KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Blast – “A Sophisticated Face ” – [Cuneiform Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

European electric cerebral prog-jazz
contrast this to the Flying Lute’s
who commit crazed crimes of passion,
Blast perpetuates meticulous musical
mischief. Hard to apprehend w/ quick
changing time signature disguises,
suspenseful drumming & the precision
of an assasin. Chamber accomplices
(violin and cello) add to this maze
of masterminded mayhem. Angular and
aggressive, but ultimately quite/too
calculated.

Tlon Uqbar – “La Bola Perdida ” – [Staalplaat]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Future ancient music being issued
right now, at the center of the
paradox, a stillpoint that is
actually vibrating like the tibetan
bell at the center of the universe.
Synth shadows lurk, samples to
remind us of the world we’ve come
from. But that place has vanished
instead we’re surrounded by a sonic
sense of darkness. But no fear here.
A good trip. Borges is your guide.

Abunai! – “Mystic River Sound, the ” – [Camera Obscura]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

I must confess, at first I imagined this as
a Gordon Lightfoot tribute album. Done with
a psych palette of fuzzy guitar colors and
effects. The mystic river I guess is akin
to the sort of sea shanties I associate by
the sea shore with Gordo. Nope, it’s a mock
compilation with Abunai trying on band
names like Sybil tried on personalities,
though with less variety. Abunai! sets sail
from Boston with a crooning chorus crew,
viking-oar strong bass lines & shipwrecked
guitar squalls. Chase the great white pop.
-Call me Fishmeal…….

Ghost Orchid, the – “Ghost Orchid, the ” – [Ash International]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

You’ve got to suspend a lot of
doubt to get into this…but it’s
still kind of fun. The use of
special argot for Electronic Voice
Phenomena, gives this the feel of
a really good old sci-fi film. Is
EVP a hoax, or perhaps a ruse, or
maybe just maybe the first known
instances of backward masking.
Lots of commentary between examples
…hopefully our signal will vary
enough so that someone else can
pick KFJC up accidentally & answer
their mysterious questions.
Ouija board op!

Panicsmile – “We Cannot Tell You Truth,Again ” – [God Mountain]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Martial punk arts? I think this is
yet another arm of Tatsuya Yoshida.
He’s got to have more than just two…
Short sharp blasts of explosive guitar
and precision percussion. And vocals
that don’t suck…I sure wish I knew
what they were scream-singing. Too
precise for punk, too many weird jazz
chords for metal…too short for prog.
“Anderson 31” is the only extended
piece (a Molecular tribute to Ron?’)
Money back guarantee on this

Oneida – “Enemy Hogs ” – [Turnbuckle Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Really fine frenzy rock with psyche
flavorings…out of New Yawk…
raucous rollus…keyboard charm…
Fits in with all those high-energy
bands…the sneer of the Lynnfield
Pioneers, occasional Make-Up pouting
and at best Irving Klaw Kraziness.
Infectious, driving, testosterone
choruses, fuzzy. Turn It Up (Loud)
done with a boys school in tote.
These are the real Americans.

Carney, Ralph – “I Like You (A Lot) ” – [Birdman]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Anachronistic Akronian issues more
anarchy in this his second solo. Picture
a big kid with all of his toys out of the
toy chest, on the floor, and a four-track
capturing it all. Penny-whistles, nickel-
plated bells, dime-store autoharps and a
priceless sense of humour. Tibetan bells,
horns and drum machines…all sorts of
ouds and ends. He’s a throwback to the
future. A rich and diverse menu, unlike
the fine Ralph Sounds here the tracks
are less snacks, and more meals. Order
anything…have seconds and thirds…
you’ll like it…a lot. -Pee Wee Hunger

Growden, Mark – “Downstairs Karaoke ” – [Wiggle Biscuit Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Remember the kid who always had incredible
Halloween costumes. That kid grew up to
be Mark Growden. Lots of costumes here:
court jester, Ted Nugent fan, Tom Waits’
body double (built from junk-yard parts
just like the original), lonely yodeling
prophet in the wilderness, Nick Drake
singing about toast. It’s so cool to hear
an artist using such a large palette and
two persimmons to boot. The album starts
out frolicsome, but mounts in power with
a penultimate Frippertronic folk mantra
and a towering last track that literally
leaves us breathless. A masterpiece of
tricky treats.

Miniatures Concretes [coll] – [Empreintes Digitales]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Odd hodge-podge of spastic scholastics.
Information overload soundscapes, short
suites of microrazors that cross your
blood-brain barrier. I saw lot’s o little
gremlins wearing velcro getting naked
and/or getting squished. The last track
stands out…it’s like looking at a
pop song sideways. Seemed to be more on
the electro/processing side than the
acoustic…Onomatopoetic onanism?

Adult Rodeo – “Kissyface, the ” – [Shimmy-Disc]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

wisted pop w/ real imitation twang. Sure
no calories, but no ponderous pretention
or tiresome tension neither…and hey
there is Vitamin B – Banjo! That banjo’s
like the ratty ol’ afghan your grandma
made for you! Snuggly songs. Too maudlin
for you Mr. Electro? Don’t fret there’s
plenty o’ honest synth too. This is like
an album of knitted cozies for casios!
Just try not to have as much goofy fun
listening to this as they did making it.
I dare ya!
All-night pancake house jamboree.

Normandeau, Robert – “Figures ” – [Empreintes Digitales]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Normandeau Fr. Canadian brainiac, sound
academon purveyor of “acousmatics”
(huh, is that electro-psycho-acoutics?)
You end up here with involved tape
collage, plenty of headphonery…and
enough sound to fill your ears and
overflow into your eyes. I like the
attention deficit disorder which propels
these tracks, Normandeau’s never content
to linger with one warped sound for too
long. Liner notes figure importantly…
he’s a protege of “Frankenstein” Dhomont
#3 is the most peaceful, mind the quiet
bits.

Schwermut Forest – “Sort of ” – [Kollaps]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   12-inch, A Library

German Engineering rock like clockwork.
The promise of the 7″ has been traded
in for pretty straight ahead rock here
w/ no subtitles. Cool horn flavorings
help keep the motors running, and at
times there’s a sense of ska riding on
the back of a Tortoise. Little tangly
guitar lines (no-wave echoes?’) and
crisp percussion keep this on ze Autobahn.
There’s not many detours into peculiar
places, it’s a sunshiny seatbelt drive.
I might’ve been hurt by high expectations,
your mileage may vary.

Amacher, Maryanne – “Sound Characters ” – [Tzadik]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Mad scientist, sonic architect Maryanne
Amacher often resisted making CD’s of her
work, as the form inhibits/limits what
her goal is. Sound in space. Often a
certain space. And not a boom box or
headphones. Here you’ve got aggressive
drones, alternating between volcano
dungeon coarsers and these twitchy
high-register square-wave tinklers.
Read the liner notes, and try some of
this loud…in a room. Perhaps not ideal
radio, definitely psychoacoustic art.
For the temples by your temples

End of Law, the [coll] – [Sub Rosa]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

An army of artists(Iggy, Burroughs, Patti
Smith, Bill Laswell, Gen P. Orridge…)
wander out into the desert, past the rock,
into the poetry in search of the source
of a sinister trinity of drugs, violence
and sex. (No, our age holds no patent on
these) Emerging from shifting sound dunes
is not a man, but a myth…whose shadow
and spectre are larger than truth and lies
combined. Anecdotes and ancient texts hewn
out of high-tech, hi-fi, hieroglyphics.
Hassan-i-sabbah superstar?

Toe 2000 – “Toe 2000 ” – [Truckstop Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Chicago cross-pollination. Lab rock meets
Kraut rock meets ?’?. Adding Osaka-mama,
blues belle Yoko is intriguing; a sultry
slur, slipping in and out of Japanese/
English adds a welcome warmth. Not Emi
demi-semi-quivering sexiness, but it’s
nice to have a human passenger on this
future-sonic-subway even if she’s not on
every track. A more active Jeff Parker
would be cool too methinks, check #9
and #6 (akin to Dead Man sdtk). Big
ballooning bass sort of (Jah) Wobbled
my weebelos the wrong way in parts here.

Thomas, David & Pale Orchestra – “Mirror Man ” – [Thirsty Ear Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Mirror, mirror on the road…A travelin’
show here, mod vaudeville song-speak in
surreal-sound. Papa Pere Ubu conjures
up Kerouac and poet Bob Holman(whole-man?)
completes him. A story in snapshots & old
song snippets: neon signs and neon symbols.
Pale Orch luminaries include ghostrumpet
from Andy Diagram!!, carney-barking from
David Hild, Peter Hamill hoverguitar, vox
guests (Linda Thompson!)…but right now
I think Jack Kidney’s the heart of the
sound, pumping harmonica and sax. Thomas
wonder/wanders the same Lost Highway that
Lynch did. Funny how well Thomas can see
America from London. This is as inviting
as a full tank of gas!

Angels of Light, the – “New Mother ” – [Young God Records/Sky]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Swan’s songs sung, Body Lovers and Haters
ensuing, and now this M. Gira’s latest
project, the damned divine Angels of Light.
A paradoxically distrubed peacefulness
permeates this album. Jaded beauty, both
in Gira’s pensive vox and in the sonic
combinations of electronics and acoustic
instruments. Shadowy sounds. Ballads that
sound like they were composed by the
smartest prisoner on the cell block.

Spaceheads W/ Max Eastley – “Universal Head Expansion Vol 1 ” – [None]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

The Spaceheads are Andy Diagram (trumpet,
fx) and Richard Harrison (drums. monkey),
now go tell 10 people about them. They are
truly an outstanding and innovative act.
Andy can pitchshift, sample and delay
his horn from tuba depths to forlorn train
to alien siren…and Richard’s deft
accompaniment borders on clairvoyance.
Think electric Miles ambienscapes for
indie sci-fi flicks. They’ve started this
Series to invite a third to their tandem.
Max Eastley is a sound architect/installer
here he plays his “monochord” creation,
plucking, bowing, scraping. This is a pre-
release CDR in search of a label. Damn old
CD burnology gapped some tracks that should
segue, still a majestic release.

Lombardo, Dave and Friends – “Vivaldi : the Meeting ” – [Thirsty Ear Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Look I like unholy unions as much as anyone
but maybe the maitre’d shouldn’t have
“E Coli” tattooed on his forehead, and
maybe you don’t need to know about your
boss’ cock ring. This is a sort of “Bill
and Ted’s Excellent Night At the Opera.”
Sure, aria passion and arena pounding
parallel each other; but the harpsichord,
oboe, and flute are soooo damn dainty.
Thus novelty is high here. Still intro to
#1 was promising, track #5 delivers, and
a nice sort of funeral march to end things.

Azalia Snail – “Soft Bloom ” – [Dark Beloved Cloud]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

IntelliGentle pop crumpets recorded in buttery
lo-fi. Waves of multi-tracked vox, in an earnest
childlike delivery. Just a hint of malevolence
lurking beneath the bouncy bright keyboards and
sort of Roy Montgomery style noodly guitar.
There’s a weird sort of contrast here like seeing
miniature winged faeries in a downtown apartment.
Plenty of little glass-blown instrumentals on
here as well. A frail release, maybe more lurking
malevolence (like #7!!) would toughen it up, but
then maybe that would kill it.

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