emotionally hollow. When reflection on your imminent death is the only time you feel any modicum of pleasure. You’re already dead inside (T1), perhaps being dead outside will balance the scales (T2). Highly repetitive and morose compositions by one Nachtzeit (Henrik Sunding) of Östersund, Sweden ca. 2005. Cassette is single sided and 9:25 long. Don’t be fooled (as I was) by the copious amount of (mostly blank) tape presented in the window. Perhaps this is an aesthetic choice by the artist representing his emotional emptiness. 

Obscurae – “To Walk The Path of Shadows” – [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

whngr   3/19/2021   A Library, Cassette

Created with GIMP

Grandiose Valorous Upheaval 


Crushing Black Metal with Atmospheric, haunting washes of synthesizer. Basically full-on annihilation ’til the final track, a somber organ wheezing into the night with gentle pulses of texture.
Obscurae is one Chad Davis (Hour of 13, Jenzeits, Subklinik) of Richmond, Virginia of with support from cohort Matt Davis (no relation).

Pacific Yew – "(((( Bathing ))))" – [Hot Record Society]

abacus   3/9/2021   Cassette, Hip Hop

Pacific Yew is a pacific coast evergreen conifer that ranges from the Klamath Mountains to the fjords of British Columbia that has a habit of rotting from the inside, creating hollow forms as it grows extremely slowly, much like these flourishing disjointed rhythms that grow slowly, spreading into the host of your psyche. this Oakland new wave r&b pioneer feels like some Lonnie Holley Scott-Heron bedroom pop, soulful singing set over simple grooves. lo-fi, like the skeletal tree forms that are ageless in their imperceptibility. the seed cones and berry-like structures spread around easily, as I’m sure this record has wide appeal that should make it around the airwaves smoothly.

Ulrich, Torben & Goldston, Lori – “Oakland Moments: Cello Voice Reuniting (rejoicing)” – [Obscure & Terrible]

mickeyslim   3/3/2021   A Library, Cassette

Brand spankin’ new tape label out of Seattle, Obscure & Terrible. This is poet/musician/painter/tennis player Torben Ulrich (yes, the father of Metallica drummer, Lars), reciting his poetry to the cello of Lori Goldston. They’ve been playing together since 2005 with Angelina Baldoz and Jaison Scott in a project called Instead Of. This, however, is their first project as a duo. Goldston is “Classically trained and rigorously de-trained, possessor of a restless, semi-feral spirit” and her evocative cello playing is haunting, flittering, profound, and raw, which pairs perfectly to Ulrich’s sing-songy delivery of his exceptional poetry. In what I wish was a longer release, this cassette does not disappoint, and often feels sultry and seductive.

The pairing is genuine, and clearly comes from a place of mutual sonic understanding. Dig it…

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.

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