KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

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   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.

Flock – “Flock” – [Strut]

aarbor   6/7/2022   A Library, CD

Flock is a brand new collaboration between five leading musicians from London’s open-minded jazz and experimental scenes: Bex Burch , Sarathy Korwar, Dan “Danalogue” Leavers , Al MacSween and Tamar Osborn. Each performer plays a variety of instruments here. They gathered in London during the Summer of 2020, with the intention of trying something fresh. Some of the band had never met in person before the session. Burch wrote texts as scores for the session and the emphasis was on breathing and listening to each other. The music was freely improvised. Sometimes they chose to stay on form and rhythm, repeating melodies and groove. Each track has its own sound even though the instrumentation is consistent. The playing is outstanding. Probably the best new jazz release I’ve heard this year. AArbor

Massage – “Still Life” – [Bobo Integral Mountain St. Mtn]

humana   6/2/2022   12-inch, A Library

Think of how good you feel during a massage, and you’ll come close to the amazing feeling you’ll have as you listen to the songs on this release–nary a track that isn’t upbeat, pure pop joy. The vocals are smooth, the lyrics are sweet, the drums keep the guitars, keyboards, and bass in line. “Somersaults and summer days” (from A3) is about as good a descriptor as any for this entirely enjoyable album. There is really nothing still about the way it makes you feel.

Fisher, Mark & Barton, Justin – “On Vanishing Land” – [Flatlines]

humana   6/2/2022   12-inch, A Library

Fisher (RIP) and Barton took a walk along England’s Suffolk coast one day, and this album, which is really more of a docu-fictional aural experience, is the result. Barton’s narration of the walk is interspersed with interviews with people encountered on the walk, and all of this spoken word is set into music composed by ambient artists who are listed on the album. It is nearly impossible to figure out exactly whose music is accompanying the different narrations, but this is not of great consequence. The atmospheres are alternately eerie (very appropriate since Fisher, a cultural theorist specializing in hauntology) and calming. Read the liner notes and listen to the “dream within a dream,” and figure out what the sound is that comes back when the radar clicks mentioned at the end of Side B are sent out into the unknown. The land may be vanishing, but are we?

Contranistas – “Center Negative/Memory Divided By Time” – [Killer Kern]

humana   6/2/2022   7-inch, A Library

Although this Bakersfield duo has been called gloomy, I’d say their sound on this release matches the rather bright blue of the 7″ vinyl it’s etched into. “Center Negative” sounds rather positive to me, while “Memory Divided by Time” is bit more intense and you can hear more of the live looping sounds. The percussion, drums, and bass add to the atmosphere. You decide where it leads your mind. Personally, I like it both a lot.

Solo Se Oye Punk #4 [coll] – [Silenzio Statico]

beastofbourbon   6/1/2022   A Library, Cassette

This cassette released in 2013 by Los Angeles based Latino punk label Silenzio Statico put together this international compilation featuring some of the best and obscure bands from Finland to Brazil to Japan and anywhere in between. Mostly compiled from hard to find records from the 80s the music spans various genres including Anarcho-punk, Crust, Oi!, and melodic hardcore. The music is fast, aggressive and catchy but not abrasive or very long. There are only a few songs in English but song titles and some of the lyrical content that can be understood suggest it’s anti-war, anti-nuke, anti-totalitarian, anti-conformity and general human angst. The types of issues that are still relevant today.

Beast of Bourbon

Cryptae “Nightmare Traversal” [Sentient Ruin Laboratories]

atavist   5/31/2022   12-inch, A Library

Riffs with machine-like rhythms. Growling guitar sound that never roars, with a surprising amount of depth. Cryptae exhibit discipline and even some restraint. This is weird metal, doom leavened with an almost math-rock element. Simple patterns repeat and continuously evolve. The effect, in tracks like Oubliette, can swerve into the mesmerizing. Simply a guitarist and a drummer from the Netherlands, with deathy vokills buried in the mix. Maybe they used some other stuff in the studio, some synths maybe. The drummer is Rene Aquarius, current drummer for Dead Neanderthals, who also appeared on Coffin Lurker’s “Foul and Defiled” and Plague Organ’s “Orphan”, a 39 minute masterwork of menacing beauty within frenzied repetition. We also have one of his solo pieces in the library. Aquarius’s work helps contextualize Cryptae in the mathy and strange but starkly and uncompromisingly heavy terrain, here paired with relative newcomer Kees Peerdeman on guitars. Submit to the machine.

Krautzone – “The Complete Works” [Sulatron Records]

carsonstreet   5/31/2022   A Library, CD

Discogs describes Krautzone’s style as: “krautrock, space rock, ambient, psychedelic, free improvisation, drone, instrumental”. They are all that and more. Krautzone was a spontaneous collaboration of members from diverse bands (Electric Moon, Zone Six and The Pancakes). The Complete Works is a compilation of all three of Krautzone’s releases to date. It will take you on a magical trip blending all of the musical genres mentioned above while creating a unique style. Onkel Kaktus (bass), Lulu Neudeck (Drums), Rainer Neeff (Guitar), Martin Schorn (Synthesizer) and Dave Schmidt (Synthesizer, Organ).

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