KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Parisi, Alessandro – "Ascensione Progressiva" – [Medical Records]

cinder   9/11/2020   12-inch, A Library

Italiano producer, delivering some lush electro sounds. Has a soundtrack element to it, and veins of dark disco and electro-synth. Light airy female voices hover and suspend over the slower pounding beat, a perfect contrast. His bio includes: Influenced and enriched by mystical and esoteric experiences, has created a blend of retrofuture and dark-electro sound with references to past civilizations, harmonies and ancient sacred mysteries. You can definitely envision the UFO ideas this album projects.

Evicshen – “Hair Birth” – [American Dreams Records]

lexi glass   9/9/2020   12-inch, A Library

Evicshen is Victoria Shen, a sound artist working in Somerville, Mass. Shen began working with analog modular synths as an intern at Jessica Rylan’s Flower Electronics (Rylan’s work as Can’t most certainly can be found in our library), and later incorporated other homemade electronic instruments into her work. On Hair Birth, her first full-length LP, Shen extracts vivid psychedelic dreams from the Buchla 100 and Serge Modular synthesizers. Sustained tones, rhythmic sparks, blasts of coarse static, and bright electronic fizz all flow from the cables, and from the waves of synthesis her voice, distorted with effects, surfaces. Whirlwind tones and maniacal voices cast a dizzy spell “Funhouse Mirror Stage” (T4), and a creeping menace takes root on “Bolete” (T5). We’re flung along the twists and turns of the “Lissajous” (T6) before the final slow build to a “Fever Pitch” (T7). A wild ride, released on the Chicago experimental label American Dreams.

Kale, Karsh – "Liberation" – [Six Degrees Records]

aarbor   9/9/2020   A Library, CD

Born in England and raised in NY (Long Island), Karsh Kale (pronounced Kursh Kah-lay) became a drummer and tabla player, known for his “electric tabla”. He first came to my attention as a part of Bill Laswell’s Tabla Beat Science project (founded in 2000). He was the 1st ‘Indo-American” to be signed to a solo recording contract by a U.S. label. This is his 3rd full length album from 2003. The best known track is ‘Milan’ (Meeting of 2 Rivers) [4] which includes both Laswell and Zakir Hussain.

AArbor  

Toyota – “Toyota” – [Digital Regress]

mickeyslim   9/7/2020   12-inch, A Library

JD Power and Associates calls this San Franciscan project’s self-titled release the most monu-metal technological feat to date. Falling somewhere in-between Primus’ South Park theme song and the Revenge of the Nerds’ talent show performance, this nonsensical/mathy/punk-infused/wackiness is just what the witch doctor ordered.

Crumer, Jason – “Self Titled” – [Breathing Problem]

lexi glass   9/1/2020   A Library, CD

Boundaries between the real and the imagined dissolve on this masterful noise work from Philadelphia-based artist Jason Crumer (also the founder of the outstanding experimental label No Rent Records). Sounds of within – deep drones, and high-pitched ringing – meet the sounds of without – field recordings of doors slamming, rusted hinges swiveling, street sounds of footsteps and traffic, pencil meeting paper to scrawl a letter – sometimes blurring smoothly together, other times cutting abruptly from one scene to the next. Following this trail of fragmented memories leads to a grotesque vision of madness itself, a wild blast of horns and noise. I also want to note the album’s strange and beautiful artwork, surreal images to match the disc’s sounds by painter Justine Neuberger. From the Austin experimental label Breathing Problem Productions.

M. Pluckett -“Monocle Eye” -[Self Release]

mickeyslim   9/1/2020   A Library, CD

M. Pluckett’s “Monocle Eye” is the project of L. Rossi, a musician and visual artist based deep in the woods of New Hampshire, who does all the instrumentation, recording, mixing, and artwork in this release of 100 copies.

Six, short tracks of garage-y noise rock. Ghostly found-sounds and washed-out vocals hidden away in dust-covered boxes. Lead vocals that sometimes seem to be sung across the room through a telephone. The smokey-stoney-bluesy jams, quiet wistful scrapings, and rock-fueled descents into a deteriorating psyche coalesce into what should be considered a single piece; a movement which one can only hope will become part of a larger concept.

Each track has its own distinct flavor, making this EP accessible to most DJs here at KFJC. Play with impunity.

“Nothing’s there unless you let it in.”

Schrock, Jake – "Omnibus" – [Medical Records]

humana   8/24/2020   12-inch, A Library

Schrock’s songs on here will please anyone who enjoys electronics, synths, and music that flows sometimes like a river and other times has a more staccato beat. They have been characterized as dream gaze and futuristic, and there are certainly elements of both on this album. Listening to it is like feeling a refreshing wash of cool air on your skin after a blistering hot day. Enjoy.

Swoop and Cross – "Stories of Disintegration" – [Time Released Sound]

humana   8/24/2020   12-inch, A Library

Ruben Vale is the composer and musician creating the absolutely lovely music on this album. Portuguese but based in London, Vale has constructed a haven of simple beauty, where piano and other sounds surround you and pluck at your heartstrings in a way that suggests more a coming together than a disintegration, unless it’s a breaking down of barriers. These soundscapes are comforting in a quiet, epic way.

Truby Trio – A Go Go/Carajillo Remixes” – [Compost]

aarbor   8/19/2020   12-inch, A Library

3 very nice remixes of the Tuby Trio’s tracks A Gogo and Carajillo. The Truby Trio is Rainer Truby plus Roland Appel and Christian Prommer. Jazzanova remixes Carajillo. Jazzanova is a DJ collective from Berlin who’ve produced, mixed, curated and remixed music from many styles and places. A Gogo is remixed by Dj Muro and Boozoo Bajou. DJ Muro is Murota Takayoshi from Japan, a hip hop producer, DJ, remixer, and crate digger. Boozoo Bajou are (surpringly) from Nuremberg, Germany. Their style is downtempo and dubtronica with a Latin sensibility. I like them all! 

AArbor

Abdul-Rauf, Leila – “Diminution” – [Black Horizons]

whngr   8/15/2020   12-inch, A Library

Haunted dreamscape of longing, sorrow, and regret by one Leila Abdul-Rauf of Oakland’s death metal projects Vastum and Hammers of Misfortune and previous member of Amber Asylum and Bastard Noise.

Trumpets echo over barren landscapes, piano reverberate through open spaces as flakes of snow, or maybe ash, fall gently from the heavens. Shimmering abstractions entwine with wistful reflections of loss. Chimes dance slowly in the wind as a ghost train bellows in the distance. Smokey, delicate, and beautiful, Diminution is like a specter in the burned out rafters of unrequited love.

Tourette – “Jardin Du Sommeil Chant D’Amour Sur La Nuit Grandissante” – [Troniks]

lexi glass   8/14/2020   A Library, CD

From this album’s opening moments – a mournful piano repeating in a hypnotic loop as scrap metal thunder rumbles overhead – I was struck by its severe beauty. Tourette is Benjamin Clément of Montreuil, France. On these three longform pieces, he contrasts graceful sounds – piano, strings, otherworldly voices, brilliant ambience – with punishing storms of harsh noise. Artists who use pleasing sounds in noise have their naysayers, but Tourette proves that in the hands of a skillful composer, the lighter moments make the impact of the noise assault that much more powerful. This is one of the best records I’ve heard in some time, and a new favorite that I’ll continue to revisit.

Dream Skills – “Vol. 3 Signal & Decay” – [Fortissimo]

whngr   8/14/2020   12-inch, A Library

Quiet-minimalist-cerebral-electronic-ambient-birds-beats-bedlam. 

Brooding, bizarre, uplifting, sad, strange, a curious thread that ties (binds) then relinquishes. An interesting dichotomy unfolds, both soothing and slightly abstract. Solo project by Donald Grant Mills, founding Member of U.K.’s Action Beat, forgoes guitars in this sultry and intimate slide into synthesizer based sounds. I’m thinking Mobius Strip, Cinderaura, I’m feeling chill, relaxing in sequestration. I’ve got my head right, my solitude, and my wandering inner dialogue. Minimal vocals, some found sounds, weird levels, and a slightly unnerving tempo with varying moods though all of them feel very personal and introspective. A sprawling review can be found on the Dream Skills b-camp for those that are seeking a more exhaustive perspective. 

Müller, Anne – “Heliopause” – [Erased Tapes Records]

Medusa of Troy   8/12/2020   12-inch, A Library

He·li·o·pause   /ˈhēlēəˌpôz/

noun ASTRONOMY

: the boundary of the heliosphere.

noun MUSIC

: a new album by Berlin-based cellist and composer Anne Müller with 6 tracks that she wrote, recorded, arranged and produced. Müller takes her cello beyond the boundaries of classical music to something trance, chill, ambient. Transcendentally experimental, especially Track 1, “Being Anne,” which is played on a broken piano, combined with cello and drum loops. All of them are good, a personal favorite is Nummer 2 (track 3)- in this time of social isolation and uncertainty, it has the power to slow thoughts, deepen breathing and unknit tense muscles if you give yourself over to it. Don’t fight it, surrender to the strings and beats – you may end up in an entirely new headspace.

ORIGINAL MAMBO KINGS, THE – “An Introduction to Afro-Cubop 1948-1954” – [Verve Records]

aarbor   8/12/2020   A Library

Machito and his Orchestra with various guests: Mario Bauza, Flip Phillips and Charlie Parker  are center stage here, along with Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra, Andre’s All Stars and Howard McGhee and His Afro-Cuboppers. Other jazz heavy hitters also play here creating a star-studded lineup. Some well-known tunes like Caravan, and mostly ones you haven’t heard in a variety of styles; makes this a very versatile recording. Don’t overlook this one!

AArbor

MONTOYA, CARLOS – “Flamenco Antiguo” – [RCA Victor]

aarbor   8/12/2020   A Library

Master Flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya shows his brilliance here. The playing is spectacular. Whether or not you like Flamenco, his guy is the real deal. Apparently each selection was recorded in 1 take! This recording is from 1963 when he was doing a lot of recording and concerts.   He is credited with having transformed flamenco guitar into a separate musical style, not just the accompaniment to dance. His style is considered controversial and non-traditional, but you can’t argue with his playing and musicianship. AArbor

Sour Spirit – “Cataclysm, OK?” – [Self Release]

lexi glass   8/5/2020   A Library, Cassette

First addition to our library from this Philly experimental two piece of Rodnie King and Riot Dent. They floor it right out of the gate, ripping through the first four tracks with blasts of drums, filthy bass and monstrous screamed vocals. There’s hardly chance to catch your breath between the call to lose yr shit on the dance floor (T5), a hip hop interlude on the slow suffocation of being black in America (T6), a sludgy, squirming jam (T7), and an increasingly familiar moment of disbelief, where there’s no words but “oh, fuuuuuck” (T8). The tape runs out with total noise breakdown of “endless death” (T9), while the last couple tracks swerve into oncoming traffic to end it all. Recorded and self released in 2017, but hits just right during the current cataclysm.

FCC T8

Dagger – “Writhing In The Light of The Moon” – [Lengua Armada Discos]

whngr   8/3/2020   7-inch, A Library

Aggressive low fidelity hardcore punk with hooks from Crown Point and Hammond, Indiana ca. 2017.

Shrieking, down strokes, tinny, fast, four guys, one-two, angry, and good. Have a listen, then a look at the four part docu-series of their first tour and decide for your fucking self:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=29&v=aaHlj43lgx0&feature=emb_logo

Za Frumi – “Tach” – [Waerloga]

whngr   8/2/2020   A Library, CD

Pan flutes and bongos, ambient cave sounds, synthesizers, and Orcish musings. Not sure if they are inspired by Tolkien, World of Warcraft, or both but it is pretty absurd, simplistic, and difficult to sink one’s teeth into. Points for being Swedish and releasing their first album before the Lord of the Rings movies.I was introduced to Za Frûmi when we added “Za Shum Ushatar Uglakh” to the library last year and after hearing to the review but before listening the album I was pretty bummed that I wasn’t the first volunteer to be considered for any and all Orc-synth reviews. I guess they just don’t know me that well yet, I thought. But now that I have been saddled with “Tach” I slightly resent having to absorb and review it. Honestly it is pretty lame, niche, and makes me think about what the night-shift worker at the AM/PM might record when they had to work the weekend of the renaissance fair. That said, it is so far off the beaten path that I find it hard to imagine anyone else trying to add to this extremely esoteric genre. Making it so nerdy and cult that I am obligated to champion (if softly) this project (for a little while anyway). 

Namanax – “Cascading Waves of Electronic Turbulence” – [Release Records]

whngr   8/1/2020   A Library, CD

Namanax is mid-weight to harsh electronic noise from James Plotkin (O.L.D., Khanate, et al.), Bill Yurkiewicz (Exit-13, Pica, Purge), and Kipp Johnson (Also of Purge, Candiru, Elixir) and all three are in Solarus.
Track 1 is pretty intense, unrelenting and relatively short (11:39) when measured up against the second track (47:01) which has a trembling pulse that stretches through its entirety. There is some structure to the dissonance, white-noise, and near subsonic sounds that act as a beat of sorts. Hypnotizing and methodical with intermittent jarring stabs of crunchy noise. Again, after a while I begin to hear voices but they come from within my brain as this kind of repetition has a way of exciting my language center. It seems though the words lack meaning they allude to self preservation and perseverance.

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