KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Wound [coll] – [Carbon Records]

abacus   4/29/2020   12-inch, A Library

homage to the gueetar in all its gloree, an Americana that’s more postmodern in its primitive I think. short, accessible blurps celebrating the six string in all sorts of styles. what starts off as some plucking pleasantries gets thrown in the deep end of all sorts of experimental weirdnesses: psychedelic folk noise, trip ambient, stoner drone.. plenty of heavy hitters in here and too many familiar faces to even begin to name but I will anyways: a few of my favorites are the zone switch slap in the face by Bill Nace, Daniel Bachman’s surprisingly regal yet ethereal meditation, former Bardo Ponds Curanderos channeling some sort of alternate history, James Plotkin really knows how to mix a collage (and mastered this here comp of course too), sparse melodies throughout this compilation but really shine stark on Michael Morley, Wendy Eisenberg may just be the best new reinterpretations of the blues I’ve heard.. I’d say this is about a third just guitar tracks and the rest range in all different approaches so try one out, there’s definitely something here to suit everyone. oh yeah and check out the liner notes by John Olson on this one, I’m sure he’s got something interesting to say about it.

Ramirez, Richard & Skin Crime – "Pleasure, Commerce & Disease" – [PACrec]

abacus   4/29/2020   A Library, CD

2004 release from American harsh noise veterans, Richard Ramirez and Skin Crime join for this unholy slab of feedback worship composed of SC source material processed by Dick. thick, acerbic but sterile gray, not so much walls as shattered chalkboard skidding over flayed concrete. smells like the disinfectant coated linoleum surfaces, barely erasing the death and dismay seeped into the surface. empty lullabies to a barren room, you keep grasping at the surface, trying to wake for just a few last words but there’s nothing left to hold onto, you choke on sleep as they die laughing. a void so heavy it makes you want to squirm and weep. unavoidably, most lifeless desperation

AMK – “Super Panoramic Stereo Sound 5000” – [PACrec]

lexi glass   4/29/2020   A Library, CD

Twisted turntable insanity from AMK, the SF-to-LA-based noise artist who has conjured chaos from old record players and cut-and-pasted discs for nearly four decades. Intended to be played in random order, these tracks are utterly unpredictable, from the short segments of silence or surface noise on the untitled tracks, to the stack of thrift store records tossed into a blender and set on puree on “Jamboree” (T3) and “Calypso” (T11), to the simmering noise of “La Post” (T4) or the bounce and blast of “Bull Weevil” (T16). “Il Dome for the Bird” (T18, a live track with assistance from Damion Romero, Geoff Brandin, Erik Hoffman, Jorge Martin, and Bob Bellerue) is a springtime daymare where bright birdsong shapeshifts into an alien avian cheerleading squad that makes perfect dreamlogical sense with the accompanying narration sampled from nature documentary voiceovers. Released in 2007 on the even noisier sublabel of Troniks, PacRec.

Minadeo, Joseph & Brown, Curt – "Wood Land" – [Infraction]

humana   4/28/2020   A Library, CD

These are lovely, spare, melodic atmospheres that are warm enough to bring tears to your eyes. The words printed in the booklet insert offer poetic guides to what you are hearing, and occasional vocalizations seem like features of the overall ambience. There are sounds of piano, bells, and electronics, and it is all beautiful.

Corum – "Panics In Mayfair" – [Lost Discoveries]

abacus   4/22/2020   A Library, Cassette

another artifact of otherworldly trance psychedelia unearthed from the Lost Discoveries Exotic Music Shop. I’m pretty sure this label is run by Grant Corum himself, (maybe?) associated with the Psychic Sounds label listed outta Maine (maybe), but honestly out of the wealth of information online I can discern very little as far as solid info, elusive is an understatement, as concerns the sounds as well for that matter, like some kind of subconscious alternate mind-fuck.
lethargy ritual
delusional catatonia
bobbling along

Flores, Miguel – "Lorca / Lost Tapes 1989-1991" – [Buh Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/22/2020   12-inch, A Library

Living in the quaranteen-age, I’ve yet to hold this album (no searching for locked grooves or secret messages etched in runout). That said summoning Flores’ spirit and sounds via the web, I was able to still fall under the spell of this collection. Ethereal sounds, perhaps too good for this world, like the man being honored here – Federico García Lorca. Flores tribute to the assassinated Spaniard is homespun and heartfelt, from a pensive opening of raindrop guitar and piano trickling beneath looming synth clouds, and then into II with a gentle guitar ballad
and a casio soaring like Yma Suma’s soul…the album is a striking accompaniment to a play we won’t see. That said it could double as the imaginary soundtrack to David Lynch remaking El Topo. Flores, a drummer in other forms like Pax, a heavy Peruvian late 60’s psych band, here mostly forgoes the sticks or strident percussion, instead building
moods. III feels like a bit of BBC, IV has some squeaky drums, whistles and Flores shaman chanting, all in a lush garden of reverb. Great! V revs up the skins and feet for an insistent little dance. VI is succubus city. VIII
has quick temper timbred xylosounds of some sort, and the ghost of Maya Deren on sax. Really the whole album has a haunting vibe. VIII visits the opening pensive cloud formation. There are two digital beauties our vinyl may be lacking, but worth tracking down and/or waking up your girlfriend for. The whole album as is has a very nice flow, with the circular ending. Nice that this work of Flores can bloom again via Luis Alvarado’s Buh label out of Peru.

El Hombre del Hambre

Satanique Samba Trio – "Mais Bad" – [Rebel Up Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/22/2020   10-inch, A Library

Bass lines, like tiny black holes, just devouring everything in front of them. Thick and dense. If vocals appear they are kind of Patton-esque, squishy and guttural. Gyorgi? Little retches. Covid cough on #30, but the whole album is infectious. Feels more like a one-man project than a trio made up of five people who’ve been funking around since 2002 in Brazil. Their first album was called “Misantropicalia” which clues you in on their approach, sadly “Mais Bad” is the first album that has nested in at KFJC. Is that clarinet on #05 and #26? Sides split into odd and even tracks, but they’re all odder pop flavors melting your mind away. 10 tracks on 10 inches, so each excursion into BadTripTronics flies by…if these are too long the main Satanique conjuror, Munha da 7 has a one minute full album with single second spasmic cuts. I guess you could dance to pieces here, but I’ll refuse to watch. Sonic fidelity is kept down to enhance your experience and get the “Trio” hopefully evicted from the ProgArchives where beards are mandatory. This has more glitter prog/punk flair and should be loved by the cuica and the undead. Personally it’s nice to see Satan branching out a bit musically.
-Thurston Hunger

Eisenberg, Wendy – "Its Shape Is Your Touch" – [Vin Du Select Qualitite]

Thurston Hunger   4/22/2020   12-inch, A Library

Oct 2018 release, talented tangled fingers on solo guitar (as is the apparent M.O for the Vin Du Select Qualitite label). The opening cut named after deceased artist Sol LeWitt lost me, but in the way Derek Bailey’s work would lose me. Maybe I’m clutching too much to a map that no longer applies. Eisenberg uncertainty principles applied to note selection and rejection? Dipping into “Lethe” track 3, all is forgotten which right about now is about as promising as life gets. That has a great blend of peace and tension, discordant clusters hang in space, the pace is relaxing, with a few flourishes of finger-picking that will bloom later on in another river “Eridanos” which has a lot of furious eddies of playing. Between them “Early November” is dusky and somewhat bouncy. “Designated Mourner” is pretty, with a spider-like balancing of dissembled chord to dissembled chord. “Sawn” speaks to its technique, fingerblade friction used to saw notes off the strings at times, some bluesy 7th comfort tossed in for good measures. The album has a tipsiness to it that is part of its charm amidst avant brainiac complexity. The closer, “All Saints” is a guitar pretending to pop bubble-wrap and/or be leaky faucet. Shape-shifting suits Ms Eisenberg well, as Lexi mentioned check out Birthing Hips also there is Editrix, both of which kinda rule.
-Thurston Hunger

Seeded Plain – “Flying Falling” – [Public Eyesore]

lexi glass   4/22/2020   A Library, Cassette

Seeded Plain are the local electroacoustic duo of Jay Kreimer and Bryan Day (of Collision Stories, and the head of the new music labels Public Eyesore and eh?). Over the length of this C60 tape, we’re drawn into a strange sonic realm made entirely from a collection of original homemade instruments invented by the duo. The devices used on this recording aren’t specified, but Day’s creations have names like Magnetoselqier, the Rotowhisker, and the Sputterphone, vivid titles that give clues to the origin of the unique sounds found here. At times they have a familiar counterpart – a plucked string, a toy piano, a vibration from a gong, a hiss of an insect. But others are utterly alien: the whistles, whirrs, and warbling tones from another dimension that melds with and subtly transforms our own.

A Mild Case of Split Wrists [coll] – [John Wiese]

whngr   4/21/2020   7-inch, A Library

Asmr For Automatons

Two moderately noisy tracks on this 45 by Joe Colley of Crawl Unit and John Wiese that worry, wither, and writhe. Machines crunch, tap, whir, crackle, and grind. Chirp, pulse, short, falter, and fade over near sub-sonic rumbles that though neither overtly harsh nor necessarily amiable may provide the listener with a subliminally calming experience. 

These two sound sculptors have come together again to create a sonic curio for your perusal. Packaged neatly in a succinct and aesthetically pleasing jacket, this single from 2007 will flicker through your awareness, be forgotten, and settle in your subconscious to perhaps live again in dreams of hypnotized machinery.

Gendreau, Michael – “Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado” – [Public Eyesore]

whngr   4/21/2020   A Library, CD

Danger! Extreme Minimalism


A harrowing experience for dj’s awaits. Can you handle the silence, low levels, and diminutive sounds of equipment failure? Soft low-frequency purrs, machines turning slowly, empty space, a distant dog barking, muffled speech from down the hall, near sub-sonic drone, abrupt crashes of abstraction. Arrhythmic plinks, plunks, bumps, thumps, and clicks. White-noise. Automobile traffic from 9 miles away, android insects, footsteps, infrasonic vibrations, and a decrepit lathe. 
San Francisco based acoustician Michael Gendreau produces four tiny aural engravings that  might cause you to peer at the cd player querulously and consider notifying Engineering about yet another cd player giving up the ghost. However, this is all according to plan as Gendreau’s work on low noise and vibration for buildings implies a focus on space and the site-specific sounds produced therein.

Angelwings Marmalade – “World Music” – [Devine Records]

lexi glass   4/15/2020   A Library, Cassette

Angelwings Marmalade is one of the many incarnations of Chicago-based experimental electronic artist Angel Marcloid (see her other projects, the fantastic Fire-Toolz and Nonlocal Forecast, in our library). She describes this working name as “the catch-all moniker for sound collage, noise improv…I used to work a lot with hands-on electronics, cassette players, loopers, stuff with contact mics on it… that ended up evolving into Angelwings Marmalade when I began incorporating software into the experiments.” This 2019 cassette is a wild found sound timewarp where tribal percussion and drum machines, computer chimes and singing gongs, smooth jazz sax and pitch-shifting synths, demonic incantations and throat singing chants, harsh noise and muzak are sonicated and synthesized into a coherent vision of unrest, a scene of dissolving predictability that seems just right for the moment.

333REDUX [coll] – [No Part of It]

abacus   4/13/2020   A Library, CD

abridged CDr sampler of a massive DVDr data disc release remixing rehashing reconstructing Arvo Zylo’s seminal 333 release. trip mental industrial of the chaotic crunchy variety, plodding soundscrapes of rhythm and noise, concrete crushing beats cracked around the edges. some of the tracks get in to more cut-up, concrete, or ambient even, spiced up with some jazz skronk? this comps got it all, true QUALITY noise stuff compiled by the connoisseur himself. released here on Arvo’s own No Part of It label; if you get a chance, dig up the bandcamp to sample the full release, especially for the complete 35minute Blood Rhythms piece. and if you’re not afraid of long tracks for that matter dig up 333 from our very own library here and maybe do some side by side. the beautiful thing about good comps is I honestly believe there’s something everyone can get down on here, this is the kinda noise that converts folks.

Brainbombs – “Fucking Mess” – [Armageddon]

abacus   4/12/2020   12-inch, A Library

yet another botch trashpile from Swedish edgelordz Brainbombs (named after a Punishment of Luxury song if you care to look), this 2008 LP comes over 20 years from their exit of the womb and they’ve hated women ever since apparently. ripe with misogyny at every track, full of rape, torture, murder; they’re heavily influenced by Peter Sotos if that means something to you. sloppy detuned repetitive noiserock to leave you numb in the lips, the grime makes you want to grimace and the horns just sprinkle a bit of class on the excrement. like I said, all the tracks are pretty dirty: 2,3,5 are technically obscene what with the masturbation and peeing and stuff but technically 2 don’t got no naughty words and 5 you can’t understand a thing anyways so do with that what you will. 6 is the only really clean track on here despite depicting a pretty gruesome murder scene (but hey at least they murdered a guy this time). if the trigger warnings don’t make your belly boil maybe this is for you (hell, maybe it makes your loins tingle, ya’ll a bunch of deranged sickos anywho)

Two Daughters – “Recordings 1979-1981” – [Vinyl on Demand]

lexi glass   4/8/2020   12-inch, A Library

With this 2019 double LP set, Vinyl on Demand resurrects the sole pair of recordings from the Two Daughters. Known only by their first names, Anthony and Paul, the mysterious Brixton duo worked on the fringes of the early 1980s weirdo English experimental universe inhabited by Industrial Records and United Dairies artists. There also may be a connection to Simon Fisher Turner: the Two Daughters could very well be the muses for Turner’s later experimental ambient project Deux Filles, whose reissued work was recently added to our library.

LP1 features the duo’s first self-released cassette, 1980’s Ladder of Souls. Fragments of twisted chanting voices, haunting melodies, simple guitar patterns, and tribal percussion are looped and layered into minimal ambient works. On some tracks, the repetition can become tedious – like the siren-like wailing that carries on for ten minutes on “Return Call” (T5) – but overall, it leads to a captivating, hypnotic effect. Especially effective are the works with percussion: “Drums” (T6) sounds like it could be on rotation at the Kluba Cupol.

LP2 holds their first full-length LP, Kiss the Cloth/Gloria, released in 1981 (and reissued later in ’87 by United Dairies). Here, the ideas found on the first cassette come into full realization. The rhythms have a larger, richer sound (see the ecstatic “Gloria II”, T13), and the vocal chants are clear and strong. Layered with these sounds are lush strings, echoing gamelan, choral hallucinations, and even samples of Bowie.

McCRAVEN, MAKAYA – Where We Came From (Chicago – London Mixtape)

aarbor   4/8/2020   A Library

Chicago drummer Makaya McCraven jams and mixes with 4 of the stars of the New London jazz scene: Theon Cross (tuba), Nubya Garcia (tenor sax) and Joe Armon-Jones and Kamaal Williams (keyboards); as well as the more established Soweto Kinch (alto sax), at London’s Total Refreshment Centre in 2017. The players bring dancehall, grime, garage and hip hop into their auditory “vision” of jazz and the remixers take it the next step. Beauty! AArbor

SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS – Wisdom of the Elders

aarbor   4/8/2020   A Library

Shabaka Hutchings is the best known and perhaps the most prolific musician from the new London Jazz scene. This is one of at least 3 of his projects. Recorded in South Africa Shabaka Hutchings plays with an otherwise entirely African group of musicians paying tribute to their musical and familial ancestors. AArbor  

LAGOS CHOP UP [coll.]

aarbor   4/8/2020   A Library

From 2005, another fine collection from Honest Jons that dances its way through urban Nigerian social music of the of the late 1960’s through the ‘80s. Some say that the 1970s were the golden age of West African dance music before it integrated with Western Pop and became more global. Dig in, dance and enjoy! AArbor

ANTIBALAS – Fu Chronicles

aarbor   4/8/2020   A Library

Afrobeat meets Kung Fu – and it works! In this latest album from Antibalas they return to pre-gentrified Williamsburg (Brooklyn) when both Antibalas and Daptone Records were spawned out of lead singer Duke Amayo‘s kung fu dojo. After 20 years Antibalas are still fresh. AArbor

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