KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

MRSA – “MRSA” – [S/r]

abacus   9/12/2012   A Library, Cassette

MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a bacterium that causes infections often in the form of pimples, boils or pus, like an advanced form of staph. In this case, MRSA is some local powerviolence filth out of the streets of West Oakland. Foaming at the mouth with feral hatred towards life, themselves and everyone else, especially politicians, Chuck Norris, yuppies, crusties, cops and crackheads and especially the meaninglessness of our privileged first-world lives. Alejandra Grubs spits out vocals about everything from her shitty day to day to things that make life more bearable, like smoking weed and circle pits. There’s even a track about being vegan and??Old News is about Occupy! Tony Chunx throws down some pit smashing grind variations on drums while Marinda Pukey tears apart the bass in teeth grinding fury. Side B is three different live recordings, starting with the shittiest quality and getting gradually more listenable. No perceivable FCCs here but FCCs on tracks 1-3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19-21 (only perceivable on 5, 8, 10, 12, 16). Sock your friend in the face for his last cigarette and wake up broken-toothed behind a dumpster in piss-soaked jeans and a ripped t-shirt. ‘Twas a good night…

Winters In Osaka – “Back to The Grave” – [Nefarious Activities]

abacus   8/23/2012   A Library, Cassette

Part 2 of a collection of limited release CDr material and others from this industrial noise collective hailing from Chicago and parts of California. This cassette is packed full of material, with over 40 minutes on each side, including 2 CDr releases, exclusive live tracks, a short track off the Triskaidekaphobia comp split and a couple other pieces. Each CD contains one half of the cassette, with the first half tracking all the way through and the second split up into distinct tracks. The Secret Roads??relaease has more restrained experimentalism with lo-fi elex and minimal drum machine blips that almost sound like some 80s synth pop despite the raw, gritty aesthetic it embodies. It evolves into some raga meanderings that build in intensity. Side A moves through some noise and flogged and flanged intercom announcements into the live Noisefest track, some rabid ear rape. The Rise…Rise! release continues with the distant electronics distortion that sound like they’re recorded in an empty warehouse, or like your listen to the repeated bifurcation of a telephone cable through the receiver end. More of the megaphone maladies but they get a little more cartoonish this time, flopping around and dropping to 15 rpm. Some ritual guitar desecration and dragging of remains across a bathroom floor before we sit down for a destructive jam drinking drain-o. On the Slusher collab track we get undulating swirls of generator drone that builds like a looming storm. The final track is a sampling of the Orchids release, which we have, and gives us more intercom voices, this time intelligible, just in Japanese and French or something. A lot of different material, just fucking play it, cuz we’re all degenerates anyways.

Walking Corpses, The – “We, God’s Apes” – [3 Acre Floor Records]

surferrosa   8/21/2012   A Library, Cassette

This is the first ever release by The Walking Corpses, a Teenage Panzerkorps spin off, featuring members of this band as well as artists from the groups Death in June and Last Dominion Lost. The band is based in Berlin and is out on the newly resuscitated 3 Acre Floor record label. This cassette release has a warped and??wobbly??lo-fi sound. Old time, far away, telephone??receiver??vocals, often times consisting of some mysterious German speech (2, 4, 5, 6, 7) , are placed besides keyboard clinks and foggy static. Lonely drones and meandering melodies mesh with the noodling of various sounds.??Warbley,??weird and simple with ??that??unmistakable??tape hiss tickling your ears, inducing a sonic sneeze-Surfer Rosa

Woolen Men – “Woolen Men” – [Eggy]

Thurston Hunger   8/15/2012   A Library, Cassette


Right on, not only a new Woolen Men cassette but
they are coming to visit KFJC’s pit pronto
(escorted by Lame Drivers, so hope they arrive
in one piece heh-heh-ughhhhh sorry). I stand by
my earlier assessment of bass as the catalyst to
this exceptional pop action. Check out “Submission”
which will put a poster of Graham Maby up on yer
wall (and the lyrics rip too!) Paying Husker dues
and playing with duskier hues this time around,
but the Men still got sugarfied lo-fi on tracks like
“Head On The Ground” (am I hallucinating or is there
a farfisa in the room?) and “Magic Tricks.” Feeling
both jangle, and a Galaxie 500 parked outside on that
number. Plenty of fine harmonies, well crafted pop
but never overcooked! They smear “Mayonnaise” on the
suburbs on the catchy opener, and the closer kind
of feels like it could be a lost Nugget from decades
ago. Again super-striding bass, a hint of loneliness
on the verses, and then optimism on the choruses.
Overall a fine reckoning and tunes to toe tap to,
I invite the Woolen Men into KFJC’s house!

-Thurston Hunger

BBJr – “How to Fuck All Your Co-workers In One Sitting” – [Captcha Records]

Thurston Hunger   8/1/2012   A Library, Cassette

So this Iowan guitarist+ floats like a butterfly (Ignatz
style power drift on the lead off track) and can sting like
a bee (Sonny Sharrock moves I shit you not on the closer
while nodding towards Albert Ayler). You want screamo
flail-out that ends up in soothing sax balm. Blammo,
track #3. Harmonic pinching banjoesque country? Try
“I Can’t Live At Home In This World Anymore.” How about
one track that goes from Guided By Voices rattle ballad
right into tweaked out electronic helicopter popcorn
funk with the television on? That would be “Love Psalm/
Luv Psalm.” Definitely feel love/luv on this whole release
KFJC loves its weirdos, especially the chameleons, and
this release from Bob Bucko Jr nails the home-spun
heart-felt bizarro as well as anything we’ve added this
year. He also goes by the name Nitetrotter as he announces
on some of the latter live tracks here. Captcha has done
us all a kind treat (they also mention a nasty accident
in which Bob apparently severed tendons in his hand,
no doubt music will overcome that, but sure hope he gets
full strength back, as he knows how to use it!)????

-Thurston Hunger

Post-Materialists – “Love” – [Eggy]

Thurston Hunger   7/25/2012   A Library, Cassette

For me it all started by hunting for Russian masters of experimental sounds and came across the Post-Materialists’ inverted Velvet Underground cover post-mat.bandcamp.com/track/venus-in-furs-long-yellow a few more clicks brought me back to good ol’ Eggy?? cassettes. This release moves to the beat of a laughing clock, time is slippery and the vocals even slipperier. Backwards guitar (#2,#6) waltzes into frame, percussion feels hand-made and hand-dropped at times. Check out “Think” with its empty tank clank and gibberish falsetto, before more howling vocals come in. I probably shouldn’t think of Asian Women on the Telephone, but I probably am. There’s a kind of No-Wave confluence of edgy rock and squeaky sax like on the stop and start of “The Wheel” but plenty of WTF-ery on tracks like “I Love You.” Sergey Efremov are definitely folks to keep our ears and fish-eyes on! -Thurston Hunger

Striations / Sharpwaist – “Markoff” – [Heavy Psych]

surferrosa   7/18/2012   A Library, Cassette

Here is a collaboration between Boston’s Sharpwaist and Concord’s Striations. Included here are some harsh, thoroughly fucked up sounds. This recording is based on the life and crimes of Boston University medical student and alleged craigslist killer, Phillip Markoff. He was charged with armed robbery and the murder of Julissa Brisman. This was apparently spawned by his fiance leaving him. Markoff committed suicide in custody while awaiting trial. Before offing himself, he wrote his former fiance’s name ‘Megan’ and ‘Pocket’ (former pet name) on the walls of his cell in blood and placed Megan’s photographs around the room. So there is the inspiration, now expect to hear some warped, abrasive noise riddled with vocal samples of news stories covering the scandal. Many of the samples are disturbingly descriptive (try #1 for the story or #2 for a terrible description of Markoff’s suicide mechanism) though often times the voices are indecipherable. Paired along with this is some buzz-saw, industrial abrasion, some general dark, ominous ambiance and a whole lot of creepy. This is a limited edition of 100. Absolutely warped. -Surfer Rosa

Sutherland, Randy Lee – “Lip Music Swamp” – [Underwater Experience]

Thurston Hunger   7/18/2012   A Library, Cassette


Feels more like Eno than Evan Parker. Randy Lee Sutherland
whips his winds across multitracked landscapes. Each piece
feels mathematically similar; featuring a lot of notes,
and yet achieving a drone-like effect. Even though the same
notes are scattered rapidly in a stochastic manner.
Hyperdrone? Sutherland does mix in different instruments
(the whistle on A3 tilts that piece towards a calliope, on
other pieces the alto sax provides the more swampy vibe of
the title.) This cassette has a consistent feel, but each
piece has its own unique personality, or at least flavor.
The multitracking of similar note patterns feels like rain
drop ripples on a lake. At other times, like the outset
of B3, it sounds like the chattering of a flock of birds.
Might even be some timing algorithm underneath it all? The
random nature defies the tranquility of more typical drone.
Sutherland achieves an odd blend of easy and uneasy, and a
paradox of static sound built from a lot of movement.
Another fine experience from Patrick Mullins’ Underwater
Experience label.

-Thurston Hunger

3 Moons – “Kult Ur O Man Cor” – [Psyop Recordings]

Max Level   6/26/2012   A Library, Cassette

Drone-based musical adventures, layered and overdubbed on a 4-track Tascam. You’ll hear some noise elements, scrambled sounds, and messed-up vocals now and then, but for the most part this seems to be guitars and other instruments playing patterns and making textures. Tracks 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are pretty laid-back; the other tracks are more on the fidgety side. Nice concepts here. I think this is a one-man project but I’m not sure.

Woolen Men – “Hair of The Night, The” – [Eggy]

Thurston Hunger   6/20/2012   A Library, Cassette

So excited on first hearing this at http://woolenmen.bandcamp.com as I wrote to Raf who runs the label and drums in this band, there are many great things at play here. Bassist Alex Geddes is so crucial, he’s neither bored nor boring. Once you get past the excellent Sun Ra-esque overloading keyboard vamp on the first track, Geddes bassline for “West Coast” latches on like a leach to your ears and will not let go. Why isn’t there more pop music as driving and catchy as this? The song-writing is right on as well, bits of Nothing Painted Blue or the Wedding Present or Smog but bottled up by a New Zealand kind of glistening vibe.They improve upon the Flamin’ Groovies’ “Over My Head”, keeping all the innocence while cranking up the jangle. And they take The Fairytale’s “Guess I Was Dreaming” and make it less smooth more driving and kniving, but keeping the piano droplets. On all tracks a dirty, but dappled, production adds character. There even a few souped-up, psych’d out harmonies. Really a diverse showcase of solid song-writing, this hit me at the right time in the right spot, and keeps on delivering with each replay. Can we skip the heavy metal revival, and jump to infectious addled pop that tastes like it was made from scratch and not out of glossy cookbooks. Hell, the Woolen Men are there already. This is one golden Eggy!

-Thurston Hunger

Drainolith – “Ain’t No Sunshine” – [Sun Ark]

abacus   6/19/2012   A Library, Cassette

No direct relation to the classic Bill Withers tune, but this debut solo release from AIDS Wolf guitarist Alexander Moskos does have some soul! We have the jarring angularities that made his previous work so painfully pleasant, but with a much more constrained, personal approach. The first two tracks are a little deceiving, with sparse, jilted tonalities and awkwardly paced drum machine hiccups but then we fall into warped guitar noodlings that are much too?? soggy to be outright blues, but maintain a distinct twang and blues phrasing. The fuzzy, muted distortion gives it a claustrophobic, trapped in plumbing, feel, where the twisted guitar tangents swirl into the sewer depths with all the other human waste. Only 150 copies and out on Sun Araw’s Sun Ark label.

Allerseelen – “Schwartzer Rab” – [Aorta]

Roland Blunt   6/13/2012   A Library, Cassette

Schwartzer Rab (“Black Raven”) is a circa 1989 performance by Allerseelen (“All Souls Day”): Austrian musician Gerhard Petak (aka Caedmon). Inspired by nature, alchemy, ritual, as well as the existentialist, nihilist, anarchist, and reactionary writing of Friedrich Nietzsche, Ernst Junger, and Julius Evola, this sonic material emanates a reflective, brooding, post-industrial, dark ambient moodscape. Apparently, this recording was actually a shamanic ritual disguised as a dramatic act…its reverance focused on the role of the raven in mythology as a messenger…trixter…creator…destroyer…a mediator between spititual and material realms. Track 1 consists of the background music that was implemented during the main performance, and Tracks 2-6 are related material recorded the same month. Each subsequent movement utilizes a similar deployment of synthesizers, samples, loops, effects and live intrumentation as the primary piece…but with varied mixing and concentration of sound.

Track 1 (29:47)…entrancing, distraught, numinous, oblique and gloomy. An aural harbinger fraught with a gripping cadence, trembling notes, and reiterate screeches.

Golgotha Communications LTD. – “Diet’a z dobrej rodiny” – [Scotch Tapes]

Roland Blunt   5/23/2012   A Library, Cassette

Circa 2009 cassette issue by Philadelphia, PA trio…Josef K, Greco-Norwegian, and Penny Petticoat…recording as Golgotha Communications LTD. An enthralling necromantic synthesis of dark ambience, mangled voices, samples, noise, electronics, effects, tape manipulation…neoteric in their exploitation of silence, repetition, pattern, inversion, accumulation, and the gross amalgamation of sound incidents from track to track…mellifluous, disturbed, solemn, introverted, peaked…slanted more so toward classical musique concrete than modern industrial wanderings. Hypnotic disseminations from a tenebrous cabal that sagaciously crack your attention. Decant this potion into your earhole, forthwith. Side A/Side B both approximately 22 minutes. “Diet’a z dobrej rodiny” means “Child From a Good Family” in slovak…and he’s apparently concerned with the problem of sex…

Nodolby – “Eggy 17” – [None]

cinder   5/21/2012   A Library, Cassette

Three tracks of supreme noise. Rushing electronics and ear twingers. Don’t judge a cassette by its cover – the Alice in Wonderland tea and biscuits type table artwork is lovely, but the sounds are more like the Mad Hatter can’t find his sugar cube and decided to through his robots in the blender. Harsh noise for those who love to be face grated. If you need a more mellow meld, the last track is actually quite different, more of an ambient melody floating through the industrial chimes.

Das Energi – “Recitations” – [Sonic Meditations]

mickeyslim   5/16/2012   A Library, Cassette

Sonic MEditation is a very appropriate label name for these folky acoustic acid jams from Steve Lande. Melodic, sparse, and spacey, the guitar and electronics mixture sounds like Abacus and Ann Arbor’s airchecks mixed together. Creepy but strangely uplifting.

U.X.X. – “instrumentals” – [Self Released]

abacus   5/16/2012   A Library, Cassette

Collaboration between local noise artists (members of Riqis, Al Qaeda, Sutekh Hexen) Psychedelic mixture of organic and synthetic sounds with sax, synth, voice and computer beats augmenting the scene. Track 1 starts as a wavering synth drone that moves between an empty warehouse and a quivering tone before a rumbling takes over and the bottom heavy, broken hip hop beats take over. Feedback oscillations abound in the thunder only to be broken by a sudden broken glass as a glitched, factory beat sets in and we’re absorbed in a bouquet of noise. Voices echo from nowhere, augmenting the ethereal feel until suddenly prayer bells signal a move to an oceanside gathering of tribal dragonflies and a peaceful drone fighting an incessant feedback. Track 2 drops immediately into some deep hip hop instrumentals amidst a background of screeching and bass reverberations all warped like its encapsulated in a bubble. A fog washes over and we’re dropped into an ice cavern deep inside a mountain where every sound is amplified in the endless reverb. There, with all our senses deprived of stimuli except the freezing cold echoes we sink into a dreamworld, launching out to the edges of the universe. There we meet a series of chopped up beats that culminate in a fury of noise and then cut out very suddenly. Self-released tape produced for Amnesia’s last noise show 5/15/12. Amazing live!

Dead Drums – “Fashion Defense / Human Hair” – [Bathetic]

Thurston Hunger   5/9/2012   A Library, Cassette

Probably should not have fallen asleep in the bathtub
again, but this Dead Drums release on Bathetic definitely
drifts a body down, through the drain and into another
world. Steamy slurry vox sometimes, and that one-winged
chick, the pop priestess is summoned. Home-spun, with
tap-water guitar, and a clear murkiness to the production.
Results in a barbituate cassette. Lo-fi badge of courage,
and a MOR rock hangover, seeping into various karaoke dreams
(forever Everly on #6, and Nicks knacks on #9). Haze
on top of haze, with guitar as a mesh.?? Caleb Moore is
the Calgonian at work here, also in a band called Lands
and Peoples. The full (double EP) plays really well
in its entirety, a better chance for submerging. Track #13
is a two-fer, beware silence from 3:45 till 4:38. It has
a bowed start, and then circling bubbles of guitar. Bohren
and Der Bathrobe of Baltimore drip electic piano drops on
#7. Shoe gaze without the shoes? Sink into it…

-Thurston Hunger

[coll] Sagan Genesis – “Mollusk In Water” / Waxy Tomb – “Take One, Try All” – [Weird Forest]

Roland Blunt   5/2/2012   A Library, Cassette

Split cassette collection from, Sacramento-based, Weird Forest Records featuring two KDVS (UC Davis Radio/ TechnoCultural Studies) related sound artists: Sagan Genesis (John Brumley) & Waxy Tomb (Julia Litmer-Cleper). A subtly drastic synthesis of electronic signals, field recordings, voice, and noise elements deployed through explorations of avante-garde recording, editing, mixing techniques.

Side A – Sagan Genesis…(0:00-14:26) entropic, subaqueous plumes of resonate noise meander, pitch, squish, burble, brood, surge within an extramundane realm. (14:26-19:59) placid buoyant plashes surface. (19:59-23:46) precipitate toggle to an enchanted swell of chimes. (23:46-28:21) toggle to a blushing phlegmatic carousel of synth. (28:21-29:59) toggle to a country tune superimposed within a field recording of classroom lecture. *False ending @ 29:38*

Side B – Waxy Tomb…Ten tracked movements of psychoactive otherworldly transmissions…pulses, vibrations, squeaks, squelches, rumbles,??demented device noodling, mutated voices, eerie synth swells, eruptions of twisted electronics, rhythmic industrial leanings…warped narration of noise-powered contrivances struggling into motion.

Mullins, Patrick – “Farewell, Friend and Helper” – [Underwater Experiences]

Roland Blunt   5/2/2012   A Library, Cassette

Solo work from Patrick Mullins: former member of Burmese, and Orinoka Crash Suite. Delicate blend of field recordings, synthesizer, electronics, tape manipulation, acoustic and electric guitar. A mellow, captivating, deep listening experience…with select moments of resounding intensity.

Side A : Track 1 (0:00-04:03)…breathy ambient washes. Track 2 (04:03-10:55)…crickets, tones, eerie silence, fumbling, gentle acoustic strumming. Track 3 (10:55-15:30)..swirling acoustic melody surrounded by squishy, electronic muck…intensified noise-drone-tone transmission rises during the last 01:54.

Side B: Track 1 (0:00-06:43)…reprised acoustic melody transforms into electro-ambient submersion of notes, tones and grumbles. Track 2 (06:43-08:57)…acoustic noodling, noise washes, traffic, footsteps, birds chirping. Track 3 (08:57-16:15)…languid acoustic picking overtaken by persistent tone-drones swells, footsteps in wet sand/dirt guide you out.

 

Deep Magic – “Balance” – [Deep Tapes]

cinder   4/13/2012   A Library, Cassette

A fellow by the name of Alex Gray. Recorded using a laptop, drum machine, guitar, synth, and bamboo sax. Loops and magical sounding drones. Cassette cover features clouds with triangles and circle cut-outs, very representative of the sound. These are more uplifting, bubbly types of repetitive electronics – a sort of desert psych feel.

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