Music Reviews

White Suns – “Totem” – [Flenser]

Max Level   3/31/2015   A Library, CD

Ferocious, disjointed noisemusic. Crashing, thudding drums, squealing distorted guitar, wall of feedback, buzzes and hums, tormented vocals. Amplifiers as weapons. Howling chaos and cacophony. “Let flowers burst from my chest. Let roots coil in my skull.” Most tracks are between 3 and 7 minutes in length. No vocals on # 3, 5, and 8.

Wold, Erling – “Little Girl Dreams of Taking..” – [Minmax Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/31/2015   A Library, CD

A disturbingly beautiful (and vice versa) modern
opera. Guided by a narrator like a half-crazed yet
erudite carney, Jim Cave rants (for me recalling
John Fiedler’s Jack the Ripper character on that
memorable Star Trek.) His lurid fascination is key,
as we hear a tale every bit as gruesome, and yet
compelling. Both for us the audience, and our
heroine who’s compulsion for devotional love beckons
her over a torturous waste land of the corrupted
and corrupting. She splits mentally and vocally,
her dual name a fraught coupling. Odder couplings
follow, strange dreams and dances. The reference
machine breaks on this outstanding CD, T.S. Eliot
crossed with Charming Hostess? Bang-on-a-Can and
Erik Belgum in sackcloth? Well we have added some
music by the Paul Dresher ensemble (who score
in the shadows here) and the twisted undergarments
of the plot are swiped from Max Ernst. Powerful
airs and arias, tie your listeners to the mast
with this opera. Proud to add this one. -Hunger

Eyehategod – “Eyehategod” – [Century Media]

abacus   3/18/2015   12-inch, A Library

more filthy scum sludge from the delta boys after 14 years. first release since Joey’s untimely death but new stickman Aaron Hill sets off ripping from the start: Agitation! leaning more to their hardcore days, showing off his unrelenting chops. fear not, though, the sludgelords ain’t losin’ their heavy blues roots; digging in dirty and dragging deep in the muck by Parish Motel, really sloggin and slobberin on Robitussin, even slipping into some country fried noodling on Worthless Rescue. on Flags Williams lets loose ranting gutter poetry over a lumbering mess of feedback that segues nicely into the massive deteriorating hulks of Noose and Bootcamp. They may have cleaned up a bit since their Dopesick days but these southern hicks can still pound out southern riffs heavier than any.

Jaworzyn, Stefan – “Annhilating Light, The” – [Kye]

billiejoe   3/18/2015   12-inch, A Library

A is throw you up in the air and drop you
B is bleep bloppy space sounds
Noise and experimental pioneer and previous member of Skullflower. He took a big break and came back just a couple years ago. He started the label Shock, which has an impressive list of artists on it like Divine Horsemen, Current 93, The Dead C, and Nurse With Wound. We have a lot of his stuff. He said in an interview: “Oasis of Filth is a live recording on a digital synth I was tinkering with. In the way these things happen I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds fucked up, better record it.’ I recently described it to Scott (Foust) along the lines of ‘a psychotic experimental piece that sounds like a lunatic trapped in some installation and banging the door against his head in an attempt to make it all go away.’ Think of it that way. Cast Out…Here I wanted to produce something more menacing and unsettling.”
– Billie Joe Tolliver

Allbee, Liz & Burkhard Beins – “Mensch Mensch Mensch” – [Alt. Vinyl]

billiejoe   3/18/2015   12-inch, A Library

First side is chimey humming bassy. Tuning forks that sound like singing bowls. Then a roaring like boiling water that becomes an airplane with tapping clicks. Either speed is delightful. B side has clanking smacking running rolling crashing and some l/r channel play. Also a wind/rustly sound, ominous piano, then roaring. This would be fun for noisers to layer. Or play it on its own.
– Billie Joe Tolliver

Deison / Mingle – “Weak Life” – [Aagoo Records]

Belladonna   3/18/2015   A Library, CD

A collaboration between C. Deison and Mingle (aka Andrea Gastaldello). Deison is well known within the Noize/Experimental community and has worked with some heavyweights like KK Null, Scanner et al Heavy, cinematic floor shaking thumps and ominous hums and beats. Nice loops and textures throughout. Pure blissful dark soundscape, this is a mindblower for sure.

Famous Cigarettes [coll] – [Limited Appeal]

Naysayer   3/18/2015   12-inch, A Library

This Limited Appeal Records release called “Famous Cigarettes” is a split project between Bad History Month and Dust of 1000 Years. Bad History Month: I think I am too old to figure it all out because it is probably just so simple. Bad History Month, Fat History Month, Sad History Month. OMG whatever! Sometimes a label. Sometimes a band. Sometimes a song title. Sometimes a record title. This incarnation is Bad History Month, being Dan and Sean. Guitars, drums. Slow rock. The songs are somewhat dirge like meditations on the point and/or pointlessness of life and trying to find meaning within and without that understanding. It’s like Silver Jews, E. Smith and Sebadohish. 90’s style with lots of richness. Full sounds. Track one, “Thank God For The Ground”, starts off quiet and then just ends, as if falling from a distance and then it’s all over when you hit. Well thought out.
The Dust of 1000 Years side is Bloomington, Indiana’s own. Very Neil Young influenced, sitting around the fire pit or in the living room recording. Do you hear the squeaking chair? I eat this stuff up. Lo fi folk acoustic, sometimes. That s-l-o-w-e-d down, stoned style, making observations about life. Wondering about life. Some instruments just slightly off kilter. Guitar, drums, bass, some violin.
I’m pulling up my broken down wooden chair, sitting by the fire outside, looking up at the stars and nodding off to the sounds.

Little Annie & Baby Dee – “State of Grace” – [Tin Angel Records]

Naysayer   3/18/2015   12-inch, A Library

Little Annie (aka Annie Anxiety). Baby Dee. “State of Grace”.
There are some times reviewing when I just have to sit back and take pause. Breathe and exhale and be thankful that I have been given the opportunity to listen to something of such profound beauty and depth. Such is the case with “State of Grace”, the 2012 release on Tin Angel Records. Little Annie and Baby Dee need little introduction. These women are heavy hitters in the field of post punk/dark cabaret. Little Annie has worked with Penny Rimbaud and Crass, Current 93, Coil, Nurse With Wound, Bim Sherman. She was the “house chanteuse” of Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sound Records. Baby Dee started work as a performance artist in 1970 and has worked extensively with Antony Hegarty, David Tibet, and Andrew WK. And was for many years a tree surgeon.
This lush and sophisticated collaboration has both working on 10 songs filled with rich instrumentation and intelligent lyrics. Little Annie sings in her breathy, crackly, oh so stunning voice which is part Marianne Faithful, part Tom Waits, part Lotte Lenya. Pacing, inflection and enunciation sparkle the words of aging, change, loss, maintaining significance. Baby Dee’s piano and Hammond B3 work play with and highlight as well as float along side Little Annie’s singing. This is high standard piano work, like a new classical movement. Songs are orchestrated for small ensembles of wind and brass instruments as well as strings. Think dark cabaret at it’s finest, sounding Kurt Weill as well as Antony. To be sitting at a small table in an intimate club, candlelit, cocktails, and these two fine women performing would be wonderful. Listen. Close you eyes. You can be there.

Lakker – “Mountain Divide EP” – [R&S]

Belladonna   3/17/2015   12-inch, A Library

aka Irish duo Mr. Dara Smith and Ian McDonnell. This is their second release on R&S and if this is the sound that R&S is going for I am super excited for the future of the label. This is mindblowingly awesome, gorgeous heavy rhythms and dark metallic beats reminiscent of Kangding Ray. Ominous, compelling and mesmerizing. Also this sounds equally awesome at 33rpm. Enjoy!!

Geerken, Hartmut / John Tchicai – “Kabul and Teheran tapes, the” – [Qbico]

abacus   3/17/2015   12-inch, Jazz

New York free jazz journeyman Tchicai travelled to Kabul in 1977 to join German artist, philosopher and musician Geerken while he lived there in the mid-70s; Geerken is truly on a different wavelength (at the time studying ethnomycology in rural Afghanistan) and the two together go off the deep end into mystical tripper jazz embarking on journey long explorations of roomfuls of musical artifacts, all sorts of toys to jump around and lose themselves and each other in heady subconscious voyages to heightened realms of hyper realities. tribal space drones throughout but bringing a soulful, joyful praise to the frame; letting the spirits of ancient civilizations permeate through their very psyche, closing the recordings with a couple of rhythm and blues roundabouts to really wrap up the trip. a couple of truly under-appreciated geniuses of their time basking in the radiance of each other’s auras, lose yourself in their presence.

Very Be Careful – “El Millonario” – [Downtown Pijao]

abacus   3/16/2015   7-inch, International

native Los Angelanos Very Be Careful have been hitting the streets with Colombian vallenato-style cumbia since 1998, recording several albums and bringing their party all over the world. traditional styles with a sun-scorched urban countryside flair, this is dazed and sweaty warehouse party music to keep you dancing till 2AM; the B-side is more of a light-hearted celebration while the B-side is more brooding, misterioso y peligroso. tenga cuidado es muy caliente

(We’ve Got) Fiends In Low Places [coll] – [Eolian Empire]

abacus   3/16/2015   A Library, Cassette

international collection of sludge ballistics, damaged and degraded fuck all rock n roll. not straight muck, rather a splintering barrage from every angle, with plenty of vehement variety to enervate and animate. amongst the heavy hitters: Arabrot spitting hissing goth-core and Cyberne’s crust thrash, Sabatini drags R&B staight to the mud letting Batpiss coat us further in black viscosity, Hombre Malo offers up an interesting brand of screaming prog that clashes nicely with Time Killer’s off-kilter rockabilly. plenty of dirt for everyone, but rock music ain’t for pussies. bite it and bleed.

Fluxusgames 2002 Hamburg [coll] – [Gruenrekorder]

abacus   3/16/2015   A Library, CD

neo-Dada playtime with these German swanksters and flabbergasters. abstract surrealist celebrations of the mundane everyday everything as music; spoken word nonsense monologues of celestial cyborg voices and vacuum flogging air-conditioner drone. ringing telephones and intercom buzzing; squeaks, squawks and screams of lingering tinkerers. recorded during the fluxusfestival in 2002, a concert of life.

Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp – “Rotorotor” – [Red Wig]

Thurston Hunger   3/16/2015   A Library, CD

Effervescent and intoxicating blend of the tweaked and the
accessible, of Konono No. 1 and Chanel No. 9, of art brut
and a homemade pillow. Too hard to describe, too easy to
enjoy…there’s upright bass, violin, marimba, guitar,
drums, trombone, and voices that feel like your leaning
into the wind on sunny day. Liz Moscarola is the lead
vocalist, she’s on the violin too, and brings little
toys as do others. At times this feels like march of
wind-up toys, they sing in English, but their genesis
is in Geneva. Connections to the Ex, G.W. Sok wrote
two tunes, and references to Dog Faced Hermans and
Spaceheads will fast track this to certain KFJC’ers, but
take your time, every track has a beauty and power,
the percussion interplay of Aida Diop and Wilf Plum,
check their work on “Tra La La.” Vincent Bertholet on
the upright and Mathias Forge on an often Dixieland
muted booping trombone stop the project from floating
away like a kite. Guitarist Mael Salietes is excellent
and his grit and discord are such a perfect tonic to
the percolating pop. Simple cannot say enough great
things about this project, a vital release! We Are the
DuChampions thanks to music like this!
-Thurston Hunger

Frank (Rennicks, Stephen) – “Frank” – [Silva Screen Records Ltd.]

Thurston Hunger   3/16/2015   CD, Soundtrack

Listened to this album and was intrigued by it, feeling
the sense of a band gathering, and the shadow of
Suicide, well Alan Vega and not Don, and then the feeling
of a different Don Van Vliet, Captain Beefheart precision
pushing his vision. All the way through it once and I had
to see the film, and was not disappointed. So the first
feeling is gone, and now these songs are attached to
memories, from the film in all its intimacy and love for the
outside artist. And a pretty nice side swipe at SXSW
that I think KFJC fans will delight in, #20 is tongue in
ear after cheek. When madness spins around, many
things go flying out ward, amps, sparks, visiting German
families….but at the heart a sweet cover of “Lighthouse
Keep” ticks the Clockwork heart. Watching the film I felt
tangents to Scott Walker and Daniel Johnston, but
apparently Chris Sievey (RIP 2010) is the more immediate
inspiration we’ve only one Frankie Sidebottom 7″ and one
Freshies track on a collection, but this fine movie is
going to keep him alive forever. Now listening to the
soundtrack surely breaks the film flash-flooding into
my memory…I’d almost recommand folks get the soundtrack
first and listen all the way through, gathering your own
idea what the film might be like before watching it.
Can’t say enough good things about film and music.
-Thurston Hunger

Bologna Violenta – “Il Nuovissimo Mondo” – [Placenta Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   3/16/2015   A Library, CD

Hyper-grind is an adrenaline rush that when sustained
to me loses its effect, saturation kicks in after a few
minutes but splicing it in a DJ set grabs ones ears, or
better yet making a release like this killer piece from
Nicola Manzan aka Bologna Violenta. The contrasts he
sets up before launching a flurry of billion bpm blasts
(he even grabs some drum and bass on #3) are more
humorous than frightening, but either way make for a
fascinating listen. I wish I spoke Italian, “la morte”
“sanguine” pop out on #11 but it’s delivered in a
smoking jacket arm chair voice over the gentlest of
pop breeziness that I don’t know what the hell is
going on, after that #12 has some almost funereal
violin descending an imaginary catacomb before
that violin has a nervous breakdown in #13, with
abrupt stops and more vocal samples. #14 almost
offers a happy house techno start under Popol Vuh
keyboards and then drillcore action. So reading
online, evidently the inspiration here are films
like “Mono Cane” and many of the quotes are lifted
from such films. Additionally, it looks like Manzan
is a trained violinist, so that fits. And there’s
a lot going on here musically, even if it is not
at a cartoon-y breakneck grind. This combines the
best of a rollercoaster and a funhouse (#5 bounces
near porn wah-wah lite funk in and out of the
jumping jackhammer precision metal runs). Nice to
let the whole CD track like a drive-in movie into
your own mind, past a run-away heartbeat and into
the place where your confused eyeballs hide!
-Thurston Hunger