KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Agonie – “Culte Funèbre” – [Solar Asceticists Productions]

whngr   7/21/2021   A Library, Cassette

Grieving Woe’s Misery

French-Canadian Black Metal.

Cold, grim, cvlt.

Somber, delicate guitar ballads (doubled reverb reverie) amid tortured wails. Buried trash-can drums, beastial expulsions. Heavily clipped amplified trem-picked horror, the plectrum pulled through entrails billowing steam into the frigid night. Deep guttural bellowing and shrieks of anguish slashing through sickening melodies with hooks.
Adapt to the damaged (defective?) tape (end side A-beginning side B, track 3 and 4 respectively) as the signal decays repeatedly. Perhaps this (used) tape was once repeatedly frozen in distant northern climes amid the towering snow-laden pines or maybe ’twas a cruel hoax meant to propagate the despair of fledgling dj’s (dig your heels in and own it, this is a miracle of magnetic tape (an analog aberration to be adulated). The meek, and the mealy-mouthed.

Final track is an menagerie of the animals most associated with evil and the night, encircling a demon as he curses (unintelligibly) the light of God and whatever traces of benevolence remain in the hearts of man.

Agonie is Nagash and K. 

Quebec-2017

White Wards – “Cigarette Burns” – [Iron Lung Records]

whngr   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

Guitar fueled, up to mid-tempo tripped-out Hardcore Punk with human teeth.

Bedraggled, in black, blood in their mouths and cans of soup in their backpacks (perhaps?) this five-piece is simply chock full of piss and vinegar. 

Dissonance, distortion, and (hypnotic) repetition. We used to appreciate short tracks… but now I’m a DJ (we still do).

Copious amounts of echoes, feedback, and echoing feedback. A ratio of upstrokes to downstrokes that pleases this miserable volunteer, real drums (crushing), and mental health issues (probably). 

Guitar fueled, up to mid-tempo tripped-out Hardcore Punk with human teeth.

Anger

Hurt 

Confusion

…and (100%) certified organic honey in hot lemon water.

Have a peek at the delicate inserted booklet (before it is shredded by its vinyl cohabitor) and witness the carefully crafted aesthetic and lyrical themes that seems to carry throughout White Wards’ releases. 

Portland, OR – 2014

Parmerud, Ake – "Growl" – [Empreintes Digitales]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

Ake is a Swedish composer, musician, and multimedia artist who started his studies in 1978. This collection reaches into 2004, then jumps into works from 2011-2015. The first track is completely mechanical – clicks, winding, rustles, whirs that lead into some experimental beats. It’s an industrial factory come alive! Grooves takes you on a crackling, dirty & dusty vinyl voyage. It builds up to chaos that sounds like 10 horses galloping through the mud, then drops you off into dust mite space. Electric Birds is composed of the wild birds of New Zealand. Their real natural state is heard for the first half of the recording, and then he begins to process them the latter half. Creepy electronics rumble and rustle underneath. The title track, Growl, is the only one to feature vocals… or guttural screaming metal throat blasts of lyrics Ake wrote. It’s like a nightmare where multiple melting demons and ghouls scream at you through sizzled wires. The final track takes you through alien spaceships with bleeps, skittering rhythms, techno beats and whizz’s and whurls. This is fantastic! 

Feiler, Dror & The Too Much Too Soon Orchestra – "What Is The Point of Paris?" – [Fylkingen Records]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

Dror Feiler is an Israeli born, Swedish musician. He created the TMTS Orchestra back in the mid-80s, with the intent of pushing improv music to the limits. Incorporating non-musical things such as drills, machines, chain saws, sledgehammers and the such. This album was recorded back in 1991 at The Alka Art Center, Linköping (Sweden). Three long, all live tracks. It’s chaotic, furious, angry, noisy and spastic. Wailing & squonked sax, damaged synth sounds, stretched guitar, dying clarinet, echoed screams. The added power tools and hollowed industrial sounds of a giant open space building make you wonder if this is what construction workers hear when they go mad. 

Strain of Laws – "Plotted Pavilion, The" – [Helicopter]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

A duo of Aaron Hemphill (Liars) and John Wiese, recorded back in 2010, released originally on super limited 7″. Dark, dreary, hopeless vox over distorted low grumbles, industrial sizzled waves, and drugged up hypnotic rhythms. Not harsh and scary, well, most of the time. It’s more moody and and like they just don’t give a fuhhhh. 

Year of Silence, The [coll] – [Dorobo]

cinder   7/21/2021   A Library, CD

A nice minimal electronic/ambient/dark compilation from 1995. A few tracks from Darrin Verhagen (ran the Dorobo label for awhile) under various alias here – Shinjuku Thief, Professor Richmann, and other greats such as Black Lung, Alan (Alam) Lamb and Paul Schutze. Some found sounds, hidden clips, icy drones, slow rhythms and pulses. Shinjuku gets a little cinematic in a couple of his tracks as well. Very nice! 

DJ Marky, DJ Patife, ESOM Feat. Fernanda Porto – "Brazilian Job, The" – [Movement]

aarbor   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

From 2001 in Brazil this was the sound and people who became key players in the emerging Drum ‘n Bossa scene. This is the promo single for their very first album. It’s 2 versions of So Tinha Que Ser Com Voce. All four went on to do many recordings: Dj Marky (a/k/a Marky Mark) is a drum ‘n bass innovator (real name Marco Antonio Silva), DJ Patife (Wagner Borges Ribeiro de Souza), ESOM (Eduardo Marote), and Fernanda Porto (Maria Fernanda Dutra Clemente). AArbor

Dubben – "Rainha Do Dub EP" – [G.A.M.M.]

aarbor   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

Three very dancey latin tracks here remixed by Dubben (who may be from Sweden):

A. Rainha Do Dub [pron. Rayna-ya doh dub] 3:04 the original is called “Nereci” which can be found on the album called “Djavan”.

B1 Cuba Cabana Strand 4:10 the orginal is called “Take Me Back to Piaui” from a single by Juca Chaves.

B2 Funky Duck (Part 1) 3:51 the original is called “Cosa Nostra” by Jorge Ben from the Banda Veneno de Erlon Chaves album. AArbor

Achouri, Kad & London Latin Syndicate – "Latiname" – [Malek]

aarbor   7/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

This is Kad Achouri’s very first record release from 1999. It’s a dancey latin tune with 3 re-edits. Achouri who is of Algerian-Spanish ancestry, was born in France and has lived in Barcelona before settling in London. His friendship with Natacha Atlas boosted his career when she recorded 3 of his songs for a 2001 album. AArbor

Nubdug Ensemble – “Volume One: The Machines of Zeno” – [Pest Colors Music]

Max Level   7/20/2021   A Library, CD

Cheerfully progressive circus cabaret pop. Nine varied yet strangely catchy tracks rush by in just under 20 minutes. Nubdug picks up where local weirdo conglomeration Vacuum Tree Head left off a couple of years ago. For this project, ex-VTH maestro Jason Berry recruited ten contributors, many of whom are well-known in the bay area music community, such as Myles Boisen, Amanda Chaudhary, Sheldon Brown, and Amy X Neuburg. Good humor shines throughout, and the playing is exceptionally tight as these very skilled players veer through the intricate arrangements. The ensemble consists of sax, clarinet, flute, bassoon, keyboards, electronics, occasional vocals, violin, and guitar… with a phenomenal fusion-flavored bottom end provided by bassist Brett Warren and drummer G. Calvin Weston (Ornette Coleman, James Blood Ulmer.) Throw this CD on and spend 20 minutes wondering what’s coming next.

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats “Blood Lust” [Rise Above Records]

atavist   7/16/2021   A Library, CD

Evocation of the caveman dawn of doom rock, refried brain wake and bake of the early seventies. The summers after the summer of love got hotter and love gave way to Blood Lust. Released in 2011, the second of five releases (so far), featuring the original power trio configuration of this Cambridge UK project. Vintage signal chain and capture. Grooves, solos, clean falsetto vox. Sonic accompaniment for smoke-fueled sorcery. Track 9, a bonus track for the CD format, has 34 seconds of near-silence at its beginning. Track 6 is an early favorite.

Peace Killers “Magnetic Mountain” [Transylvanian Tapes]

atavist   7/16/2021   A Library, Cassette

These guys from Sacramento like to throw some full-throttled hardcore into their old-school stoner rollin’ metal. The stylistic swing from track one, Make My Day to track two, Pendulum, is pretty wild—not quite like two bands on a compilation, but moving in that direction. By track three, they’re finding ways to mash up clean stoner metal vocals and hardcore screams in the same track. Fast, rollicking, raucous, and sometimes a bit more subdued, but for the most part you’ll get straight-up rock and roll when you drop it in. FCC on track 1, which also is pretty quiet for the first minute and a half.

Saturno “Menhir” [Transylvanian Tapes]

atavist   7/16/2021   A Library, Cassette

Thick crushing doom that jumps into faster death metal passages. This is the debut full-length from this Santiago, Chile-based project, comprised of members who, for the most part, have been active in the stoner doom scene there for over a decade. With this project they want to go a bit more brutal, even tiptoeing up to black metal moments without fully crossing over. There is raw emotion here, beauty found in melodic riffs, ferocity and speed as well as slow expanses of filthy dirge. Saturno is never content to dwell on one idea for too long, so each track provides an exhilarating range of sounds.

Skravl – War Is Aer [coll] – [Legion Blotan]

whngr   7/15/2021   A Library, Cassette

Low fidelity Black Metal from Copenhagen

Two lone wolves pair up to howl blasphemy at the inverted solstice moon. Praying to the Dark Gods for release from this world filled splintered by light and sprinkled with benevolence. 

Skravl – Forlorn wails over tinny mid-tempo guitars and real drums. Hypnotic, valiant, and miserable with pensive synthesizer interludes.

Skravl is one, Skravl.

War Is Aer -Lurches through a quagmire of in-the-red melodies (synth? & guitar?) laid over buried, crushing, trash can percussion. Howls of suffering rise through the murk to arrive morosely at your godless ears.

War Is Aer is one, Jesper Bagger Hviid.

Hovedstaden, Denmark 2018

Aad Sleck – “Aad Sleck” – [Legion Blotan]

whngr   7/15/2021   A Library, Cassette

Furious bombast lacking subtlety or ornament.

Black Metal/Punk exploring the mining heritage of northeastern Britain.


It would not be difficult to write a long, cheeky review drawing obvious parallels to the sounds on this cassette and coal mining, black subterranean hell-scape etcetera, or spout-off whimsically about the limited scope of the genre reaching the end of its relevance… but I refuse. In fact, the opposite is true, as no other sounds could be more relevant and as appropriate to the themes explored. And besides, this is not the time for cunning insight or clever turns of phrase… for now… is the time for bludgeoning! Now… is the time for strength, now… is the time to… survive! Using your hands and back during the day and your heart and soul in the night to express the woes of a lightless life that will cripple you as well as sustain your meagre existence in the pit. A harkening to a time in America’s infancy when songs of the Appalachia’s echoed over the hills. Songs of sorrow and endless toil but I do not intend to wax poetic over I life I do not truly know and besides, the crude power of this recording speaks for itself. Thus, I shall not cheapen the miserable articulation of its creator and intend to leave the proof right where it belongs, squarely in the pud

Track 1 is perhaps especially crushing.

Track 7 is an uncredited sample from a venerable miner reflecting on the death of one of his peers directly after just joining the colliery.

Aad Sleck is one Nihtgenge.

UK, 2018

Unbecoming – 12/31/17 – [Self Release]

Max Level   7/13/2021   A Library, CD

My finely honed detective skills on the world wide web turned up absolutely nothing regarding this CD. Who is it, what is it, why is it, and so on. Looks like I’m on my own. Well OK, what we’ve got here are five pieces of incomprehensible, likely recorded 12/31/17. No credits listed. It’s music, I guess, but only barely so. I hear a guitar somewhere in there, and I think I heard a bass. And then there is a lot of unidentifiable stuff completing the picture. A guy’s voice is in the mix most of the time but I can’t tell what he’s on about. Are these actual songs or improvised rambling? Not sure. All tracks equally recommended. Spin the wheel and try your luck. Reminds me of the kind of stuff you might get from the Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble or maybe Thinking Fellers—it makes no sense but then again, what does? Very KFJC.

Map 71 – "Ex-Socialite Needs a New Invention" – [Foolproof Projects]

Hemroid The Leader   7/13/2021   A Library, CD

Behold the newest addition to our catalog of UK’s Foolproof Projects, Map 71’s 3-song, 12-minute EP “Ex-Socialite Needs A New Invention.” Spoken word, percussion and synthesizer. Drummer Andy Pyne (West Hill Blast Quartet, Kellar, Aeolipile) and Brighton poet Lisa Jayne constitute Map 71, a noise-poetry homage to “first wave industrial stuff- Throbbing Gristle, SPK, Whitehouse, … Suicide.”

Pattern Recognition (coll) – [No Part of It]

Max Level   7/12/2021   A Library, CD

2020 compilation of thirteen noise, semi-noise, and otherwise strange tracks released to benefit collage artist Bradley Kokay, who suffered massive losses when his studio was destroyed by fire. (This label No Part of It tends to use Kokay’s art on its releases.) I only know a few of the artists—GX Jupitter-Larsen, irr.app.(ext.), Illusion of Safety, and that’s about it—but I find just about all the tracks worthy and grounds for further research on the artists. A wide variety of listening experiences available here. Track 3 is a woman strumming some kind of instrument and talk-singing in German. Track 4 consists of two sections of cool burbling/blorping sounds with some other stuff between them. Track 9 is subtle sound art on the quieter side. Track 13 finishes things off with ten minutes of harsh auditory hell, just the way some people like it.

Reefriders, The – “Reverb Island” – [Reefrider Records]

Cousin Mary   7/10/2021   12-inch, A Library

This Bay Area surf music trio has hit one out of the park with this album. In addition to an original by drummer Glen Campbell, the selection of surf songs (see composer origins on the album cover) is truly unique, representing great tunes that are rarely covered. Playing is solid, energy is good, the overall feeling is sweet.

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