KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

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.

Infantino, Antonio -Tara’n Trance- [Amiata Records]

Thee Opinataur   7/8/2021   A Library, CD

Antonio Infantino was many things in his home country of Italy, visual artist, musician, artist, anthropologist, and poet. For several decades beginning in the mid-1960s, he revived and popularized the traditional Tarantella music of southern Italy. 

The tarantella’s origin is connected with Tarantism, a disease or form of hysteria that appeared in Italy in the 15th to the 17th century and that was obscurely associated with the bite of the tarantula wolf spider; victims seemingly were cured by frenzied dancing. 

On this album, he collaborates with electronic master Eraldo Bernocchi creating a contemporary new spiritual rave. 

These tracks will get you out on the dance floor whether you like it or not. Staying primarily in traditional Tarantella’s 6/8 timing, as well as 4/4 it spans the centuries harmoniously, making the old new again. You can envision the rural ancient days of peasants crying out, delirious, upon being bitten by the wolf spider. Modern-day victims trance, spinning uncontrollably, aching to be relieved of the toxin flowing through their veins. Hypnotic voices pulsating throughout, Italian, English, Arabic, Hebrew, as well as other regional dialects. Lose yourself in its maniacal rhythm.

–Thee Opinataur

Spiral Wave Nomads/First Encounters

carsonstreet   7/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

Extended psych jams that mostly just relax your mind. This is the second album from Spiral Wave Nomads and was recorded live one afternoon in the pre-pandemic days of the summer of 2019. All songs were improvised live and recorded without overdubs by Spiral Wave Nomads in Delmar, New York. Spiral Wave Nomads are Eric Hardiman on guitar and Michael Kiefer on drums. First Encounters documents the first time Kiefer and Hardiman ever met in the flesh and played music together in the same room. Their self-titled debut (also in our library) was recorded by file-sharing between Albany New York and New Haven Connecticut. Take a trip with these guys.

Mouri, Katsura & Olive, Tim – “Various Histories” – [845 Audio]

lexi glass   7/7/2021   A Library, CD

Japanese experimental turntablist Katsura Mouri uses prepared records and portable players to generate buzzing surface noises, while Tim Olive’s noisemaking method of choice is playing found metal objects amplified with magnetic pickups. These five tracks, recorded in Kyoto between 2010-2012, meld their sound spectra, and the result is much darker and dangerous than I had expected. Edited and mixed by Mouri, these beautifully crafted compositions intersperse deep poisonous rumbles, harsh textures, black shimmers, hypnotic vibrations, to a high-pitched flatline finish on the final track.

Unknown Me – "Bishintai" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   7/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

A transcendental trip through “beauty, mind and body.” A cosmic, Japanese quartet of Yakenohara, P-RUFF, H. Takahashi, and Osawa Yudai. Computers, synthesizers, rhythm boxes, and a drizzle of space dust make this stellar relaxation journey something to wrap your yogi around. It’s like floating through candy colored comets, sparkling sequined moons and glittered galaxies. Spoken robotic words on a few. A utopian vision of the future, with therapeutic meditations. 

Microsolutions to Megaproblems [coll] – [Soul Jazz Records]

cinder   7/7/2021   A Library, CD

A great collection of beats from Soul Jazz’s electronic side label – MtM. Quirky techno, leftfield, some house, IDM, ‘avant hip-hop, twisted disco, deep jazz’ and the such from artists Kit Clayton, Kid 606, Sutekh, Hu Vibrational & others, and remixes from Daedelus, Corker/Conboy, Telefon Tel Aviv. Soul Jazz always puts together incredible compilations, it’s nice to hear a techno outing from them! They’re all upbeat, happy, fun and summery sounds. Dip in! 

Mirry – "Mirry" – [Dutchess Records]

cinder   7/7/2021   A Library, CD

Whimsical, child-like reminiscences, warm sunny days, the hum and scratch of old vinyl…
An enchanting story of Tom Fraser’s great aunt, Mirabel Lorber (Mirry), who had recorded a number of piano compositions which she had kept secret from her family. While cleaning out his recently passed grandfather’s house, Tom came across an old scratched Transco record and along with his brother-in- law Simon Tong, brought to life this perfect marriage of sound. He’s re-imagined her piano recordings with added electronics, strings, found sounds, hiss of old records, and fantastical memories. It’s insanely lovely, very cinematic and caring. I imagine she’d be proud. 

Fruit Looops – "Orangina" – [Whited Sepulchre]

cinder   7/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

Cincinnati art-punks blasting chaotic, spazzy and rhythmical sounds. Female fronted screamer, yelling in baby English, maybe just blubbering random made up words… It’s like tossing Melt Banana, Boredoms, and Les Georges Leningrad into a blender and getting a sharp, glassy smoothie. Noisey percussion, zipping electronics, wailing sax, and flunked math guitars. A short & sour cacophony!

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