Music Reviews

Closetjudas – "Non Sequitur" – [Self Release]

Hemroid The Leader   5/17/2021   A Library, CD

Remember the fifth by breaking the fourth.

Intellectual philosophical lofi 90s style rock, self-released by Mike Powell of Winnipeg. Doctoral thesis lyrics make your eyes glaze over. Settle into your favorite thrift store armchair and have chai while you puzzle this out. Extremely limited run: CD is #2 of 5

Risaripa & Takeshita – Cute Bears – [Imploding Sounds]

cinder   5/12/2021   A Library, CD

Collab noise release from Risa Reaper (Japan) & Takeshita (Pronounced TA-KESH-TA, Seattle). Electronics crunch and churn, while whimsical demented toys are pulverized in the giant industrial steel grinder. Unbellies of childlike rhythms & demonic possessed vox try to escape through the harsh, scorching fire of hell.   

Crown of Eternity – Dream Architecture – [Sounds Eternal Music]

cinder   5/12/2021   A Library, CD

An intensely meditative duo of Mike Tamburo and Galina Haralambova. This release is a musical journey through 11 gongs and over 60 bells, sound plates, singing bowls and tuned metallic instruments that transfuse into your inner lamb and soothe your soul. The reverb you hear from each tap of the gongs/bowls/bells is like a deep relaxing breath. Could definitely lay in a giant flower field, staring up at the sun peeking through the clouds listening to this. It’s like a giant, mythical wind chime. Would mix excellently next to Tom Heasley’s droned out tuba.

Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage – Live At The Issue Project Room – [Imprec]

cinder   5/12/2021   A Library, CD

An expanded version of Catherine Christer Hennix’s mind-altering ensemble. CCH is Swedish musician, poet, philosopher, mathematician and visual artist who is known for being associated with the early minimalist movement. Active since the 1960s, her drone interest intertwines with her love of jazz, Arabic music, Sufi Islamic art, and the blues. This one, hour+ long piece includes vocalists Imam Ahmet Muhsin Tüzer, Amir Elsaffan and Amirtha Kidambi, brass sounds of Paul Schwingesnschlögl and Elena Kakaliagou, & Marcus Pal and Stefan Tiedje on electronics. It’s a hypnotic, mesmerizing psychedelic trip through the high desert. Indian style drones morph with wafting chants that cocoon around your core and tendril out your solar plexus like glowing comets. It’s a meditative journey, drop in anywhere! 

Kale, Karsh – "Realize" – [Six Degrees Records]

aarbor   5/5/2021   CD, International

Karsh Kale [pron. Kursh Kah-leh] was born in the UK and raised in the US. This is his very first solo album from 2001 (after he appeared in Laswell’s Tabla Beat Science lineup). Some call this style the “Asian Massve Movement”, a new breed of Indian-classical fusion, as opposed to Talvin Singh’s “Asian Underground”. The music is engaging and well worth a listen. AArbor

Ethiopiques 4: Ethio Jazz 1969-1974 [coll] – [Buda Musique]

aarbor   5/5/2021   CD, International

#4 of Francois Falceto’s Ethiopiques series which features Ethiopian Instrumental hits from 1969-1974. Mulatu Astatke plays keyboards here with two different ensembles tracks 1-6 are from one record and 7-14 are from another. Note that the revolution which brought down Emperor Haile Selassie began in February of 1974. Track 9 Yekatit (February) is Mulatu’s mandatory tribute to the burgeoning revolution. To Ethiopians, February stands for the end of the old regime. The last track Dewel was originally issued in the US in 1972. A very fine and tuneful collection! AArbor

Sondheim, Alan – "Future Speed Sound" – [Public Eyesore]

Hemroid The Leader   4/27/2021   A Library, CD

Churning, shattering, rupturing, stuttering string improvisation as fast as possible with no repetition from Alan Sondheim on Public Eyesore. “I am riding the contour of what I am hearing And my fingers flailing about As if I wear(sic) under control.” He plays a diverse assortment of guitars, Arabic and Central Asian lutes and a viola. This is Sondheim’s 4th full-length in our library. Feat. vocal chants from Azure Carter on 4, 8, 12: “This is a prelude to a song/ Or is it an accompaniment to a song/ Or a prelude to …”

Love of The Farthest – “Destratification” – [Utech]

mickeyslim   4/27/2021   A Library, CD

This project, formerly The Human Quena Orchestra, is the duo of Nathan Berlinguette and Ryan Unks, who are well represented in our library in various other projects. It may also be good to know that destratification is the process by which air or water is methodically mixed in order to normalize temperature. 

This 44-minute long excursion buzzes and hums its way across a barren night sky. A lush wind’s murmur and metallic sandpaper scratching, haunted nightmare drones and inner-ear itches. Everything, all at once, coalescing into a final, subtle sound that you’ll find already has you hypnotized.

Crucifix – “Dehumanization” – [Kustomized]

whngr   4/23/2021   A Library, CD

Seminal Berzerkly Hardcore

Palm mutes, velocity, anger, squealing guitars, sneering optimism cloaked in nihilism, counting, D-beat, Oooogh
West coast icons of heaviness spray out fourteen tracks of thrash/proto-war metal in the vein of Crass Records, Profane Existence, and Discharge.

Sonic dissidence, disorder, and destruction that calls for an end to empiric violence, war, and classism on this, their only full-length. Crucifix was heard by thousands of aspiring crust lords on the 1982 compilations, “Not So Quiet On The Western Front” and “Rat Music for Rat People” inspiring thousands of disenfranchised middle-class youth to leave suburbia and hit the gutters of Amerikkka to beg. Beer, drugs, leftovers, food for their dogs, and anything that might help them to focus their one true passion, the collection and sewing of patches on their filthy stinking clothing. However, many other fans would form bands and engage in humanitarian efforts like feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and fighting oppression and inequity for a little while anyway before being consumed by their addictions or quietly martyring themselves on the altar of capitalisms before Our Blessed Mother of Patriotic Perversion, drunk with power, greed, and mad beyond reason.
Dehumanization was an integral album that included, Sothira Proudflesh né Pheng (vocs) a refugee of Cambodia, Jake Smith (guitar), Matt Borusso (bass), Christopher Douglas (drums), and is finally being added to our library in 2021 38 years after being released and just prior to America’s prophesied adoption of Thoughtcrime as part of our JurisPrudence.

Pairs well with 1984 (the year and the novel), skateboards, and empty swimming pools.

Schulze, Klaus – "Dziekuje Poland Live '83" – [Mig-Music]

aarbor   4/21/2021   CD, Jazz

Klaus Schulze started out as a drummer with Psy Free (1967-’69), Tangerine Dream (1969-’70) and Ash Ra Tempel (1970-’71). In 1971 he started a solo career an an electronic musician. He released several very experimental electronic albums including “Cyborg” and “Irrlicht” (both in the KFJC library). Schulze says that for him electronic music is totally sensual. He describes his approach as very physical and playful. This recording is from a tour of Poland which he did with Rainer Bloss in 1983. Poland was still behind the “Iron Curtain” and the audiences were very grateful. The tracks are long and live. AArbor

Henry, Ashley – "Beautiful Vinyl Hunter" – [Sony Music U.K.]

aarbor   4/21/2021   CD, Jazz

Ashley Henry, who will turn 30 this year, is a part of the New London Jazz scene, but his style is more traditional than his compatriots. This is gentle piano jazz. I didn’t find it very challenging but it’s authentic, well played and composed by Henry himself. Henry’s musical resume is impressive for musician his age. Be sure to check out the track Battle which features Binker Golding and Moses Boyd, it is much closer in sound and spirit to what I consider the sound of the New London Jazz scene. Makaya McCraven is featured on Dark Honey (4TheStorm). AArbor

Centre El Muusa – “Centre El Muusa” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   4/20/2021   A Library, CD

Hard driving, mesmerizing psychedelic rock and roll out of Estonia? This 2020 release will leave you with a fuzzy frame of mind as you search for that astral plane that contains your carbon based life form. This is Centre El Muusa’s debut album out on Sulatron Records, and is an ear blistering jaunt into some of the best new psyche sounds out of Europe. Originally the brain child of Misha Panfilov and co-founder Volodja Brodsky, the experimental electronic duo vaults into the heavy psychedelic sounds with the addition of Monika Erdman on bass and Aleksei Semenihhin on drums. Sit back in your bubble bath and enjoy the cosmic waves.

Blue Circle – [coll] – [Dub Ditch Picnic]

SlartiBartfast   4/20/2021   A Library, CD

Blue Circle is a fantastic collection of late 80’s early 90’s garage punk, post punk, experimental cassette recordings from Austin,TX. The Blue Circle origin begins with the formation of SPASM Cassettes in 1984 after a trio of student/musicians were faced with a final exam challenge to write a paper on a rock band, or start one. Of course, they started one, a band called Elegant Doormats. That decision to forgo the final exam lead to a long history of an underground music scene that traded in cassette rips. What a flurry of underground sounds that followed. The best of that catalogue is brought to us here on this CD collection of cassette delights. Step back in time, and catapult yourself into the now with this re-release of cassette rips from the early 90’s era. For those willing to play for their final exam, no test required just play on. The experience is the point.

Nephew Lagoon – "Naked Fuse" – [Self Release]

aarbor   4/14/2021   A Library, CD

Nephew Lagoon is based in Michigan. This is their latest project [self-released 2021] which contains 5 extended pieces rather than the brief sketches of the previous releases. It’s kind of a dreamscape of disconnected thoughts loosely flowing in and out of each other, with synth explorations and Negativland-esque sound bytes and news clips. There are clear references to the COVID pandemic on track 5 weddow [and the lack of sufficcient health care, loneliness and isolation]. AArbor

Afro Yaqui Music Collective – "Maroon Futures" – [Neuma]

aarbor   4/14/2021   CD, International

The Afro Yaqui Music Collective describes themselves as “a postcolonial big band dedicated to activating the histories of resistance and collaboration between African diaspora and indigenous peoples..the voices of pan-Asian revoutionaries and working class allies have… added to this chorus which celebrates the radical legacies of Maroon Societies — multiethnic societies built by escaped slaves.” They sing in various languages, play instruments from East and West, and clearly articulate messages completely relevant to the world of 2021, while paying tribute to some musical forebears. Core messages: replace the current reality with one that is Ecosocialist and Matriarchal. Despite their unapologetic political agenda the music is excellent. AArbor

Cedars of Lebanon, The – “Archive” – [Limited Warfare]

whngr   4/13/2021   A Library, CD

Dark, harrowing ambiance with Middle Eastern influence.

Where a haunting spell is left to bleed the saint and to propel the Imam through an atmosphere filled with exotic spice, myrrh, and the prayers of the pious to a remote and vacuous space where God is honored amid the oceans of sand and waves of heat. Nearby a concubine eats pomegranate and watches the Eagle-Owl in its ornate geometric cage made of gold and olive wood while she waits for the arrival of her Sultan. However, he won’t be coming. His thickening blood seeps into the elaborate robes he wore for the hunt, his body swaying back and forth inside the palanquin on the party’s return to the palace having been slain by a great marauding cheetah, or alfahd, that sprang from concealment in the dry, wispy grass before being killed herself in a chaotic eruption of musket fire. The Sultan’s soul will never again cross the threshold of his qasr, where the rusty gate swings morosely in the wind.

Sorrowful viola, dulcimer, lilting guitar, drone, bells, samples, abstractions, a myriad variety of percussion (could be anything), and echoes everywhere.

Cedars of Lebanon are, Anthony Couri ( Lake of Violet), Jamie Drier (on You, The Swan King), and Mike Ricketts (Dismiss, Larva, onYou, Planes Mistaken For Stars). Recorded June 18, 2001 in the Platte River tunnels of Colorado.

Blood Rhythms – “Universe Spills Out of a Spider’s Bowels, The” – [No Part of It]

whngr   4/13/2021   A Library, CD

Released in September of 2020, Arvo Zylo lays down some harsh heavy drone with meaty durations and song titles I look forward to back announcing.

Unnerving themes to nightmares. Slipping out from a synthetic cocoon woven with the itchy fibres of psychosis. Fissures, machines, terror.

Unfurl your dusty wings and fly like Icarus toward the brilliance of your imminent demise. The instrumentation is irrelevant. Close your eyes and die.

Kompakt Total 18 [coll] – [Kompakt Schallplatten]

aarbor   4/7/2021   A Library, CD

From 2018 another very fine compilation from Cologne, Germany’s Kompakt label (based in a record store of the same name and owned by Wolfgang Voigt, Michael Mayer and Jugen Paape). What I like about these compilations is that usually each artist gets only 1 track – so they’re picky about what’s included. There are artists who are already in our library (Gui Boratto, John Tejada, T. Raumschmiere, Terranova plus the label owners) and ones I wasn’t familiar with. Dig in and enjoy! AArbor

Greenlief, Phillip – “Barbedwire” – [Creative Sources Recording]

mickeyslim   4/6/2021   CD, Jazz

All the way back in July 2019, Phillip Greenlief planned to perform at KFJC with the Social Stutter Quartet to promote their performance at that year’s Outsound New Music Summit. Unfortunately, one of the quartet wasn’t able to make it, so Greenlief pulled out this gigantic book of graphic scores, and the then trio performed from the pages of this book. Little did we know, we were getting a live sneak peak into what would become this first-in-a-series album of improvised works to these graphic scores.

Whether the trio consists of more traditional instruments or live electronics, these trios bring to life these graphic scores that, while they look like twisted barbed wire, don’t have that harsh, scratchy, metallic feel. Each track is quite different than the last, but all maintain a certain placidity that momentarily gets disrupted, only to lull you back into that oh-so-comfortable false sense of security.

Ingeniously designed, masterfully-executed, perfect for KFJC. Enjoy!

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