KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

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.

Bergheim 34 – “Sechstrack ” – [Klang Elektronik]

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

Beyond the ol’ 1-2 of techno and taught post-
rock Tortoisology come Bergheim 34 (actually
it’s the street address of their recording
space.) Germane German elektroniks sprouting
in some fresh directions : the wrist-decoder
vox of “take my soul”, an elongation of time
feel to “minor throne” & “new ground”, the
digital stompometer unveiled on “the spy who
dubbed me.” Solid circuit tekno roots include
pitch-wheel glides, the cowbell patch, and
everyone’s fave : the synth’d hand-claps. Add
a point for a Steely Dan ref.
Boot-gaze over glazed beats?

Voices in a Dark Room [coll] – [Bake Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

A tasty sampler of yore starting with a sample
loopspeaking “Waiter my food is still alive” and
winding up w/ the Haters percussive regurgitater
(someone/thing w/ the dry heaves..it’s almost a
calypso). Most of the tracks here are pretty easy
to keep down. Originally a 2-cassette collection
back in 88 put out by Frans de Waard (aka Kapotte
Muziek). Mostly murky post-apocalyptic jingles
that the kids just love; with some bloody ear
harshness from Merzbow and an odd piano track
plunked in (#5). My highs were #3, #9 and #12.

Agricola, Alexander – “A Secret Labyrinth ” – [Sony Classical]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Old school (15th century) sounds. Chorales
like an impossible juggling of voices…round
notes of sound keep getting tossed up higher.
More than a few moments of discord where even
my untrained ear thinks, “hold on a second
someone just screwed up”…but miraculously
the melody winds up back in hand. Approach
it from a Beach Boy wave of sound wall or
from pure psychoacoustic reaction or from
the sacred texts that have some heavy virgin
fixation, but approach it. Tracks 2, 10, 12
and 8 (especially the first Hosanna in 8)
Hail the polyphonic polymath!

Garmarna – “Vengeance ” – [Northside]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Haunting neo-traditional sounds, electric
village folk music. Slithering fiddle
music mated with “bleak beats.” Atop it
all Emma Hardelin’s voice soars like a
falcon…hunting for prey. A cool constant
flow of electronic trickery (as if Tucker
Martine was buzzing about) keeps an edge
on an otherwise almost too polished album.
Proud dirge fury. As much as I like the
violins, and the dark clouds of electronics
the source of power here is Emma; you feel
like you are a jagged stone in her mouth
as she sings, rolls her r’s, stretches
her vowels, splits her voice into overdub
harmonies. Swedish Ragnarok’n’rol!

Iso 68 – “Reihenhausmusik 3 ” – [Haus Musik]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

I *think* this is the third in the Reihenhausmusik
series, which label leader Wolfgang Petters
launched to focus on unsigned bands. Iso 68
is either a synthetic oil or maybe even a metal
screw (which might be more appropro) here Iso 68
are Thomas Goebbel and Florian Zimmer, and this
is some gorgeous “lab rock.” I like the suspense
of this (especially at 33), and they even work in
some acoustic guitar. Nice and dark and evolving.

Microphones, the – “Bass Drum Dream ” – [Up Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

The Microphones consist of Phil Elvrum and..well..
..no one else. He kicks up some pretty scrappy pop
(lot’s o dynamics) here, he’s also involved in
projects D+, the Polar Bears and the damn fine
Old Time Relijun, if I may evangelize for ’em.
A-side “Bass Drum Dream…then the storm”
Lot’s of starts and stops and changes in
this single (and the flip side too!). The
storm is the sound of microphone getting blown
away.
B-side “Where It’s Hotter (Parts 1, 2, 3)”
Again like a snake spliced out of segments
from other snakes, this keeps your attention in
a very lo-fi, rattling guitar and splotchy drums
way. Elvrum’s voice has a nice nervous quality,
a splendid 7″

Euphone – “Calendar of Unlucky Days, the ” – [Jade Tree]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

On the first track you catch the steel drums, then
in chimes the melodica…and you know nothing bad
will happen to you. Ten instros from two guys:
leader Ryan Rapsys and (this time out) Mick Macri.
Kind of vacation pop, with clear blue melodies and
not alot of sonic grit between your toes. This is
at least their third release (first at the station)
lodged at the currently well-traversed cross-roads
between post-rock noodles and techno broth.
Call it pleasant post-pop, could fit well with
the Bubble Core corps…I kind of starting to miss
lyrics with some of this stuff, maybe ask listeners
to make up their own?’ Tracks often segue. Fave’s
for me #4, and the zen-diet of #8

Valvola – “Teenagers Film Their Own Life ” – [S.H.A.D.O.]

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

Italian slow-mo espionage psych. The synths
have a squishy bloopiness, that you just
can’t digitize. So quit trying…goddammit..
…and enjoy this. Lyrics sung(and swallowed)
in English over friendly, familiar melodies.
Bathed in lava lamp electronics, reversible
drums, reverbed guitars. Not a lot of frenzy
coming out of Firenze, this is a relaxorama.
“End/Exploring the City of Ghosts” clearly
stands out with some fine pan craziness.

Known in Bakersfield – “Retinal Ma Should Win ” – [Ovenguard]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Wobbly Jon Leidecker and the slightly more
sturdy Tim Meany are Known (and perhaps
feared?) in Bakersfield. Playful post-music;
less power electronics than toy noise joy.
Ring modular rhythms might woo the odd
Autechre fan or hypochondriac housewife, but
it’s more a ~wave~ album than a beat one.
A gently demented mad scientist soundtrack
for the saga of a stick-figure superhero.
Murky blurbles and a paradoxically happy
ominous taste.

Product Music – “Hooray for Human Engineering ” – [Honest-Abe Disc!]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Ripening with age like a meatball way back
behind your refrigerator comes this mix of
tradeshowstoppers & industrial inspiration.
Aimed at weary Willy Loman’s, worrisome
wives, and their beloved customers. The
embarassment of a company talent show,
amplified by awkward drama dept energy, and
captured in lyrics that are as ridiculous
as I fear they were sincere. Inspirational
industrial music, you can never have enough!
Up with People crossed with Laugh In but…
more, so much more! Scratchy authenticity
just helps tracks like “Slurp It” (w/ a
circular breathing straw solo) and the epic
Chromlox seasonal song cycle shine.

Friends of Dean Martinez – “Atardecer ” – [Knitting Factory Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Bill Elm mans the helm for FoDM, and here
his lap steel is set on stun. Leaving behind
the tumbleweeds for nebulae, the sound he
gets is galactic. Some of the chord changes
may have that syrupy sweet Bachelor Pad
flavor, but they’re cut with this flaming
disto-razor space juice. Add in a Moog that
needs exorcism, vacuum pack and ship these
cowbots straight to the heart of the sun.
“Atardecer” no es “dusk” es una supernova.
-El Hombre del Hambre

Ass Baboons of Venus – “Go Go Telescope ” – [East West Japan]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Tantic tantrum dum-dum go-go music. As catchy
as your favorite STD. Fashion king husband
and helium queen wife dote over their child,
the drum machine. Unlike their Stingy Banana
releases, most lyrics here are in Japanese
but the titles tell the story pretty well.
Stupid, silly sexy with a banzai scream.
This is mangled musical manga. Cartoon tunes
that rawk! A great blend of punk and enka?’
Where’s the work-out video that ought to
accompany this? When will they star in the
remake of “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father?”
Don’t miss ’em live. Hunger-san

Mile Wide Grey, the – “Superior ” – [10 Gev Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Local SLACkers, slap happy apathy rock. Noise
pop from THE underground. The Mile Wide Grey
is guitar/vox and drums humming w/ plenty o’
reverb particles. Looking-down-a-staircase
guitar lines with plenty o’ tasty overdubs.
T-shirt and jeans vocals often bolstered by
treated background choruses (whispersville
on #5, answering machine style on #1,#3,#7)
#9 is sad like the HAL-9000 singing “Daisy”
#11 is a linear accelerator solo live-mic.
Quantum radio activity. -Aunt Bea Factory

Family Fodder – “Savoir Faire : the Best of ” – [Dark Beloved Cloud]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Lethally good retrospective of art-damaged pop
and art-brut instrumentation. A stunningly
diverse collection of tracks (#2 John Carpenter
vibe, #4 the happy nihilist’s anthem!!!, #7 a
Blondie cover that warps into a kiddie sing ‘n’
mumble, #9 dub-wise astral projection, #16
jaunty accordion love triangle) A mix of male
and female vox, I think the line-up was like
an ever-shifting commune. Overall as twisted
and as tasty as a box of licorice.
Family Fodder is the Motherlode!

Tin Hat Trio – “Memory Is An Elephant ” – [Angel/Emi Classics]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Local trio with an intriguing combination of
violin, accordian and acoustic guitar. Carla
Kihlstedt has a musical midas touch for me,
any project she is in is solid; often w/ her
solos as the highlight. Lightning heartbreak
and pizzicato pensiveness on violin…emotive
w/o ever being sappy. Rob Berger on accordion
provides dizzy doppler runs. Mark Orton rounds
out the Hat-trick, his slappy, bouncy guitar
took me a while to warm to…but effectively
he’s covering both melody and percussion.
There’s a hint of an art-cafe soundtrack vibe
here, but generally Kihlstedt’s darker edge
slices that up. Last piece has an interesting
denouement, a sort of music box melody reprise,
some silence and this overpowering operatic
vocal ominence. A unique release.

Big Breakfast – “Why Do You Touch Things That.. ” – [Shrimper]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Sassiness-on-a-stick pop out of the Inland
Empire. Smart-ass lyrics and big-ass hooks add
up for some brain-crackin’ mock ‘n’ roll. I
almost think this was written w/ the TV on, as
Ricki Lake, Cornholio, Little House on the
Prairie and the phrase “now you’re working
you’re working your quads…all right!” pop
up in various songs. Boy meets girl vox (like
High School Yearbook Editors mocking the Pep
Squad) over jangle-quirk guitars, happy drums
and some simple synth. Cut first period, so
you don’t skip your Big Breakfast.

Copyright © 2020 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File