Music Reviews

Padna – “Alku Toinen” – [Self Release?]

billiejoe   7/29/2015   A Library, CD

Electronic synthy with melody as well as some ambient feel. Sounds like skipping on track three but isn’t. Wind chimes on track two. Vox and spoken work on seven feels out of place.
The internet says that: “Padna is Nat Hawks, a 38 year old middle school English teacher living in Brooklyn. He records at home in his spare time, putting out sounds since 2001. His goal is to make sad music with all manner of tool.” Mission accomplished.

Dreyblatt, Arnold – “Second Selection” – [Black Truffle]

billiejoe   7/29/2015   12-inch, A Library

Twangy toney guitar and strings. Droney and ambient, particularly on disc 2. The beats seem industrial. The artist is a New Yorker based in Berlin. He is a composer and visual artist. This is a commissioned piece from the 80s in Linz and then was developed and finished in Eindhoven. We have most of his work in A and a collection CD in Jazz.
Billie Joe Tolliver

Cerio, Steven – “Magnificent Pigtail Shadow, The” – [Wow Cool]

humana   7/28/2015   A Library, CD

Steve Cerio composed the first 11 tracks for his movie “The Magnificent Pigtail Shadow.” The last tracks (12-19) are other random compositions, more instrumental and slightly jazzy than the soundtrack songs. Kristin Hersh’s pleasing voice reads throughout tracks 1-11, which are sometimes floaty and dreamy and generally as pleasant to listen to as reading their titles, such as “The Empty Sugar Bowl” and “The Current Future of Candy All Day.”

Romano, Daniel – “If I’ve Only One Time Askin'” – [New West Records]

humana   7/27/2015   CD, Country

Steel guitar, smooth country, songs written by Romano himself. His lyrics are included in the CD insert, as is his take on how “to create a song from the ashes of humanity.” The music goes down easy, and the topics range from love that’s died down to embers, to a guy so wronged by his exes that he’s only able to utter two words at a time, to, well, just read the track titles and you’ll know.

Faith Healer – “Cosmic Troubles” – [Mint Records Inc.]

humana   7/25/2015   12-inch, A Library

Canada certainly is producing some fine bands these days. I have to admit that I avoided the album for a while because of the cover (maybe it had something to do with getting a root canal), but what a pleasure to listen to the sweet voice of Jessica Jalbert joined by Renny Wilson. It’s singer-songwriter, folksy, rock, mellow, catchy, summertime sunshiny and dreamy. The harmonizations will kill you with their prettiness. They’re my new favorite feel-good band.

Sore Eros – “Say People” – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   7/22/2015   12-inch, A Library

The cassette revolution kicks it up a notch with this VHS release (well we have the 12???, but the video is floating around KFJC, thanks to the Tube!). Great embedded pop, caught in a psych amber of living room friend folk. Some songs shine through like the sun (which often warms the lyrics). The guitars billow in a gentle cloud, and tape play shifts the pitch (it started out sounding a little sped up, but then downshifts at a point). This is committed lo-fi from Robert Robinson and his Massa-chosen friends???. The video collage was created by Dan Cashman, here???s a little trailer to it???
a lot of 80???s input, commercials and cats???. The music is similarly fuzzy, if not downright furry. Like an uncut series of gems, the lack of polish is the focus. –

-Thurston Hunger

Fukuda, Hiiragi – “Dump” – [Holy Mountain]

Thurston Hunger   7/22/2015   7-inch, A Library

Tokyo guitarist who can scorch in the Mainliner red, fuzz
busting out solos, but sets up songs with looping acoustic
and electric guitar lines and hand-percussion sidling along
with them. His voice, mutter-sung and multi-tracked, adds to
the hypnotic trippy trance effect. The songs invite you in
with a gentle psych vibe but then he just rips with the
electric fret fire. In a way this re-ignited my fondness for
Slapp Happy Humphrey, wth that similar combustive combination.
KFJC has an album from Doronco Gumo, connecting Fukuda-san
back to the Japanese underground giants like Les Rallizes
Denudes. This definitely keeps that tradition alive and
well. We got our copy down from the mighty Holy Mountain
and these two songs will resonate in your Six Organ chakras,
“Dump” spins like a prayer wheel, seven minutes of excellence.
“Don’t Worry Be Slow” begins with an acoustic coal-mining
kind of riff, but right away the guitar magma is struck.
When the guitar cools down, his echoey vocals water-drop
into your consciousness, I guess they’re in Japanese, but you
could tell me they were in some ancient forgotten language,
and I’d believe you.

-Thurston Hunger

Miscreant – “Birthright” – [New Forces]

abacus   7/22/2015   A Library, Cassette

hate crime manifestations from this San Jose powerelectronics duo. piercing squall of churning harsh feedback, the title track layered pandemonium while the untitled track is more of a calculated attack. what terror humanity is capable of

Seabrook, Brandon – “Sylphid Vitalizers” – [New Atlantis]

abacus   7/22/2015   12-inch, A Library

expert aural assassin of the NY DIY, weapon of choice 4-string banjo and the choicest of unsuspecting killers. lethal injections of looping finger-fucked melodies on hyper speed; rapid fire tremolo assaults into shredding drones with 12-string backing and drum machine punctuation. you will die screaming.

Tristano, Francesco – “Not For Piano” – [In Fine]

Cousin Mary   7/22/2015   12-inch, A Library

Tristano is a classically trained pianist who got into electronic/techno music while in New York studying at Julliard. This album shows influences of minimalism, modern classical and baroque as well as jazz and Latin beats. Mostly solo piano with some non-verbal voices, percussion, and strings that I assume come from a synthesizer. Extremely accessible, enjoyable, and original.

Baxter, Les – “Skins! Bongo Party With Les Baxter” – [Capitol Records]

humana   7/21/2015   12-inch, Jazz

“When I think back to all the crap I listened to in high school…” Listening to this makes up for all of that. A sparkling gem in the Jack Diamond collection, this well-produced album of native-born musicians playing all manner of drums gets you moving and takes you to the places where the beats hail from. Baxter himself plays a mean Porto Seguro harpsichord piano. The drum family is shown on the album back, along with excellent track-notes. Brazil, Belgian Congo, Cuba, and Puerto Rico are among the countries contributing the musicians and beats to this fantastic album. Samba, merengue, and 6/8 rhythms will pull you to your feet and get you shaking.

Flesh World – “a Line In Wet Grass” – [Iron Lung Records]

abacus   7/20/2015   7-inch, A Library

perhaps an unlikely pick for Seattle’s Iron Lung label, not manic hardcore thrash or noisy sludge laden, but San Francisco’s Flesh World lack not the viciousness of other bands on the roster: rough post-punk riffage with lingering feedback and urgent spiking rhythms. an ominous, almost gothic death rock feel. excellent echoing production. dismal indeed