Music Reviews

A/LPACA – “Make It Better” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Hypnotic Krautrock, psychedelic, post punk/new wave dance beats from A/LPACA. Hailing from Montova, Italy, this 2021 release from A/LPACA takes you on a musical journey through an imaginary “beat club”. A place of liberation, fun, and communal congregation. “Make It Better” leads you through that journey into a world of refuge, of reflection, and becomes a musical diversion from the stinging realities of the modern world. A/LPACA began recording this release pre-pandemic and finished recording in July of 2020. They blend heavy beat driven rhythms with just enough electronic and guitar fuzz to keep your mind pleasantly searching for those new musical  horizons.

Saturnia – “Stranded In The Green” – [Sulatron Records]

SlartiBartfast   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Fantastic, pulsating, smoky, psychedelic music from Lisbon’s own Saturnia. This 2021 12” is Saturnia’s 8th full length release, and a first for Sulatron Records. “Stranded in the Green” is an album that takes you on a psychedelic musical trip between quiet surreal whispers to driving heavy rock rhythms framed by lyrical vocals that guide your mind’s journey. Formed in 1996, Saturnia is the creation of multi instrumentalist Luis Simões from Lisbon Portugal, and was initially intended to be a communal musical collective. Since then Luis has kept the Saturnia spirit alive and well and collaborated with such musicians as Daevid Allen of Gong, Nik Turner of Hawkwind, and Stefan Kolek of Color Haze. Sit back, relax and enjoy this superb musical trip from the outer layers of your consciousness to the inner depth’s of your mind’s eye. 

Wood, Hank and The Hammerheads – “Use Me” – [Toxic State]

whngr   4/4/2021   7-inch, A Library

Taught, twangy, Punk/Garage/Rock from NYCity. Guitars swimming in reverb, emphatic pleas and vows, and a well rehearsed rhythm section mixed well with just a taste of yearning organ.

Sentimental with 3 fingers of mental. Devastating hooks that get buried in one’s brain and knead the memory, finding woozy moments of romance, passion, and hope (no longer present in this miserable volunteer). Four hot sticky cuts that pulse and sway like a heart that cares not that it will soon be broken. Fucking great, would bang.
One slightly tender FCC on A1

Frkse – “Desecration Anxiety II” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Saffron robes smolder as the wounded ascetic continues his wretched search for a subversion of enlightenment amidst pensive strings, smoldering synthesizers, and a staggering array of percussive elements. Rhythm is the structure and drone the glue employed to construct this tremendous sonic stupa. Thigh trumpets wail behind down-tempo beats, conjuring images of the sprawling shadows of the Himalayas. Cloaked in a caul of schism, piercing eyes beam from inky darkness. They hold the terrible truth, a great lie awaits… For you… have faltered. Though your sins aren’t aberrant. They are in fact expected… and the charnel grounds await… 

Though this record is slightly outside the normal purview of my sonic interests, it is profoundly appealing and captivating. Tranquil yet unsettling,  a marriage of both ancient and modern sound construction. Purchased on a whim to flesh out an order from Iron Lung and by the grace of Kali we have been rewarded with a stunningly beautiful album with scope, vision, and an untitled, mind bending locked groove (untitled B9) that has opened strange new crevasses in my brain allowing for wider appreciation of sound and the possible merits of intermittent blind faith.

Frske is one Rajen Bhatt Residing in Jamaican Plain, a neighborhood in Boston, MA and formerly of Reno, NV. Formerly performing as Rajbot, and having ties to west coast powerviolence and Black Lung Records, as well as links to Italian hip hop and apparent rivers of disparate contacts and artists, as well as operating his own label, Divergent Series. Material that I have found on and by Bhatt has provided insight to a remarkably well rounded, prolific, and interesting individual that if Mahakala wills it, will be joined by its many brethren in our library in contributing upending our listeners’ labyrinthine path to spiritual illumination.

Oily Boys – “Cro Memory Grin” – [Static Shock]

whngr   4/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

Abrasive noisy psy-core-rock outa this raging Sydney four-piece. Copious waves of feedback weave through pounding, knuckle dragging bombast. Sweat, incredulous fury, regret, woe. Warped tape, an effect laden guitar howl through gravel strewn cries, a trumpet weeps behind the title track reminiscent of Dan Raberg of Brain Bombs, calling to mind a disaffected stroll through city centers crawling with wasted, wrung-out rejects of society. Travis Bickle on bad dope or Wendy O Williams walking into the woods one last time.  

Proclamation – “Messiah of Darkness and Impurity” – [Nuclear War Now! Productions]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Seminal beastial black metal, Spain.

Guttural bellows, blast beats, profane proclamations, and seething heresy, trem-bar abuse. Wallow in, and rejoice in the infernal inception of the infra-genre. Originally released in 2006, Nuclear War Now! Productions continue in redoubling their efforts in tearing open the earth to release the plague demons and the blood soaked anti-heralds of corrupted souls and the withering damned.

Haare – “Tantric Noise” – [Influencing Machine]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Esoteric and enthralling Buddhist themed mid-weight noise. 

Strange and subduing yet slightly unsettling and delirium inducing drones and electronic abstractions. Whirs, crunches, echoes, whistles, and cyber purrs. Tantric Noise includes a message on the reverse, In Memory of William Burger. May he rest in a parabolic continuum of anti-suffering.
Haare is one Ilkka Vekka of Hämeenlinna, Finland.

Disguise – “Signs of The Future” – [Static Shock]

whngr   4/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Acerbic Assault on Apathy  

Dublin, Ireland 2015. Hammers drop on mirth and joy, crushing aspersions to indoctrination by a horribly sick society. Thrashing drums propel squealing guitar feedback and guttural expulsions of fetid, reeking breath permeated with rage. Pure, murderous dissent. Embrace the terror of human existence as you plunge your bloody fists into a wall of complacency and lose control under a sonic spell of berserker rage. Hardcore punk meets crusty grindcore on this E.P. that lacks recognizable language, no Fcc’s, no dreams, hope, or ability to cope .

Meirino, Francisco – A New Instability – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

cinder   3/31/2021   12-inch, A Library

A 2019 release from Swiss power-acoustic musician, Francisco Meirino. Unsettling high pitches that induce migraines (half of side A), mixed with field recordings from a martial arts dojo in his hometown of Lausanne. Electro acoustic rumblings, electronics in a subdued state. Creaking floors, rotating and rustling sounds. Slaps, hits and cheers & jeers from fights linger in the background. Experimentally visual. Cobra Kai!  

Yaz and Miko – "Late Spring Ep" – [Ascend Recordings]

aarbor   3/31/2021   12-inch, A Library

Yaz and Miko are DJ Yaz (Canada) and Tarik Alj (from Morocco) now both working in Canada and founders of the Edit Recordings label. This release from 2002 is among their first. Described as tribal and techno, it is pounding beatsand none of the subtlety and melodies which Tarik Alj
weaves into his own music. AArbor.

Leila – "U&I" – [Warp Records Ltd]

aarbor   3/31/2021   A Library, CD

Leila Arab is an Iranian-born music producer who moved to London in 1979. She played keyboard and sound engineered for Bjork’s eaerly releases before releasing her own first album on Rephlex Records (Aphex Twin’s label). This release on Warp from 2012 is her 2nd for Warp and her 4th overall. The sound is heavy and dark with much diversity from track to track and little consistency throughout. I’m left wondering why she made the choices she did and wishing for more consistency. Typically, I preferred the instrumental tracks [6,9,10, 13] AArbor

E-Dancer – "Heavenly" – [Planet E Communications]

aarbor   3/31/2021   A Library, CD

E-Dancer is Kevin Maurice Saunderson – one of the bright lights of Detroit Techno. Born in Brooklyn, Saunderson went to high school in Belleville, MI with Derrick May and Juan Atkins. Heavenly from 1998 is considered his seminal album -it’s a classic. You hear his house roots, funky machine beats and humming baselines. It’s an abstract, Motor City Afro sound. The remixers are a veritable who’s who of Detroit Techno: Carl Craig, Juan Atkins, Kenny Larkin, and D-Wynn. In recent years Saunderson has gone back to the E-Dancer moniker releasing 2 more albums under that name. AArbor

Cyrnai – “Charred Blossoms” – [Dark Entries]

lexi glass   3/30/2021   12-inch, A Library

As a teenager in the Bay Area in the early 80s, Carolyn Fok was painting, writing poetry, experimenting with synthesizers and reel-to-reel recorders, and getting deep into the local post punk scene. Her many artistic influences came together under the name Cyrnai, beginning with the release of her debut album Charred Blossoms in 1985, now reissued by Dark Entries. The record is gorgeous; a collage of industrial rhythms mixed with instruments like flute, piano, saxophone and mandolin and her surreal spoken word poetry. As Cyrnai describes it, “the sounds on the record are depressive, yet should fit perfect in a bouquet of flames,” and if that isn’t the most spot-on description of a typical KFJC set I don’t know what is. Cyrnai went on to release several more solo albums and to play in other Bay Area groups including Rhythm and Noise, Trial, and A State of Mind, whose records can be found in our library.

Spiral Electric/The Spiral Electric

carsonstreet   3/26/2021   A Library, CD

The Spiral Electric are a psychedelic rock band from San Francisco. They bring a mixture of roaring guitars, bass, drums and synthesizers. The Spiral Electric has gathered an international following and toured up and down the US west coast from Seattle to Los Angeles. They have played festivals like the Desert Stars Festival in Pioneertown CA, the Gathering of the Tribes Festival in San Francisco, CA and the Portland Psych Fest in Portland, OR

Nihilum – “Dead and Forgotten” – [Insikt]

whngr   3/26/2021   A Library, Cassette

Sparse Sullen Dungeon-synth 

Miserable sounds for the bereft and emotionally hollow. When reflection on your imminent death is the only time you feel any modicum of pleasure. You’re already dead inside (T1), perhaps being dead outside will balance the scales (T2). Highly repetitive and morose compositions by one Nachtzeit (Henrik Sunding) of Östersund, Sweden ca. 2005. Cassette is single sided and 9:25 long. Don’t be fooled (as I was) by the copious amount of (mostly blank) tape presented in the window. Perhaps this is an aesthetic choice by the artist representing his emotional emptiness. 

Thuja – “Hills” – [Rose Hobart]

whngr   3/26/2021   12-inch, A Library

Languid Arrhythmic Hum Gentle washes of various drones and myriad traditional and found/constructed percussive elements that will lull you into a slightly twitchy narcoleptic repose. 




Thuja (a variety of cypress tree) are a group of avant-garde creators of sound that are self styled “organic drone folk-noise” and employ myriad natural found-objects in their improvisational sound and aesthetic. San Francisco (one currently the other formerly) sound explorers, sculptors, naturalists, and two parts of Thuja, Loren Chasse (The Blithe Sons, The Child Readers, Of) and Glenn Donaldson (The Skygreen Leopards, The Blithe Sons, Flying Canyon and his solo projects The Birdtree and The Ivytree) were the backbone of an entity once known as Jeweled Antler, a collective of friends and musicians bound by an ephemeral and conceptual yet “methodically constructed” aesthetic that contain “hermetic symbolism and mystical nature imagery.”

Sargeist – “Dark Embrace, The” – [Moribund]

whngr   3/26/2021   7-inch, A Library

Wintry Norse Valor

Black Metal from Finland. Cold, dark, and seething. This 2008 recording emphasizes drums and guitars and, sadly, is mixed well (I like mine’s RAAAW). However, still sounds crusty (like old snow) and emphatic though it slightly lacks that underground, cvlt quality that this miserable volunteer tends to be drawn to. Is that why this is the first Sargeist recording to be added to our library? Too mainstream? Too palatable? Are they cancelled due to their political beliefs? Dunno, but it slays well in its nice, tight, mildly offensive package. 

Vacuum Tree Head – “Rhizomique” – [Pest Colors Music]

SlartiBartfast   3/24/2021   A Library, CD

“Rhizomique” is an experimental trip through a Jazz, Spoken Word, Funk, and Rock fusion explosions. This 2019 release on Pest Colors Music is a tasty musical treat of short, musical explorations into the multitude of melding genres VTH is know for. This release is no different, as those fluid genres are tightly woven into this deliciously tight EP length CD. “Rhizomique” has plenty of musical whims to keep the most curious of listeners entertained. I sense the need to point your future listening attention to VTH’s Nubdug incarnation. 

Christmas Decorations – “Communal Rust” – [Community Library]

whngr   3/22/2021   A Library, CD

Whimsical Guitar Glitch

A genuine oddity that resists rote categorization and is a notably challenging album with layers of sleepy slide guitar over arrhythmic electronics and absurd sound collage that attempt to soothe one side of my brain (ineffectively) and unravel the other (with some marked success). Uniquely dichotomic like a dream filled with anxiety riddled twitches or perhaps having a glaucoma test (the one where they blow a puff of air at your eyes… “Hold still and look at the blue dot.”) while receiving a crystal powered chakra cleanse or a relaxing back massage, with myriad sounds that ultimately have the same effect on my sound saturated awareness. Six reviews for me this week and I’m afraid what remains of my mind is starting to go. This album reminds me a little of the Soundtrack to the graphic novel, “Upgrade Soul” but might pair well with Daniel Clowes’ “A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron”, though “Communal Rust” has slightly more capricious and buoyant characteristics than aforementioned and essential graphic novel. Christmas Decorations are/were Nick Forté, Peter Kerlin, and Steve Silverstein from New York.

Glueams – “Glueams” – [Static Age Musik]

whngr   3/22/2021   7-inch, A Library

Pre-Grauzone ’79 female-fronted punk from Berne, Switzerland.

Fucking great. Raw, tight, high-energy Rock-‘n-Roll sung in their native tongue (Bernese). Jangly guitars, hand-claps, angry-dancy, fucking rad, and doesn’t sound at all dated to my floppity ears. 

Shoulda’ given this 7″ to Zero Gravity to discover what he would have written but I wanted to round out the other slightly harsh sounds I intend to add to our library this week.. It’s not Kleenex and they’re not X-ray Specs but they’re not tryin’ to be. They’re their own thing and I wish I coulda’ been there.
A bit of history exists online and in the enclosed booklet that mirrors what I understand to be the fledgling punk experience all over the world: friends go to see seminal (insert name here) band (in the case of Glueams, Sham69), forms own band and rocks it with vivacious aplomb, disbands and/or evolves (in our case the bassist and drummer leave to form Berne’s Grauzone) and their memory is lost to the annals of drug clouded, beer fueled history of our now slightly aged forbearers. This rerelease by Static Age Records includes a recently rediscovered song titled “Arsen” (Arsenic) with lovely throbbing bass, driving power-chords, and a sneer so fierce you can almost hear it through the angry barking vocals and the fog of time. One final note that deserves mentioning, Glueams is a meaningless word with an alusion to sniffing glue (as mentioned in the afore-mentioned booklet) “that was popular at the time”. So have a huff, and enjoy this stuff on your source for sticky fingers.

Copyright © 2021 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File