Music Reviews

Kretzmer, Yoni 2Bass Quartet – “Book II” – [Out Now Recordings]

abacus   9/30/2015   CD, Jazz

fluid jazz not fiery but a steady smoldering of sax flurry harmonics and fleeting melody; double dose of double bass providing a compelling backdrop for Kretzmer to freely gesticulate, free not only to fly out of convention but to sit firmly fitted as well: quoting between sputters and wails. harmonic textures offered by complementary and extraordinary techniques on bass with drums rarely taking the center stage but constantly creative. fresh free sounds out of Israel from Out Now head honcho.

Another Evening At Logos 1974 79 81 [coll] – [Sub Rosa]

billiejoe   9/30/2015   12-inch, A Library

Improved jams from the late 70s and early 80s.
Side one is groovy percussion. The second side is really quiet and mostly singing and piano and percussion then it builds and gets chaotic and the musicians get on a noisey roll as they mockingly repeat terms of endearment among other things with slightly jazzy outtake chatter at the end. Side three is unsettling vocalization. Wailing horns and wailing humans. Four is screechy scratching creaking and droney.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Forty Martyrs – “Armenian Chanting From Aleppo” – [Electric Cowbell]

billiejoe   9/30/2015   12-inch, International

A Capella religious chanting. One side only. Lyrics written in Armenian and translated to English. The way he is singing and using his voice reminds me of latin catholic chants. Liner notes have history of the church and the Armenian genocide. Same vocalist on each track, Reverend Yeznig Zegchanian. This album was released just this summer.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

P. Children – “P.Ch3” – [Rrrecords]

billiejoe   9/30/2015   12-inch, A Library

Creepy sound effects(ish). Simple industrial beats with personality. One part sounded like banging on pots and pans. A mix of electronic and not. Crunchy and smashy with occasional vocals used as instrument, no real lyrics. Came out in 1989, limited to 500 copies. Harold Walls, Mike Parker visual artist and DJ, and Robert Kirzinger, a classically trained composer who works for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Mezzacappa, Lisa – “What Is Known” – [Clean Feed]

Hemroid The Leader   9/30/2015   CD, Jazz

Mezzacappa is a triple threat: female-bandleader, female-bassist, and bassist-bandleader. She calls Bait & Switch her “garage jazz quartet.” Collective improvisations, odd meters, jazz cats play rock’n’roll. Guitar tone is distorted, reverbless, sax screams passionately a la Rahsaan, drums subtle and controlled. Reminiscent of James “Blood” Ulmer, Sebadoh, Zappa. #5 Solo bass tune from Air (jazz group). #4 Captain Beefheart tune. #9 Mingus-esque, group wailing session into bass solo.

Related: Joelle Leandre is another excellent female bassist who has her name on the dates. Lots of other Clean Feed releases in the library. Other Mezzacappa releases.

Aaron Bennett- tenor sax. John Finkbeiner- guitar. Lisa Mezzacappa- bass. Vijay Anderson- drums.

Tessier, Yves – “French Troubador Songs of The 12th and 13th Centuries” – [Elektra-Stratford Reco…]

humana   9/28/2015   10-inch, International

If you like Southern France, iambic meter, lutes, Gregorian chants, then you’ll love this. The liner notes highlight the history behind the courtly poets of Southern France (the troubadours) who expressed their reverence for women and the love they inspire in vocal music sometimes accompanied by lute (on this record, Mildred Clary plays the lute). Tessier himself composed the music in the tradition of the 12th and 13th centuries, since musical notation for these ballad-like songs did not exist. Some songs just feature Tessier’s voice, and those definitely sound like Gregorian chants. Others have the lute setting. Enjoy.

Onda, Aki / Loren Connors / Alan Licht – “Lost City” – [audioMER]

humana   9/27/2015   12-inch, A Library

This is a multimedia release. If you remove the red sleeve and open it, you will find the photographs Aki Onda took in New York City (where he had moved during the 1990s) after the events of September 11, 2001. As a visual artist, Onda created a slide show of his photos, and asked Loren Connors and Alan Licht to perform the music to accompany the slides. Side A features the improvised guitar drones Connors and Licht use to communicate, and Side B has the solo sparseness of Connors alone. Read the liner notes that do a beautiful job of explaining the relationship between photographic and aural art. They serve as a fitting accompaniment to the haunting sounds both sides of this record contain.

Chadbourne, Eugene – “Country Music In The World of Islam” – [Fundamental]

humana   9/27/2015   12-inch, A Library

Here Eugene Chadbourne collaborates with The Sun City Girls, Elliot Sharp, and others to create a hectic, energetic, folk-rocky amalgamation of interesting sounds reportedly from religious ceremonies, weddings, and other festivities, all outdoors. The album art by Matt Groening is fascinating, as are the track descriptions. If banjos, harmonicas, guitars, sax, and bizarro lyrics are your thing, this is for you.

Mortar Compilation [coll] – [Permis De Construire Deut]

Morada   9/26/2015   A Library, CD

Collection from Permis de Construire Deutschland of tightly wound, percussive, industrial rock (some more industrial than rock). Described as “a perfect representation of the 1990 underground noise scene.” Vox on all but 7/8/10/11 (mostly in English, some growly, all but 9 intelligible). Tr6 is live. Tr9 sounds like wrong speed.
FCC on Tr4 (but in a French accent).

Ukiah Drag, The – “In The Reaper’s Quarters” – [Wharf Cat Records]

Morada   9/26/2015   12-inch, A Library

Quartet with backgrounds in noise rock, experimental hardcore, and art-punk bands from Tampa/Gainesville, FL give us minimalist gothic psych with a healthy dose of wah wah, reverb, and twang. Released by Wharf Cat Records. Vox on all tracks, mostly intelligible, almost no screaming, just a hint of suicidal whining. Includes a cover of Lee Hazlewood’s Wait and See.

Goldendust – “S/T” – [Night People]

humana   9/25/2015   12-inch, A Library

This rather minimal electronic synth pop album with British-sounding vocals that echo through the chipper beats is mild and appealing in its own familiar way. Joe Heuermann and Justin Thye are Goldendust, and their music seems to fit the spaces you dream you see through the golden dust of sunlight as it slants into a room.

Porras, Jon – “Orilla Oscura” – [Immune Recordings]

humana   9/24/2015   12-inch, A Library

These are drones created by Porras in his San Francisco studio. He uses electric guitar, his voice, and tapes to achieve an atmospheric music described as California Gothic. The moods are melancholy and rather mellow, almost sleep inducing, not from boredom, but from being emotionally tired out. Very lovely.

Oniki, Yuji – “Shonen Blue” – [Big Art Records]

Morada   9/24/2015   12-inch, A Library

Oniki, Yuji review
Shonen Blue (LP 33)
First gen Japanese American living in Oakland Yuji Oniki released Shonen blue in 1988. From what I can tell it’s his first LP. It’s slightly haunting, folksy, indie rock. There are beautifully sung, clear lyrics in English on every track. One reviewer likened him to Michael Stipe of REM. Includes electric/acoustic guitars, bass, drums, viola, percussion and tabla but somehow sounds like there’s mandolin or sitar involved. Mellow but not boring. Rock but never rocks. Came brand new with lots of vinyl crackles.
No FCCs detected. Morada

Damien Dubrovnik – “Vegas Fountain” – [Posh Isolation]

abacus   9/23/2015   12-inch, A Library

duo of Posh Isolationists execute industrial drone electronics with a still harshness that only northern europeans can truly capture. from Denmark, a blanket of cold penetrated by carefully calculated screeching highs with a clean malice of forethought PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING crafted with crisp sterile production, naked vocal declarations hidden on the non-Interiors and subtle creeping percussion TIMING IS EVERYTHING noise for the dancefloor with surgical precision and muted aggression

Baczkowski, Steve / Corsano, Chris / Nace, Bill – “stolen car” – [Golden Lab Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/22/2015   12-inch, Jazz

Title track is a side long impressionistic
improvisational powerhouse. Like a stolen car, it’s
got rushes of excitement, elements of risk, it
moves a little fast and out of control at times,
but there is a kind of focused center to it.
Corsano drums’s are just a wonder to chase through
the sax and guitar traffic. Nace’s guitar often
adds an atmosphere that makes Baczkowski’s tenor
shine all the more. “Keep From Freezing” is a
prime example of Nace’s subtle strength while the
Bacz sax is building a fire in its bell. That
one fades in fog. “The Ringer” starts with a
sax spree and then firing line drums from Corsano,
it’s not a game, it’s a race. And yet, I, the
mere listener, wind up out of breath. Definite
Borbetomajesty on that one. The trio wrap up by
rolling the “Closing Credits” a shimmer ghost
of a piece, the “Stolen Car” of the title/first
piece drives off a cliff and suspends in air for
what feels like a mini ebow’d infinity, the car
horn a lonely high drone, that splits into notes
as it lands, sounding like a primitive taps
howled in metal. It ends with the radiator
cracked and whistling sax, and Nace’s guitar
dialing in a dying car radio. Screw the seat belt
on this one, hop in and let’s go for another spin.
-Thurston Hunger