Music Reviews

Tinkerman Project – “Tinkerman Project” – [Fuk The Record Co.]

Mister S   10/19/2022   A Library, CD

Songs of love and woe. Home bedroom production? Influneces by Ween? Doo Rag? Goofy, wack, irreverent, found recordings, commercial breaks, spoken-word. Funky electronic lo-fi gaming grooves. 60’s psych-folk rock. Blues jams. Lots on offer to sprinkle upon any playlist.

Track 13 for Jack Tar and the Blues Collective.

FCC’s if you listen close… “ass”… Track 12 

“F-bomb” Track 16 …. 

*Get the full story and decoder ring @


Orquesta De La Luz – “Salsa Caliente Del Japon” – [CBS Records]

kittywompus   10/19/2022   A Library

From Japanese salsa band “Orquesta De La Luz” formed in 1984, their first album “De La Luz” on BMG Victor Records in Japan, released in 1990 in the United States under the name “Salsa Caliente Del Japón” features four original songs (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5) and covers from spanish music hard hitters Juan Carlos Calderon, Dominican composer Mario Diaz, and Puerto RIcan composer Johnny Ortiz. Included in the covers is “There’s nothing better than Love” from none other than Luther Vandross (this is notably the only English song on this album). Following a tradition of Latin American music in Japan dating back from the Taishō Democracy, surviving the second World War, and continued to this day in acts such as Mumbia y Sus Candelosos and Amy Akaoká, “Salsa Caliente del Japon” is a novel but technically excellent salsa album sure to delight any salsa/cumbia enthusiast.

Tagaq, Tanya – “Tongues” – [Six Shooter Records]

kittywompus   10/19/2022   A Library

2022 release

Tanya Tagaq is a Canadian Inuk throat singer, songwriter, novelist, and visual artist from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada known for developing her own solo form of Inuit throat singing, called katajjaq that is typically performed by two women. Following a year delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic, her 2022 album, “Tongues” was inspired by Split Tooth, Tagaq’s award winning mythobiography’s poetic passages. and was produced by New York poet Saul Williams (a multimedia talent in his own right) and mixed by Gonjasufi (American vocalist, producer, disc jockey, and yogi Sumach Ecks) who reworked a “grimier” sound into the album. Haunting, powerful, and stark, covering themes addressing the subjugation of Canada’s indigenous peoples, Tagaq describes Tongues as her “Most explicit and specific…speak[ing] not to horrors and crisis…but directly of these things.”. Piercing lyrics about cultural genocide (such as the loss of indigenous languages, the subject of the album’s title track) and Tagaq’s personal call to rage and healing from the resulting generational trauma are amplified by an industrial, electronic exoskeleton and spotlighted by Tangaq’s own raspy, ominous and at times non-lyrical vocals.

Bates, Steve – “All The Things That Happen” – [Constellation Records]

carsonstreet   10/19/2022   A Library, CD

Steve Bates is a musician and sound/video installation artist from Canada. All The Things That Happen is a gritty, iridescent, ambient billow rendering panoramas from a mix of lo-fi Casio SK-1 sampled textures and organ recordings made in Chile. All The Things That Happen is Bates’ sixth solo album since 2006. Free-jazzed cosmic synth noise. Andrew says of this album: “This was supposed to be an ambient record; quiet, minimal and sad. These tracks all started off that way but I kept reaching for more texture and noise. Somehow the noisier the record got, the less sad it was also.” This is still a very ambient album with lots of drone like qualities.

Swinging Palms, The – “The Swinging Palms” – [Hi-Tide]

carsonstreet   10/19/2022   7-inch, A Library

Direct from the shores of the Hudson River, the Swingin’ Palms blend the most rousing aspects of vintage Hawaiian, Exotica, Go Go and Surf music. Led by Graham Tichy on Hawaiian steel guitar and Don Young on electro-Spanish guitar, the Swingin’ Palms present a mix of original music, Hapa Haole rarities, and forgotten gems reconceived in a style that’s both authentic and fresh. For years, “beachnik” music audiences as well as major music journalists, have bemoaned the shortage of new, original, top-quality Polynesian-esque music. Step back Santo and Johnny, The Swinging Palms have arrived! Graham Tichy – Steel Guitar 
Donald Young – Guitar & Ukulele 
Ian Carlton – Upright Bass 
Pete Vumbaco – Drum Kit  

Hula Girls, The – “The Hula Girls” – [Hi-Tide]

carsonstreet   10/19/2022   7-inch, A Library

The Hula Girls have been busy preaching their self-described ‘hulabilly’ sounds all over Southern California. It’s the upright bass of Christian Kessler, the drumming of Doug Sanborn, the Gretsch guitar twanging of Spike Marble, and the steel guitar of Shorty Poole! They’ve played along side such modern rockabilly and surf legends as The Stray Cats’ Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom, Dick Dale, The Ventures, Duane Eddie, The Knitters, Dave Alvin, Southern Culture on the Skids, Los Straitjackets and Hot Rod Lincoln. It’s up-tempo tiki and surf themed music, all filtered through the late 1950’s and early 60’s rockabilly and rock n’ roll sound.

Aeon Station – “Observatory” – [Sub Pop Records]

humana   10/18/2022   A Library, CD

Kevin Whelan has written and performed some pretty great songs on this album, which starts out rather melancholy but picks up starting with “Fade.” Pianos, vocals, guitars, drums, gentle to rocking melodies that soothe or ignite your spirit. Family members join Whelan in this worthy project of observing life and time with an infinite lens.

BSBLOrk – “10 yEars aLive” – [Public Eyesore]

karma   10/14/2022   A Library, CD

The Brasilia Laptop Orchestra (BSBLOrk, for short). is an experimental music collective based in the capital city of Brazil. This collective produces acousmatic, often-improvised music that serves as a social commentary. Issues tackled include – human-quantum connection and something called the holofractal theory (track 1), philosophy of fiction (track 2), climate change and The Great Filter (track 8), the pandemic (track 9), and nuclear war (track 11). The collective has performed all over Brazil, and some of these tracks are based on live shows (e.g. track 6). The tracks are very electronic. Very acousmatic. Very avant-garde. Very KFJC.

JJJJJerome Ellis – “Clearing, The” – [NNA]

humana   10/14/2022   12-inch, A Library

Ellis explores his dysfluency (to others known as stutter) with an amazingly fluent and poetic two-album setting of his clear vocalizations set to music he creates and plays on instruments as a background to his story: tenor sax, flute, hammered dulcimer, piano, synths, drums, bass programming, and electronics. His voice tells us he is black, he speaks with a stutter, and is a musician who creations inspect the intersectionality of these identifiers. There is a space within his vocalizations that is like a clearing in which he escapes time and identifies with his blackness. “The Bookseller, Parts I and II” offer fascinating examples of how Ellis interacts through his speech. “Stepney” contains an interview about his other-abled speech and compares to as a slow-motion shattering of glass.” His brother Kelvin raps on “Brush Fire Smoke.” This is a stunning work of spoken word and music. Play it and open that window in time so you can really listen.

Everything But The Girl – “Walking Wounded” – [Atlantic]

humana   10/13/2022   A Library, CD

This comes to us from 1996, a treasure since this British pop duo hasn’t appeared live since 2000. “Walking Wounded” features Tracey Thorn’s hearty voice and Ben Watt’s beats, synths, abstract sounds, acoustic guitars, and vocals. Together they create catchy love songs that indicate how well they work together. There are two remixes at the end, but the standout tracks for me are “The Heart Remains a Child” (4) and “Flipside” (6). I love their music, and feel lucky we scored this CD.

Scathing – “Scathing” – [Rural Isolation Project]

whngr   10/13/2022   A Library, CD

Writhe In Pieces

Blood trickles from the ear canal, painting one’s neck with the sanguine elixir of life in a reduction of reason, ridicule of relevance, and a reflection of righteous indignation. These are the sounds of destruction, creative in their breadth and ability to harm both the assailant and the assailed. Abrupt, abstract, and aberrant sounds that culminate in a long (19:23) track with slightly less aggressive passages layered between sonic scorched earth. Recorded and mixed 2018-19 and released on cassette by Idiopathic Records in 2019.

Scathing is one Kenny Brieger originally from Alice, Texas now located in Austin. Brieger is one half of the experimental/noise/drone duo Architeuthis Dux along with Tony Duran.

Texas – 2022

Knudsen, Wednesday – “Soft Focus: Volumes One and Two” – [Feeding Tube Records]

humana   10/12/2022   A Library, CD

Knudsen creates all the sounds on this album (except for harp on the first track), and mesmerizing sounds they are: flutes, electronics, pianos, synths, chimes, and voice. Her voice is so rich that words are not needed, only the sounds, and only the first couple of tracks have voice weaving in and out of the other sonic layers. “Sunshine” brings to mind the dust motes you’d see in a shaft of sunlight, and the last track is an epic drone with piano embroidery. Any of these songs provide a chance to destress and put a true soft focus on your world-weary experiences.

Chills, The – “scatterbrain” – [Fire Records]

Mister S   10/12/2022   12-inch, A Library

Another fine record from New Zealand’s singer/songwriter Martin Phillips with former titles Brave Worlds, Submarine Bells and the collection Heavenly Pop hits to name a few.

A quirky mix of jangly pop-folk sounds flavored with melancholia that continue to feed my obsession with music from New Zealand.  

I originally discovered The Chills/Martin Phillips in my obsessive collection of bands from the Flying Nun label, now on Fire Records.

This is the third line-up of The Chills first formed in 1980 which Martin Phillips has continuously been the chief protagonist.

Released 2021

Water Damage – “Repeater” – [12XU]

Mister S   10/12/2022   12-inch, A Library

Water Damage are a loosely termed, post-rock, droning Austin septet. From the Texas Island that is Austin, that has birthed the Butthole Surfers among other fringe rockers. This group’s using the motto, “Maximal Repetition Minimal Deviation,” creating a sonic bilge of subtly layered noise.

Borrowing from others before them, Water Damage operate in various configurations, with the proviso there should always be two drummers and two bass players on hand. Essentially a jam-band who hit record and continue until the tape runs out.

Play a la carte or use as a special seasoning to a layered mix.

released April 29, 2022 

Carthiefschool – “Kenjimiyazawa” – [Transduction Records]

Mister S   10/12/2022   A Library, CD

Japanese punk jazz-rock. Angular guitar riffs that are framed by strong rhythmic play. Production reminds me of sounds from DC and Chicago. If you are familiar with Steve Albini bands and recording, as well as a fan, this is a definite listen. Explore the entire album. Some tracks are more punk flavored and others more of the jazz-rock variety. Baramos might be the most straightforward rocking, screaming vocals style track. Play LOUD!

Girlfriends and Boyfriends – “Fallacy of Fairness” – [Pop Era]

humana   10/11/2022   A Library, CD

These tracks created by four gentleman in British Columbia are peppy throwbacks to bands like Simple Minds, with a modern spin since this release is from 2021. Like the post-punk bands of the past, the content of the songs is often relationship-driven. The vocals are clear and easy to understand, and the guitars, drums, and synths all work together well to deliver the message.

Abkehr “In Blut” [Vendetta]

atavist   10/11/2022   12-inch, A Library

Abkehr is German for departure, turning away, renunciation, estrangement. With “In Blut” (In Blood) we have reverb-drenched atmospheric black metal from Germany. The audio quality is such that the reverb sound does not pose a detriment to the other tones. This is a solid recording with articulate guitar work, satisfying bass tone, and hissing/wailing vocals that don’t overpower the mix. Some compare this to Leviathan, a prominent figure in the US atmospheric black metal scene, and I think I hear what they’re hearing. The concept and execution reminds me of some of the black metal and BM-adjacent sounds of the previous decade. Side 1 (tracks I and II) is good, while Side 2 is better. Track III features a massive death march played at doom tempo. Insatiable, it threatens to devour the world before capitulating at last. Track IV begins with a simple guitar riff that evokes a desolation before the main din arises to envelope the listener in its cloak of hatred, until finally withdrawing into the black night.

Ronald, Graeme JD – “Danielle” – [Rock Action Records]

humana   10/11/2022   10-inch, A Library

If listening to a soundtrack and being able to feel what is happening in a film you’ve never seen is the measure of great composition, then Ronald has set the bar high with this album. With only the music and the track titles as my guide, I was surrounded by atmospheric loveliness and a sense of my heart breaking. The tracks are short but full of a gentle sadness and strength that I later learned accompany a short documentary set in the Scottish islands about a woman named Danielle, her son Peter, and how she lives with multiple sclerosis. The music attests to the exquisite nature of a life well lived.

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