KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Million Brazilians – Red Rose & Obsidian – [Lullabies For Insomniacs]

Thee Opinataur   11/25/2021   12-inch, A Library

Psych-folk, experimental underground, neo-folk, mystical soundscape, 

Red Rose and Obsidian, released in 2017 is yet another genre-bending experimental installation from Million Brazilians, originating from Portland, Oregon, and now thriving in Maine. This is their first release on the Dutch label, Lullabies for Insomniacs, and it is masterfully mixed and recorded by Big Blood’s Caleb Mulkerin. It is an esoteric soundscape influenced by the rugged coastlines of their home in Maine. It is a heart-rending interpretation of a stark, treacherous sonic landscape, that permeates your spirit.

As usual with this group, there is a wide array of instruments of traditional, ethnic, self-made as well as a healthy dose of creative electronics. It’s a fascinating evocative improvisational trip that will leave you wanting more. 

Suzanne Stone – voice, bass, khene (Lao mouth organ), Alto Sax

Grant Corum – Tin whistle, balloon flute, conch, Tarka (Andean Flute), trumpet, vocals

Bob New – Drums, keyboard, lap steel, vocals

A1 – When the Ship comes in

Swirling, thick, open, haunting siren-like vocals .. thick luscious beats underscore, woodwinds meandering through the fog. Minimal chaos echoes as the captain attempt to steer the ship through the shrouded fog. Stone on bass and voice is slow and steady, ensuring the ship to safe harbor amongst the jagged cliffs, in the cold stark darkness of the remote port. conch/balloon flute. Slow, steady…mooring.

A2 – Dark Clouds Gather

 serves more like an interlude, and the instruments almost create the image of overlapping waves, while Stone’s voice, this time in a more Germanic vein, and seems to hover above it all. Towards the end, Stone’s voice is complemented by a male ethereal voice.

A3 – Red Rose and Obsidian

Slow and steady jamming with a psychedelic intervention. lap steel. Stones voice is yearning for a clear landing, but she is adrift, meandering. (Tarka) sweet, and hypnotic, plays in tune with Stones vocals. Just a sweet, psychic, slow, and steady meandering trip. Calm, reassuring, until the distorted end, radio wave break up.

B1 – Geodelphic Empathies

Khene/alto sax combine opening framing the stark, grey, jagged cliffs.

Toussaint St Negritude’s Poetry is featured, behold, behold…..

 Tin whistle meanders along with the mountainscape, stars reflecting on the dark waters.

B2 – Traversing The Violet Skies

Congas, Khene…beautiful starlit Autumnal evening at sunset, orange/red reflections off the granite, a prism of colors illuminate the setting. Deep breaths of cool air blow through the skies, 

B3 – Behold

Timing changes, things pick up… trumpet, Bass and drum keep things moving, but not too fast. In fact, it slows down steadily. Stones Vocals once again appear to bring to a close this psychic trip, Chanting echos with Corum joining in, woodwinds, achingly support, voice strong, confident. Once again, things pick up again and fade to a close. The Journey has ended.

-Thee Opinataur

Crazy Doberman – "Everyone Is Rolling Down a Hill" – [Astral Spirits]

cinder   11/24/2021   12-inch, A Library

Sludgy, slimy and seductive. Noisy experimental excursions from a group that consists of 17 players. Muted vox, hypnotic sax, lofty percussion, soft textures of melody. It’ll sound like a warm-up/tuning then all of a sudden come together in something that sounds delicately planned. Tranquilizing psychedelic journeys across multi-plains. Both sides track seamlessly so chill and enjoy it as one.

Filippo Diana – "Formula Abstracta" – [Medical Records]

cinder   11/24/2021   12-inch, A Library

Solo electronic outing by Filippo Diana (real name is Joe Drive). They’re calling it mutated library/soundtrack nu-disco, which is pretty on the dot. It’s chill, kinda kick back minimal wave. It’s got that riding your motorbike at sunset through a dystopian future highway… black sunglasses, flat top, leather pants and technicolor sky vibe. Track 3 brings a little goth club vox to the party, most of the others are instrumental with maybe a few words. Some great drum machine beats happening here as well!  

Badge Epoch – "Scroll" – [Telephone Explosion]

humana   11/21/2021   12-inch, A Library

Max Turnbull offers up selections from eight years of songwriting in this wonderful two-album release that he self-describes as “a cosmic hodge podge of funk, jazz, ambient techno, aggressive guitarmonized rawk, musique concrete, and hip hop.” Andrew Zukerman collaged Turnbull’s music into the aural experience that is as varied as the hairstyles on the album cover. You can drop the needle anywhere and find something appealing.

Struggle Session / Arryam [coll] – [Genjing Records]

whngr   11/18/2021   7-inch, A Library

Wildly chaotic Hardcore from across all the oceans ca. 2018.

Struggle Session: Frenetic Hardcore Punk expats from Beijing. Heavily represented in our Library and prior to pandemic a guest in our pit. They’re members reside all over the world (China, Australia, Sweden) and they’re pissed. Not exactly touching my happiest place but they were nice enough gentlemen, we possess everything else in their catalog, and I defaced the sleeve before I became a little more picky about what we… addy add add. Though if I’m honest (often to a fault), the music is not at all what I find distasteful, It is more the cover that offends me, reminding me of former cohorts that once cast their shadows upon my life. So take my petty grievance with a grain of salt in the eye, opinions being what they are… for everyone!

Arryum:  South Korean, hyper frenetic HXC punk. Did not visit us or record much at all and appear now to be defunct. Maybe if I had added this 7″ when I received it they would be huge. World stadium tours and fawning groupies, incinerated hotel rooms, and myriad other examples of rock n’ roll excess. Sorry guys!

All lyrics are in English and watch out!

FCC on 1

FCC on 3

FCC on 4

Dipygus/ Cosmic Reef Temple [coll] – [Wave Guardian]

whngr   11/18/2021   7-inch, A Library

Murky curls of doom-laden surf.

As the light of the moon glint across the black Santa Cruzian waves festooned with kelp hanging like the limbs of undead surfers as a dark hybrid of genres seeps like a cinematic fog into the vast KFJC library from just over the hill of lost souls on this split 7″ from Wave Guardian Records.

Dipygus unfurls down-tuned dirge and riff from the rhythm section with shimmering tremolo guitar and soft guttural bellows. Beautiful and perverse. 

Cosmic Reef Temple offers a more frenetic instrumental with cascades of echoing guitars and thundering drums with a horn section that evoke a slightly Middle-Eastern sound, a haunted market in Cairo perhaps or maybe mummies on the prowl for teenage flesh soaked with palm oil and Blue Hawaiians. Delightful and macabre.

Courtesy of The Honey Bear

2021

Bastard Noise / X-Eyes [coll] – [Bastard Eyes]

whngr   11/18/2021   7-inch, A Library

Subversive Electronic Trauma

This split features harsh noise stalwarts Bastard Noise (Man is the Bastard aka Charred Remains off-shoot) and a project that is new to this miserable volunteer, X-Eyes. Surely a play on the word “excise”, to remove by cutting. Which may be what you’d like to do to your eardrums while this seven inch spins through your frail consciousness. 

Track 3 “instrumental”

Crunchy swells of nausea inducing noise with some low fidelity, buried yells. Unpleasant and dissonant, Bastard Noise has a long standing practice of espousing the merits of the DYI ethos and builds their own devices to unleash their anti-human sentiments upon a suspect audience. 

X-Eyes employs ambient washes of static and assorted bleeps under feminine vitriolic shouts before a tsunami of electronic malice crashes upon the bloody caverns where your ear canals once resided.

Los Angeles/Claremont(?) – 2021

Pobreza Mental – “Ya No Me Pertenezco” – [Toxic State]

whngr   11/18/2021   7-inch, A Library

Excellent four-piece Hardcore from NYC with Spanish Lyrics.

Gravelly and menacing, these indignant anthems of spite amid grinding guitars and machine gun fire snare hits evoke images of failed revolution due to crushing mental health concerns. Your failure is the system’s objective, our misery is their reverie.

Deja de pisarme.

Toxic State – 2017

Government Alpha / Scum – “Swamp Attack” – [Oxen]

whngr   11/18/2021   A Library, CD

Acerbic Power-electronics from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Tokyo’s Yoshida Yasutoshi of Government Alpha and Xerxes Records performs under his sage name Carbonic Acid with and without Sou Inomoto of Scum and Slug Tapes, also of Tokyo, unleashing a torrent of demented, careening electronics, either in collaboration or complicity, generating horrifying atmospheres of cataclysmic proportions. 

Peals of electronic noise and impassioned strife.

Delirious wrathful fountains of crushing electronics, klaxons, sirens, fear, danger, the madman is home and his prey imprisoned in the darkness cowers nude, battered, and broken in a futile attempt to hide from the punishment they know they are about to receive. But the only respite is deep within the mind… and that nut was cracked weeks ago.

Apply this sonic firewall of terror upon the listeners you hope to eliminate from your meagre audience… and potentially attract the unhinged and apoplectic.

The machine screams.

Japan – 2021

Mortiferum / Hyperdontia [coll] – [Carbonized]

whngr   11/18/2021   7-inch, A Library

Dreary death metal split for a plague-aborted European tour. 

Mortiferum: Four-piece out of Seattle belt out gloomy dirge with terrible aplomb. Lumbering and battering their way through the gloomy fog of down-tuned bass and wraith bellows, guitars wail with unusual effects, and the bellow of an unintelligible prayer for death. 

Hyperdontia: The more up-tempo side of this split has slightly more guitar virtuosity and tumbles forth at a ruthless clip. Battling forward feverishly toward the abyss of eternal, ghastly repose.

A 2020 split release from Carbonized Records in the states and Saco Un Rojo in Europe (this clear repress from 2021).

Badmarsh & Shri – "Dancing Drums" – [Outcaste Records]

aarbor   11/17/2021   CD, International

Debut album by Badmarsh (Mohammed Akber Ali from Yemen) and Shri (Shrikanth Sriram from Mumbai, India) recorded in 1998 on Outcaste Records. Badmarsh (which means rascal in Hindi) is the “producer” and Shri is the drummer. The label created the group thinking their skills and sounds would work well together. The sound is drum ‘n bass, hip hop, Indian classical and jazz. “We wanted to make music that moved you on the dancefloor as well as at home. Everything had to be emotive, whether it made you angry or made you swoon. But it also had to be funky. We wanted it to be about feeling rather than thinking – that was our vision.” They definitely succeeded. AArbor

Tango Fusion Club Vol. 1 [coll] – [MDR Records]

aarbor   11/17/2021   CD, International

What Gotan Project started in 1999 with La Revancha del Tango, continues in both Europe and South America during the next decade: updating the sound of tango with electronic instruments and hip hop beats. The Tango Fusion Club formed in Munich in 2000 is a fine showcase of updated tango tracks. All tracks are worth playing, the standout is track 7 “Bandoneon Acorazado” which means fortified or armoured bandoneon. Bandoneon is the type of accordion used in tango bands. Not to be missed! AArbor

King Champion Sounds – "Between Two Worlds" – [Hive Mind Records]

humana   11/17/2021   A Library, CD

The “Sounds” part of this band’s name is so appropriate, given all the great sounds and genres represented on this album. The band itself is remarkable with its guitars, percussion, horns, vocals, and vibraphone (check out “Libra Libra Libra”). “This Monday Friday” is a real treat. Add to the band an amazing array of guests (listen to Mia Doi Todd on “Remembering Easby Abbey”) and you have a winner with something for everyone. I particularly enjoyed the first half of the album, although all of it is great.

Cult Leader “A Patient Man” [Deathwish]

atavist   11/16/2021   A Library, CD

Cult Leader work through their pain with two distinct aesthetics on A Patient Man. Tracks 1, 2, 6, 7, 8: Raw and unyielding, pummeling onslaught, hardcore and metal mashed up in mathy structures. Pushed into the red, vocal chords strained to the point of shredding, whiplash chord changes, washes of screeching guitars. Tracks 4, 5, 9: sullen, sorrowful, almost plaintive ballads with rich, clean, baritone vocals. Tracks 3 and 10 are sort of hybrids of the two aesthetics, mixing the slow and mournful with the spitting fury. Crystal-precise engineering throughout by Kurt Ballou (the Converge guitarist who runs Godcity)—you’ll feel the bass strings rattling under your molars. FCC track 6.

Vengeance Space Quartet “The Decaying of The Year” [Live Bait Recording Foundation]

atavist   11/16/2021   A Library, CD

Semi-improvisational jams recorded over a three-hour period in 2016 that are intended to resemble the Cleveland band’s inebriated live offerings. It kicks off with a few minutes of slowly building, kinda eerie sounds, and by minute four, the track “White Dwarf, Red Giant” is pretty heavy and getting into some doomy dirge. Track two, “Parting Shot”, picks up the pace a bit. Muddy, a bit of grit, jangles, frayed nerves. Driving, pounding drums. They don’t shy away from noisier passages, frequently unleashing a nearly incoherent din as synths and processors pile on top of manic strings in “I’ll Take Trouble for 3”. Track four, “This Is Not a Time for Reflection”, has a pretty nice epic-feeling riff to open it up a bit. It’s a bit of a clarifying agent after track three’s cacophony. Strange near-atonalities, music on the verge of falling apart. But fear not, the year is decaying but the music is hanging in there (by a thread in some cases). Track five, “Mini Malice Ring”, is another slow builder that falls into a laid-back stroll with eccentric deviations. About 10 seconds of silence conclude the track. They wrap up with “Lurking Down the Drain”, in which a heavy riff is tempered by clanky malfunctioning machinery feels. Are there FCCs on this track? I honestly can’t tell. VSQ’s willingness to do things their own way makes for some unique sounds. Some of it’s pretty murky and doesn’t always land, but that’s actually what makes it work. Three tracks are 10–11 minutes long and the other three are about 6 minutes long.

WEEED/Do You Fall?

carsonstreet   11/16/2021   12-inch, A Library

Weeed (from Portland, Oregon) is a quintet of experimental musicians on double drum sets, percussion, bass, guitar, flute, synthesizers, vocal harmony and ambient live looping. They’ve shared the stage with bands such as Kikagaku Moyo, Connan Mockasin, OM, Acid Mothers Temple, Earth, and Dead Meadow. Hints of lysergic folk pass naturally into and out from hypnotic and energetic jams inspired by North and West African songs and rhythms. Complex time signatures, vocal harmonies, and raw heaviness. Setting aside bass for the first time ever, the band relies on twin electric guitars and a milieu of percussive and acoustic instruments to weave a rich tapestry. Just take a look at the bands they have shared the stage with and you will know who they are.

Elara Sunstreak Band/Vostok

carsonstreet   11/16/2021   12-inch, A Library

These cosmonauts celebrate a progressive psychedelic record on which monologues with the lizard king and the 60th anniversary of Gagarin‘s maiden flight do not seem to be out of the realm. Beautiful blend of heavy jams, middle eastern tinged passages and prog influences. Like the perfect mix of Causa Sui, Elder, My Sleeping Karma and a bit of Kikagaku. Vostok was a Soviet manned space flight program and Vostok 1 was the first human space flight (Yuri Gargarin at the controls). This one knocked me out – best musical trip in a while.

Daniel Wieland – Bass, FX, Vocals
Felix Schmidt – Guitars, Sitar, Sounds, Synth
Martin Wieland – Drums
Christian Wick – Hammond Organ, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes

Interkosmos/Hypnotizer

carsonstreet   11/16/2021   A Library, CD

Live 2021 (after a 12-year hiatus) at Vienna, Kramladen! Interkosmos meets from time to time to participate in festivals without having a very solid structure. The project produced one album in 2009 which is full of spacey improvisations headed by Sergio Ceballos’ fantastic guitar work. Described as an intergalactic psychedelic space jam band. Sprawling space sounds tell stories of far galaxies – the music fuses single instruments into each other and the sound gets a swirly acid madness. What matters is the flow. A wonderful soundtrack for a journey to the vastness of the inner cosmos. Kick back and relax this is gonna be fun.

Anatolian Weapons – "to The Mother of Gods" – [Beats In Space]

Ms. Conduct   11/15/2021   12-inch, International

Postulating a kind of inverted oracular through the sonic landscapes of this collaboration between Greek musicians Aggelos Baltas and Seirios Savvaidis, the album reconstructs an acoustic imaginary of ancient folk traditions with upgrades from psychedelic and space rock contemporaries. In the reverb cycle one hears a certain agrarian re-envisioning of the world, replete with harvest rituals and celestial incantations. Only once or twice one might hear a wrong exit in the direction of slipstreamed Neo-Classical utopias of the 1970’s sepia sci-fi variety (replete with columnated bathing chambers and shopping malls of the future-past). For the most part, this is a folksy reckoning of ancient Grecian musical traditions with a modern upgrade. The utopic yearning reaches full crescendo in the closing track where a ‘new dawn beginning’ solar horizon opens on to a suggestion of futures.

Bandt, Ros – "Medusa Dreaming" – [Hearing Places]

Ms. Conduct   11/15/2021   A Library, CD

A sound sculptural homage to water and dreams, Medusa Dreaming, enacts the aboriginal dreamtime in this aural prayer to the hydrosphere. Recorded as a live performance in the Byzantine Basilica Cistern by Australian environmental sound artist-sculptor, Ros Bandt and the Medusa Ensemble. Bandt construes a menagerie of ghost whistles, flutes, harps, shells & shakers, ethereal vocalizations and other improvised electroacoustic ambient noise to incant and resurrect water spirits from the ravages of the Anthropocene. This site-specific composition draws source from its locale—an underground water palace beneath Istanbul, Turkey—reconstructing a ‘sonic archaeology’. Glass tears from the ceremonial cistern. Aeolian harps are plucked by crimsoning fingers at the bottom of Lake Mungo. A Rimu tree’s ultrasonic growth bends into the hydrophone stream of frenzied carp feeding in waters beneath the live performance audience.  Welcome the drown ceremony as Ophelia and enter this bathy-spheric hallucination.

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