I can’t stop laughing about this one. Some background info for those not in the know. Lil Bub is a cat, from outer space, who is an internet sensation like LOL Cat and Grumpy Cat. She has her own Youtube talk show with guests like Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Albini (Big Black, music producer). So Lil Bub was born with a serious bone disorder that would have made her paralyzed. But amazingly, she pulled through and now walks fairly well (probably because of her roots from outer space). She does have her tongue continually hanging out and a unique meow which are some of her selling points. BUT…. Lil Bub is also a music composer who has channeled or “guided” her human persons through the process of composition. Matt Tobey, her person, says she guides him continuously and Andrew WK experienced her power, first hand, in the studio. The 10 tracks are electronic lounge styled tunes with guitar and strings with drum beats, very fitting for what is being made by other musicians today. It’s cat cocktail music from space. And Lil Bub meows and purrs vocals, but not in that ostentatious white trash cat, cat’s meowing “Jingle Bells” sell out style. Lil Bub is the real deal: not overdoing it, knowing how a little of her goes a long way. No ego for Lil Bub. A sincere true artist. Enjoy and dance away.
Bricusse, Leslie and Newley, Anthony – “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” – [Universal Music Enterprises]
C’mon! It’s Willy Freakin’ Wonka. The 45th Anniversary edition. On GOLDEN VINYL!!!!!!!! Iconic. The songs of several generations. Even kids today say it’s better than the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version.
Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley hit a home run with this soundtrack about the poor boy who makes it big. Songs about spoiled brats, psychedelic boat rides on chocolate rivers, orange little people singing oompa loompa, songs about the near death of children by some of the most diabolical methods that out-Saw the “Saw” franchise. There’s the most unhappy song about cheering up, “Cheer Up, Charlie” and, of course, “The Candy Man”, made famous in a rocking funky version by Sammy Davis, Jr. Oh, and did I mention Gene Wilder. Gene Freakin’ Wilder!!!!! PLAY IT and all you dark heart naysayers can go jump in a chocolate river.
This is a true treat: 20 tracks, mostly instrumental, by the stunning guitarist, Eddie Pennington. Hailing from Kentucky, he plays in the parlor movement style of Kentucky thumbpicking. (Read the booklet for an in depth explanation.) His skills are ever apparent. The notes float by ever so delicately, with intricate twists and turns that captivate the listener. His playing in so smooth, so perfect it is almost unreal. You can just see him sitting on a porch, picking away, telling stories, singing, and playing for hours. A joyful listen.
Life is good when folks like Astronauta Pinguim exist. Luckily he “landed” here, his words, specifically in Brazil. He is of the folks who find great joy in recreating sounds with vintage 60’s/70’s synths, electric organs, drum machines and voice modulated vocals. So good. Each song is a joy of moog, synth, electronique and robot vocals. Great beats, smooth sounds, and rockin’ titles. You can’t go wrong when one song is named after the iconic 3 words said in “The Day The Earth Stood Still” – “Klaatu Barada Nikto”- even if he spells the first word wrong -Kaatu. Do “The Robot” with this one. I will.
Mark Pino’s solo project Infinite Plastic Internal continues on the journey of modern day mantra with “Skyline Session”. Six instrumental tracks of percussion and drone, filled with many moments of silence and pause, this time. Sometimes the sound is what sounds like the hiss of a tape recorder. Other times, Pino’s drumming takes over guiding the listener through an array of rhythms and beats. Exceptional, as always.
Salamander Wool’s music is by Carso Garhart and Twig Harper contributes electronic elements and production techniques. The first track is probably the best, with its field sounds (recorded over time in West Baltimore) and bells. Vocals join the sounds partway through the track, and are present on the other tracks as well. These are an acquired taste, but the music itself is pleasant enough, with its guitar strumming that is Americana-esque. Track 5 has water sounds and then whirring (a washing machine?). The lyrics have merit, and overall this might just be great music for the solar eclipse coming up.
In a worthy tribute to their mother, the Opalio brothers join with Montera for some instantaneous composition in Marseille, France. In addition to the lovely painting gracing the album cover, Roberto adds his haunting wordless vocalizations and alientronics to Maurizio’s self-made string instrument and Montera’s self-made guitar table. The effects are calming, atmospheric, strange, and out of this world superb.
This release from NYC’s Compile, one of our first adds from the Boston cassette label Private Archive, holds two sidelong sound collages (supposedly two separate tracks, but I can’t hear the division). “Drone’s on Fire/Ten Wolves End” (A) is a collaboration with Article Collection (C. Latina of the group Private Archive and label co-owner). Chopped and screwed voices – possibly ripped from Youtube videos with views in the single digits or surveillance camera footage – describe survival on the streets and the pathetic daily life of a vlogger broadcasting for the first (and probably last) time. Underneath the samples are synth sketches, heavy bass pulses, tumbling metal, high pitched ringing, hovering drones. The piece degenerates into a finale that is both hilarious and terrifying. In “Compile/Did you really have fun tonight?” (B), recordings of domestic disturbances and an informational video about violent behavior steep in a nauseating brew of chants, drones, metallic echoes, and squirming synthwork. The cameras are everywhere, pointed at you, and the images captured are an infinitely scrolling reminder: there’s nothing in there.
FCCs ON BOTH SIDES
Trumpeter Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground, Isotope 217) and electric pianist Thollem McDonas (Tsigoti, Estamos Ensemble) meet for the first time in Marfa and head for the outer limits. As might be expected from a pair of experienced improvisers with incredibly diverse interests, they hit a variety of spots along the way. It helps that Mazurek is packing a sampler, a modular synth, bells, and his prodigious voice in addition to his horn. Electric-era Miles is the obvious referent, but there are also Oval-style glitch experiments, modular synth workouts, free-folk psych freakouts, and even some “straight” free-improv. Of particular note are those moments when Mazurek’s shamanic chanting breaks through the squall, and the whole thing threatens to break itself apart. Noisy, messy, and joyous.
Remixed Death In June material (from around the time of Wall of Sacrifice, so go ahead and play “Spot the Sample”), sent through the mail by Douglas P. and remixed by the Frenchman Erik Konofal, from Les Joyaux De La Princesse. The title “Ostenbraun” is somewhat perplexing, as its use of umlauts is unorthodox and its significance is not immediately clear- umlauts aside, it means east (or possibly eastern) brown. “Braun” has become political shorthand for “Nazi” or “extreme right-wing” in German, and Pearce has an open and well-documented fascination with the Sturmabteilung or SA (Brownshirts), and with their founder Ernst Rohm in particular. I will leave you with this.
Slow and sad, it’s the music you play at the funeral after they send Johnny (or Jean-Paul) home in a box. Sometimes, though, it’s just slow. The music is comprised primarily of loops, largely of instrumental parts: drums, organs, string instruments. Other sounds are muffled voices, singing ghost children, church bells and Douglas P. reciting different spoken word pieces (there’s some Nietzsche in there). Almost everything has been put through filters and subject to other tweaks, so even the recognisable sounds are not straight-up. Konofal almost certainly added his own synth work to the mix, and the sleepy gloom that lies over the LP is more characteristic of his work than Death In June’s, so the martial foreboding never evolves into an imposing one-handed salute to men in uniform. Play it for Rohm, if you’d like… but don’t tell anybody.
G*Park is Marc Zeier, the most obscure member of the already obscure Schimpfluch-Gruppe. His solo work is a surreal blend of field recordings, musique concret, and tape loops.
This box set (1 of only 77) contains CD reissues of 5 of G*Park’s earliest cassette recordings, along with one CD of previously-unreleased improvisation with Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock. Also included are a glossy booklet of artwork and a bag of tea.
Lots of loops and layers going on here, a rich collage flowing directly through the sub-conscious (or un-conscious) mind of the listener. Flittery bird calls and heavy machinery, like a field trip through an under-construction menagerie. Ominous tones, drones, and groans confuse and disorient.
Quasi-rhythmic scrapes and clangs. Heavy breathing, snoring, gurgling. Dreamy nitrous-oxide induced bliss. The dental chair and all its drills, picks, blood, and bright lights feels so far away.
Hazy radio transmissions pulled from the ether. Distant memories of high-school football. Crunches, crashes, and sharp staccato piano snap you out of it, and take you somewhere else, somewhere darker.
Follow up to 2016’s Wood Flute Songs oversize box. All compositions William Parker. In the tradition of Mingus and Ellington. Both CDs recorded live on the same day in 2016.
Parker’s namesake quartet on CD1 features OKC’s Jalalu Kalvert-Nelson on trumpet, CD2 In Order To Survive quartet features Cooper-Moore on piano. Both CDs feature Parker-bass, Rob Brown-alto, Hamid Drake- drums.
CD1 – Kalvert-Nelson on “Rodney’s Resurrection”. Brown on “Handsome Lake.” Drake and Parker swing hard all disc.
CD2 – Cooper-Moore channels Cecil Taylor and Don Pullen. Check out “Some Lake Oliver.” Parker’s bow on “Sunrise ..” lets you know he is completely in control.
Trippy guitar distorted/hip hop beats/spoken word/jazzy. Playful and creative. The sort of thing you make someone listen to and watch their reaction while it’s playing.
— Billie Joe Tolliver
Glen or Glenda has been described as “jazz music for a horror movie” and I agree. They are Adrian Riffo, Christophe Ratier, Mathieu Fuster, Melody Gottardi.
Dinosaur, Baseball & Hopscotch is Clare Hubbard, Justin Clifford Rhody, Keith Wright Sounds like a slow grind. Horn drums and panting breathing beat boxing. Both noisy hippy jam freak outs. Really groovy.
— Billie Joe Tolliver
This album came out thirty years ago. Bay area dude. He’s done a lot of important stuff like taught at Washington University and had fellowships. He is associated with the Deep Listening Institute founded by Pauline Oliveros This is three long minimal droney toney pieces. Horns on tracks 1 and 3 and didj on track 2. Absolutely delicious. Good for calming down or staying bummed out.
— Billie Joe Tolliver
Oakland-based percussionist and composer Jordan Glenn is a modern-day Mingus, known as much for his mastery of his chosen instrument as for his unique and compelling ensemble work (cf. BEAK, Wiener Kids). Here, he collaborates with Jim Ryan, a Bay Area poet who used to pal around with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Glenn’s compositions feature hammered dulcimer, vibraphone, and piano, and mesh perfectly with Ryan’s gravely, sage-like voice. The mood is mostly somber and melancholy (although watch out for T5 which works itself into a bit of a frenzy with some hand percussion and guitar pyrotechnics), and I can’t help but envision an old man alone in his castle, whiskey coursing through his veins, slowly going insane. Guaranteed to both fit in and stand out in any show. Highly recommended!
Heard a fine superimposition mix of this back on
then the DJ donated this 3 lp set to KFJC! Thx, Sluggo
Brothers square off against each other, Mayor vs Doctor.
A town prospers off the illness of visitors but at the
cost of the health of the townspeople. The individual
is pitted against the majority, but that majority is
quickly relabeled authority. Meanwhile in the battle of
science and politics, corporations and the press have
their own maneuvers. This Caedmon (!!) release includes
a post-game side-long chat between Harold Clurman and
Arthur Miller, whose adaptation was used for this recording.
Miller astutely predicts future relevancies for this work,
the river that runs through this album ran through Flint MI
all too recently. Giving a different taste to the line
“We’ll go to America and this whole thing will be like
a dream.” Recorded in 1971, adapted by Miller in 1950,
originally written by Ibsen in 1882. Awaiting your KFJC
Teenage DaneDream of Damaged SynthPop
Does any label time travel better than Dark Entries?
This was recorded back in December 1981, but apparently
only availale wth a Danish magazine as a cassette in 1985.
Inge Shannons vocals are featured to lead off the album
in isolated fashion and layered, on “Untitled” (A2) they
are draped in echo, droning over a churning pace but
hit a break where they go wonderfully cuckoo. “Superior”
has a proto-Motorik bassline with some new wave synth
waves but then is that a toy piano or a ukele, and later
it sounds like some skittering violin. Inge sings sorta
pretty on this near anthem. Something’s rockin’ in
Denmark? By the end of side A, she’s got a fierce femme
Peter Murphy rolling for “Impressions.” And drums on that
and through-out are well slugged by Martin Hall. Check
the interview with him in the booklet, he’s still creating
to this day, he and Inge were in SS-Say that turned up in
a retro collection on Minimal Wave, but this really does
not mope much in minimal waters. A dingy darkness, and
some sick synths and electric “treatments” from Per
Hendrichsen do demand attention. Hall’s bass playing can
be brutal slappy in a fine way, like on “Light, More Light”
And who tortures those horns on that elongated piece!?!
Second “Untitled” is a haunting ghost piano soundscape.
Hard to pin down this LP, def’ an attractive neuroticism
Killing Joke-y, but different? For a bunch of teenage Danes,
really well-assembled. It got lost for a while, and even
after Dark Entries uncovered it in 2010, it must have befuddled
some KFJC’ers, but it’s well worth the wait. Skilled and
Ima (“now” in Japanese) is an Oakland-based electro-percussion duo who have been performing since 2013. Amma Ateria (Jeanie Aprille Tang) is a composer and artist who works with field recordings and an instrument made from electronic hardware, contact mics, and plexiglass. Nava Dunkelman is a percussionist who has performed in several local groups, including the improvisational group DunkelpeK. This live CDR recording of their performance from the 2017 Garden of Memory at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland was burned and released on the spot at the event.
I still haven’t been to the Chapel of the Chimes, but the sounds on this record match the image of it I have in my mind: beautiful, maze-like, heavy with the presence of those laid to rest. Echoing through the chapel’s halls are the rumbles of gongs, ringing bells, metallic clashes, crashes, whispered phrases that are looped and processed. “Notion of Time” (T1) is a short spoken word introduction (in Japanese). In “Lift” (T3) a dark, deep drone pulses throughout. The album concludes with the exquisite “Eline” (T5) with chimes glimmering in the dark. Stunning.
Conceptual dark ambient from 1992 courtesy of two German dudes. Ominous rumblings, croaking frogs, gently wailing guitars,the occasional whispered female vocal: about as scary as that haunted house you and your friends made in 7th grade. Tracks run into each other and are divided strangely, so play on continous and dip in wherever. For fans of Barn Owl, Fennesz, Tim Hecker.