Music Reviews

Gardens & Villa – “Gardens & Villa” – [Secretly Canadian]

humana   6/30/2011   A Library, CD

Santa Barbara, called the American Riviera, can now be known as the place where Gardens & Villa formed as a band. This male foursome give us some pretty nice pop and reverb/synth sounds in this self-titled release. Bells, chimes, and catchy percussion make the first couple of songs standouts, The high energy of the first half winds down during the second half, but throughout, figuring out the meaning of the lyrics makes a nice pastime. Here’s to 24-hour buffets (2), pheromones and orange blossoms (4), and intuition (7)!

Megacools, The – “Weird Dreams Are Crazy / You Don’t Send Me No Flowers” – [Sacramento Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/29/2011   7-inch, A Library

If only Roky Erikson were alive, instead of trapped in the
River Styx of the Austin City Limits? I know, he’s alive but
anyways, the guitar cables on this plump pumping 7″ are built
of the same tensile overdive of those old Elevators. Hell
on the B-side, I kept hallucinating electric jug runs. The
title track has the mighty Charles Albright, friendly firebrand
o’ Sacramento (upper case or lower case) rock, chipping ice
splinters and sharing vocals with drummer Christine Shelley and
maybe bassist Ryan Sharpe too. The B-side, starts with Sharpe’s
simple yet effective driving descending bass lines, and the
vocals sound like Flowers and Powers are confounded. Something
about “You Don’t Send Me No POWERS” kind of gave it an extra, drunk ear charge to me. On both tracks, lyrics are kept minimally
simple but shouted to maximal mantra repetition. Implanting anthem style. At the end of side B, Albright’s guitar is bristling
for more, the record just does not want to end. Nor do I want the
pipeline between Albright and KFJC to get plugged. This came out
in 2006, but despite being on ice for a while if anything it’s
Megacooler now.

-Thurston Hunger

Croissants, The – “Braindead Airhead” – [Sacramento Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/29/2011   7-inch, A Library

Whiplash 7″ that takes care of its does, doses and don’ts. Two
tracks feature the action of “Don’t” one of them about not
leaving college (and maybe wanting a friend/girl/mascot to
stay in the tar pit with the singer). This is powery poppy
punky, not too snide on the inside. Seems these Croissants ran
out of butter and got filled with glue. You can still sniff
it on the raspberry sorbet tinted vinyl. Guitar has nice
careless blair. The title track slams out some Bam, Bam
Bam Bam vocals to invoke Saint Joey Ramone. And “I Don’t
Get To Leave” does that bouncing of drums and guitar that
also brings to mind good ol’ punk energy. Most of the chords
stick to the power variety, a little minor chord sweep on
“Textbook Case.” Short as a sneeze 7″. A nice match to have
them on Charles Albright’s label.

-Thurston Hunger

Locrian – “Territories” – [Bloodlust]

cinder   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

Chicagoans Andr?? Foisy, Terence Hannum, Steven Hess create Locrian, with a few extras on the release. Super intense darkness. Starts with the ear aching high pitched feedback, the kind that makes you go “what the fuck, man!” and soon delves deep into the abyss of dark doom metal drones. It builds up louder and louder, until you feel almost suffocated. “Tradition has failed” repeats over and over. Turn it up loud and feel the rumbles beneath your feet. YES! It continues into a fucking fantastic murky experimental drone filled record. Serious low tones, make sure your bass is up to par. Beautiful, and remorseful at times (saxophone? Brilliant). Painful vocal screams from burning hell ride the black metal guitars. This band is fantastic at both ends of the metal spectrum.

Noise Nomads – “Nose Picker” – [Rrrecords]

cinder   6/29/2011   12-inch, A Library

Blasting in your face insanity. True to their name, this is so loud fucking noise! Electronics and I’m sure pedals and noise geekery was used. Supposedly two tracks per side, but it all flows together as side longs. Warbled, headache inducing, teeth gritting screeches. Never dull and complete white walled, it keeps your interest, if you’re into noise that is. Play it loud, and wipe your boogers on a tissue, not the board please.

Cicciolina Holocaust / Sermonizer [coll] – [Forced Nostalgia]

cinder   6/29/2011   12-inch, A Library

Experimental electronics from the early 1980s.?? Korgs, synthesizers, effect pedals, drum machines, etc.?? Even with these instruments, this is no where near the 80s dance sound you’re imanging.?? Darker, thumpier sounds take on the A side (Ciccoline Holocost).?? Very similar to instrumental Throbbing Gristle.?? Industrial and hard in thought, but there’s a delicate approach to it.?? Italians!?? Side B (Sermonizer) brings the ‘found objects’ sound to a few tracks.?? The first like jangling bamboo sticks.?? The second is almost like a B movie horror suspense track, which also rises again on the third track.?? Lots of the high pitched “weeeeeohhhh” electronics.?? Very nice!?? Last track for some suggestive love makins’.??

Hannan, Camilla – “More Songs About Factories” – [Cajid Media]

cinder   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

Camilla, from Australia, uses found sounds and field recordings and reinterprets them into chilling soundscapes. Her speciality is old abandoned factories, open spaces and industrial sites. Her performances use lights and site-specific speakers to create realistic and familiarity with the unfamiliar. Each track paints an interesting picture, I can see this being a visual mind trip with headphones. Lots of air, water, wind and metal bug sounds. Good to mix to make an ultimate filled sound space, or alone and let the creepers jitter in and out your ear.

Cymerman, Jeremiah – “In Memory of The Labyrinth System” – [Tzadik]

cinder   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

Jeremiah is a conceptual clarinetist living in Brooklyn. The liner notes were quite interesting, as he made all the sounds on this recording of his own creation, without any delays, pitch-shifting or manipulating. His use of the computer allowed him to cut and paste and create a super unique weirdness. There’s no way I would think a clarinet was the starring role in this. Crazy warbles, wails and quick little stabs of reed. Saliva, breath and wind. He also used a mellotron drone to accompany the wind instrument. Very Tzadik, very cool.

Ahnst Anders – “Home” – [Ant Zen]

Belladonna   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

Ahnst Anders aka Henrik Erichsen is a German electronic DJ and musican. Personal changes has caused a shift and while earlier releases were considered more ambient, these dark beats leave me swooning. Dark, sinister soundscape-y pounding goodness. Dark menacing beats I would like to play LOUD. Buzzy experimental elements and unexpected sounds make this not just another dark ambient release. Its beautiful, its amazing, I LOVE it!! Please enjoy!

Staccato Du Mal – “Sin Destino” – [Wierd Records]

Belladonna   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

aka Ramiro Jeancarlo who is probably the spookiest person in Miami. This is very throwback synthy pop/industrial/gothyness. Its no surprise that Jeancarlos other project is an industrial/power noize band. Dude is dark, singing in both Spanish and English. This makes me want to smoke a clove and brood in a dark room. What sets this apart from other dark spooky stuff is the boisterous synth, which tempers the pained and despondent vocals. I found this to be quite intriguing. It has a death rock days friends band playing in a garage while we sat and acted aloof in our black eyeliner and buckle boots feel to it.
This reminds you of your roots! Enjoy!

Wols – “Unframe” – [Pingipung]

Belladonna   6/29/2011   A Library, CD

aka Evgeny Shchukin and Alexander Tochilkin, both also known as “Modul”. Modul/Wols are part of Dubtarelka crew which holds dub oriented parties and events. This is space influenced dubby breaks and beats (including techno style). Dubhop? Quirky all over the place honkin’ bumpin, bleepin, groovin, funkyness. This should appeal to many peeps due to the extreme variety of sounds. I super dig their funky freshness.


Abunai! – “Two Brothers” – [Camera Obscura]

Sir Cumference   6/29/2011   12-inch, A Library

Defunct Boston folk-meets-space-rock ensemble Abunai!‘s final recording, released in early 2003 (not long after the band’s break up in mid-2002). The titular track to this 12″ single – Two Brothers – is based on the 49th poem in the Francis James Child collection of folk ballads called “The Twa Brothers“, which many a folk artist in the past 50 odd years has made a recording of. This release has a psych-folk-rock version clocking in at 7:29, and a dub version on the B-side clocking in at 15:20. The other track on this release – Lord Hampton – was recorded live at Terrastock back in 2000, and is a rawer psych experience. Definitely a worthy addition to the KFJC library.

Nacho Business – “Nacho Business” – [Sacramento Records]

mickeyslim   6/28/2011   7-inch, A Library

Candice Adams (vocals/bass), Heather Crocker (vocals/guitar), and Alec Roberts (drums) make up Nacho Business, a garage band from Sacramento that sounds like they???re playing their middle school talent show. Bubble-gum punk? The second track, Spend the Night, is the highlight of the album, but only because the drummer speeds up the beat (unless you enjoy a spacey, twee-punk sound more, check out Cotton Candy Dreams.) All tracks are under two minutes. Final track ends very abruptly.

– Mickey Slim

Islaja – “Meritie” – [Fonal Records]

victoria west   6/28/2011   A Library, CD

Islaja is the solo project of Merja Kokkonen from Finland. Islaja is a member of the trio Herrta Lussu Assa (other members are Lau Nau and Kuupuu). Islaja’s other albums already a part of the KFJC library however, “Meritie” is her debut on Fonal Records released in 2004. “Meritie” in Finnish translates to: main sea, seaway and sea route. It makes sense as an album title for this piece of work as I could decipher some underwater whale and dolphin cries and imagine the bleak icy white Nordic landscapes. Other strange and unusual sounds heard include accordion, scratchy string instruments, mouth harp, harpsichord, metal detector noises and glockenspiel all complement Islaja’s spooky whispery vocals. “Meritie” is an experimental, psychedelic, abstract folk album that is mysterious and beautiful in every way.

-victoria west*

Baylies Band – “Custodians of Arcane Knowledge” – [Spirit of Orr]

Max Level   6/25/2011   A Library, CD

One long inspired improvised piece (39 minutes) by this Massachusetts outfit. A rhythmic rising and falling free-rock soundscape– one of those “buy the ticket, take the ride” kind of things. There is no shortage of ideas as the band grinds multiple keyboards, scraping bass tones, and loose drums/percussion together into an abstract freakout that is noisy but not overly so. There’s a break at the 29 minute mark, with a few seconds of quiet before the band heads off in a different direction for the final push. I found it easy to listen to this entire piece without getting bored, but I don’t know how DJs will approach playing it on the radio; what I would do is just find a nice excerpt and fade it out after a while. The piece is not very well recorded, but it doesn’t matter. Not to me, anyway.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Unknown Mortal Orchestra” – [Fat Possum Records]

humana   6/25/2011   A Library, CD

This band is indeed unknown–except that Ruban Nielson (formerly of The Mint Chicks) heads it up, and the music they make has a quirky, catchy, and upbeat sound ranging from pop to rock to psyche to weird to 70s to shades of Beatles. Track 6 has a distinctive garage feel, while others remind you of watching Saturday morning cartoons back in the day. This is a fitting summer soundtrack. Enjoy it.

Boyd/Thompson “Twilight Tipi” – [Del Chapel Records]

SAL9000   6/24/2011   A Library

Twilight Tipi are Rob Boyd and Kris Thompson. Amazing composition of spacey and expansive music. But rather than with synths, it is composed with old-school instuments: theramin and guitar. This blew my mind when I heard it. All I can say is, wow!


Hobo Cubes – “Timeless Mindless” [Debacle Records]

SAL9000   6/24/2011   A Library

French Canadian Frank Ouellette is the mastermind of Hobo Cubes and is apparently a fan of the television series The X-Files. Timeless Mindless is a soundtrack, of sorts, of a particular X-Files episode, the one where Maulder and Scully are talking about dolphins and dolphin safe tuna. This is an ambient drone atmospheric album of synth creation. Sure to envelop the starchild in you.


Sleep – Over – “Casual Diamond” – [Hippos In Tanks]

Dianthus   6/24/2011   7-inch, A Library

If you have ever imagined what song Kyle MacLachlan from Twin Peaks might do a striptease to, I think the song “Casual Diamond” just might be it. The Austin trio Sleep – Over brings hauntingly, harmonious, whispy vocals to some dreary, stretched-out guitars glittered in echoes and tunneling snares. This song makes you want to gather a sleeping bag, some popcorn, that really weird doll that grandma gave you and your tweeny girlfriends and go watch a David Lynch marathon. Flip this little forty- fiver over and enjoy the Brooklyn born electronic composer Laurel Halo remix the tune. She brings the synthed, industrial beats to the “adult sleep over” where you had just danced all night but are still not ready to hit the hay yet because your buddy just brought you a mimosa at 3am. If you enjoy the ghostly vocals of the Cocteau Twins laced with some David Torn – style guitars, you should be able to curl up next to Stefanie Franciotti and her 2 newest recruits from some of Austin’s best bands Pure X and Silent Diane. All together they make Sleep – Over one yummy auditory sundae.


Cloudland Canyon – “Mothlight Part 2 / In The Cold” – [Bathetic]

humana   6/23/2011   7-inch, A Library

If you dig upbeat, mellow, psychedelic drone with hazy vocals, you’ll dig this. Side A appears on full-length release Fin Eaves. Kip Uhlhorn and his partner Kelly Winkler are joined by others to create this confection of what Thurston Hunger calls “summertime pop.” Be sure to check out other releases of theirs in our library if you like this one.