KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Zylo, Arvo – “Sequencer Works, Vol. 2” – [Forever Escaping Boredom]

abacus   1/13/2016   A Library, Cassette

recorded between 2000-03 with Yamaha Rm1x sequencer in a closet or crawlspace. industrial cartoon mutations of layered loops and tethered chaos; much of the sequences took up the entire memory, full of arcade boss-level malfunctions, metal slug invaders. among Arvo Zylo’s most musical work, not harsh noise in itself but not easy listening either. compiled from dozens of hours of archives of limited and unreleased material. 9 fucks given

Enemie – “040615 & 042115” – [Uncle Daddy]

abacus   12/9/2015   A Library, Cassette

dubwise grime from mysterious electronic beatsmaker out of USA (i want to say it’s east bay but no way to verify). live recorded for grit production but slick beats nonetheless (in aesthetic, not quality). perfect for late night chinatown wandering, flashing lights abound; freeway traffic maneuvers and dizzy all-night haze. simmer and shake

Pekak! Indonesian Noise 1995-2015 [coll] – [End of The Alphabet Records]

abacus   12/9/2015   A Library, Cassette

musician/promoter Indra Menus spent 5 years compiling this glimpse into the Indonesian underground, documenting a history of noise from a scattering of diverse cultures comprising the archipelago. a vast variety of sounds, from standard HNW (1,2,5), to industrial noise (3), noise rock (4), noise drone (6,18), noisecore (9,12), noise glitch (13,15), and all sorts of unclassifiable variants of the noise genre; some of the tracks (8,10) definitely reveal their cultural influence more prominently and stand out as distinctly unique examples of sonic rarity. unheard sounds from a country notorious for its lack of documentation, this is a historical gem of musical documentation.

Nyodene D – “Bound Oak and Ashen Grain” – [Self Released]

Rat King   11/18/2015   A Library, Cassette

An aural tribute to history geekdom and environmentalist hipster rage. ‘Bound Oak and Ashen Grain’ is a compilation of two previous Nyodene D releases: the ‘Atop Masada’ cassette and ‘Mouths That Reap the Harvest’ LP. We currently have neither.

Sida A deals with honour and rebellion during the First Jewish-Roman War, with emphasis on the Sicarii and their weird obsession with killing people to spite the Romans. Side B is about humans (represented by rats) plundering Earth out of greed, and how they will inevitably get the devastating end they have coming to them. It also has an Elder Futhark runic divination theme. Lyrics for both sides are printed on the insert.

It’s death industrial: too structured for noise, too pretty for power electronics. Our test group described it as sounding like ‘being tuned between stations’ and ‘applause, but far away’. Long tracks, distorted dirge vocals, a little bit of melodic sensibility, and a preference for analog noise-tools and unusual instruments (Side A makes use of a mellotron, B3 has a trumpet).

Side A is the the more ambient of the two, and the long track lengths (about fifteen minutes each) allow enough time for sinking in, one way or another. They have a slow, sort of pulsing structure and crumbling, smoldering feel that can pull you in or make you sick. A2 (‘Sicarii’) is my favourite of the two.

Side B is a little angrier and ritualistic with its war-drums, layered vocals and shrieking synths, but it also feels more focused (and is preferred by yours truly). B1 clocks in at about 14:27, but B2 and B3 are more manageable at around seven minutes each. B2 has guest vocals by Stephen Petrus (of Murderous Vision) and employs the classic ‘we raped Mother Earth’ imagery loved by angry hippies across the musical spectrum. Again, B3 has a trumpet on it. Respect the trumpet.

Breathing Patterns – “All Beat Up” – [Self Release?]

abacus   10/26/2015   A Library, Cassette

self-declared experimental post-punk out of San Jose. teeth gritting guitar riffage and bellowing bass and drums accompany; snarling vocal delivery gives you that punk rock grimace with spacious song writing that still manages to move and change. these guys got skills and a sound all their own in a sea of same-sounding rock music (the 90s were pretty fuckin awesome though)

Cop Warmth – “Trash Gods” – [Self-release]

abacus   9/16/2015   A Library, Cassette

new ep from self-proclaimed Houston’s Most Hated – Cop Warmth return with their low-down-dirty-trash-punk-noise-rock. unrelenting riffage with more guitars (or guts) than you can fit in any college dorm room; thick viscous sound recorded like shit just like it deserves (maybe an FCC on B1 but the vocals are all mush anyways). Trash Gods might be a bit ambitious but trash kings I’ll give em. it’s a wonder In the Red picked up on them at all…

Dead Gakkahs – “Demo” – [Ormolycka]

abacus   9/2/2015   A Library, Cassette

feral female thrashcore trio out of Seoul pound out 7 track demo in under 7 minutes; blistering energy and broken faced dynamics, these quick blasts carry a lot of power and leave basements trashed around the globe.

Miscreant – “Birthright” – [New Forces]

abacus   7/22/2015   A Library, Cassette

hate crime manifestations from this San Jose powerelectronics duo. piercing squall of churning harsh feedback, the title track layered pandemonium while the untitled track is more of a calculated attack. what terror humanity is capable of

COPKILLER – “ALIEN SOCCER” – [Rainbow Bridge]

abacus   7/8/2015   A Library, Cassette

justin marc lloyd electro piss-pop/noise glitter-tronica/childhood memories you wish you didn’t have but are better off having/psychedelic dada EDM/playhouse nightmares/industrial pony-violence/that asshole behind you in traffic and always more fucking insurance/sick muddled hiphop/torn between chronic self doubt and delusions of grandeur/that heavy heat that lingers, overwhelming beat drops and snare staggers/i seriously can’t handle how good this is, unbearable

Truchy, Jean-Sebastien – “…and The Hearth of Skulls” – [la cohu]

abacus   6/22/2015   A Library, Cassette

composer from Quebec experimenting in structures that are both beautiful and chaotic; an almost organic decomposition crackling beneath, cracking open a desert overtone drone; ominous pulsations whispering devilish incantations and sweeping into celestial dementia and tense static suspicions; the dynamics are startling and unsettling, eerily morphing through monastic chants, glitched sonic shredding, heady vacillating vocalizations over a strangely uplifting synth serenade. a trip for sure, cerebral in all the right places and cathartic where it needs to be. final installment of a trilogy of out of body introspections.

Flying Hair – “Haunted Hangout II” – [Self Released]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2015   A Library, Cassette


A frothy blizzard of fuzz guitar. What did you expect
they’re called “Flying Hair” and have tracks named
“Pills” and “LSD Dracula.” So yeah stacks of Marshall
stacks, and Kurt Mangum’s psych bombast guitar will
tug at your ears like Monster Magnets. On “Pills”
there’s also some kind of slide/lapsteel shadows too
that are quite nice. Bobby Martin shouts rock exhortation
Redd Kross-y vox, but his thick bass drizzled into the
heart of songs is equally crucial. “LSD Dracula” has an
excellent chorus bridge warpath bass/guitar line (and some
ghost organ on top too, Dan Horne provides that and the
album’s lapsteel). LSDD feels more epic than its mere 5
minutes! I bet that track expands wildly live. Drummer
Matthew Clark rounds out the trio, and can whip up a
frenzy when needed, plenty of attack toms, but also
knows when to cool his jets for the slow-down/quiet-down
moments. (Plus he’s Mr. Acid Casual Tea, serving up the
7″ series of Museum of Kind Men singles!!) “Tiny Little
Man” closes this LA trio’s cassette and you feel the warp
and weird rising, but it’s still solid psych rock that
will bounce as high as lost classic reissues, with a heaviness
at the core that will rock milennial chakras.
Dig in! Thurston Hunger

Wizard of – “Naive I-V” – [Zamzam Records]

abacus   6/17/2015   A Library, Cassette

futurist electrobeats from Toronto’s Bob McCully, I guess possibly part of Women in Tragedy, a post-metal-drone-dance-shoegaze group that has apparently been rather prolific for the past several years. this isn’t really any of those things

KTB – “KTB” – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/11/2015   A Library, Cassette

KTB as in “Ketamine The Benevolence” (naturally? I was going
to guess Kick The Bucket). A Boston splinter project from
Guerrila Toss guitarist Arian Sahfiee along with Shawnie
Brando from Bugs and Rats. Deep booming bass left over from
a rave a couple of weeks ago, and razzle-frazzled vocals
(cartoon tweaked, or maybe Brando is just a modern Mel Blanc?).
Artful swagger rock guitar from Sahfiee and thump machines
programmed by Brando, but it’s his vocals that stick in your
ear (reminds me of hip hop guys creating imaginary figures,
like “Chief Chinchilla” from the recent J-Zone album). The
vocals end up providing a cross of humor and swagger to me,
especially on “Medic” which has a sing-songy patter on the
verses and then just sort of wounded howl for the choruses.
Tracks are short and shweet (well the four I could download,
“Right in the Sun” and “Thrown” are apparently only on the
cassette. Maybe I’ll try cueing them up in my car but the
last cassette I listened to in there got munch and crunched.
But this is a kinda munchy, crunchy rock.
-Thurston Hunger

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