KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Crayola Summer – I Know Who We Are – [Emotional Response Recordings]

Thee Opinataur   9/22/2021   7-inch, A Library

Released in 2017

Psyche pop/ Indie Pop, Starts with head-bobbing rhythm fuzzed-out guitar-driven, Voxed out psychedelic trip. A thick and throbbing summer drive, top-down, cruising the PCH, playing it loud, great road trip music.

The artist known as Crayola was born Simon Williams in Leicestershire, United Kingdom.
Since the mid 80’s he has performed with numerous bands most notably, The Colgates and Sarandon.

Yeats, William Butler -Poetry of Yeats: Read By Siobhan McKenna & Cyril Cusack, – [Caedmon]

Thee Opinataur   9/22/2021   12-inch, A Library

Recorded in 1958

Side A – read by Cyril Cusack – a famous Irish actor of his day, albeit South African born which can be detected in his voice.
These poems drip with a self-examination of human life and death, as Yeats spent much of his life examining. Threaded with somber tones and melancholy, he wastes no words in bearing his true inner self to the listener.

Side B – Read by Siobhan McKenna – Irish stage actor – born in Belfast
This side is filled with many of Yeats romantic and intimate poems of love and sensuality and is beautifully interpreted.

Yeats’s poetry reflects his sheer beauty of words and phrases. Many of his poems were meant to be chanted or sung.

Yeats, in addition to writing some of the best Irish poetry of his day, was also a well-established playwright being co-founder of the Irish National Theater society. While a self-professed Irish protestant, he shared a fascination with occultism and spiritualism which influenced much of his poetry. – Thee Opinataur

MAP 71 – "Belladonna Sunsets" – [Fool Proof Projects]

aarbor   9/22/2021   A Library, CD

Another spoken word with drums, noises, etc. release from MAP 71. MAP 71 is Andy Pyne (drums, noises) and Lisa Jayne (words, voice, art). They like to push the envelope of what can be achieved with voice, synth and drums. This four-track EP is more dub-ish than the last one we added. The vocals are covered with echo, and the drums tend in a more tribal direction. Nude [1] is lovely with spacey echo and dubby drums, Aces [2] is more echoey with a rumba rhythm on the synth and disorienting drum patterns. Confessions of an Adrenaline Addict [3] is the sparsest track with tribal energy and a siren that seems a bit dystopian. Girlface Occupation [4} is lively and playful and rumba-ish. AArbor

Night Beats/Outlaw R & B

carsonstreet   9/17/2021   A Library, CD

Night Beats is the brain-child of Native Texan Danny Lee Blackwell. The soundtrack of a generation, the band’s R&B inspired Western Psychedelic sound is a reckoning, a shoot-out at dawn, the ear-splitting peel-out that leaves nothing but a cloud of red dust in its wake. They’ve toured around the world and shared the stage with the likes of Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, The Black Angels, Roky Erickson and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Blackwell says of the album: “Outlaw R&B is music for the borderless, the free, the outcasts and the forgotten.” Released June 4, 2021. Very good stuff – play it.

Litter, The/Future of The Past

carsonstreet   9/17/2021   A Library, CD

The hard rock and psychedelic sounds of the Minnesota band The Litter come full circle in the 2019 release Future Of The Past. In the late 1960’s The Litter followed up their punk/garage classic hit “Action Woman” with the LP’s Distortions, $100 Fine and Emerge. Along with Distortions, Emerge has remained one of the most respected and collectible records from the psychedelic era. The Litter toured the nation playing shows with the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jethro Tull and Cream. For Future Of The Past original member Tom Murray enlisted the help of some talented young players, as well as original Litter guitarist Zippy Caplan.

Gnod/Easy to Build, Hard to Destroy

carsonstreet   9/17/2021   A Library, CD

Gnod are a rock band from 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.” This is unreleased material from the early days of the band. Paddy Shine of Gnod says of the band: “We just wanted to jam really and see what happened. That led us down the road of constructing a vibe or an atmosphere for playing live. We played a lot of squats, house gigs and parties in the early days. We lived in each others pockets – shared ideas, books, films etc. We just got on one. Some heads came along for the ride. Good times.” Easy To Build, Hard To Destroy is drone, psych and just plain experimental jamming. Some very eerie stuff going on on tracks 7 and 8. Track eight sounds like it was recorded to torture the residents of hell who seemed to be getting too comfortable with their situation (in a good way). Freak out with Gnod.

Dawson, Richard – "Peasant" – [Weird World Record Co]

Thurston Hunger   9/15/2021   A Library, CD

Behold, now you can hob-nob with the hob-jobs. Step into the tent for these 11 unleavened songs from 2017 by way of some Medieval village mill. Dawson is Superman in reverse, unearthly talented while cloaking his powers neath a hair shirt and hairier acoustic guitar plucklings. His guitar work feels like a finger or two might have been caught in
the gears of Derek Bailey, or John Fahey. Check the ripping outro of “Scientist” and then the opening of “Hob.” Dawson’s singing will trace the difficultly strung steps often as well. His phrasing and word-choice stray from expectation, and reward with a completely unbeaten path. A congenital affliction with eyesight seems to have only enhanced his insight. Is this folk, or folck, or fulk? He’s added avant minstrels to this release, including harp-warper Rhodri Davies. Lyric book included as part of vocational historical training for each job, granted the position of “No-One” is filled by a short instrumental on #10 before the towering cautionary tale of being a “Masseuse” to close the album. Richard Dawson may not be for everyone, but I strictly blame everyone. Top notch songsmith. Essential.
-Thurston Hunger

Let The Juices Run Between [coll.]

aarbor   9/15/2021   A Library

Mande Dahl, who lives in Hermosa Beach, is the person behind this collection. It’s the recording of acts that played at a party on Hermosa Beach in the Summer of 2020. “Theatrical Punk rocker” Mande Dahl apparently was in New York during the late-’70s punk/new wave scene but may not have recorded any records since 1979. Two of the tracks here are from her band’s EP (Called MANDE DAHL) from 1979. She also has videos available on YouTube. The other bands/musicians featured here seem to be locals from Hermosa Beach: Funk, The Hollow Legs, Bar Nun and Kevin Sousa. Check out the party. AArbor

Cannell,Laura and Friends – "These Feral Lands – Volume 1" – [Brawl Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/14/2021   A Library, CD

Spoken word strung over strings. Violinista Laura Cannell who leads this project and label had previously recorded violin improvisations, called Buzzard A through H. Other sounds and importantly, recited words are then stretched over the dry bones of those improvs previously left for dead, and like a bog man come alive stepping out of the peat, the resulting movement catches our ears, eyes and breath. The words are steeped in history and lore, monsters stagger forth; men, wolves and professional wrestlers cast shadows over the spoken sections and down the side of the Wrekin (a hill in Shropshire, England). There is more than dirt in that hill, and plenty of fecund soil in These Feral Lands. I am not just talking about “Vessel” and its 20000 year old golem summoning. I was quite be-warlocked by (erstwhile comedian, but here he comes across like a one-eyed gin-soaked prophet/professor!) Stewart Lee, but the tracks with the ladies bewitch as well, often with looped recitations. The sliding strings weave a tense web of active drone to preserve the words. In my mind “Black Shuck” refers to the virus du jour, but apparently it was some dangerous beastie the size of Winston Churchill stalking those unaware in the English countryside.
-Thurston Hunger

Moon Duo – “Occult Architecture Vol. 1” – [Sacred Bones Records]

SlartiBartfast   9/14/2021   12-inch, A Library

Moon Duo “Occult Architecture Vol. 1”

Another superb musical trip  released by Portland’s Moon Duo. This 2017 release, “Occult Architecture Vol .1” is the first in a dual psychedelic journey through light and dark.  (Occult Architecture Vol 2 in the cue) This first LP in the series explores the darker side or life and hints at demise, death of the human spirit, and prepares listeners for a rebirth. Fuzz guitar, rhythmic pounding, and head jaunting explorations await. Join Moon Duo on a journey through your mind and through the musical expansion of psychic imagination.

El Banda – “Skutki Uboczne (Side Effects) ” – [Pasazer]

SlartiBartfast   9/14/2021   12-inch, A Library

El Banda “Skutki Uboczne”

Hailing from Warsaw, Poland, El Banda brings it with their unique blend of in you face punk energy with occasional sprinklings of an electronic dream scape. Be prepared to engage and confront your angst as front woman, Anna Zajdel, brings it with an energetic vocal energy that doesn’t hold back on the outrage. Fast, furious, and full of surprises, El Banda is a perfect release for that pent up disappointment in the human condition. This double LP release may cure you of all your mental derangements. 

Sludge – “Just Die” – [Cheezy Farm Records]

Max Level   9/14/2021   7-inch, A Library

Sludgy, grindy garage punk on this 7″ from 1995. Three short songs on Side A and one longer one on Side B. Car crash guitars. Yowling vocals remind me of Stooges-era Iggy. General discontent expressed. I could find no info about this band.

Winderen, Jana – "Heated: Live In Japan" – [Touch]

humana   9/13/2021   A Library, CD

Even though this was performed live in Japan, the sounds captured on this disc by Winderen are a balm for our times. This Norwegian seeker of the hidden sounds found in glaciers and oceans gives us a treasure trove of sounds that refresh us in times of drought, creak through our souls, and wash away our angst like so many tears. The first track is a vocal introduction by musician Tetsuro Yasunaga. Ambience and field sounds at their best.

Ocher, Mary – "Mary Ocher + Your Government" – [Klangbad]

Thurston Hunger   9/13/2021   12-inch, A Library

Reprint of 2016 album where the talented tweaker Mary Ocher pits herself between dueling drummers, Stefan Widdess and Oliver Rivera-Drew (aka Your Government) hard at work. The drums keep her grounded, and keep the bpm meter running. Things get off with a blast-off, “#&*” is like a space-chimp hyperventilating, Ocher’s voice often is a third percussive instrument. On other tracks, her voice has razor blade runner sharpness, cutting through spaced lady synths beneath the boys with the beat. Catchy art-pop that could fill the skies nicely next to old floating Silver Apples swarmed by Damaged Bugs. Little guitar strum on the swaggering anthem “The Sound of War” – a song with funk/fury and excellent cold stops. But mostly the music here has bloomed from her rock to artwerk krafted from keyboards. “Man vs Air” at 2:18 begs for a 12″ dancehall remix, synth slithers through the left and right channels. Her Dad reportedly was a voice (and puppet theater) actor! Her vocal gyrations would do her otyez proud! Check out “Now (Fear)” for crazy flair and a serious kookiness. If David Bowie hadn’t been eclipsed by that damn Black Star, she’d probably be opening his next tour (and they’d talk about how they both feel such happy discomfort recording in Berlin). Seems she goes through drummers like Spinal Tap (rough enough for Government workers).

Bonus tip: her evolving visuals won’t disappoint fans of these audio trips!
-Thurston Hunger

Ocher as in “Oh-chen” Horrorshow, my-ee droogs!

Ahmed, Ilyas – "Goner" – [Root Strata]

Thurston Hunger   9/12/2021   A Library, CD

Released in 2009, KFJC has a couple of other cds circa that time by Portland-based guitarist Ilyas Ahmed, as well as a healthy smattering of Root Strata issues. Most recently Ahmed collaborated with Root Strata helmsman Jeffrey-Cantu Ledesma on an album. Back to this slice from 2009 while featuring Ahmed’s shambolic guitar (some electric, plenty of jangle) and his lo-fi ghost whirled vocals, there is a kinda driving blues vibe on earlier tracks. Over all, the recording needle gets pushed hard into the red, to help cloud up the fever dream feel on tracks especially “Out Again” and “As Another.” Ahmed adds rudimentary percussion on many cuts, but there’s also a freer freak folk vibe to be had on “Some of None” and a Mazzacane guitar rain in “Two Breaths.” Liz Harris of Grouper materializes on the closing track offering a soft wordless balm to the opening blues-battered numbers.

-Hunger

Hauras – “Hebron Suite, The” – [Stellage]

mickeyslim   9/9/2021   A Library, CD

experimental electronic piece in four movements, each shorter than the last. The first track is thick and sludgy, with momentary tones that sound as if being played on (electric?) didgeridoo, fading out slowly. The second movement is a little rougher around the edges, with harsher electronics, fuzzed-out distortion chilling in the background. The third movement is warbling and slow with a distinct melody that makes this almost come across as a bizarre leftfield pop piece. The fourth and final track is just the warbling from the previous track. Another great release from Howard Ryan of San Francisco, composed and recorded during lockdown Winter 2020.

Cortini, Alessandro – "Scuro Chiaro" – [Mute Records]

cinder   9/1/2021   A Library, CD

Yes, he is a member of latter Nine Inch Nails, but don’t let that mainstream-ity scare you off from this. Cortini’s solo works are beautiful, lush ambient drone excursions that fall perfectly into place on KFJC. He’s really into synths and keyboards, and for this latest release, he’s made the instrument himself and focuses on using just that. Pulsating rhythms, wafting tones, cinematic touches, washes of dystopian lands… accurately felt as the title of the album translates to dark light (Italian). Bellisimo!

Thollem's Astral Traveling Sessions – "Trio With Avreeayl Ra and Lux, Matt" – [Astral Spirits]

cinder   9/1/2021   A Library, CD

This CD is pretty much like wearing two different pairs of socks. The first 2 tracks are live, improv jazz jams, both around 20 minutes. Those two are Thollem (piano) along with Matt Lux (bass) and Avreeayl Ra (drums), 2019 in Chicago. Intermission takes place on track 3, which is completely silent. The following 9 tracks are Thollem along with Sunken Cages (Ravish Nomin) and are synth and drum driven psychedelic space, ethnic fusion, whispering words, even a little hip hop beats, and where I would apply the word astral. Recorded in Philadelphia, also 2019. Buckle up and enjoy Thollem’s travels!

Ligeti, Lukas – “That Which Has Remained… That Which Will Emerge” – [Col Legno]

Max Level   8/30/2021   A Library, CD

Studio recording of a 2015 Ligeti sound installation at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Difficult to describe, other than to say the music is mostly mournful and clearly coming from an Eastern European direction. Composer/percussionist Ligeti interviewed a wide variety of Polish Jews, from young to quite old, asking them to tell stories and sing songs that portray the Jewish experience through their eyes. Passages from these interviews and songs were included in Ligeti’s musical score for the piece, with a handful of Polish musicians and vocalists invited to play the score as well as improvise along with it. I must admit I delayed reviewing this CD for many weeks, as I felt I needed to be in a particular kind of headspace to tackle it. It’s deep, with many layers of meaning, and I wanted to attempt to do it justice. Ultimately, there is a lot to say about this CD and the liner notes do a far better job of it than I could, so please dive into them and learn more about this composition. It is one 44-minute piece divided into six tracks but meant to be listened to all in one sitting according to the composer. A noble, ambitious undertaking.

Blu Anxxiety – “Baptized In Space” – [Toxic State]

whngr   8/25/2021   7-inch, A Library

Spooky unhinged extra-terrestrial Death Rock Bizarre rock meets disturbed electronic dance rhythms.

Blu Anxxiety is the encephalitic brain-child of one Dracula O (Chi Orengo) along with collaborator Justin Schmidt. Raised on Rap and perhaps raised from the dead, this project is clearly informed by the likes of Skinny Puppy and Nitzer Ebb but with diverse influences that rear their disjointed alien heads at the most subversive and perturbed intervals. Another beautiful bit of vinyl heresy from ground-zero for punk perversion: Toxic State Records.

NYC – 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKg8Cq5mVkg

FCC on B1 “fuck”.

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