Music Reviews

21.PERON – “Anlatamiyorum ” – [Arkaplan]

Thurston Hunger   10/23/2005   7-inch, A Library

Turkish troupe from the 70’s, adding this as a teaser to a
more sweeping full-length to be added to KFJC’s arsenal soon.
Here’s we’ve got a pretty straight forward peppy pop tune
on the first side, followed by violin leading a bass line
though a forest of synthesized mushrooms sprouting up. The
violin gives it a bit of a bumpkin feel, but the synth is
prog rock do its very squishy Keith Emerson soul. Then in
races the little competing fuzzed out guitar line in
contra-melody to the violin. Never quite breaks the
atmosphere to galactic crossings, but has a nice ride in
the stratosphere side to it. I found the full-length more
compelling, even more Byzantine one could say, and for that
we now go to our reporter, Pete Dixon…

Jahcoozi – “Black Barbie ” – [Kitty Yo]

Thurston Hunger   10/23/2005   12-inch, A Library

Man this is THUMPING music, maximus. Bound to provoke
involuntary muscle twitch, with an aroma of aphrodesia,
and occasional laughgasms. Something about this is just as
funny as it is sexy…and well super stupid. It’s not just
the work of vocal lolita Sasha Perera. The bass lines are
wide for the ride, the drum machines get giddy (especially
on “Tourist Guide”) On “Black Barbie” there’s this great war
whooping along with popping bubbles of champagne carbonated
with cartoon bullets bouncing around. The photo of this fine
picture disc is worth 1000 words and a couple of grams out
in the alley. This thing reaks of a party, that musty sweat
and stale beer scent, along with a general dizziness. In the
haze, you almost think you hear Santana getting copped on
the second version of “Black Barbie.” Look out towards the
end of that track (A2) it boops over to blooperville including
a fun and big ol’ “FUCK” that launches into a rapid fire set
of rhymes that takes the faux studio audience on a roller
coaster. Even more risky, if you play this at 33 instead of
45 RPM, you’re going to give Sasha a sexchange.

Necks, the – “Photosynthetic ” – [Long Arms]

Thurston Hunger   10/23/2005   A Library, CD

The dew point of focus, the combination of concentration of
thought and concentrations of water. This album hangs on
the precipice of precipitation. One lengthy 42 minute track
builds like a storm, and again showcases the Necks strength
in heavily repeated passages with subtle variation as a form
of audio hypnosis. The piece begins with Chris Abrahams’
contemplative piano fluttering, Lloyd Swanton sinks a primal
bass anchor note into the mix…and Tony Buck gently makes
his entrance brushfully jumping from cymbal to cymbal, like a
tiny frog going slowly from lillipad to lillipad. A key with
the Necks is their pacing…even though the piano flurries
whip around, they move as a unit in such a relaxed manner
it is the perfect tonic for freeway deathrace automatic
instantaneous technopolis that blankets much of the earth.
As the piece goes on, Swanton in particular gets to get a
little gutter-nutter, and he sort for chases away Abrahams
fluttering. The rain never pours down, but it does sort of
get sprayed about on this before the sound all just finally
dries up. Another solid release in the Necks tradition,
the more you put into it the more you gain, as the hyper
attentive Russian audience learned at DOM (an anagram for
home in Russian). This CD’s a reign-maker if you will.

Invisible Pyramid [coll] – [Last Visible Dog Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/15/2005   A Library, CD

Lawdy this is massssssssssiiiiiivvvvvveee!
Each disk alone is more than a meal, the calvacade of artists
would be a festival to end all festivals. Free rock mining
yields a motherloding mind-rush. Somewhere in the psych melee
that is Bardo Pond’s “Bufo Periglenes” my heart stopped cold,
I died, I disappeared. Only to rematerialize in an acoustic
rebirth at that song’s end. Fun with Fonal friends, and I
remain convinced that Steven R. Smith has dialed my psychic
connection line, nice metamorphosis in his moth’s middle.
Breathing exercises with fair Fursaxa, the long tooth of
Wolfmangler, static triangulation via Ashtray Naviations,
A loony parade from Avarus, dodo-a-gogo? Or a-gone, aghast.
The cuts share that LVD appreciation for sonic vortices
with artists given ample time to explore phase shifting.
Meanwhile titularly the pieces tribute those gone before
us. The sound lives on past their extinction…the story of
the Huia alone is lamentable. And what of the Drunken Fish
its legacy lives on etched in vinyl as surely as this CD
six-pack will leave its rings around for future fossil
finders. High accolades to Chris for shooting the Moon,
and praise be to Dog!

Bishop, Alan (Alvarius B) – “Blood Operatives of the Barium ” – [Abduction]

Thurston Hunger   10/15/2005   12-inch, A Library

The best bluesmen, they always had flies on their tongues,
and the best drinkers, well they swallowed the blood of their
young…childish gods among men. They spoke in riddles, and
choked metaphors in their beds till they lost their heads and
wound up like synecdoches running around like all hands on
deck. Alavarius B might be Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls,
he also might be the cloaked figure prying open your bedroom
window to slip in beside your dreams…astride the corpses
there piling up like the murder ballads Johnny Cash is singing
in heaven before being resurrected as the very acoustic guitar
now crumbling in the hands of Alavarius B. Aurora ourorboro
Alice could have done so well to have fallen through a hole
into this wonderland of song and strummage. One foot in
courage, one foot in confrontation. Heads are gonna rock and
heads are gonna roll here. There are some bad words, there
are some worse people…they all show up here to look at you
in the mirror. This is Herman Melville’s favorite album,
and mine too right now.

Horton, Robert – “Just Before…Setting the Sky ” – [Barl Fire Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   10/15/2005   A Library, CD

Holy ping-pong, local artist Robert Horton bounces his music
across the pond to Barl Fire-brand Simon Allen, who releases
it and sends us a copy of this slice of psycho-active sound.
Horton covers his sonic tracks in an array of odd acoustic
and electric instruments (evidently including “sheep’s toes”)
the listener is never quite sure what exactly their ears are
floating in. Dan Plonsey is in the mix as well for some bean
and brain bending. Some acoustic scrape and drone-groan of
strings are evident in the earlier pieces, they never hit a
sort of Alastair Galbreath or Steven R. Smith emotional
critical mass, instead most pieces seem content to dwell in
suspended soundlight and live electronics. Pieces here often
play with the space that Pelt likes, the moment *before* the
event happens, for some this can provoke anxiety and in
extreme cases an odd outburst (check out track #13). The last
track dices up that moment into discrete blips.

Kervorkian – “Who Is Who ” – [Day After Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/15/2005   7-inch, A Library

Czech mating of eastern european ire and english lyrics. A
loud and proud “FUCKING” is going to save the best track for
the DJ’s of the night. That track “Pink Panther” opens the
B-side with a whispering witch’s brew of incantation and bass
before the drums start to whip the piece towards the edge of
a cliff, guitar scraping along the way. Excellent stop/start
dynamics and very precise percussion keep this one on edge.
A quick breather and then a short slugfest with lyrics that
get lost in the mirrors of mind. On the A-side, “Who is Who”
takes a nice crooked drum solo into a bridge out of a pretty
straight-forward straight-edge number. “The Magic Box” has a
Detroit, Rock City kinda swagger. Not a lethal injection, but
a good enough reason to live… Which I’m not sure this band
did, this came out back in 1999 and I haven’t found much
further evidence of survival.

Blackshaw, James – “Celeste ” – [Barl Fire Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   10/15/2005   A Library, CD

Sometimes a simple acoustic guitar becomes much more than a
guitar, it opens up like a church, with its nave disappearing
through the heavens. Or maybe its wood somehow recollects an
earlier existence in an isolated idyllic forest? Blackshaw’s
12-strings resonate with a single mindedness here, especially
on the initial slice of “Celeste.” That shines with the same
dark power and glory that often Six Organs emit. There are
several passages where it sort of finds a cycle to rest and
revitalize in before launching forth again, it just breathes
so perfectly. Also with the open tuning, you get the shimmer
of harmonics cast atop the piece at times. Evidently young
Mr. Blackshaw (in his early 20’s ?’? but definitely offering
sonic timelessness) went wandering about New Zealand (which
recalls another tale of intro guitar travel-revelry from
Roy Montgomery). The open C surrounds these two tracks,
moving from the moody minor through a fog of farfisa and
drifts of delay and winding up in the sunshine spiral and
-uick major key trills of the closing piece. More please…

Camille Sauvage “Fantasmagories” [Zippy]

cujo   10/14/2005   A Library, CD

Many listens later, I still have no clue what’s going on. I definitely have no idea who Camille Sauvage is. Pseudonym for a French percussionist? Is this a soundtrack? A concept album? Is it Jazz? If you know, please let us (ahem, me) know here in the comments section!

The music is very well described as the unholy love-child of Henry Mancini, those West Side Story drum outbursts, and a circus funhouse. Indeed, after the first few minutes I was reminded of Fantomas? Delirium Cordia release, but it veers away from such heaviness quickly. It seems as if it’s played by a traditional jazz band. Half the tracks are a bit ambient (especially 7,8, 12) and tend towards the background, the other half demand some attention. Very heavy on the drums (especially tracks 4 and 9) and random percussion instruments (especially track 10), including vibes (especially 3, 11) and an occassional jew’s harp appearance (6). Those hungry for some human presence will not find much; some finger snapping on track 6 and the briefest of appearance of a female voice (maybe) on the quiet track 11. Many of the earlier tracks end in a short burst of activity. All the crazy titles make the album out to be creepier than it actually is; nevertheless, added just in time for Halloween!

-Cujo, October 2005

Krzysztof Penderecki “Musica da Camera” [Wergo]

cujo   10/14/2005   A Library, CD

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Gosh-darn, I want to play some chamber music soooo bad. But I don’t want any of that namby-pamby Beethoven stuff, not even the late quartets, not even the Grosse Fugue! I need angry Polish people beating their instruments, scraping their cellos? private parts, extruding sounds from their fingerboard. Maybe instead I want newer, calmer music that can soothe and sound good, plagal cadences be damned!. Heck, I’ll even stoop so low as to settle for a clarinet, ‘I’m this hungry. And I only have 10 minutes til my next air break!?
Well, have I got the answer for you. Praise the heavens for this Wergo release of (most of) KP’s chamber music, all short pieces perfectly suited for our break clock. KP is mostly known for his larger-scale works, but these small works prove that KP is the real deal, the total package, a genius large and small. The 1950s student-era works are have the most classical bent to them (especially the Sonata), dig the Webernian atmosphere in the 3 violin miniatures. The 3 works from the 1960s have the most adrenaline and percussiveness to offer; the two quartets are just crazy (remember #2? I think it’s the bed over which Linda Blair throws up…) and the Capriccio is a solo cello showpiece. The 1970s? Apparently quite forgettable. The 1980s pieces all are much calmer, the Gedanke is almost saccharine, the viola Cadenza rivals Berio’s sequenzae, and Per Slava, while it has the name-drop going for it, turns out to be the least engaging piece on the disc – blame the not-Slava cellist? I was taken by pleasant surprise by the two clarinet pieces, the Prelude especially. And the longest piece at 13:35 is the 1991 String Trio, a virtuosic whopper, a return to a more visceral and threatening style: fierce repeated chords heralding solo meditations, finishing with a frenzied fugue. -Cujo, October 2005

Is Orange Birds [coll] – [Marriage Records] (CD)

lombard   10/12/2005   A Library, CD

This is a 2004 collection from Portland, Oregon-based Marriage Records. It’s a variety of indie pop and mild experimentation of the spare, lofi, DIY variety. There’s female vocals from Manta (you’d swear it was Sarah Dougher’but it’s Portland’s Marianna Ritchie), international percussive flavor from White Rainbow, wacky electronics from Yacht and an embedded Police cover from The Blow. A nice little sample from Marriage. (Added 10-5-2005)

-Cynthia Lombard

Bats, The – “At the National Grid” – [Magic Marker] (CD)

lombard   10/12/2005   A Library, CD

Legendary New Zealand pop-rock band The Bats return with their first album in 10 years (they’ve been around for 23). It’s pleasant, jangly guitar pop with nice harmonizing vocals. It definitely harkens back to the best of the 80s and 90s guitar bands, with mesmerizing workouts ala their NZ cohorts and American bands like Yo La Tengo. Alastair Galbraith provides violin on a few tracks. This is a beautiful, contemplative, moody and catchy release from 2005. (Added 10-5-2005)

-Cynthia Lombard

Duplex – “Ablum” – [Mint Records] (CD)

lombard   10/12/2005   A Library, CD

This is a fun, kid-like poppy record that seemed like a cross between Trachtenburg Family, King Kong and Jad Fair. Upon closer inspection it turns out that this Vancouver, British Columbia-based group is comprised of kids and adults and the release is meant to be an adult-friendly kids? album. The kids on here include 3-year-old Abe Caruso on xylophone, harmonica and rattles. A couple of 11-year-olds are also members. Enjoy the songs about salad, monkeys, robots, camels and a wacky number about Bethlehem. They also cover one of my favorite ‘School House Rock? songs’the somber ‘Figure 8.’

-Cynthia Lombard

Huebner, Louise – “Louise Huebner’s Seduction Through Witchcraft” – [Infinite Zero/American]

ophelia necro   10/7/2005   A Library, CD

This hard to find gem of an album was originally released in 1969 on the Warner Brothers/Seven Arts Records, it was re-released in 1996 on the Infinite Zero label and again in 2007 on 180 gram vinyl…Louise Huebner is a modern day, 6th generation witch, 3rd generation astrologer and a psychic. She became the Official Witch of Los Angeles County in 1968. She is the author of the books “Power Through Witchcraft” and “Never Strike a Happy Medium”, as well as the writer of syndicated newspaper columns and magazine articles. This spoken word offering is accompanied by music written for the album. The music sounds similar to the soundtrack to Forbidden Planet which is no coincidence since it was created by Louis and Bebe Barron (composers for Forbidden Planet, Louise’s husband Mentor Huebner was an illustrator for the film). Lots of manipulated sounds emitting from “Cybernetic Circuits” with serious effects used on her breathey voiced incantations.12 tracks in all including magic spells for Tender Love (8), Orgies (5), Magical Protection (3), Romantic Adventure (7), Seduction Spells from Around the World (9), etc.Sexually charged material well suited for night time listening. Louise suggests listening in a dark room while burning incense and one candle. I say burn two and call me in the morning.


Venetian Snares – ?The Chocolate Wheelchair Album? – [Planet Mu Records] – 33 rpm

Hunter Gatherer   10/4/2005   12-inch, A Library

Venetian Snares is Canadian producer Aaron Funk. Released in October 2003, this album was originally titled The Stupid Chocolate Wheelchair Album for some reason by Mr. Funk but cooler heads prevailed.

The music on this release is not at all like the music on the Rossz Csillag Allat Szuletett that we added earlier this year. This is drill ‘n? bass glitch-core, with messed up beats that have been crumbled, fractured, rubbed in static and glued back on the vinyl using a combination sequencer/Uzi for your listening pleasure. This is angry, violent, frenetic, and somehow clean music that doesn’t make you want to smash things so much as take them apart carefully piece by piece.

Some highlights: A1 features a sample of X-Ray Spex Oh Bondage, Up Yours. A2 is a Motley Crue song that has been taken apart and put together with some pieces left over. B1 is named for a paper by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen that predicted wormholes in space-time. C1 has a messed up Sesame Street theme song lift at the end. All tracks feel like they are jammed with an album’s worth of ideas.

–Hunter Gatherer

Murphy, Roisin – “Sequins ” – [Chrysalis Records Ltd.]

Hunter Gatherer   10/4/2005   12-inch, A Library

This is the first of three limited edition EPs (500 pressed) by Roisin Murphy (formerly of Moloko) co-written and co-produced by Matthew Herbert. Some members of his Big Band are helping out as well. All four songs on this EP can also be found on her latest LP Ruby Blue.

Ms. Murphy has a beautiful, soulful voice that is somewhere between sultry and nutty (both of which are extremely sexy especially when coming from a redhead). The backing music has looping electronics and loping brass, with discernable elements of Northern Soul, Tom Waits, electronica, and jazzy lounge.

The lyrics are about breaking up, bitter recriminations, and looking back on your former lover and wondering just what the hell you saw in that person. This makes the album just that much more accessible.

The more I played it the more I liked it. Cool.

–Hunter Gatherer

Cerberus Shoal – “Chaiming the Knoblessone ” – [North East Indie Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/4/2005   A Library, CD

Maine schemers outside the Maine stream. Art rock is a pretty big bin that idiots mistake for a trash can (the rest of us know it’s heaven). I don’t know much about the specific members of this Shoalition, but I suspect they run from their day jobs to get together at some sort of hodge-podge-lodge brimming with odd audio sources and esoteric instruments. Let me enumerate just some of the things I love about this

o songs that have lots of segments/stops/starts

o a multitude of voices, not always harmonious

o sense of humour throughout (not just on #4)

o touches of antiquity alongside the avantgarde
banjo, victola-sounding vox, ramshackle piano
along side extraterrestials

I’m curious how much rehearsal goes into these pieces as they are pretty broad, but the musicians never sound bored. A project defined more by what they will try than what they won’t.

All Scars – “Lunar Magus ” – [Dischord]

Thurston Hunger   10/4/2005   A Library, CD

Just add Amy Domingues! Folks who recall her work in “Telegraph Melts” will expect some searing cello and not be disappointed. Meanwhile two stalwart Scars, Jerry Busher and Chuck Bettis are still in the mix. Bettis trumpet is resonating in SpaceHeads style, and his vocals go from crumbling yokel to renegade prophet. Busher is less a basher than a cold slap of a drummer, and a cold slap is just what is needed for this high anxiety, and divinely disturbed release. Working in Washington DC, could only add to the paranoia that makes this release so compelling. I really think that the tension knotted up by adding Domingues takes a solid group to stellar status. The leadoff track almost gets you wrapt before musicus interruptus, at the center “Walpurgis Nacht” delivers a deceptive still point but as the tracks grow higher in number, so does the amount of complete shizothematic breaks in
each “song.” Sharp juxtapositions appear that work in an unconventiional manner. Each cut, each Scar as unique as a snowflake burnt on your ear.

Riley2C Terry – 22You27re Nogood 22 – 5BCortical Foundation5D

Thurston Hunger   10/3/2005   A Library, CD

From a man who’s spent time “In C” and ridden a
“Rainbow in Curved Air”, we get two other sides
of Terry Riley…part of the 60’s experimental set
of modern classical “maverick” composers. We get
one disk excerpting an hour from an all night
concert performed in 1967. Snake-charming tape
loops and organ cycles, wind thru your ears down
behind the ribcage and seize/squeeze your heart.
Pulse and ply (If you dig it, track down Riley’s
“Persian Surgery Dervishes” release!!)

A bonus CD features an R&B song plunderphunked for 20 minutes, the title of which was “You’re No Good.”Allegedly Riley did some concerts as Poppy Nogood, so he was struck by the synchronicity of this soulful ditty. Indeed, he *was* NoGood! but thetwistorama he performs is SoGood, albeit long. Still it captivates me on every listen with its simple delay, overlays and stereo-separation. All done well before there were simple software buttons to push to do so.
-Thurston Hunger

Places, the – “Autopilot Knows You Best, the ” – [Absolutely Kosher Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   A Library, CD

Are you people ready to mope! I know I am,
and singer/strummer belle-on-a-bummer Amy
Annelle is. She just may put The Places on the
musical map. It’s a slo-core center of vox,
guitar and drums weighted and antiquated with
dulcimer, fiddle and banjo. Her vox are way
up front, often multi-tracked to multiply the
whispery intimacy. It’s a slow dance with the
saddest princess at the ball. Many tracks
segued with Forties style news bulleting
snippets, kind of a jarring juxtaposition to
the overall mood. Syd Barrett cover, debut
of this band from Portland (Amy’s had solo
singer/songslinger things out before)

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