José Enrique “Chelique” Sarabia is a Venezuelan poet, musician, publicist, and television producer. He has written more than 1000 songs. In 1971, he recorded an album of traditional and folkloric songs but gave them a modern touch, using specially developed electronic equipment. Chelique took traditional Venezuelan instruments like the cuatro and the bandola llanera, filtered them through oscillators, playing with feedback, tape delay, synthesized frequencies, echoing sounds. The result was this album. Originally, the album was sponsored by the Shell Company in Venezuela, given away to customers, employees, and friends of the company as a Christmas gift in 1973. It was called 4 Phases of Four – Venezuelan Music Electronically Developed by Chelique Sarabia. Once the exclusivity period with Shell was over, Chelique did a commercial release, this time using the current name which translates to The Electronic Revolution in Venezuelan Music. As a result, Chelique and his team were considered electronic music pioneers in Latin America. This album is a classic, some would say it’s ahead of its time, even today. [Tracks to check out: 2,5,9,10, 11, 12] AArbor
Compiled by DJ Chakruna, this is an introduction to the movers and shakers of Lima’s tropical bass scene who are taking traditional folk music and cumbia into more modern dance styles like dubstep, techno, grime, house and electronica. Lima is where the Andean, African and European cltures meet, and that shows up in the music. These artists often use old rhythms and melodies, splicing and cutting up original tracks then adding in new electronic textures and beats. Chakruna’s ‘Sonido Chichero’  is probably the standout track, but there are plenty of other worthy tracks [4,5,10,13,14,16] Enjoy! AArbor
A compilation of 1960s Italian pop songs and pop divas you’ve never heard of backed up by swingin’ bands. What’s not to like? Light weight? Sure. But fun! The Italian press gave animal nicknames to the country’s female pop stars: Mina was La Tigre (tiger) di Cremona, Milva – la Pantera (panther) di Goro, Patty Pravo – la Civetta (Owl) di Venezia, Rita Pavone – la Zanzara (Mosquito) di Torino, Marisa Sannia – la Gazella (gazelle) di Cagliari, Orietta Berti – l’Usignolo (nightingale) di Cavriago and Iva Zanicchi – la Aquila (eagle) de Ligonichio. [Some tracks I liked: 2,5,8,9,13-17] AArbor
One long improvisation, divided into 8 sections. Electric guitar, Korg MS2000, violin, saxophone, electronics, turntable, and other miscellaneous sounds. Fiery and unpredictable. On the loud side. Grabs your brain and demands your attention. Really far out and I love it. Recorded in one take at Martin Bisi’s legendary BC Studio in Brooklyn. Brought to us by the relentlessly interesting local label Public Eyesore.
2002 EP release from the nutty pop half of Blectum From Blechdom. I believe the title refers to the music being created with only the preset sounds of whichever synth gizmo KB was working with at the time. So it seems to have been cranked out fairly quickly without much work put into developing the sounds. But who cares, this EP is a lot of fun and the songs are enjoyable for sure. The first 4 songs zip by–Track 2 is only 47 seconds long–but Track 5 stretches out a bit at nearly 5 minutes long. It’s a cover of Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” which doesn’t necessarily sound like it would be a good idea but it actually works in a poppy synth/sincere vocals kind of way.
Jessie Evans has a history in the Bay Area, where she was part of the synth goth band Subtonix in the early 2000s. After relocating to Berlin for a few years, she now calls Brazil home. Released in 2019, this is her third solo album. It’s reflective of her experience in her new life in San Paolo. Her lyrical verse is the star of this album, a deep, introspective, and heartfelt message to the world with an empathy for people around her, and authentic selflessness.
Synth-Pop beats are the dominant platform throughout most of this album, with Machines, Cello, flute, guitar subtly mixed in. Known by many for her Sax play, she is thoughtful and particular when and where to incorporate. When she does play it, it’s understated with a soulful, sexy, and dream-like affection. Her voice is a mature, vampy, sultry, smokey experience. It can be hypnotizing to get distracted at times listening to the addictive poppy beats, but do try and separate and just listen to the extraordinary straight to your heart and soul lyrics.
The opening track ‘Chariot’ is a shimmering potent synth-pop frenzy with a catchy chorus, but listen closely to the lyrics ‘While your cities falling, your government is balling’ is just a taste of this prayer.
I couldn’t help but smile listening to her love song duet with her little girl Elladina in ‘Hold Onto Me’ You can feel, hear and experience her deep affection for her with every word she sings.
The more I paid attention to her heart, the more I fell in love with her.
Released in 2001, Almaviva was the first album from the collective out of Bordeaux, France known as Zimpala. Directing and producing this group of DJs, electronic and acoustic musical artists, and vocalists is French DJ and producer DJ BNX. Is it downbeat, house minimal, broken beat, Nu Jazz, lounge electronic? Why yes, yes it is; all of that and then some others sprinkled in. This is a pretty interesting and cool collaboration mixing in acoustic as well as electric instruments with their house tunes.
Things kick off with ‘To the Bass’, it takes you to the beach with a chill, bossa lounge experience to start things off. However, from there, things pick up beat-wise for a while until ‘Come Back’ cools things down. From that point on it’s an exotic mix of world fusion dance, erotic soulful vocals, and chill club music with a perfect tune, ‘New Home‘ to close this album out. All in all a nice groovy lounge trip.
Lake Oliver,Tchicai John, Osgood Kresten, Westergaard Jonas -Lake | Tchicai | Osgood | Westergaard – [Passing Thru Records]
Oliver Lake [Black Artists Group, World Saxophone Quartet] has collaborated with many of the jazz greats of the past 4+ decades. Recorded in 2003 in Copenhagen, Oliver Lake, Alto Sax, completed a tour of Denmark with Danish tenor saxophonist John Tchicai, drummer Kresten Osgood and bassist Jonas Westergaard. They immediately went into the studio afterward, the product of which is this release on Lake’s Passin’ Thru record label. All four artists contributed compositions to this album. Heavily steeped in swing with a vast amount of improvisation, and a bit of poetry and chanting mixed in on tracks 5 & 7 respectively.
To the ears, this recording feels like you are actually situated in a small intimate live space, not a studio, which is a great treat for the listener. Lake and Tchicai take turns leading us on several journeys throughout with timely phrasing and great energy. The youngest of this group, Kresten Osgood to me is the unsung star, his understated timing, and control to keep this quartet loose, free, and yet playing together as one is a thing of beauty.
This album is such an engaging and pleasant experience. Its warmth will tickle that sweet spot in your body and brain and yet not let you get too comfortable as it insists on opening your mind and spirit to new places not yet experienced.
Yo por mi parte abrazo a nuestros señores robots. As long as Eblis Alvarez is involved in the not-so-artificial intel-y-gente. His crafty processed guitar feels like a Martian tickle to the ear. Weird enough for feet at the disco and in the mosh pit, splendid one-man mad scientist work, on several songs Eblis’ breaks into maniacal laughter in his Isaac Newton studio laboratory (a full band assembles for live gigs).
I like to pretend the first song is a reference to legendary SF band “The Residents” – it’s not, but both projects share a recognizable base masked behind strange sonic costumes. I think it’s his guitar mimicking a clarinet, but I don’t know. It’s all so lovingly tweaked. All songs have swift percolation, and party of percussion, while here Mr. Roboto es de Bogota, his tunes would put some carne on the skeleton bones in a Brazilian Carneval. The drums aren’t digital, but there are plenty of other synthetic waves at play. There’s more dancing arpeggios over staircases of sound than in an old Fred Astaire movie. There should be a full album cartoon video with Daffy Duck dance steps. Kinda wonder if Eblis’ Mom listened to
Raymond Scott during her pregnancy.
Enough reverb applied to make a surf fan weep, in Spanish. But they are tears of joy, this is one festive album and project. All tracks are fabuloso but “Un Príncipe Miserable y Malvado” wears the crown for me. Eblis is a master guitarist via computer wrangler, really look forward to seeing him play, maybe in KFJC’s pit in the future.
Flight/release #30 for commander Samy Ben Redjeb and the Analog Africa airlines destination Columbia and the late 1970’s. Gleaning craziness from an old label run by Dr. Machuca (check the fine liners for details), who dumped his day job for the love of discos and an Afro-Columbian groove best captured raw in a take or two at most. Apparently “Tucutru” was a bit of a hit sort of a tone poem that takes three steps up and three steps down. Like that song, this album never stops moving. Some instros, like “El Campenero” and “Wabali” which cooks like a happy day outside at the barbecue. Female singers saunter in “Caracol” which gets pretty tropicalia, on “Te Clavo La…Mano” there’s a siren whispering sweet nadas and on “A Otro Perro” a woman sorta yodels ole. Otherwise there’s plenty of men and geetars, thin and gritty. Some double-lead lines, check out the opener which has a kinda Tom Ze itch to scratch. The other Samba Negra track, “Long Live Africa” may be a nod to Ikenga Super Stars but it’s in its own funky universe. My favorite, cheap synth never sounded so good. That “band” and many others here may just be made up friends and studio musicians from the good Doctor to recreate/Columbian-ize African tunes. Definite DIY vibe throughout. “Juipiti” whistles as it did Analog Africa #12
Killer label! -Thurston Hunger
KFJC’s worship of Sun Ra is well known, and we are not alone. Professor-purveyor-pilot Dave Soldier helps keep Sun Ra alive, with no less than Marshall Allen among the crew for this 2017 release. There may be no air in space, but this release launches with an aria and then includes a dixieland space walk. Track two, electronics, deep tuba, maybe an erhu and Bastet (cat God) on vocals? Harp ripples in on #3, strings both classical and angry angular guitar are summoned. Impressively, sax forces are Marshall’d; Mr. Allen served many tours on Sun Ra’s interplanetary journeys and judging by his playing on here, he has not aged a single note, though he may be 90+ in Earth years. The combination of natural sounds (water beneath the boat, birds on the breeze) along with the swelling choir, help the journey, but the EVI from Allen and Soldier’s own digital squiggles are nice sonic spikings. Ultimately this is an opera, and Sahoko Sato Timpone shines brightest, but the gravity of Sun Ra’s creativity pulls it all together. -Thurston Hunger
These are three long forays that will take you through aural images of whale song and have you experiencing exactly what the terms “crescendo” and “decrescendo” mean. Percussionist Paul Stranahan and electro-acoustic artist Lisa Miralia have composed a sound on this release that ranges from the first metallic sounding cries (that must be one agonized whale!) through delightful atmospheres created by bells, Tibetan singing bowls, and gongs to an cacophonous freak-out of sound that gradually and soothingly diminishes into a dream of wind chimes. Perfecto!
A beautiful, cosmic space trip from collaborators Wobbly, J Lesser and Blevin Blectum! Three weirdos from the bay area, Wobbly’s been a part of Negativland for bit as well as his own projects and other collabs, Blevin Blectum has Blectum From Blechdom, and J Lesser has toured with Matmos as well as his own stuff. It’s their second release together as Sagan, and it’s ‘a recursive love letter to the early decades of space travel and the High Frontier, when the lines between hard scientific research and emotional wanderlust melted away to reveal an optimistic vision for mankind’s shared future.’ It’s got those twitchy itchy Wobbly beats, along with lots of zips and zaps, quirks and wiggles, squiggles and programmed electronic spastic schitzo.
Killer martial arts mix by producer DJ Paul Nice. Originally from Poughkeepsie, he relocated to Manhattan in the ’90s and eventually spent some time out here making a big name for himself, “one of the more sought after beatsmiths during the thriving indie hip hop scene of the late 90’s.” This is funky, instrumental hip hop beats with sample clips from various kung fu films. Fun, upbeat and black belt worthy!
A musical journey sculpted from many different genres, creating an interesting soundscape. There’s twinges of soft country-surf, loungey bar Lynch’s, electronica, whirli-gigs, xylos & violins…. an overall dark vibe. The film tells the story of identity and deception in a near-future dystopia constantly under intrusive high-tech police surveillance in the midst of a drug addiction epidemic… so that sets the tone. There’s whimsical sounds, dark brooding ventures and tripped out tracks. Music made by Graham’s Golden Arm Trio, and the last 2 are one each from Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto) & DJ Spooky!
This CDR collects mid-career tracks from the discography of Michael Nine, formerly a fixture of the Bay Area noise underground and now based in Vancouver. This period from the early 2000s falls between his first incarnation as Death Squad, that terrorized audiences throughout the 1990s, and his more recent project MK9, whose live actions combine extreme audiovisual compositions and spoken word. The retrospective begins with 2002’s Self Medicated (T1-T5), with five tracks that oscillate between high pitched feedback and rumbling low end pulses, screaming pain and dull numbness, a sound palette that recurs through the later releases. Two tracks from the 2002 7HZ compilation (T6, T7, from the storied SF experimental venue/art space of that name, a collaboration with Randy H.Y. Yau and Scott Arford/Radiosonde), brings disembodied, ghostly voices into the fray. On 2002’s Why (T8-T10) the vocals become discernible, a direct patch into the darkest corners of the subconscious. The Empathy/Apathy 7” from 2003 foregrounds a disturbing phone message recording and a visceral spoken word imagery (T11-T12). The disc concludes with early works from the MK9 project, 2005’s excellent Resist (T13-T18) and three additional tracks of obscure or unreleased material (T18-20) Released on the artist’s label Neural Operations.
FCCS: T10, T11, T12, T16, T18
Ambient Death Drone with allusions to arcane pagan rituals and perhaps a few nods to fascistic sabre rattling and one long uncomfortable pause/secret track (here’s a hint: it’s an outlier).
Distant bells, frozen fog, hypnotic repetition, impending war, drunken trolls, chanting, antler helm, crescendos, rolling thunder, echoes, emphatic snare, possession, contemplative piano, winter, valorous horns, electronics, abstractive samples, rumbling synthesizers, triumph.
Swedish Ambient Industrial (once) side project of (hard drinking) Peter Bjärgö of Arcana (currently dissolved). Released in 2000 on Cold Meat Industry.
The subtitle is “Selected highspots from sixty hours of Bluesbreakers club recordings 1967” Since the Bluesbreakers excelled live on stage Decca wanted to capture live performances. Mayall was against having recording engineers at their performances feeling that it would be too much of a strain for the band. He took a portable reel to reel tape machine to their live performances in the UK, Holland and Ireland during November and December 1967; recording each performance. Volume One showcases the band playing as well as the camaraderie between the musicians. Catch the humorous speech following Blood on the Night  and the insistence by a venue manager in Northern Ireland that the band play God Save the Queen  and their performance of it. Volume Two includes banter between Chris Mercer and Keef Hartley during his drum solo and  a joke at the expense of Keith Tillman. AArbor
The Hot 8 Brass Band is from New Orleans. It’s a 20 year old band forged from 2 separate groups who all went to Fortier High School: the High Steppers and the Looney Tunes Brass Band. Sadly 4 of the original members are gone due to illness and street violence. Hurricane Katrina displaced band members as well. The Hot 8’s funk style is a blend of influences from the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth brass bands, with more elements of contemporary R&B, Rap and its local variation called “Bounce”. The Hot 8 have been featured in 2 Spike Lee documentaries. This release from 2007, the band’s first on Tru Thoughts, includes many of the original members. Enjoy! AArbor
Etienne De Crecy also known as Superdiscount, EDC, Minos Pour Main Basse and Mooloodjee, is a French DJ and producer who composes electronic music, primarily house. He is the co-founder of Disques Solid with Air and Alex Gopher. His first release Super Discount (1996) was a big hit. Tempovision his second release from 2000, is a reflection on the electronic music of the late 1990s. In Étienne de Crécy’s opinion it is a blues album, differing from some of his earlier and more recent work. AArbor
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File