KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Star Turbine – “Altitude” – [Sonic Meditations]

billiejoe   8/31/2016   A Library, Cassette

Doomy droney fuzzy spacey twinkly bright heavy deep meaningful. Self-described, “Improvised space age explorations” from Sindre Bjerga and Claus Paulsen from Copenhagen. I really liked it and want more, something that doesn’t happen that often.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Atrament “Eternal Downfall”

milo   8/13/2016   A Library, Cassette

Interpretive: A man riding horseback in a midnight battle plows through the enemy line, as a tide of corpses in the making parts before him like Moses at the Red Sea. Underneath, the steed gallops at a ferocious pace, with only victory on its mind, the blinders fixing his vision ahead–only ahead–until the final battle, whereupon his charge will dismount and behead the leader of the fallen enemy. He knows not the possibility of failure. The riders arms propel his mace deep into the skulls he now crushes with ease, a level of mastery won only through years at war.

Descriptive: Welcome to a nearly continuous festival of punishment. This Bay area four piece (guit/drums/bass/vox) has refined a particularly dark and simple approach to aggressive music. They’re tight, achieve a coherent sound, and the vocals are gruff enough to hit the spot without sounding comically evil. Bursts of three quick notes from the sludgy guitars ride atop fast-paced drumming; most tracks have a distinctive break from this before looping around for a second pass. No hooks or particularly memorable riffs; the focus here is on creating a wholly pummeling auditory experience. Memorable bits: the solid mosh in Sunken Reign (#2), and guitar flourishes & work around the kit in Hericide (#5). Dusk Abuse (#11) wraps things up nicely. This 2016 release has received support from multiple labels for the different formats, and these guys are delivering a superior product compared to their peers.

Short: straight up hardcore band dresses up as death metal band for Halloween, decides they like the outfits.

Corum – “Black Or White Orpheus 2: Place of The Hidden Sun” – [Lost Discoveries]

Louie Caliente   7/31/2016   A Library, Cassette

Corum is Grant Corum, a graphic designer, sound artist, and member of Million Brazilians and many other bands. On this cassette, he is inspired by Indian shrines and rituals, transcending time and reality, awakening higher levels of consciousness.

Looped breathy beats and shimmery atmospheric synths, very flowing and rhythmic. Lo-fi trance-like vocals. Lots of layers that combine, meld, and disorient. Reminded me of a mellower, more spiritual Black Dice.

Extensive liner notes liken singer and trickster Michael Jackson to a modern day Orpheus, a divine creature full of magic and a symbol of metamorphosis.

Lotions and Creams [coll] – [Ghoul House Records]

Louie Caliente   6/18/2016   A Library, Cassette

2014 West Coast Tour compilation cassette from these three heavy indie post-whatever bands.

Trumans Water: Odd-ball “squiggle-core” with a fast and fervent pace. Dissonant yet intricate guitar work. Definitely noise rock, but more rock than noise. Covers of MC5 (track 4) and Kinks (track 16) are simple and straight-forward, but still maintain a unique sound.

Octagrape: The most melodic of the bunch. Sing-songy hazy-dazy distortion-soaked rock with a SoCal beach feel. “Medicinal Glop” breaks the mold with a long psychedelic pop-punk meltdown.

Permanent Makeup: Florida post punk. Paranoid ranting lyrics. Aggressive and angular guitar riffs coupled with rumbling bass lines. Occasional improvisational breakdown.

Coral Remains – “Zero Tour Demo” – [Ratskin Records]

Louie Caliente   6/18/2016   A Library, Cassette

Coral Remains (formerly Styrofoam Sanchez) is an Oakland-based post-industrial wretched noise waste receptacle that “personifies the trash island in the pacific gyre”.

Electrostatic blasts, jagged crunchy beats, and growling demonic incantations. Looping low-end thuds that self-destruct before your very ears. Apocalyptic visions of our doomed species and ruined planet. Vile misanthropy at its finest.

J. Marcloid – “Shenpa” – [Subruckus Collective]

Thurston Hunger   5/29/2016   A Library, Cassette

Name-shifting, shape-shifter, noise drifter. Depending
on how the Jelly Moonlit Light shines, you might see
Justin Marc or an Angel or various other incarnations.
What you will hear here are two sidelong noisy explorations

Each side clocks in at 21:30….

A fax machine dreams of playing the bag pipes? That’s the
opening pull on “Hook” it follows with a lot of mechanically
bounced sounds, like rubber bands made out of some really
pliable metal, and then wired into your sense of balance.
Things thing out 11 minutes in and we eavesdrop on a short
demon phone call and then some weird ceremony in an empty
underground reservoir. Almost sad, almost singing? I really
liked that section but then lava rupture ended it.

“Shenpa” includes distorted voice feeds over a pulsing
slave unit to the servo-rhythm. I’m a sucker for anything
that triggers a “Prince of Darkness” movie memory and
the chopped dialog here did so. After awhile something
that sounds like a broken Buddha box chirps in (apparently
that might be no koan-cident as Shenpa is a Buddhist term
of confining attachment, like a hook to a fish perhaps)
Bells and blips ring on and then broken voices for broken
people return at the end.

Even if the mind is not sharp, the sounds here are often
are, piercing one’s stream of consciousness.
-UnThurston UnHunger

Toyota – “Concept Model(s) I-V” – [Discontinuous Innovation Inc.]

mouthbreather   5/24/2016   A Library, Cassette

SF hyperactive fun-punkers, all named after models of their namesake’s corporation. giving up jittery vocals, guitars, bloopy bass, energetic drumming in a self-imposed ‘pseudo-corporate rock’ genre… a coffee hyped baby Devo sound. not much melody here. sure to piss someone off.

play the tape! 10 minutes of fun, then its over!

Floral – “EP1” – [Subruckus Collective]

abacus   5/4/2016   A Library, Cassette

precision math rock from local virtuosos out of Mountain View; their interplay is telepathic, Ty perfectly syncopating Nate’s complex finger-tapping. Nate studies at Berklee, and it shows – weaving beautifully fluid mosaics between opposing melodic lines. outstandingly mature delivery- pushing boundaries without being overly showy or technical; these guys have the potential to blast off and never come back with their level of playing abilities, but show admirable restraint as they execute these meticulously crafted homegrown DIY songs. some of the best new rock music to come out of the Bay Area, so play it.

Prants – “Hot Shaker Meet Lead Donut” – [Notice Recordings]

abacus   3/9/2016   A Library, Cassette

duo of Chris Cooper and Bhob Rainey musique concrete / electroacoustic / noise michief / sound art: sawblade harmonics layers of glistening tone breaks morning bells toll singing serenity, a low hum pervades and fades to a deep rumble creeping in o windbeaten scrap and tranquility. derailed dementia dominates the B side, audio errors and salacious circuitry salivate the terrifying hilarity of instability, somber orchestral tuning punctuate the night horror dissipation.

Burger Boogaloo ’15 [coll] – [Burger Records]

mouthbreather   3/9/2016   A Library, Cassette

a collection of artists from the Burger Records Festival 2015. we got straight-forward, garage-y pop, lo-fi, 2-3 minute sizzlers all over this tape. fit into any poppy set with ease and teabag all your troubles away.

FCC free, though Teabag Party may not be a party for everyone!

Magnetic Lake – “Magnetic Lake” – [Post-Materialization Music]

abacus   3/8/2016   A Library, Cassette

hailing not from the Minnesota body of water, (though sounds may deceive?) but from the faraway land of Odessa, fitting in nicely with the Post-Materialist aesthetic; lopsided dream pop tweaked to just the right angle– confusion abounds (besides the track title) with each listen yielding a different decision: acid wash country or gothic psych-gaze? but there’s so much cohesion… sedated singing from Ilya picks up around the aforementioned track then drops off, lost in the instrumental Shazoo haze. B side starts off more purposeful perhaps the blunders back to its cross-eyed amble. so far outside it’s too normal, catchy tunes for sure, but cringing in delivery. pop in its natural habitat, not all glistened up for the cameras.

Black Spirituals – “Black Interiors” – [Ratskin Records]

abacus   2/10/2016   A Library, Cassette

Oakland duo collective rooted in the intersection of diversity and experimentalism: Zachary James Watkins cradles his guitar with an intense focus and yearning for tonality, no patience for weak timbre; Marshall Trammell embracing the drumset with comprehensive inclusion and a fluidity that thrives on constant derailment. an engagement with space, an ontology of sound, defining the effects of location / depth / placement / orientation on audio perception. recorded each solo, as opposed to previous works where interaction is key, the artists are allowed to examine their individual energies in isolation. don’t adjust your levels, the distant volumes are intentional in the exploration: meditations in resonance

HSDOM – “untitled” – [Phaserprone]

humana   2/1/2016   A Library, Cassette

This release from the Brooklyn step sequencer contains four tracks, composed mainly of sounds that seem to come from the field, and vocal echoes that seem to come from the nethersphere. There are subtle beats that can be felt in the subconscious, and synth sounds that are most pronounced in Track 3. It’s a primal electronic type scritching on the nerves and yet sometimes it’s comforting.

Nielsdottir, Sigriour – “Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigriour Nielsdottir” – [Hornbuckle Records]

humana   2/1/2016   A Library, Cassette

The sweet story of Grandma Lo-Fi is best read while listening to this compilation of her songs. Turning 70 marked the start of a musical career in which she sang, used household sounds (including purring kitties) and various kitchen percussion and toys, and recorded them on cassette. Iceland has its unique musicians, but this one takes the cake. Makes you look forward to turning 70 and coming into your own. Her percussive rhythms call to mind tribal beats that span the globe. Enjoy.

Placazoa Dicatorship – “Photograph of Prisoner” – [Subruckus Collective]

abacus   1/28/2016   A Library, Cassette

chaotic noise/jazz layering from local boy Kevin Murray; short attention span overload extreme with tape manipulation/sampling, found percussion skittering and vibraphone improv all stacked together for both sides of this cassingle on his homegrown label Subruckus. Work Life shows no balance with some metal track (ID anyone?) thrown over the top for extra confusion. sounds like someone listens to too much KFJC…

Shit Metaphor – “Theme For a No Tmrw / No Tmrw Never Came” – [Great Plains Records]

abacus   1/13/2016   A Library, Cassette

ragtag soliloquies from east bay duo, indie punkers down and out with a vengeance; angst and alienation laden catchy tunes with impressive execution, fluid fingerwork and endearing vocals. the listening flows best all the way thru on tape, with the instrumental mock ending hidden between. it’s that frustrating time where nothing goes right and everything is slow and difficult and you don’t seem to go anywhere but you keep trudging along. can’t let the pressure keep you down in the pit as you climb out of your valley of shit.

Death Monk – “Live On KFJC” – [Golden Slipper Records]

billiejoe   1/13/2016   A Library, Cassette

Santa Cruz psychedelic funeral ritual sludge doom. They are Friar Eric on guitar and vocals, Friar Jeffery on bass, Friar Sleeper on organ and synthesizers, and Friar Samuel on drums.
Slow and basey it builds and then holds perfectly. Friar Eric shreds. Friar Samuel smacks hard. This is my new meditation soundtrack.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

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