Music Reviews

Matmos – “Regards/Uklony Dla Boguslaw Schaeffer” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

aarbor   3/1/2023   A Library, CD

Matmos have never played the music of Polish composer Boguslaw [boh-goo-slav] Schaeffer [shay-fer] but they have played with it and created new songs from fragments of his work. Schaeffer was a part of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio in the 1960s and ’70s. Schaeffer was a composer, musicologist, and graphic artist, a member of the avant garde “Cracow Group” of Polish composers. Matmos is the American experimental electronic duo of M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel. They’ve been active since the mid-1990s and are based in Baltimore, Maryland. Matmos is a “seething lake of evil slime” from the ’68 cult sci-fi film Barbarella. Regards sounds very much like a Matmos album, from the hyper-swung house beats to the way they introduce their tracks by spilling out their constituent pieces and then gradually assembling them into a coherent groove. There are five shorter and more rhythmic tracks and three longer and more ambient cuts. For the most part, the music here doesn’t push Matmos’ sound into unfamiliar territory so much as recreate it with new materials. AArbor

Tomb Mold “The Bottomless Perdition” [Blood Harvest]

atavist   2/28/2023   A Library, Cassette

Debut 2016 demo release from this Toronto-based project. Sci-fi sounding intro in the opening track drops into a deliciously knuckle-dragging doom section before the all-out pummeling begins. This is fast, relentless stuff. “Valley of Defilement” has a hardcore feel based on its blistering speed. Fierce, hateful energy. Some great tone despite the lo-fi demo-quality recording, and the technical mastery is already there in the tight instrumentation. Massive death-metal vox and raw overdriven guitar sound, brief soaring leads that foreshadow more polished subsequent releases, like 2019’s “Planetary Clairvoyance”. Nothing extra, just tight fucking death metal. Super consistent, every track is killer. The last track takes us out with a slower, epic breakdown section, so hit that for a slightly different feel.

Desekryptor “Chasm of Rot” [Blood Harvest]

atavist   2/28/2023   A Library, Cassette

The air is thick with vile rumblings over Fort Wayne, Indiana. This represents Desekryptor’s first post-demo release, from 2017. Featuring the super-reverbed death vox we know and love, massive, thick guitar, and concussive drum attack. Sprinting through the darkened halls only to stumble and writhe in the fetid bog of moldering corpses. Medium-length tracks for the most part (3–5 minutes) enable you to drop in a bit of crushing filth into your set with relative ease. Descend the crypt, inhale these malevolent odors, and await the end.

Pussy Gillette – “Pussy Gillette” – [Bad Rope Records]

beastofbourbon   2/27/2023   12-inch, A Library

“If you like to live life on the edge, this one is for you, baby,” 

Masani Negloria

I love Texas! The food, whiskey, horses, but especially the music: The Dicks, Rosie Flores, Scott H Biram, The Rev, Geto Boys, Sheverb, Willie & Waylon. This is Pussy Gillette; a trio out of Austin that are keeping it cool and weird. Guitarist Nathan Calhoun of Chain Drive/Butthole Surfers and recently with touring with Flipper, drummer Brent Prager of Cherubs and Fuckemos are joined by bassist/vocalist Masini Negloria to play gnarly garage infused punk rock. Recorded and produced by Calhoun on a 4 track cassette in March 2021 this record brings us into a world of partying “Hard Livin’”, “Wild Nights” and fruit “Banana”. But on a serious side “Mala Noche” (one of two songs sung in Spanish) questions religion and “Walking Crime” deals with police brutality as a Black Woman. All songs are short but they get their point across with tight musicianship and a standout front woman. 

Beast of Bourbon

Zenizen – P.O.C. (Proof of Concept) [Topshelf Records]

aarbor   2/27/2023   A Library

Proof of Concept is a series of vignettes from Opal Hoyt’s life. It’s kind of like if Peter and the Wolf was about a woman who was adopted in Alaska and moved between DC, Jamaica, Vermont, and New York. Opal Hoyt is a singer and a songwriter She’s also a skilled producer with an ear for excellent arrangements—the kind of musician who enjoys meandering and allowing her artistic vision to percolate. Her life is a journey. Her music is a journey. Sometimes it sounds like you are listening through a haze or a watery memory. (My picks tracks 4-8) AArbor

Junk DNA – “Kopk Kopa” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   2/23/2023   A Library, CD

A new project of Brian Pyle (Ensemble Economique, The Starving Weirdos, and RV Paintings). Kopk Kopa translates from Lithuanian as a directive to “climb the dune”… which one can vision as Pyle radiates a ‘dark hypnosis of eerie tones that rasp, buzz, and shimmer within vertiginous orbits and arching crescendos’. It’s gloomy and doomy, murky fog laden damp corridors of ambient electronics, creeping around the corner tones, making your bumps goose with each sudden stab of sound. Or traveling back to the sand dunes of the desert, this might be what one hears as the sun beats through their eyes, frying & melting their sweat vapored skin.

Forbidden Overture – “Turned On!” – [Dark Entries]

cinder   2/23/2023   12-inch, A Library

Two side long tracks from soundtrack to the film Turned On!—a gay bathhouse fantasy from 1982. This is pretty magical. Unless you already know it’s from a porn flick, you’d have no idea. You could possibly mistake this for an old Cluster release. It’s tasteful, no moans, groans or dirty birdy words. Just pure outer space, psychedelic krauty synths, floating through the cosmos, ready to blow their loads off in fantasy orbits… sorry, had to. It’s lovely and pretty.

The Assurance Compilation [coll] – [Juba]

aarbor   2/22/2023   A Library, CD

Assurance is a documentary about the obstacles that female DJs face, both on and beyond the dancefloor. It shows their defiant navigation of these issues as they pursue their career ambitions. The documentary came from British-Nigerian DJ Juba’s pursuit for new perspectives in the gender debate. This curiosity led her to Nigeria, where she connected with three DJs: Sensei Lo, DJ Yin, and DJ Ayizan in order to get an insight into their experiences in the context of Lagos. This CD is the music of Assurance. It’s all women artists: DJs and Producers representing Latin America, Asia, The Pacific Islands, Africa and the Middle East. The sound ranges from Deep House, to Techno, Amapiano (South African House) to Baile Funk… Enjoy! AArbor

Cigarettes, The – “You Were So Young” – [Optic Nerve]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Missing link piece of UK punk from a three piece that only lasted two years (back then officially just had a three-song single and a two-song EP). Hearing this extensive recovery of those and unreleased material is a massive WFT. Ye olde John Peel though heard ’em and connected the dots, four Peel seshes wrap up this absolutely brilliant compilation. Two of the gents, Rob Smith (guitar) and Steve Taylor (bass) ran merch for a tour of the Buzzcocks, osmotically Side A has that kind of brightly agitated punk flair. Side B adds more chops, reverb and a dub splash of things to come. Still that kind of sweet and sour anxiety. Side C revs up the Mod engine, drummer Adam Palmer at his perkiest. Side D has the Peel appeal and stamp of approval. Rob and Steve share vocals through-out, damaging your health and peaking your pique via your freaking speakers. Songs are catchy, tight and well-revived, hell “Stay Inside” has a whole ‘nother pandemic pop. Kudos to Optic Nerve and previously Detour, I was bummed when I missed the latter’s first pass at this. Chuffed to puff puff pass this along finally. Sounds from ’79 and ’80 still smoking in the 2020s.

-Thurston Hunger

Ausmuteants – “Band of The Future” – [Aarght! Records]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Panic dancing, quirk and jerk punk, piss take piss tank rank and defile. I still taste a little Mr. Devo DNA in the Silent Genes. Here in the USelessA, we take perverse pride in our Florida, but these Aus Mutatos have their own Floridated blunder down under. Are they laughing all the way to the bank while upside down? Well they should be. The twitchy guitars and power synth punk solve all energy crises, matched with so dumb so smart so dumb lyrics should be worth Slapping a Grammy or two down. I envision their synth pitch wheel the size of a ferris wheel. The whole band is a gift, those herky-jerky slam dance by numbers cuts but something about Jake Robertson’s voice puts a perfect bow on it all. At times his voice can get that happy anguish I associate with the Icky Boyfriends, a sort of confident nervousness. Cartoon cosmic comic. Top notch trash. Release from 2016, but unlike this world, built to last!
-Thurston Hunger

Morby, Kevin – “Harlem River” – [Woodsist]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Certain keyboards and vocal phrasings have a definite dialing for Dylan vibe. Morby cut loose from the
Woods (but still on Woodsist) and no longer one of the Babies, this 2013 release was his solo debut. Confident, competent folk pop, and a apparent cross country love letter after moving to Los Angeles back to New York. The title song really stood out for me, super hypnotic with a hint of yodel, a bassline that keeps climbing your vertebrae. Nine minutes of sweet and shady suspense. Cait Le Bon sweeps in on the caboose of “Slow Train” and gives it a sort of death-mask shine. The track after that “Reign” is actually more locomotive; blues bopping down the tracks harmonica hanging out the window, next stop Hell or Petticoat Junction? Hop on board! Cool green vinyl with a mellow burnt orange audio warmth.

-Thurston Hunger

Belgrado – “Obraz” – [La Vida Es Un Mus]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Suave gothic/post-punk stylings out of Spain. Patrycja Proniewska is the front-woman and lead vampire. Guitar from Fernando Marquez is a great dizzying swirl, he adds synth too along with Jonathan Sirit who also guides the drum machines. Renzo Narvaez adds bass to this 2016 release. Start, but don’t stop with “Wiatr” (“Wind” in Patrycja’s native Polish). Sure Bela Lugosi is still dead, but it’s time for you to expand your grim dub punk rotations. I dig “Krajobraz” and its mysterious instro, synthesizers whinnying in their corrals. Fog machines are NOT optional. Artwork is maybe a mix of ransom note and Bauhaus. Like the music, beckoning strange with a starkness to it. See also Fatamorgana as a Patrycja project on La Vida Es Un Mus. Belgrado dials down the synth and cranks up the dirgey punk club vibe with crucial dub highlights. That transition from “Nierealne Realne Społeczeństwo” to “Na Ten Czas” Aces!!!
-Thurston Hunger

Generacion Suicida – “Regeneracion” – [Drunken Sailor Records]

Thurston Hunger   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Puro punk fresh hecho in these Estados not so Unidos. 2022 Los Angeles, flying under the radar and soaring over all those classic tracks from Bloodstain collections. Damn shame we missed the blood red vinyl. This Drunken Sailor edition brings Tony Abarca’s vox to up front with anthemic urgency. Tony is the rhythm slash and burn, on top Mario Quezada’s lead work can ricochet like a bullet with a purpose or wash up in surfy reverb. Tracks like “Balas” and “Ilusion” gallop, and if you aren’t moving fast enough, Kiwi Martinez will be after you like a heart attack. Her drums, your arteries! Elias Ramone on bass rounds out the quartet, okay Elias’ real last name is Jacobo. but that bass is vital as you feel it 10 blocks away before you even hear the band. Sung in Spanish, but as the Bloodstains taught us, punk is its own language. The album ends in Violence, the band I hope lasts many more decades (they started as kids). Feels like Generacion Suicida has that kind of Dead Moon durability and DIY dedication!

Long may they rock!
-Thurston Hunger

Spindrift – “Classic Soundtracks Vol. 3” – [Alternative Tentacles]

beastofbourbon   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

Spindrift – Classic Soundtracks Vol. 3

Spindrift is an L.A. based band formed in 1992 playing cinematic experimental rock, but by the early 2000s added their signature psych/surf Spaghetti Western sound. Classic Soundtracks Vol.3 is their 10th studio compilation and first released on Alternative Tentacles. Produced by Riley Bray & Jello Biafra, this album features 14 instrumental and vocal tracks that were produced for several documentaries, and new and re-released cult films. A list of the films is on a poster included with the record. This album is ideal for sound beds, transitions, and driving through Death Valley.

Beast of Bourbon

+oc – “Pandemonium” – [Broken Clover Records]

beastofbourbon   2/21/2023   12-inch, A Library

+OC – Pandemonium

+OC (tock) is a duo based out of Madrid, Spain that formed in 2018. Pandemonium, a double album, is the duo’s first full-length album. It was recorded between June 2019 and June 2020 in Madrid at El Purgatorio by Oscar Moreno-aka Ojo-and mastered at Atomic Garden Studios in Oakland, CA, by Jack Shirley.The music brings an intense experimental Gothic/Psych Rock mood with vocals to match. All songs are in Spanish with some traditional Flamenco style singing on some tracks. Fred Erskine of D.C. band Hoover and Dischord Records Producer guests on trumpet on “Inocencia”.

Beast of Bourbon

Monkey Power Trio, The – “Cry Mama” – [Pocahontas Swamp Machine Recordings]

kittywompus   2/20/2023   A Library

Opening with acoustic ukulele and lazy vocals into a shimmering percussion, trumpets, soulful electric guitar and a surprising amount of recorder are all examples of what might be found on the newest release from DIY band The Monkey Power Trio. In accordance with their 27 year tradition, the entire album was recorded in a day, and you can tell. To the layman Waltz Aestas Schizophreniae may be as weird as it proclaims to be at the beginning of the track, but to the average KFJC listener it’s business as usual. Freeko Chicho is the real wtf here, they themselves quite literally are unsure of what they say, something about fried eggs? Improve rock with the odd funky and psychedelic ska track like Sand Flea, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Personal faves: Parties of Our Yesteryears, Screams Inside Your Heart

(FCC: track 9 “ass” Screams Inside Your Heart)

Secret Emchy Society – “Gold Country/Country Gold” – [Broken Clover Records]

kittywompus   2/20/2023   A Library

2022 release

Fun, Queer, Country made for bar listening while downing whisky sours and waiting for the pool table to free up. Cindy M Emch’s lead vocals unify the varying themes and pace of this album, all unabashedly country and driven by deeply emotional lyricism (My Old Flame, Cowboys are..) and excellent strumming. Think I do and Murdered your bourbon are great drinking/dancing anthems, along with Birch Bones Redux (a story laid out by angsty and bustling rhythm akin to traveling a bumpy road with rising anticipation within the traveler). The album’s title song is a jam I can only hope to be able to play on a jukebox of the next dive I frequent should I be so lucky (One can dream).

T1 Cowboys are… Has FCC (Fuck)

Surplus 1980 – “Kremlin Gremlin (A Dull Fiddler)” – [Surplus Industries]

Albion Moonlight   2/17/2023   7-inch, A Library

Albion Moonlight 2/22/2023 7-INCH, A Library

Oakland-based musical collective Surplus 1980 returns with a single the proceeds of which benefit the Vet Crew in Ukraine, who aid animals displaced in that war. Moe Staiano and collaborators joined by J.W.Sok on vocals give us a polemical post-punk tune skewering Russian President Putin on side A, complete with Fripian guitar. Side AA (B) is a dub remix of one of the songs to come out on their forthcoming album. This music is bouncy and fun! A real time traveling experience back to the 80s. Recommended!.

The 7” single is half blue/half yellow colored vinyl to emulate the Ukrainian flag.

FCC ‘Sh*t’ and ‘Sh@t’ on Side AA (B) – ‘Some Few Facts (And One False One) About Birds


Les Rallizes Denudes – “The Oz Tapes” – [Temporal Drift]

Louie Caliente   2/13/2023   12-inch, A Library

Previously unreleased live recordings from legendary Japanese emperors of heavy psych.

The OZ House was a cafe and performance space in Kichijoji neighborhood of Tokyo that existed for only a year, where Les Rallizes Denudes were regulars. These tracks were recorded in 1973, and kept in storage for almost 50 years. They shed new light on this enigmatic band and their notorious sound.

Unlike many of their poorly-recorded bootlegs, the OZ Tapes is not a feedback-soaked wall of distortion (except for the brief opening track). While I do enjoy the muddy lo-fi soup that the band is known for, the tracks here capture more nuance and a range of emotions that their other albums lack. The tracks here are warm with reverb, not fried. Feedback is present, but not all-encompassing. Instrumentation is actually discernible.

“The Last One” is an epic psych rock jam, the centerpiece of the album, and you get two takes of it (B1, D1). “Wilderness of False Flowers” (A3) and “Vertigo Otherwise My Conviction” (C2) are also solid high-energy freak-outs. Other tracks are prettier, mellower, and even melancholy at times. I don’t speak a word of Japanese, but the nostalgic “Memory is Far Away” (C1) makes me tear up every time I listen.

Wasteland Jazz Ensemble – “S/T” – [Gilgongo Records]

Albion Moonlight   2/9/2023   12-inch, A Library

Albion Moonlight 2/12/2023 12-INCH, A Library

Describing themselves as playing ‘destroyed music’, the Cincinnati duo of Jon Lorenz and John Rich expand their soul-sucking feedback-saturated reed work into a 7 piece group including guitar, bass, electronics, and percussion. This release features 7 tracks, ingeniously titled I – VII on two 12″ LPs. Not a whole lot of variation between tracks. There are a couple of less frenetic cuts, but overall this is balls to the wall, unrestrained noise, electronic, full-throated, unrelenting. Noise aficionados may find subtlety and variation within but to this neophyte mostly familiar with free jazz skronk, I kinda felt like I had just had an MRI done. Nonetheless, I applaud the dedication to their ethos.


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