Natacha Atlas spent her childhood in a Moroccan suburb of Brussels. Her father is of Sephardic Jewish ancestry, and her mother is of Muslim and Christian ancestry. She’s kind of Moroccan by way of Egypt and Palestine. She moved to Britain as a teenager, and went back to Brussels after school to belly-dance and sing in the Arab quarter, then returned to England where she became part of the pan-poly-everything dance-and-world-music bohemia. She started out with Transglobal Underground and then went out on her own. Gedida is from 1998. The range of styles is fundamentally a reflection of Atlas’ musical instincts—she likes color in her music, and so she’ll use any color she has, from anywhere. The music is held together by her singing, which is Arab to its core: Arab melodies, Arab pitch, Arab ways of connecting notes, Arab feeling. AArbor
Beautiful ambient sounds emanating from the long career of Kerry Leimer. As an artist, Leimer, has been around since the late 60’s at the forefront of ambient, experimental sounds, and visual designs. Leimer shares influences with the likes of Brian Eno, Can, Neu!, and Faust, amongst others. Continuing to press the acoustical threshold, “Found Objects” is K. Leimer’s April 2021 release on his label Palace of Lights founded in 1979 with his wife Dorothy Cross. “Found Objects” will send you into a world of ambient sound to contemplate the universe, meditate on life, and reconnect to the cosmic void.
Abstract sound constructions using, according to Suarez, an extended snare drum language. Which would seem to mean rubbing, scraping, rattling, ambient sounds, hitting the drum with things other than drumsticks, and like that. Not a beat or rhythm to be found here. I always enjoy artists who do interesting, creative things with percussion instruments to coax new sounds from them. Suarez is a member of the drums/sax/electronics trio TONED, whom I have also enjoyed. The final track is a relentless drumroll that lasts for 2:44—sort of a strange way to close out the CD.
Elaine The Singer is a local trio, 2/3 of which comprise another band, Floral. Like Floral, Elaine The Singer’s music is a complicated and dynamic math rock kind of thing—it sticks out in all directions at once and it’s rare to hear two bars in a row that are the same thing. Precisely played. This here is a quickie release on a CD/R. No credits, no pictures, no label, no notes other than the names of the three tracks. See the photo? We’ve got the purple one. For some reason, the three tracks are all exactly the same length, which is 2:16. Good stuff but the pieces are too damned short.
BRING Daniel Sarid, Yoni Kretzmer, Michael Evans
Like the angry guy at the mouthpiece make-out party, restrained free jazz trio gusts and squalls and never quite draws blood, forges unique sound. Searching melodic piano approach from leader Sarid. Outnow honcho Kretzmer’s klezzy Ayler-isms emit smoke but stop short. Evans absurdly kicks the kick down Cymbalism St. & Dada Lane. His original/absurd drum solo closes out 7. Solid release, adds to our Outnow/Kretzmer collection.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
#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
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 …”
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 project, as if descended from the occult hand of The Human Quena Orchestra (Nathan Berlinguette and Ryan Unks), is a 44-minute long excursion that 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.
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.
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
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
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 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 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
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
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
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