KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Weaver, Jane – “Flock” – [Fire Records]

puplaif   6/22/2022   12-inch, A Library

Do you look at yourself and find nothing? Jane Weaver ponders this, and other existential queries on her 11th album Flock. 

My ears gravitated towards the album’s whimsical and blissful sounds. The lyrical content is, at times, difficult to decipher among the mix, though that didn’t stop me from singing along! Weaver’s airy vocals mimic the songs of the various birds in her flock. It’s as if she’s summoning them through each song, awaiting their return as depicted on the album cover’s artwork, which features a portrait of Jane seated in a peacock chair, surrounded by a fortress of colorful birdhouses. The overall sound is dreamy, poppy, and a little bit funky. Touches of chimes, flute, and guitar intermingle with space age laser beam synths and drum machine loops. 

Pressed on buttercream vinyl. 

Sunny Side Up [coll] – [Brownswood Recordings]

aarbor   6/22/2022   A Library, CD

On Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label from the UK is this interesting collection of music from Australian/New Zealander artists which was released in 2019. Though not all of these musicians are from Melbourne, the scene they are a part of is centered there. The sound is at the intersection of jazz, soul and club beats. You’ll hear splashes of deep house, cha cha, samba, p-funk and soul with a jazz mindset as the common denominator. AArbor

Lawson and Merrill – “Signals” – [Neuma]

karma   6/22/2022   A Library, CD

Great music for your journey, whether by cars or (different) trains. Also great music to listen to while relaxing in your Tulip Chair somewhere in your Eichler, eating some silver apples. David Lawson and David Merrill are electronic musicians who collaborated on this project, which was inspired by midcentury electronic pioneers. Lawson provided the base track and Merrill added the sonic toppings. This collaboration is seamless and the tracks are meandering but all reach very convincing points. Feel the thought waves cease during Morning Meditation (track 1), 16 minutes go by very quickly. Track 2 is more “Smile” than “Surfin’ USA;” there was clearly a gray and cloudy morning on this beach. Don’t miss the gem of a Track 3, the just-dark-enough track 4, or the optimistic coda. I hope Lawson and Merrill collaborate more!

BeNe GeSSeRiT – “Fashion Is a Dirty Word” – [Domani Sounds]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   12-inch, A Library

A completely tweaked treat from 1987 Belgium via Alain Neffe. Here Alain is “Benedict G” synthing his way around and besides his wife Nadine Bal (aka “B. Ghola”). Things start with a mirror world take on G-L-O-R-I-A but the whole album is glorious with some songs taking longer to read their titles than to actually listen to them. Check out #2 like a shot of la-la-las in a bar from Blade Runner. Nadine’s imbalanced vox are so perfect, often in a kind of clipped and buzzed English. Insane Music for Insane People is not just an appropriate assessment, it was the title for Neffe’s series of collections in the 80’s. Kookoo keyboards, drum machines with dimples, occasional sax/clarinet squalls, brief processional guitar. But mostly the analog keys carry the sound for art-inflected minimal music, which is not afraid to
be catchy at times. Or to be imitation Chinese or an Xmas carol in exile. “You Can Dance If You Want To” is like the Waitresses meet the Kinks. Things are definitely kinky strange through-out, but less red-light district and far more playful wonder for your inner child bouncing on a trampoline of reverb.
Forget fear, Fun is the mind-liberator.
-Thurston Hunger
PS KFJC has a Feeding Tube Bennie & the G lp for further frolic

Pond, The – “Turchesi Miracolosi” – [Syrphe]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   A Library, CD

Syrphe’s up! Killer label, and this duet falls in line with femme freq fatale work from Iva Bittova to Fovea Hex to Anna Homler and beyond! Elisabetta Lanfredini might be classically trained, but also might have just grown up singing in dark German forests. Multi-lingual, and multi-tracked, her voice is soothing and strange. Nicolas Wiese as her electronic accompanist is subtle and deft, almost like providing the lighting equivalent for these musical mini-movies. Lanfredini’s voice can glide gossamer as on the opening track, or she can shout out like a barker at a knight’s hard day duel as on “Cavalleresco.” That song alternates with her also whispering and singing lullabye-like. The next track, she summons English as her voice is burst into chords and she speak sings a diary of rebirth if not emancipation. Two short improvs invoke
voice-triggered percussion. In the end, close your eyes and mind your head for “Salome” – a different kind of doom. Quite an inspiring swirl-wind of a voice/electronic release. Don’t miss!
-Thurston Hunger

D-Vices, The – “Adequate / Modern Boy” – [Celluloid Lunch Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   7-inch, A Library

Bass bopping driving no wave from Montreal 1980, freshly reissued in 2022. Was stoked to see this in Cinderaura’s recent haul for KFJC, as by chance I had recently heard the American Devices “Gory Story.” (Gotta give props to Tremendo Garaje for that.) The D-Vices are an earlier incarnation still with an accent on Vivce, featuring Phil Nolin on vox/guitar. Nolin’s guitar brings a sort of Television-style search-and-slash-and-destroy. Nolin’s vox are full of piss and vinegar. These two short blasts really stand up over time, “Modern Boy” could get people Contorting on the dance floor. Nolin’s lyrics are delivered like body blows, at times his guitar and voice step back to let Rick Trembles bass and Guy LaPointe’s drums cruise for a few measures. Maybe live those measures would stretch out for minutes, it’s a pretty gritty groove. Trembles was the only Canuck to stick with the American Devices phase.
-Thurston Hunger

Dosenoffner – “Das Neue Normal!” – [Self Released]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   A Library, CD

It takes two to make an umlaut, two to spread a disease and two might be a key formula for noise albums at least for my jaded abnormal ears. Too often one person can just go knob-wild, and record till the “tape” (or disk space) runs out, but here Peter Keller and Casey Jones collaborate to serve up pretty tasty byte-sizzled tracks. Plenty of good old scorching waves of power electronics. Hum along with your air conditioner (#1), or go from popcorn microsynthwave to missile command (#7). The hit track is “Sprinkler Kitty” with a photo inside. Cute, with chopped vox, and it does have some of that squelch that sounds like a sprinkler. Several siren-scapes where one oscillating wave towers over everything. KFJC DJ aBacus donated this & dug #4 trust him…always! I’m fine w/ #9. Backyard Covid BBQ cookoff? Seattle experi-sonic slaw.
-Thurston Hunger

Coral Club – “Turn To” – [Not Not Fun Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/21/2022   A Library, Cassette

Alexander Sirenko’s sophomore NNF release as Coral Club. Aquatic washes of sound, seabird samples. Floatational drone, waves of synth. From the color trio, “Red” had a light Terry Riley flair to start, more keys and even drum machines get stacked on top. “Turn To Blue” evolves into the most tense of the tracks. “Spectrum” with little ticker-tocker techno trills dives back into the aquatic. When percussion shows up on the cassette, it’s pretty non-intrusive and this is largely all about a warm chill and drift.
-Thurston Hunger

Brazilian Tsunami [coll] – [Orleone]

Cousin Mary   6/21/2022   A Library, CD

This is an amazing 3-CD set that includes 63 (!) Brazilian Surf Bands. All liner notes are in Portuguese, but seem to document the history and many bands in all parts of Brazil. Nothing particularly sounded Brazilian to me, it is just very well played and authentic surf music. Of the 63 bands, only one (Mullet Monster Mafia) is already represented in the KFJC music library. Surf’s up!

Dr Space’s Alien Planet Trip- Vol 5 Search In of – “Vol. 5 – Search In Of…”

carsonstreet   6/19/2022   A Library, CD

Dr Space, aka Scott Heller, plays in Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle, Doctors of Space and contributes synthesizers to many other bands and projects.

This is the 5th volume in Dr’s Space’s collaborative series entitled, Alien Planet Trip, where Dr Space collaborates with various guitar players. The idea is to lay down synthesizer tracks and have great and original players add their magic touch and then Dr Space mixes them and sometimes adds additional layers. Suzuki Junzo has played in many great bands and projects including Acid Mothers Temple and he a major contributor on this album. He is a very unique player and helped to create a new universe in these tracks. Getting Pat Harrington from Geezer in was something that only happened in 2020! Dr Space had a new synth (Novation Ultranova) for this album and was creating very different kinds of improvisations.

Kungens Man – “Kungens Ljud & Bild”

carsonstreet   6/19/2022   12-inch, A Library

Kungens Män (The Kings Man) started out in 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. Always new sounds and improvisations, different guest musicians, different happenings. Kungens Män are rooted in the psychedelic/drone rock tradition of bands such as Träd, Gräs & Stenar, but also add influences from krautrock, shoegaze, noise rock and free jazz. On bandcamp Kungens Män describes themselves: “What started out with the sole purpose of hanging out as friends, occasionally with instruments in tow, has resulted in records on several labels and numerous European tours. The fundamental idea has never changed though – to get immersed in sound, and let the drone be the main trail taking the band to inner space – may it be through folkish melodies, noise, shoegaze sheets, free jazz outbursts, motorik beats or just good old head melting rock. And of course, it’s all improvised on the spot.” I have included English translations on the sleeve and in spidey. Highly encourage using the translations unless your Swedish is very good.

Secret Chiefs 3 / Ishraqiyun – “Perichoresis” – [Web of Mimicry]

Mister S   6/17/2022   A Library, CD

2014 Release.

Rock, Folk, World avant-garde by SF locals. This is a Trey Spruance project who plays with fellow Mr. Bungle members Danny Heifetz and Trevor Dunn just to name a few of the participants. Tasty effects-laden guitar licks and electronic wizardry flavored with a melange of percussion that includes tabla, electronic and acoustic drums. Often creating a middle-eastern vibe. At other times there are parts that bring to mind James Blood Ulmer. Finally, there are tracks that have a dub-heavy groove. Worthy of a safety check before listening.

A Compilation – Dorado [coll] – [Dorado Records Limited]

puplaif   6/16/2022   A Library, CD

Another Dorado compilation for our collection. Early 90s experimental dance. Forward thinking; an expansion of and simultaneous departure from acid jazz. Funky, soulful, tracks; a fusion of new and old.  Richly produced by teams of skillful musicians and vocalists. All hail Jhelisa! 

The type of sounds I imagine one might have heard at a hip London lounge. The underground and sophisticated precursor to the Eurodance tracks that were pumpin’ at pup’s mid ‘90s family skate nights at the roller rink. 

Fu Manchu – “Action Is Go, The” – [Mammoth Records]

beastofbourbon   6/15/2022   A Library, CD

The Action is Go is the fourth album by Southern California Stoner rock band Fu Manchu. Although released in 1997 the music sounds like it could’ve been from 1972, 2022, or 2042. It’s timeless. The music is heavy psych with a supercharged Skate punk edge. The lyrics are about cool stuff like cars and space travel. It’s an ideal soundtrack  for driving on PCH in a souped up muscle car, skating a pool, or a midnight ride through the city on a Schwinn cruiser. Solidifying the cool factor is the 1977 photo by Glen E. Friedman of Tony Alva, an homage to Santa Cruz punk band Bl’ast! (Track 9 – “Laserbl’ast!”), and a cover of Boston Straight Edge hardcore band SSD’s “Nothing Done” (Track 14). 

Beast of Bourbon

Mamiffer “The Brilliant Tabernacle” [Sige Records]

atavist   6/15/2022   12-inch, A Library

The KFJC library currently has a handful of Mamiffer tracks on splits and collaborations. These are spare, almost austere compositions built around keyboards/piano with a light touch of additional instrumentation, exploring spaces of loss. In contrast, “The Brilliant Tabernacle” is a collection of gentle songs about new life, the experience of parenthood, seeking a spiritual mooring in a new world created from the ruins of the old. Primary collaborators Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner had their first child during the album’s approximately six year development period, and the album’s title came to Coloccia in a dream. This work provides a further exploration into the Mamiffer sound, operating in spare composition, with folk instruments folded in. The sound is anchored around Collocia’s vocals and keyboards. There are at times loud things, pounding drums and distorted guitar, that seethe below the surface. The group wants this played loudly so that the dynamic range Randall Dunn created can be fully experienced. Beautiful and at times ethereal and haunting.

die Angel – “Live in Austin” – [Erototox Decodings]

Max Level   6/15/2022   12-inch, A Library

Two side-long drone pieces, recorded in Austin TX in 2019. This long-running duo (Ilpo Vaisanen of Pan Sonic and Dirk Dresselhaus of Schneider TM) use electronics, prepared guitar, and effects to create their mildly tense ‘instant compositions.’ Side A has a slightly rough, buzzing quality and Side B is somewhat the same except it has a subdued electronic beat layer during most of it. Nice.

CIA Debutante – “Dust” – [Siltbreeze]

Mister S   6/13/2022   12-inch, A Library

Gloomy Lofi low BPM electronica. Almost deadpan spoken word vocals remind me of Lady Godiva‘s operation by the Velvet Underground. Imagine the Sleaford mods on drugs that make you very slow. Simple synth sounds hark back to 80s electronica. Oddly interesting and somewhat disturbed sounding. Could be layered in with another track playing simultaneously by the adventurous dj. Definitely worth at least a few listens if you are into a gloomier sounding electronica experience. 33 rpm but try pitching down further or pitching higher as well as playing at 45rpm.

Sky Furrows – “S/T” – [Tape Drift Records]

Mister S   6/13/2022   12-inch, A Library

Indie emo pop. Spoken word vocals. Nice simple clean single note and arpeggio guitar, bass and brush drum style accompaniment. Reminds me a bit of Red Stars Theory. Maybe a bit of a Mission of Burma feel about the band sound. Perhaps the Minutemen. Definitely a Lee Ronaldo accompaniment style. NYC downtown art rock.

Fronted by poet Karen Schoemer. Schoemer collaborates with bassist Mike Watt in Jaded Azurites, and with Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby. Eric Hardiman, Mike Griffin and Phil Donnelly are members of psych rock unit Burnt Hills.

Chillingsworth Surfingham – “Chillingsworth Surfingham” – [ATOM Records]

Cousin Mary   6/13/2022   A Library, CD

Chillingsworth Surfingham is actually John Ashfield, also know for his San Francisco indie pop band The
Bobbleheads. This 2021 instrumental collection gives a pop spin to surf music. Chillingsworth Surfingham is a bear – Ashfield performs in a bear costume – but don’t think the shtick is all there is. Very well played energetic and positive tracks.

credits

No Artist – “101 Notes on Jazz” – [Suite 309]

mickeyslim   6/8/2022   A Library, Cassette

This CD is a brilliantly concocted and collection of 60, that’s right, SIXTY mic breaks from a (sadly) fictional jazz radio station from the mixed-up mind of Tim Thorton. While these improvised tracks range from about 20 seconds to 80 seconds, any of these would fit seamlessly between practically any two tracks you wish since their absurdity falls perfectly in line with KFJC’s. It was impossible to listen all the through only because I had to pause it due to my uncontrollable fits of laughter. Here are a few of my favorite lines from these tracks…

“Trust me on this one, there’s nothing softer than the tip of a dolphin’s nose, but I guess that depends on where he nudges you…”

“It’s opposite Day here at the station, it’s actually not, and we’re not going to be playing your favorite bossa nova hits…”

“Broadcasting live from Reggae Fest! They put me in the tank! And they, uh, just dunk me when they get the answers wrong, it’s filled with reggae, uh, trivia, and I actually got to touch a steel drum so…”

“We have a shoe that was left behind at the hot dog roast, it’s a men’s size 7 and a half tap shoe, the color is not important, but I would like to get this shoe out of the studio as quickly as possible…”

“I went to an art’s gallery this past weekend, and let me just say, I didn’t realize that poetry could be an art, uh, and I still don’t realize it because you can’t just describe a bunch of flowers out loud and expect people to take you seriously…”

“Welcome back to ‘Jazz Music To Meet Your Wife To,’ and I did meet my wife to this song, that’s why I play it at the top of every hour…”

and much, much, much, much, much more.

There is no reason not to play this.

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