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Music Reviews

Permanenet Clear Light – “Cosmic Comics” – [Sulatron Records]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   A Library, CD

Permanent Clear Light is often referred to as Finland’s top psychedelic group. Permanent Clear Light released their debut album, Beyond These Things, in 2014 to critical acclaim. Although Permanent Clear Light’s musical roots lie in 60’s psychedelia their sound is strictly contemporary. The trio considers the recording studio their main instrument and their sound is characterized by multi-layered instrumental work and strong melodic vocals. After a creative break, Permanent Clear Light has released its second album, Cosmic Comics, which shows that the band has travelled a long way through the spheres since their debut.

Carter/Ishito/Plaks/Swanson/Panikkar – “Open Question Vol.1” – [577 Records]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   CD, Jazz

Warm freely improvised music. The band formed organically in 2019 from weekly jam sessions in Harlem. It is comprised of tenor saxophonist Ayumi Ishito, pianist Eric Plaks, bassist Zach Swanson, drummer Jon Panikka and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter. Recording an album of only free improvisation was Ishito’s long-time dream. Open Question’s music today, while fully improvised, remains firmly rooted in the jazz tradition. Can be edgy but won’t hurt you. A second volume is to follow soon.     

Liquid Sound Comapany – “Psychoactive Songs for the Psoul” – [Liquid Sound Records]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   A Library, CD

Liquid Sound Company is from Arlington, Texas. Formed in 1996 by Solitude Aeturnus guitarist John Perez and Last Chapter drummer Jason Spradlin. The goal: create mind expanding psychedelic sounds for the head! With the nucleus of the band being John Perez & Jason Spradlin the band also includes current members Alan Wise, Mark Cook, and Ron McCain. With a new album in 2021 and live trips in the works, Liquid Sound Company is ready to fly!  Get out your lava lamp and light up the skies, with eastern nods, guitar freak outs and spacey chill out vibes.

Gnod – “La Mort du Sens” – [Rocket Recordings]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   A Library, CD

Gnod are a British rock band from Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Formed in 2006, the band was described in a review of its 2011 release Ingnodwetrust as “a collective from Manchester with an ever-rotating list of members. La Mort Du Sens translates to “The Death Of Meaning” and also reflects its creation. As Paddy Shine of Gnod notes: “I think the title sums it up well because this album was coming together at a time when confusion was king for us all – still is. I think we can all relate to that. This record is a really strange beast because of the big change that happened between mixing and recording”. Started in 2019 the pandemic got in the way and ended up helping form the end product. Paddy continues: “I think the title really does sum up the vibe of ‘What the Fuck’? Maybe we should have called it that!”

Lugerner, Steven; Lang, Garret; Tootie Heath, Albert – “It Takes One to Know One” – [Slow and Steady]

carsonstreet   4/26/2022   CD, Jazz

Jazz reedist Steven Lugerner typically spends a lot of time composing new music for a variety of bold new ensembles. He has taken a different, more laid-back approach for It Takes One to Know One. By inviting drumming legend Albert “Tootie” Heath into his inner circle, Lugerner has recorded five covers with as much reverential care for the material as his drummer. Throw in bassist Garret Lang, and you have yourself a “chordless” trio – three instruments that are incapable of playing a musical chord. Lugerner sticks to the bass clarinet for the entire album made up of a Joe Henderson cover, an Irving Berlin cover, an Ellington/Strayhorn cover, and two tunes written by Heath’s older brother Jimmy Heath. When you add it all up, it’s all as easygoing as the cover art depicting three guys sitting on a bench next to a yawning dog.

Parker, William – “Painter’s Winter” – [Aum Fidelity]

Cousin Mary   4/25/2022   CD, Jazz

William Parker on bass and Hamid Drake on percussion give a whole new definition to the term rhythm section, sometimes swinging, sometimes not. Parker’s turns on trombonium and shakuhashi (especially on track 4) are splendid. Daniel Carter’s trumpet, sax, clarinet and flute carry and set the themes. Elegant and original!

Wet Leg – “Wet Leg” – [Domino]

Sir Cumference   4/24/2022   A Library, CD

Wet Leg are Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, from the Isle of Wight. Last summer they released their first single – Chaise Longue – was a catchy ditty that had me wanting more. The songs deal with all the usual things that 20-somethings deal with: Love, sex, the futility of existence, and the disappointment of adulthood. The whole album is a joy to listen to, but if I had to pick a favorite moment it’s near the end of Ur Mum – you’ll hear what I mean (I don’t want to spoil the surprise) also, there’s a nod to Man Who Sold the World on I Don’t Wanna Go Out.

Worm “Foreverglade” [20 Buck Spin]

atavist   4/19/2022   A Library, CD

Thankfully projects continue to till the decomposing detritus found at the intersection of death metal and funeral doom. Why not when more filth piles up every day? Transposing the clear chimes of echoing, chorus-y guitar with utterly filthy doom chugs and deranged squeals. Vox steeped in the rotting vapors of a Floridian swamp. The session drums, especially the double kick, are well-captured in the recording and properly assertive. The second track adds some churchy monk vocals and has an epic soaring riff, and lo, I detect keyboards. Seriously old-school solos that would have found a home in the late 80s. “Empire of the Necromancers” has grand, melodic passages, setting up “Subaqueous Funeral”, which, vokills aside, is so… pretty. Which is fine for this soft-hearted reviewer, if surprising and unsettling. Worm closes this out with a return to the doomed sounds, circling back to where it began, as the cycle of despair must be renewed endlessly.

Nyctalllz and Agdistiz – “Kozmik Noise” – [Syrphe]

Mister S   4/19/2022   A Library, CD

Dark ambient sounds derived from electronic processing in the vein of Zoviet France, SPK and F/i with a bit more of a rhythmic sense in the realm of Faust. Conjures mental images of grainy, anxiety inducing black and white films like Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse and Darren Aronovsky’s Pi. Do not listen during commute traffic. Great late night traffic free driving music or indulging on 4/20.

“Nyctalllz is a noise, experimental and dark ambient music project formed in 2007 by Morego Dimmer (aka Xerxes The Dark/ Morego) in Tehran, Iran. Agdistiz is a noise and experimental music project from Romania. Both artists exchanged audio files through the internet, Kozmik Noize was born.”

Qrixkuor “Poison Palinopsia” [Dark Descent Records]

atavist   4/18/2022   A Library, CD

From an upwelling of cinematic horror emerges a relentless armada poised to break the mountain with a downstroke of contempt. Ridiculously complicated, monstrous track lengths—both clocking in over 24 min. Doom riffs and filth setting up a blastbeat passage that happens until, well, another complicated thing is happening. There is no wavering in their intent—Qrixkuor are in a feverish madness stringing this together. Halfway through the first track, “Serpertine Susurrus – Mothers Abomination”, the cinematic horror intro returns and resets the chess board. A new build, seemingly more resigned, or perhaps just steeled for what’s to come. When the onslaught returns, it hews to a narrower line. Careening guitar solos round out the proceedings. The wildest, proggiest blastbeat section closes the track in hyperventilating abandon. One heretical opinion, a sneaky DJ could opt to play the first half of the track or the second half, treating them as parts one/two and fading in/out on the orchestral middle section (I myself am inclined to stretch the break clock just enough to play the monstrosity in its entirety). In “Recrudescent Malevolence – Mother’s Illumination” we have reached a desolate promontory, we can see a vast reek stretching below us. A film reel of horror. Guitars moan in agony. The barrage commences. After a nearly seven-minute slow build, things are coalescing a bit, but the approach remains more restrained than the previous track. For those who crave speed, this track doesn’t fully launch until about ten minutes in. Corpse vocals wreathed in echoes, maelstrom of drums. And similar to the previous track, disconcerting horror movie music thrown into the middle of the track, setting up the second half. Like both tracks on the album needed an intermission, so heavily laden are they. Bombastic, perhaps, but it’s interesting to hear death metal obsession magnified to this almost unbearable level.

Beyond Captain Orca! – “Live 2018” – [Self Release]

Jay Omega   4/17/2022   A Library, CD

Beyond Captain Orca! are a purely improvisational band out of Seattle featuring the psychedelic guitar work of Jack Endino. The tracks ebb and flow as the musicians play off of each other on their meandering journeys. When one idea is played out, a new idea quickly emerges. There are three tracks on this release spanning two live performances. The third track also features Ganjas’ guitarist, Pablo Giadach, from Chile. At roughly 10, 20 and 30 minutes, there is a track length to fit your needs.

Somali Yacht Club – “The Sun +1” – [Robustfellow Prods.]

Jay Omega   4/17/2022   A Library, CD

This is the debut album of Somali Yacht Club, a Ukrainian band from Lviv Ukraine. This power trio moves between, and blends, Stoner rock, Psychedelic rock, Shoegaze, Post-metal, Post-rock, Dub, Doom, and Space rock, to create heavy prog-like journeys. Their ability to move about the musical universe is amazing. If I had to pick something to criticize, it would be that they do it just a little bit too well.

Moondog – “More Moondog/The Story of Moondog” – [Prestige/New Jazz]

aarbor   4/13/2022   CD, Jazz

Moondog is Louis Thomas Hardin b. 1916 in Marysville, KS. He grew up amidst Native Americans in Wyoming and began his career as a Manhattan street musician during World War II. He lost his sight at age 17 due to an accident with a dynamite cap. I first heard him as a preschooler in NY on a record I had. I later saw him on the street in NY and was fascinated by his Viking costume. I bravely walked up and told him that he was on a record I had. Some bits of the percussion from that record are found here and there on this release which includes 30 tracks of his 2nd and 3rd Prestige releases. This is sounds of NY: the tugboats, ocean liners, people on the streets, instruments real and invented, dances in different time signatures. I love it because it’s part of my childhood in sound and it’s Moondog’s world. AArbor

Jones, Boogaloo Joe – “Boogaloo Joe Jones” – [Prestige/New Jazz]

aarbor   4/13/2022   CD, Jazz

Ivan Joseph “Boogaloo Joe” Jones (b. 1940) is an American jazz guitarist. These recordings are from August 1969 and February 1970 re-released as part of the Legends of Acid Jazz series in 1996. These tracks are a part of early “acid jazz” which incorporated psychedelic elements into jazz in the form of percussion and electronic dance beats. Boogaloo adds a bit of funk and soul too. Track 4 quotes audibly from Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love”. Track 9 is wonderfully funky. Jones was a session musician for the Prestige label at the time of this recording. AArbor

Exek – “Advertise Here” – [Castle Face Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/12/2022   A Library, CD

Oz-balls. with Albert Wolski’s languid vox on top of awkward pop songs. The drums want to party, the rest of the band is fine just chill’ing in a post-Clean lighted synth space. The CD beings and ends with brief palette cleansing instros. Wolski steps to the mic and on toes on #2 with “You’re looking pregnant, are you pregnant?” If this album took a paternity test, it might indicate Cueniform and Flying Nun as label parents. Ben Hepworth’s bass is a stand-out, check him out as he boogies his was from “Sen Yen For 30 Min of Violin” on into “Beyond Currency.” Ben straight up pumps up the sonic tent for synth/piano to breathe and for the occasional guitar Fripp-flare or trumpet squoom. Is Valya YL Hooi the trumpeteer? She also guest sings briefly on “Unseasonable Warmth” – her 2021 “Untitled” album is a nice drifty, dizzy dream of an album btw. Back on the Exek summary, not sure what the title means (nor sure about a lot of Wolski’s words) but it’s a pretty smooth ride.
-Thurston Hunger

Genocide Pact “Genocide Pact” [Relapse Records]

atavist   4/9/2022   A Library, CD

Death metal oozes from an old-school vein in the seams of the nation’s capital. Medium-length tracks, straight/no chaser. Riffs land like the plodding gallop of a horse made of boulders, the blasting amplification a filthy dust that billows in the wake. Guitar reaches for the sky only to be pulled back into the befouled earth. The band have, in their words, watched friends die while the world around them crumbles, and this is an expression of where they found themselves in 2021. It is at once uncompromising in its pursuit while rigidly adhering to its adopted USDM traditions. A tension arises between abandon and restraint. Perhaps in such a disorienting time it reorients to pursue mastery within an established form. Drop in to be crushed.

Jugendwerkhof – “Urruin” – [Rural Isolation Project]

whngr   4/6/2022   A Library, CD

“Jugendwerkhof”… would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Intracranial hemorrhage… prescient night-terror… autoerotic depersonalization… Limbic system failure… somnambular suicide… silica mastication… convulsive dementia… fever capitulation… involuntary dentistry… enforced dysentery… penetrative electrocution… matricidal malaise… or the concerted destruction of mankind’s propensity for comfort.. 

Named after the German post-war “youth workshops” installed in East Germany by the Soviets which were notorious for their miserably oppressive conditions lacking both privacy and physical contact in deserted castles, barracks, and monasteries which provided a insidious breeding ground for systemic physical and emotional abuse.

Brutzelt wie Kinderblut auf einer glühenden Pfanne und brennt wie Glasscherben in der Harnröhre.

Berlin – 2022

Trovesi, Gianluigi and Coscia, Gianni – “In Cerca di Cibo” – [ECM Records GmbH]

aarbor   4/6/2022   CD, International

The unlikely ensemble of clarinet and accordion is what you have here. Gianluigi Trovesi plays clarinets of all sizes and Gianni Coscia plays accordion. It’s kind of a union of jazz and folk music – jazzed up versions of well-known Italian folk melodies. Umberto Eco, who wrote the liner notes, an essay called “Devils in Music”, says “Coscia and Trovesi know how to contaminate a piece without damaging its unity and without sacrificing the listener’s chances of recognizing the [original].” I don’t get all the musical references but you can enjoy the music without getting them. btw In Cerca di Cibo means looking for food. AArbor

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