Music Reviews

Quarantine Compilation [coll] – [Dullahan Productions]

whngr   8/11/2021   A Library, CD

Violently varied genres, the common thread being, with only a couple exceptions, a prevalence of guttural vocals and a general leaning towards the bleak, heretical, and nihilistic. Exactly half of these tracks fit within the purview of my show (A.S.O.L.), the remaining tracks run the gamut from dated to laughably bad. However, I may just be a jaded, cynical, geriatric fart stain on the diaper of life. You decide.

B.T. Saints: Stoner Riff Metal, chin singing, Cathedral worship

*Elderly Abuse: Punk Rock, Thrash leanings

*Grody: Trash/Speed/Death Metal

*Hallucinator: Speed/Death Metal, Black Metal leanings

*Heavy Stench: Fem fronted Hardcore

Hemorrage: Stoner Riff-Sludge

Meatslab: Thrash/Grind, may be the actual Cookie Monster, FCC’s – many

The Obsolete Man: Thrash Rage Doom

Phantom Witch: Thrash, riffs

REKT: Detuned HXC Sludge Scumdog: Sludge Grind HXC – FCC- “fucking” x4

*Shrinking Killers: Punk/Death Rock, thick bass, hooks, emphatic vampire vox

*Sodomy: Speed/Death Metal, riff and groove,

Supernaut: Retrospective Heavy Metal, Sabbath worship

*Throat Rip: Hardcore Art Grind, Aggressive and tinny

*Violent Legacy: Old school Tech/Death/Speed Metal – FCC- “shit x2”

*Vorlust: Death Metal, Thrash/trash drums, Guttural fem(?) vox

Xgrifox: Grind, Strange, antithetical recording, Mariachi outtro


Highways Over Gardens [coll] – [Carpet Bomb Records]

aarbor   8/11/2021   A Library, CD

A collection of several outfits on the obscure New York Carpet Bomb label from 1998. What’s notable is that even though there are a variety of band names: Livestock, Microstudio, Kundalini, Tripform and Unagi Patrol, most of these outfits contain the same musicians: Adrien Capozzi (now known as Adrien 75), Doron Gura, Pablo Manzarek, Norman Reed and Daniel Raffel. You’ll hear Carpet Bomb’s trademark mix of obscure-break, live instrumentation (tablas, guitars, etc), and extended minimal loopery. Tracks are of varying lengths from 3 to 22+ minutes. AArbor

Onda Sonora: RED HOT+ LISBON [coll] – [Red Hot Organization]

aarbor   8/11/2021   CD, International

Onda Sonora means soundwave in Portuguese. This collection was put together by the Red Hot organization which raises money on behalf of the AIDS epidemic – their slogan is “fighting AIDS through popular culture”. The collection features 40 artists from 11 countries (they are not all from Portugal or its colonies). The artists range from Caetano Veloso, Carlinhos Brown, Marisa Monte and Arto Lindsay to k.d. lang, DJ Wally, and Durutti Column and many others. The collection creates a travelogue of music tracing the Portuguese legacy from Fado to Samba to Morna ( a dance from Cape Verde), and explores the connections between different people linked by the random acts of history, language and rhythm. AArbor

Dynotones, the – "Dynotones, The" – [Kornyfone]

Cousin Mary   8/6/2021   A Library, CD

This terrific Orange County surf band’s 1999 recording takes its place on the shelf of the KFJC library! Some covers such as the great High Wall, some originals – excellent playing and energy.

PGM: Track 14 Blood and Sand ends at 4:40, then silence, then a hidden track starting at 6:40 – a ripping live rendition of Jack the Ripper.

Blackball Bandits – "Cursed Island, The" – [Double Crown Records]

Cousin Mary   8/6/2021   A Library, CD

Brand new album from this Southern California band that will justify the eager anticipation of surf music fans. Lots of variety with nods to Horror, Spaghetti Western, traditional surf, and exotica. All originals by the band with the exception of a bitchin’ cover of Dick Dale’s Night Rider. Fine playing with great energy and momentum.

Memory Wire – "Aura" – [Zorpin]

cinder   8/5/2021   A Library, CD

Duo from Leicester, UK.  Chris Conway (theremin, keyboards, voice, guitar, kalimba, flutes) & Jim Tetlow (laptop, keyboards, cajon). It’s delicate, ambient drones that waft and flow harmoniously. Visions of soft glowing frogs and twinkling fireflies in a black lit forest. Gurgles and trinkles. It’s incredibly mellow and sedative, very excellent.

Frightener – “Guillotine” – [Chainsaw Safety]

whngr   8/4/2021   A Library, CD

Modern Crossover Carnage

Technically adept and leaning into the brutality, this band from the U.K. may have been accused of failing to till the newest of soils (online sleuthing will reveal comedic discourse by etiolate contrarians) but what Frightener did was from the heart, emphatic and visceral. References to Napalm Death, Rorschach, and Terrorizer may be apt but perhaps lack appreciation of the ardently defended territory (if relatively confined and obdurate) they managed to eek out during their fairly brief existence. Blinding speed, relentless rage, snapping necks, short hair, sweat, blood, madness, despair. Detuned, mid-tempo lumbering gallops, fury, blast beats and allusions to ancient Greece from this five-piece outta London (I believe) circa 2006. 

FCC on track 5 – Fall of Delphi – “fucking”.

FCC on track 9 – Heretic – “fucking”.

FCC on track 10 – Acheron – “fucking”.

Blood Rhythms – “Rote” – [No Part of It]

Max Level   8/2/2021   A Library, CD

Horrendous, dense noise pieces built on distorted waves of doomsounds and crusty machine-like rhythms. Each piece presents a different flavor of crushing malevolence, so it’s not the same thing over and over. Definitely some creative variety here, which I appreciate. But you can take my word for it–none of the tracks want to be your friend. The final piece is my favorite–it’s by far the longest, and it’s massive and dark and foreboding as hell, and goes on just short of forever. I have been listening to this CD super loud for a solid week now and there really are no words left. Just hit Play.

Boni, Raymond – “Memoire De L’Oubli – Images For Donald Ayler” – [Mazeto Square]

Max Level   8/2/2021   A Library, CD

Solo acoustic guitar performances. The compositions are unpredictable and adventurous with elements of very free playing. Some passages are melodic and reflective, others are noisy and dense. And then there are the passages that are on the very outside side, as Boni attacks the instrument with scrapes and slides and plucks and some of the most violent strumming of an acoustic guitar I have ever heard. This CD is in memory of free jazz trumpeter Donald Ayler but I must say I am not quite sure how this music intersects with Ayler’s music; Boni composed it all and played it on an instrument that was not Ayler’s instrument, so I don’t know. It must be that the spirit and fearlessness conveyed in this music would be appreciated by those who loved the same qualities in Ayler’s music. I’ll go with that. And I’ll also recommend you give this CD a long listen and let it melt your brain a bit.

Toniutti, Agnese – "Subtle Matters" – [Neuma]

Cousin Mary   7/30/2021   CD, Jazz

Italian pianist Agnese Toniutti explores the possibilities of sound from piano, timbre piano, and toy piano in the her compositions and those of Lucia Dlugoszewski, Tan Dun, Phillip Corner. Tinkly, booming, comedic, and thought provoking.

PGM: Some tracks go quiet quite a few seconds before they end.

Hiraoka, Toshiyuki – "Waterphone II" – [Edgetone Records]

Cousin Mary   7/30/2021   A Library, CD

A waterphone (invented by Richard Waters) consists of a steel resonator bowl with steel rods around the perimeter. Sometimes it is used with water to create an ethereal effect. Hiaroka is known for his horror film soundtracks. This album’s cuts are minimal, repetitve, and shimmering that result in a very pleasant and soothing sound. The metallic and echoing tracks are very mysterious.

Tremolo Beer Gut, The – "You Can't Handle…" – [Musick Recordings]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   A Library, CD

This terrific album is welcome news from this (mostly) instrumental band from Denmark that is held in high regard by the surf music community. Lots of variety in these tunes, just check the liner notes to see the long list of instruments, especially keyboards. “Vocals” are occasional syllables and words. Heavy sound, lots of bass, sort of scary. Fuzz on track 15, the whistling on track 16, have fun exploring.

GWP NYC TCB [coll] – [Ace Records Ltd./Virgin]

aarbor   7/28/2021   CD, Soul

GWP = Gerard “Jerry” W. Purcell a [white] “colorful New York music business man who used the best back music talent to produce fabulous soul sounds for his GWP label”. In addition to his record label, he was a TV, concert and music producer, songwriter and artist manager (he managed Al Hirt, Nancy Wilcox, Eddy Arnold and Hugo Montenegro). These 24 tracks were recorded between 1969 and 1970 for one of these 3 labels: GWP, NYC or TCB. Some of these artists did a number of recordings but none became big stars. AArbor

Nickodemus – "Sun People" – [ESL Music]

aarbor   7/28/2021   A Library, CD

Nickodemus [Nick DeSimone], who runs Brooklyn’s Wonderwheel label, is a very accomplished club DJ who knows and has DJ’ed with some of the world’s best DJs and musicians. This is his 2nd album from 2009. He collaborates with people from all over the world to create a lovely variety of sounds and ethnicities which showcase his work beautifully. Quantic (with whom he produced the well-known Mi Swing Es Tropical) appears as co-producer on tracks 3 and 8. You go from Africa [1], to Baltic flavored [2], to Cuba [3], to Jamaica [4], to bellydance [5], Arabic dub [6], gypsy instruments/NY beats [7], South Asian/Latin [8], Brazil [9], Puerto Rico [10], Arabic beats [11] and African vocals [12]. AArbor

Parmerud, Ake – "Growl" – [Empreintes Digitales]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

Ake is a Swedish composer, musician, and multimedia artist who started his studies in 1978. This collection reaches into 2004, then jumps into works from 2011-2015. The first track is completely mechanical – clicks, winding, rustles, whirs that lead into some experimental beats. It’s an industrial factory come alive! Grooves takes you on a crackling, dirty & dusty vinyl voyage. It builds up to chaos that sounds like 10 horses galloping through the mud, then drops you off into dust mite space. Electric Birds is composed of the wild birds of New Zealand. Their real natural state is heard for the first half of the recording, and then he begins to process them the latter half. Creepy electronics rumble and rustle underneath. The title track, Growl, is the only one to feature vocals… or guttural screaming metal throat blasts of lyrics Ake wrote. It’s like a nightmare where multiple melting demons and ghouls scream at you through sizzled wires. The final track takes you through alien spaceships with bleeps, skittering rhythms, techno beats and whizz’s and whurls. This is fantastic! 

Feiler, Dror & The Too Much Too Soon Orchestra – "What Is The Point of Paris?" – [Fylkingen Records]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

Dror Feiler is an Israeli born, Swedish musician. He created the TMTS Orchestra back in the mid-80s, with the intent of pushing improv music to the limits. Incorporating non-musical things such as drills, machines, chain saws, sledgehammers and the such. This album was recorded back in 1991 at The Alka Art Center, Linköping (Sweden). Three long, all live tracks. It’s chaotic, furious, angry, noisy and spastic. Wailing & squonked sax, damaged synth sounds, stretched guitar, dying clarinet, echoed screams. The added power tools and hollowed industrial sounds of a giant open space building make you wonder if this is what construction workers hear when they go mad. 

Strain of Laws – "Plotted Pavilion, The" – [Helicopter]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

A duo of Aaron Hemphill (Liars) and John Wiese, recorded back in 2010, released originally on super limited 7″. Dark, dreary, hopeless vox over distorted low grumbles, industrial sizzled waves, and drugged up hypnotic rhythms. Not harsh and scary, well, most of the time. It’s more moody and and like they just don’t give a fuhhhh. 

Year of Silence, The [coll] – [Dorobo]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

A nice minimal electronic/ambient/dark compilation from 1995. A few tracks from Darrin Verhagen (ran the Dorobo label for awhile) under various alias here – Shinjuku Thief, Professor Richmann, and other greats such as Black Lung, Alan (Alam) Lamb and Paul Schutze. Some found sounds, hidden clips, icy drones, slow rhythms and pulses. Shinjuku gets a little cinematic in a couple of his tracks as well. Very nice! 

Lunapark: The Sound of Russia Today [coll] – [Eastblok Music]

aarbor   7/21/2021   CD, International

Relatively little new alternative rock and pop from Russia has made it over the collapsed Iron Curtain. Here’s a collection whose intention is to introduce us (in the West) to the up and coming musicians and music from all over the former Soviet Union. In fact the Eastblok does this for music and musicians all over the “New East”. Think of what’s here as a “vodka-fueled, polka-driven Russian Sound”. Check out these bands, read about them in the CD booklet, check out their websites. The lyrics are mostly in Russian, the styles vary from rock, to electro punk, to rap, to social criticism, soulful ballads to electronic. There’s plenty of talent that we don’t know about in the New East! AArbor

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