Music Reviews

Low Jack – "Breizh" – [Hospital Productions]

cinder   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

A lovely riddim tornado of dancehall beats fused with electric industrial rhythms. Sizzling underbellies, mega bass red levels, gritty and heavy. Originally produced digitally for the Hospital Productions CDMX earthquake benefit showcase in Mexico City in 2018. Rough n tough!

Alternate African Reality [coll] – [Syrphe]

abacus   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

comprehensive survey of experimental music scene from across the African continent and holy shit is this amazing. almost three hours of material from 32 artists and bands from 24 African countries and the diaspora, from Morocco to South Africa to Uganda, Somalia, Togo, Reunion, Madagascar and much more. there’s a huge variety of styles represented throughout: the first CD definitely starts off pretty beat oriented, and excels at that, floating through countless overheated dance floor club scenes and smoky clubs, we hit a couple rap tracks before getting some biopunk tech beats out of Mauritania and Senegalese instrumentals then the left turns are swirling: some vaporware pop synth from Age of Heroes and Lynchian musique concrete loops out of Cameroon. CD2 continues to get more spacious, tortuous sin wave stretching from South African Cobi Von Tonder then crackle-pop drone swells from Kenyan KMRU (who also has a new release on Editions Mego). we gets some chaotic field recording cutups out of Rwanda before the tracks take a more instrumental turn, even some contemporary innovations from Victor Gama and a blissful collaboration on “E”. as noted above there’s a huge mix of styles: beats, vocal loops, musique concrete, hip hop, drone and so much more. dig deeper into the label for some other amazing compilations of underground weirdness from other obscure parts of the globe as well.

Thirteen Hurts – "Threshold" – [No Part of It]

abacus   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

pedal noise project of Richard Adams aka The One Eyed Zatoichi for some odd reason, a veteran of the Norcal and Denver Noisefest circuits, apparently been making sounds since 1977. burbling gurgling harsh noise textures: overpowering megatons of aqueous feedback and swirl. this is a rerelease of a 2011 CD it seems, part 2 of a pair on Arvo Zylo’s No Part of It label. got some sonic treats with impressive dynamic shapes and studio tricks like stereo panning and soundscape layering. this aint no run of the mill HNW record, plenty of surprises to jump sizzle and scare.

Moor Mother – "Fetish Bones" – [Don Giovanni Records]

abacus   11/4/2020   12-inch, A Library

sophomore album from Camae Ayewa, the prolific and highly acclaimed native of Philadelphia- the city that gave us Sun Ra and the MOVE organization. afrofuturism rooted in the circularity of time, timeless protest music transporting us throughout centuries of black liberation against the necropolitical forces of subjugation and derailment. the tracks move fast between cyber-punk vignettes of hip hop soul poetry drenched in noise, avant-blues experimentalism, sci-fi spirituals, and bebop nightmares. for the past 5 years her output has been persistent and pertinent, always ensnared in the present moment. we’ve got a lotta catching up to do.

FCC 3,7,9

SKYMINDS – Shapes & Traces

aarbor   11/4/2020   A Library

Skyminds is Michael Henning and Sean Conrad, who live in the SF Bay Area. Shapes & Traces is their 2nd album. The sound is gentle, dreamy acid folk, ambient, smoky, meditative and would make a great soundbed. AArbor

itsnotyouitsme – "Fallen Monuments" – [New Amsterdam Records]

aarbor   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

Caleb Burhans and Grey McMurray are Itsnotyouitsme. This is their 2nd album. Everything on this release was recorded during a live performance, and not in the studio. Discogs classifies this release as “Classical”. I would call it “Lush Modern Ambient Classical”. They do a lot of improvising even in concert, the sound fuses minimalist chamber music with a lush, mesmerizing ambient sound. AArbor 

Collocutor – "Continuation" – [On The Corner Records]

aarbor   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

Collocutor means he/she who talks with another. Tamar Osborn  is behind all of the composed sections, she also plays baritone sax, clarinet and flute on various tracks. Collocutor is Osborn’s own project that she describes as “Instrumental model music with jazz and global influences.” She is involved in a variety of other projects including Dele Sosimi’s Afrobeat Orchestra, and Sarathy Korwar’s band – jazz with Indian and electronic influences. This is Collocutor’s latest release. The standout track is ‘The Angry One’ although the others are definitely worth a play. AArbor 

Sshe Retina Stimulants – “Krionika Soshiki” – [Urashima]

lexi glass   10/28/2020   12-inch, A Library

Vinyl reissue of a 1995 Slaughter Productions cassette from SSHE Retina Stimulants, the solo project of Paolo Bandera, one of the founders of the 1980s Italian industrial outfit Sigillum S. Heavy, hallucinogenic electronics emitting fluctuating patterns, rumbling melodies, trailing visions and scintillating tones, like a primitive consciousness emerging from a dense network of fried synapses, furiously dreaming. Limited edition of 99 from the excellent Italian harsh noise imprint Urashima.

Murderous Vision – “Abscission” – [Live Bait Recording Foundation]

whngr   10/23/2020   A Library, CD

Creepy Dark Ambient/Industrial Noise.  Not spooky in a supernatural way, more like discovering the ruins of a forgotten civilization, doomed because of avarice, conceit, and a myopic perspective on their relationship with the environment that they might have corrupted, poisoned, and destroyed due to lack of insight and empathy.

Dark rumbling textures, throbs, disembodied voices, a thumping primal beat, pulses, hollow distorted shouts that echo and decay, strobes, trembling drone, empty space, and other electronic abstractions layered to induce an unsettling, hypnotic, aural forray into humanity’s (none too distant) future. One where the skeletal artifice of civilization has been consumed by the earth, lying dormant and forgotten beneath the rubble and residue of time. 

Murderous Vision is one Stephen Petrus of Live Bait Recording Foundation and co-producer of the filmCity/Ruins, a film about the Industrial scene of Northern Ohio.

Vague Imaginaires – "L'ile D'or" – [Not Not Fun]

cinder   10/21/2020   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Frenchie, Denis Morin. Lush, dreamy, whimsical, chillout grooves from this release entitled L’ile D’or (Golden Island). That name perfectly encapsulates the sounds that drip like freshly warmed morning dew into my ears. Soothing and meditative, in a futuristic fantasy island way. Track titles like Floating Mountains, Sunken Volcanoes, and Up There On The Dune… you can almost envision the candy colored swans with crystal diamond eyes, floating in their pastel lagoons. This is an instant relaxer! Float with us.

Isabella, Jasper and Simon Fisher Turner – "Savage Songs of Brutality and Food. By The Extreme Angels of" – [Soleilmoon Recordings]

cinder   10/21/2020   A Library, CD

“A child’s imagination is the finest open canvas ever. No rules rule.”
London sound artist Simon, recorded his 2 kids talking, singing, playing, putting on plays, etc and compiled them into an experimental kids album. It’s mostly from their childhood up until they hit pre-teen. The sounds behind are the typical haunting and beautiful explorations you get from Soleilmoon Recordings, so lovely. Having a British accent makes the little children voices so much more enjoyable and cute, too.

Three Point Circle – "Layered Contingencies" – [Palace of Lights]

cinder   10/21/2020   A Library, CD

A collaboration between K. Leimer, Marc Barreca, and Steve Peters. Lovely, meditative soft sounds and drones. Ambient is the defining word. Wafting tendrils and slow movement. Ghostly tones fill the abandoned, fog filled streets at night. Definitely something you could use to sedate your senses and fall into a calm dream state. 

Bruitisme 1913-2013 [coll] – [Influencing Machine]

lexi glass   10/21/2020   A Library, CD

This 2013 compilation commemorates the 100th anniversary of “The Art of Noises,” the manifesto of futurist artist and founding father of noise music, Luigi Russolo. Bruitisme features works from artists that continue to advance Russolo’s radical project into this century. The artists were selected by Zorin, a member of the pioneering French industrial group Le Syndicat (who contributed not just to the group’s extreme sound but also to its propaganda-inspired visual aesthetic) and its spinoff noise project Entre Vifs. Both of his groups appear here: Le Syndicat opens with a sound collage of a snarling traffic jam (T1) and Entre Vifs concludes the disc with a rhythmic, vocals-driven piece that sounds like a broadcast from an abandoned radio station (T6).  They’re accompanied by the sustained feedback blasts of Finnish artist Tommi Keränen (T2), the shredding psychedelia of Government Alpha (T3), the mind-control machine music of Rodger Stella (T4, if there’s a modern day intonarumori it would sound like this), and Lasse Marhaug with a track that sounds as if he’s stripping a piano to pieces, tossing its strings, pins, hammers and keys into the drum and tumbling them around inside (T5). Released by local experimental label Influencing Machine Records.

Bipolar Explorer/Deux Anges

carsonstreet   10/15/2020   A Library, CD

Bipolar Explorer is Michael Serafin-Wells, Summer Serafin and Sylvia Solanas. Other contributors appear on some tracks but that is the core. Michael describes his music as Dreampop moving into more experimental sounds. More Delia Derbyshire than Beach House. His music and lyrics come from dreams. Michael was hit by a car in New York City suffering severe injuries followed by a near-fatal pulmonary embolism. Michael says: Adrift in those ten minutes when my heart ceased beating, a pulmonary event nearly always fatal, twin angels both celestial and earthly, returned and guarded me from their vantages “on either side of the divide, enveloping me in love and protection.” Thus DEUX ANGES. Mysterious, otherworldly and altogether enjoyable. An emotional musical journey.

Elucid – “Seership” – [Self Release]

mickeyslim   10/10/2020   A Library, CD

E L U C I D’s 28-minute, mix-match, skritch-scratch, beat-noise, hip-hop extravaganza! ELUCID is one half of the project Armand Hammer alongside Billy Woods, but this is a solo project. In what feels like many songs stitched together to create one almost cinematic piece, this sometimes spacey, sometimes industrial journey is always unsettling, elaborate, and well worth everyone’s attention. Dig it.

Ljain – “Endasalmar Og Klofnar Tungur” – [Signal Rex]

whngr   10/10/2020   12-inch, A Library

Ljáin (Lē- yaw-in [scythes]) are an abstruse Icelandic black-metal project and this release is (originally from 2016 released on vinyl [currently in your trembling claws] by Signal Rex [Lusitania]).

The intro is a murky, haunting choral affair that segues into a brief echoing church bells before the avalanche of low fidelity metal ensues. A turgid, miserable flow of hollow wails, reverberating guitars, and buried, ugly drum assault. So murky and cacophonous that it could almost be atmospheric at lower levels but surely that is not the intent of Ljáin. In the red, all the way up, chaotic barrage of untethered rage sprinkled with spooky back tracked interludes. The vibes are of doom, terror, misery, death awareness, death longing, murder-lust, shivering spectral dissonance, famished troll worship, sweeping landscapes of jagged rock and ice…

Jackson-Pratt – ” In The Night, I’m Lost In Love” – [Oxen]

whngr   10/9/2020   A Library, CD

Jackson-Pratt is the name of a device used to drain surgery sites so you probably can glean what kind of harsh-noise this is: In the red, splatter-misery. 2020 release on Oxen. An excellent accompaniment for clawing your respiration barrier off in a convalescent home and forcing blood laden piss from the filthy incision in your abdomen.

Karpenter, Al – "If We Can't Dream, They Won't Sleep!!" – [Ever / Never]

cinder   10/7/2020   12-inch, A Library

Bizarro, deconstructed, confused, experimental, angry, delirious, ASMR, damaged.Cast of characters include Spain experimenters (Mattin, Joxean Rivas, and María Seco), early Fushitsusha drummer Seijiro Murayama, Lucio Capece, and Chie Mukai.
Skittering electronics, sloshy cymbals, jangled guitar, sloppy garage rock spurts, quivering sax, drunk drums, repetitive words.  

Lotto – "Ask The Dust" – [Endless Happiness]

Thurston Hunger   10/7/2020   A Library, Cassette

Polish three piece, operating in the same instrumental territory for me as the Dirty Three, albeit sans violin. Their songs have the listener wandering in a state wondering whether they really just saw (or unjustly committed) a crime. Lukas Rychlicki’s guitar is bayonet sharp, check out the closer. Pawel Szpura on drums is a heavy hitter, pistol-crack snare. Bassist Mike Majkowski has an alibi as he often holds down the sound while a form of free-rock flares up around him. Dig Mike’s bowing on the ominous intro – “Gremlin-Prone” while Pawel is thunking what sounds like a chemical drum and Lukasz slide jangles on the “alap” of that track. Eventually an insistent piano joins the mix, and the vibe is hypnotic like The Necks work. The first and last two cuts move with more purpose for me, while the pieces in-between have a searching, sprawl to ’em. This is our second KFJC add with
a title possibly connecting to John Fante’s novel. The cover image features sun-drenched cacti from a desert near the sound of the crime perhaps, that said I bet this album was recorded at night. A very dark and yet beckoning call for a reckoning. Looks like this was their debut and recorded in 2014.

-Thurston Hunger

Spiral Wave Nomads -“Ten Color Ritual” – [Tape Drift Records]

mickeyslim   10/7/2020   A Library, CD

psychedelic zen garden,
imperceptible grains of sand
slowly spiral, like heavy smoke,
to the bottom of the hourglass.

lost in the the thick,
lush aura of greens
and blues and purples,
finding my way quietly
to the exit.

Eric Hardiman (NY) on guitar and bass, Michael Kiefer (CT) on drums, with special guest guitarist Erik Rutnik. Lush psychedelic soundscapes that transport you to a different plane. Soak it up!

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