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Music Reviews

Karkowski, Zbigniew / Antimatter – “khz” – [Auscultare Research]

billiejoe   2/29/2016   A Library, CD

Callab between Anitmatter (Xopher Davidson) a visual artist from Oakland and Zbigniew Karlowski. One 45 minute track of electronic juiciness. Came out ten years ago. They have collaborated since. Deceptively quiet at times. Level fluctuations.
Marcel Duchamp quote on cover as “R. Selavy.”
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Wiener Kids – “What a Mess” – [Self Release]

billiejoe   2/29/2016   CD, Jazz

Jazz ska band for Saturday morning cartoons. Playful and orderly at the same time. Aram Shelton, Cory Wright, and Jordan Glenn from Oakland and guests. Primarily percussion, brass, and winds.
I liked the drum solo on track 8.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Jodorowsky’s Dune [coll] – [Light in the Attic]

Muad'Dib   2/24/2016   12-inch, Soundtrack

Not the soundtrack to the best movie never made, but rather the soundtrack to the documentary movie about the best movie never made. Easily worthy of the visionary Jodorowsky and the transcendent source material of Dune. Meditative, spacey, retro-futuristic, and grandiose. Features analog synthesizer mastery with one or two tracks including voice samples of the great spiritual warrior Jodorowky himself. Although each track is musically distinct the overall theme and instrumentation is consistent, with the exception of tracks “Feyd Rautha,” which features live percussion, and “Total Extermination,” which has some voice/chant work intermixed.

Hure – “Sog” – [Self Produced]

billiejoe   2/24/2016   A Library, CD

From Berlin. I would call this grunge noise. It is repetitive and unrelenting. Hure means whore in German. Last track has silence between the 4 and 10 minutes.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

ALSO – “EP03” – [R&S]

Kai Sync   2/24/2016   12-inch, A Library


Also is Appleblim and Second Story from Bristol’s collaborative project. This is bleeding edge modern UK dance music where any ideas of conforming to a specific electronic dance genre is thrown out through the window and instead the attempt is to push boundaries left and right. This is their third EP with this moniker.

Raves has a nice shuffly drum beat with a hollow bass line and unexpected chord and melody changes. Blyford bass is a modern dance-floor fast track with deliberately over-produced drum machine patterns and gnarly sub bass sequencer with a subtle homage to Detroit techno. PGs is a more intimate track with evolving pads and lo-fi bass growls. This is a good example how electronic music in UK today is alive, well and moving into new territories.

Weed – “Thousand Pounds/ Turret” – [Lefse Records]

Kai Sync   2/24/2016   7-inch, A Library


Weed is a a shoegaze slop-slop band from Vancouver. This 7″, released 2013 with the A side track from their first album “Running Back” is more masculine shoegaze similar to Swervedriver. Thousand Points has all the hallmarks of shoegaze with vocals burrowed in the mix, plenty of guitar chords moving in unexpected directions and deliberately recorded feedback and noise from pedals The B-Side Turret is an odd one with no drummer but still slower drony shoegaze (actually an unheard cut from their first ever recording session.) Cool nostalgia single.

Jackson, Ken – “My Magazine” – [Golden Slipper Records]

Naysayer   2/23/2016   A Library, CD

Knees are wobbly. Ears are burning. Head is full of rhyming word families to the point of obsession. Such is what may happen if you find just the right Outsider artist musician who hits it out of the ballpark. This is Ken Jackson. Kanye, you suck. Listen to the new king of poetic wordplay. Ken, with just his guitar(s) (he has three judging by the photos), has a strong liking for A, A, A, A, A, A, A rhyme pattern. Not always, but often enough to make it stick in your cranium. Forever. As an example, let’s talk about the song “Celebration”: carnation, plantation, dictation, inflation, celebration. These five words are all used in lyrics in the first seven seconds of this song. And it is around three minutes long! And just about each line ends in an “ation” word. WOW! Songs are sort of about their titles with diversions, because, you know, the songs gotta rhyme and sometimes that takes you into different places. The tunes strummed for each song have a familiarity to the last song and the next song because, well, if you’ve got a good tune, why mess it up. Stick to it. Ken’s voice adds to the beauty of this album. A bit monotone, not always hitting the mark, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but definitely believing in what he is singing. Thank goodness folks are making stuff like this. It puts everything else in focus and balance.

Hillbillies In Hell [coll] – [Omni Recording Corporation]

Naysayer   2/23/2016   12-inch, Country

You know how someone is always yet again discovering some lost tapes of some unknown garage band that becomes touted as THE new missing link to punk and suddenly everybody says, “Oh yeah that group was so important to me”? I proclaim that the sub-genre of country music on “Hillbillies In Hell” is THE missing link to what would become death metal and now you can get a jump start on proclaiming how important these songs were to you. Eighteen songs by eighteen different artists playing and singing about suicide, drug addiction, satan, murder, serial killers, satan, satan and satan definitely have a sentiment and feel for all the darkness infused in some sounds today. This hillbilly country recorded from 1957 to 1970, most of it in the late ’60’s, has that glorious twang that is the beauty of this period of country music. The tales are sad, desperate, woeful and so full of longing…. and full of Satan. The liner notes wonderfully tell the stories of these mostly small time performers. Their tales are sad, desperate, woeful and so full of longing. It’s like Outsider Country music. Omni Recording Corporation has come up again with another instant hit for those twisted enough to find songs such as “Jesus Is My Pusher” and “Satan’s Chauffeur” giddily entertaining. Go to Hell.

Slobber Pup – “Pole Axe” – [Rare Noise Records]

felix   2/23/2016   12-inch, Jazz

Slobber Pup’s double album Pole Axe is free jazz. The band is made up of four people: Jamie Saft on organ and keys, Joe Morris on guitar, Mats Gustafsson on saxophones and Balazs Pandi on drums. As Morris has described it, the album is a manifestation of glacial time: “a state of deep listening between musicians, when time is felt and understood by all, but does not need to be overtly stated. Everyone is experiencing the pulse, yet everyone’s focus is on the larger arc of the music.” One Amazon reviewer described it as a bunch of people warming up, while another as “fabulous improvisation by masters at their craft. Jamie Saft and Joe Morris can read minds.”
–Double Felix

Timeghost – “Cellular” – [Load Records]

Louie Caliente   2/22/2016   12-inch, A Library

First full-length release from Adam Morosky of Providence RI, aka Timeghost.

The album blends the organic and algorithmic. Most songs have biological
themes, with lyrics about genetics, entropy, and fetal organ development.

The theme is expressed sonically: recordings of muscle spasms and squishy,
slurpy cut-up tape sounds mix with samples of cell-phone interference and
electrostatic buzzing, beeping, and bubbling. Pulsing rhythms appear, evolve,
and disappear. Textured samples flow and grind around each other.

“Dissection Theater” (A-3) has a taste of the familiar sludgy rock sound that
Load Records is known for. It could work on a metal show. “Delicate Resonances”
(A-4) and “Uber Orgone” (B-1) are more synthy and pretty than the rest of the

Almost all tracks except for “Intrusion” (B-2) have vocals, usually delivered
in a low, flat mumble. Lyrics are listed in the liner notes.


Raichel, Idan – “At The Edge of The Beginning” – [Cumbancha]

felix   2/17/2016   A Library, CD

Idan Raichel’s “At the Edge of the Beginning” is easy listening Israeli music. The album ranked third on the Top World Albums Billboard Chart when it came out in 2015. Raichel, an Israeli pianist, sings in Hebrew and is accompanied on various instruments on different songs: including double bass, cello, trumpet, saxophone, guitar, accordion even a tuba on the last piece.

–Double Felix

Matmos – “Ultimate Care II” – [Thrill Jockey]

Kai Sync   2/17/2016   A Library, CD

The washing machine fills with water and thus starts the 38 minute long track with the only sound source being a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II model washing machine — however the sounds are deconstructed and manipulated with pitch shifting and other computer audio tools into techno beats, ambient soundscapes and much more. Matmos is Dan Deacon, Jason Willet and members of Horse Lords were also involved in this experimentalist album. Soundscapes of gurgling water, beating wet clothes, accelerating electric machines — you will experience this sonic journey of a track differently each time you play it, free jazz, marimba-like sequences, drone, Eno-like ambience, organic squeals, hypnotic ambient techno, electronic beeps. This album is a moire pattern of sound possibilities using a single household device. The album ends with the final fast spin cycle. Highly recommended.

Frith, Julie – “Electro” – [Ladd-Frith]

Kai Sync   2/17/2016   A Library, CD

Julie Frith is a member of Psyclones, but unlike Psyclones this album is more of a collection of 22 shorter electronic music tracks, resembling something Aphex Twin would do by uploading unreleased material online. “rough cut” is the only industrial rock style track, the rest are electronic tracks with loops, beats and leitmotifs creating various textures that sometimes are intriguing, sometimes not. The album cover a wide range of styles from funky beat compositions to ambience to techno style material to industrial electronica to electro. Wish this album would have included more experimental tracks such as simplymad1 and rhythem.

Spider Seed – “Evokation” – [Self Produced]

billiejoe   2/17/2016   A Library, CD

Michael J. Stewart is a guitar player from the bay area. A lovely mix of psych and noise and ambient sounds.
Sometimes there are electronic beats and sometimes it’s a wicked guitar solo.
FCC track 3
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Man Is The Bastard Noise/ Gerritt [coll] – [Misanthropic Agenda]

billiejoe   2/17/2016   7-inch, A Library

Garrett is a sound and performance artist from Oakland. This split is put out on his label.
MITB is noisey noise. They are the LA project that has been around forever and has had many members and collaborators. Weise and Wood did this one.
I sure enjoyed both sides.
Sibe B ends in a locked groove.

Homler, Anna and Moshier, Steve – “Breadwoman & Other Tales” – [RVNG]

billiejoe   2/17/2016   A Library, CD

Anna Homler LA based performance artist and vocalist. Breadwoman has been a character she has played in her performance art since the 80s. She often sues the themes of apothecaries and healing in her work.
Sounds like tribal beats and chanting in her own made up language, sometimes spacey beats. My favorite track was Sirens because of the warlby gurgly vocals and the eerie ambient background.
— Billie Joe Tolliver