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Music Reviews

Rabelais, Akira – “Little Glass, The” – [PIAS]

Cousin Mary   12/30/2015   A Library, CD

CD1 has tracks 1-4 of this release; piano as played by Akira Rabelais and Harold Budd. This is VERY spare music – track 2 especially so with many silent pauses. Very relaxing, repetitive, lovely. Some DJs might find it too minimal for radio play but they could use it as a bed under mic breaks.

CD2 is one track that is one hour and ten minutes long. It seems to be an electronic reworking of the piano tracks from CD1. Shimmery, bell like and just as calming as CD1.

Kostis, A. – “Jail’s a Fine School, The” – [Mississippi Records]

Cousin Mary   12/30/2015   12-inch, A Library

Greek music from the tough harbor area of Athens – with themes of crime, jails, and hashish dens – was recorded in the 1930’s for voice and guitar. The booklet details how they figured out recordings by A. (and K.) Kostis had been performed by Constantinos Bezos. Very clean sound, wonderful guitar work, and appealing vocals remove any barriers that odd-to-Western-ears meters and harmonies might cause – there is much more on music theory in the LP’s documentation. A few instrumental-only tracks, very enjoyable, highly recommended.

Professor Brian Oblivion – “Dissertation: Volume 1” – [Clockwise]

Arcanum   12/26/2015   12-inch, Hip Hop

Professor Brian Oblivion is a producer and DJ whose sample based, boom bap style is rooted in Golden Era Hip Hop while steadily projecting towards new treatments. Utilizing turntables, an MPC and a diverse sound library ranging from soundtracks, funk, soul, jazz, psych rock, world music and everything in between, he creates a rubric unparalleled. In the same vein as Ras G’s Raw Fruit and Madlib’s Beat Konducta, Professor Oblivion releases the first of the Dissertation series, showcasing twenty-two raw, open beats in a seamlessly arranged bombardment of funk.With influences of the world’s musical past, the professor meticulously synthesizes and reframes specimens of sound to create sound collage that is rooted in principle and steeped in culture. Hard hitting drums, scintillating synths, dancing melodies and grooving basslines construct “Dissertation: Volume 1”, culminating in a cacophony of head nodding slappers. All tracks FCC Free and Inst.

Linear Downfall – “Sufferland” – [PIAS]

Thurston Hunger   12/22/2015   A Library, CD

Excellent mix of hazy vox and crazy electronics, for
a Nashville gnashing of the ears. Hits me right in the
pleasure pain center, thanks to tweaked out electronics
and ghost piano (#1) and failing medical equipment(#4)
and maybe even a smattering of mellotron (end of #7)
Mellotron on #12 too? Also a gaggle of sax geese on
that “Over My Shoulder” closer which on the CD then
has a fake locked groove starting around 4:40 and it
keeps going till you think about killing your roommate
and instead shut off the CD. Despite that mechanical
maniacal industrial repeat-a-thon, someone in the band
might be wearing Beatle boots, (check “It’s Always
Ending”) it’s been a while since I’ve heard those boots
tiptoeing around, kind of nice. But most of the album
is less moppy poppy, and just artfully twisted, like on
“No Traces.” Female and male vox, the former winning by
a pretty hair (a Rapunzel-like strand floating down from
some high castle). Perhaps just the right number of
Cooks (brother and sister, Chance and Charlee)
in the kitchen….hope to hear more from this
four piece. The album apparently has an accompanying
film but plays just fine on the drive-in between
your left and right lobes! -Thurston Hunger

Harper, Billy Quintet – “Live On Tour In The Far East” – [Steeplechase Productions]

felix   12/16/2015   CD, Jazz

Billy Harper Quintet, “Live on tour in the far east, Vol. 1,” was recorded in Pussan South Korea in 1991. The influence of John Coltrane is clear throughout. Check out the piece “Countdown,” Coltrane’s reharmonizing of Miles Davis’ “Tune Up”. SteepleChase, the record company that put out the album, is based in Denmark and is known for picking up jazz artists who lost their contracts with other labels. Indeed, Harper is considered by some as a “criminally” underrated musician. Listen to the album and decide. There’s alot to like there.

Atom TM – “Riding The Void” – [Raster-Noton]

Kai Sync   12/16/2015   12-inch, A Library

This 2015 EP has remixes of Atom (Uwe Schmidt’s) Riding The Void from the 2013 HD album including the original. These tracks are post-modern Kraftwerk techno dance material, very much demonstrating the ‘intellectually dancing alone in emptiness’ techno feeling. The original is wicked, especially with the bass treatment.

The various remixes are of a mixed bag, very minimal with little movement. The ‘Nought Remix’ takes the track into minimalist house-funk; the ‘Scuba’ remix keeps the techno flavor with even more minimal soundscapes and the ‘Tool’ remix has a more dirty lo-fi sound.

Le Flange Du Mal – “Carrion, My Wayward Son” – [Resipiscent Records]

billiejoe   12/16/2015   12-inch, A Library

Not previously released studio recordings. They have worked with Sun City Girls, Caroliner, and Malcom Mooney. We have one other cd in the library and they were on Devil’s Triangle 8. They are from San Francisco. KFJC is one of their top friends on myspace. Dance ska rock music. Lots of drums and horns. Tongue and cheek lyrics. Fast paced, different than other CD, less electronica.

— Billie Joe Tolliver

Dark Moon [coll] – [PIAS]

Arcanum   12/10/2015   CD, Soundtrack

 

Set in the year 2067 Dark Moon#1 is a Music Soundtrack to accompany the observer who may be getting trapped on a journey to a harsher climate of the “Dark Moon” Through the magic of Multi-Media and theoretical physics, experience San Francisco and subsequently KFJC be destroyed by an asteroid that has veered from its course. Transport into the Manga-esque Dark Moon world and be one of the first humans to break the speed of light barrier while the sounds of this soundtrack transfer the data thousands of times that speed via quantum computing. Break down and discover advanced alien technology. All tracks are FCC FREE :) Produced by Freematik except for track 11 which has a dubstep/ digital glitch electronic produced by J.D. Keiser. Key Tracks: (Hip Hop) #’s 2 and 19 featuring Myka 9 of Freestyle Fellowship. (Rap) #4 Featuring AD Kapone, Chunk & Lasro. (Elecectronic) #1 & 8 by Freematik.

 

1. Dark Moon Theme
2.This Dark Moon ft. Myka 9
3.Galactic Interloper
4.Stranded On This Dark Moon ft. Ad Kapone & Chunk
5.On The Moon
6.Dark Frontier
7.When Fear Sparks In Your Hear ft. Mad Shad
8.Inn3rspace
9.Ancient Gears
10.Turbulence
11.The Creatures Attack
12.Faster Than Light
13.Signs of Life
14.Blasting Off ft.Three Dimensional Crew
15.Dark Energy
16.Alien Invasion
17.Artifacts
18Trapped ft. Agent 216
19.Synthetic Intelligence ft. Myka 9
20.Requiem

Enemie – “040615 & 042115” – [Uncle Daddy]

abacus   12/9/2015   A Library, Cassette

dubwise grime from mysterious electronic beatsmaker out of USA (i want to say it’s east bay but no way to verify). live recorded for grit production but slick beats nonetheless (in aesthetic, not quality). perfect for late night chinatown wandering, flashing lights abound; freeway traffic maneuvers and dizzy all-night haze. simmer and shake

Pekak! Indonesian Noise 1995-2015 [coll] – [End of The Alphabet Records]

abacus   12/9/2015   A Library, Cassette

musician/promoter Indra Menus spent 5 years compiling this glimpse into the Indonesian underground, documenting a history of noise from a scattering of diverse cultures comprising the archipelago. a vast variety of sounds, from standard HNW (1,2,5), to industrial noise (3), noise rock (4), noise drone (6,18), noisecore (9,12), noise glitch (13,15), and all sorts of unclassifiable variants of the noise genre; some of the tracks (8,10) definitely reveal their cultural influence more prominently and stand out as distinctly unique examples of sonic rarity. unheard sounds from a country notorious for its lack of documentation, this is a historical gem of musical documentation.

Westberg, Norman – “13” – [Room40]

billiejoe   12/9/2015   A Library, CD

Three medium minimal drone tracks. The second has some high pitches and in general the third is the most dynamic.Westberg was the guitarist with Swans.
Originally recorded in 2013 and limited edition now rereleased after being remastered and digitized.
Praise from Lawrence English on album info.

— Billie Joe Tolliver

Swami Kriyananda – “Ananda Meditations” – [A&M Records]

billiejoe   12/9/2015   7-inch, A Library

I think this is the Romanian dude who was a follower of Paramahansa Yogananda, the famous Yogi who “brought yoga to the west” in the early 20th century. Check out the movie about him called Awake that came out last year. Ananda is a name and also means “extreme happiness, one of the highest states of being”. Solo sitar accompanies the Swami who paints us a happy place with his words for the purpose of meditation. The old scratchiness just ads charm. And it’s fun to hear some old school new age.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Ware, David S. /Apogee – “Birth of a Being” – [Aum Fidelity]

Hemroid The Leader   12/9/2015   CD, Jazz

Remixed from 8-track tapes, the first recordings of David S. Ware, with his Berklee School trio, Apogee: Cooper-Moore on piano and Marc Edwards on drums.

CD1 was originally released by hat Hut in 1979, and is long out of print. CD2 features material from the same sessions that has never before been issued. Ware had been a part of the Cecil Taylor Unit for a few years and the influence is apparent.

Different versions of “Prayer” open both CDs and both are compelling in their own ways. CD1 is a collective blowing session, while CD2 contains a more varied mix of material and arrangement. “Ashimba” (#4, CD2) features a solo recording of Cooper-Moore playing a xylophone of his own design and construction. “Solo” (#5, CD2) is David alone and very powerful, a sweet interrogation.

Guerin, Jean – “Tacet” – [SouffleContinu Records]

Hemroid The Leader   12/9/2015   12-inch, A Library

Originally released in 1971 on French cult label Futura. The most expensive production they ever did, and worth every penny. This is Musique Concrete psychedelic jazz. It has something for everyone! Reissued by Parisian label & record shop Souffle Continu (“Continuous Breath”). Turns out Futura owner Gerard Terrones is a close neighbor of the shop.

Squeaky brass splatters and furtive bass, high-pitch solfege singing, saxophone variations inter-cut with vintage electronics, analog drum machines, patch-bay air sirens, burbling cauldrons, and something called “water trumpet”. Primal, futuristic, dystopian.

Trubee, John and The Ugly Janitors of America – “a Blind Man’s Penis and Other Smash Hits” – [Trubee Records]

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

This album is truly great. It contains songs that have been lying in wait for us since 1983, and although they are full of FCCs, they contain great messages underneath the jaunty, almost humorous beat and melodies, which are catchy and appealing. Kind of rock, deceptively silly, and rollicking. Trubee is smart, and he uses humor and sarcasm to deliver his words. Horns, percussion, guitars, male and female vox. I particularly enjoy “Take a Shit on Me.”

Bussotti, Sylvano – “Brutto, Ignudo” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

Naysayer   12/9/2015   A Library, CD

Sylvano Bussotti is an Italian artist of renaissance proportions whose work includes music composition, dance, theater, poetry, stage production, novels, etc. Audacious, outspoken, always challenging the audience, Bussotti was embraced (or not) for his outrageous style as witnessed in his personal music notation, which look like art pieces by themselves. This cd, “Brutto, Ignudo” is a collection of some of his key pieces, interspersed with Bussotti discussing or describing the piece and incidents around it. Alternating between clarinet piece and piono piece, the sounds are so distinctly mid to late 20th century. You can hear the sound of experimentation and the thrill of it. Bussotti’s musical notations were anything but traditional. Sometimes in shapes, removing the staff, these are pieces meant for interpretation by the performer. The clarinet bounces up and down, sounds coming out high and low, played for long periods or quick bursts and everything in between. The piano pieces are gorgeous explorations of the whole keyboard, with an interesting play on time: moments of silence exist, sometimes longer than usual, but then returning to bursts of sound. This is an excellent high brow addition to our collection.

Guazzaloca, Nicola – “Tecniche Arcaiche Live At Angelica” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

Naysayer   12/8/2015   CD, Jazz

Out of Bologna, Italy comes Nicola Guazzaloca, pianist extraordinaire. Born in 1975, Guazzaloca focuses on the experimental and improvisational side of things and is a big part of the European jazz circle. “Tecniche Arcaiche” is his two part solo piano composition which many consider his masterpiece. Performed live at the Angelica International Music Festival from Bolgona, “Tecniche Arcaiche” is 42 minutes of stunning piano playing. Parte Prima is Guazzaloca leaning inside of the piano, plucking, strumming, rubbing, twisting, who knows what else, to the strings. An authoritative, skilled intervention of what more the piano may provide. Parte Seconda has Nicola sitting at the bench, playing the ivories from low register to high. With a command and knowledge of how to bring a variety of sounds from the piano, Guazzaloca flows through moods of chaos and control. Yet again, another wonderful selection from Amirani Records, working to teach us that experimental and challenging does not always have to be messy.