KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Tourette – “Jardin Du Sommeil Chant D’Amour Sur La Nuit Grandissante” – [Troniks]

lexi glass   8/14/2020   A Library, CD

From this album’s opening moments – a mournful piano repeating in a hypnotic loop as scrap metal thunder rumbles overhead – I was struck by its severe beauty. Tourette is Benjamin Clément of Montreuil, France. On these three longform pieces, he contrasts graceful sounds – piano, strings, otherworldly voices, brilliant ambience – with punishing storms of harsh noise. Artists who use pleasing sounds in noise have their naysayers, but Tourette proves that in the hands of a skillful composer, the lighter moments make the impact of the noise assault that much more powerful. This is one of the best records I’ve heard in some time, and a new favorite that I’ll continue to revisit.

Dream Skills – “Vol. 3 Signal & Decay” – [Fortissimo]

whngr   8/14/2020   12-inch, A Library

Quiet-minimalist-cerebral-electronic-ambient-birds-beats-bedlam. 

Brooding, bizarre, uplifting, sad, strange, a curious thread that ties (binds) then relinquishes. An interesting dichotomy unfolds, both soothing and slightly abstract. Solo project by Donald Grant Mills, founding Member of U.K.’s Action Beat, forgoes guitars in this sultry and intimate slide into synthesizer based sounds. I’m thinking Mobius Strip, Cinderaura, I’m feeling chill, relaxing in sequestration. I’ve got my head right, my solitude, and my wandering inner dialogue. Minimal vocals, some found sounds, weird levels, and a slightly unnerving tempo with varying moods though all of them feel very personal and introspective. A sprawling review can be found on the Dream Skills b-camp for those that are seeking a more exhaustive perspective. 

Müller, Anne – “Heliopause” – [Erased Tapes Records]

Medusa of Troy   8/12/2020   12-inch, A Library

He·li·o·pause   /ˈhēlēəˌpôz/

noun ASTRONOMY

: the boundary of the heliosphere.

noun MUSIC

: a new album by Berlin-based cellist and composer Anne Müller with 6 tracks that she wrote, recorded, arranged and produced. Müller takes her cello beyond the boundaries of classical music to something trance, chill, ambient. Transcendentally experimental, especially Track 1, “Being Anne,” which is played on a broken piano, combined with cello and drum loops. All of them are good, a personal favorite is Nummer 2 (track 3)- in this time of social isolation and uncertainty, it has the power to slow thoughts, deepen breathing and unknit tense muscles if you give yourself over to it. Don’t fight it, surrender to the strings and beats – you may end up in an entirely new headspace.

ORIGINAL MAMBO KINGS, THE – “An Introduction to Afro-Cubop 1948-1954” – [Verve Records]

aarbor   8/12/2020   A Library

Machito and his Orchestra with various guests: Mario Bauza, Flip Phillips and Charlie Parker  are center stage here, along with Dizzy Gillespie and his Orchestra, Andre’s All Stars and Howard McGhee and His Afro-Cuboppers. Other jazz heavy hitters also play here creating a star-studded lineup. Some well-known tunes like Caravan, and mostly ones you haven’t heard in a variety of styles; makes this a very versatile recording. Don’t overlook this one!

AArbor

MONTOYA, CARLOS – “Flamenco Antiguo” – [RCA Victor]

aarbor   8/12/2020   A Library

Master Flamenco guitarist Carlos Montoya shows his brilliance here. The playing is spectacular. Whether or not you like Flamenco, his guy is the real deal. Apparently each selection was recorded in 1 take! This recording is from 1963 when he was doing a lot of recording and concerts.   He is credited with having transformed flamenco guitar into a separate musical style, not just the accompaniment to dance. His style is considered controversial and non-traditional, but you can’t argue with his playing and musicianship. AArbor

Larson, Dr. Pete & His Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band – “Dr. Pete Larson & His Cytotoxic Nyatiti Band” – [Dagoretti Records]

aarbor   8/12/2020   CD, International

Dr. Pete Larson is an epidemiologist who now resides in Ann Arbor, MI. He went to Nairobi,Kenya from 2014-2017 to work on public health issues and immersed himself in the music scene there. He also was enchanted by the Nyatiti -an 8 string lute/lyre played by the Luo people in West Kenya and learned to play it. Before going to Kenya, Larson was a guitarist who played in various rock and noise bands. The heart of this music is Larson’s Nyatiti which offers circular melodies for the other musicians to play with, around and in. “There is no beginning and end in traditional Kenyan music,” says Larson, so the performances are improvised pentatonic jams, not practiced sets. “You set the tempo and the rhythm pattern, and other musicians join in.”  AArbor    

Sour Spirit – “Cataclysm, OK?” – [Self Release]

lexi glass   8/5/2020   A Library, Cassette

First addition to our library from this Philly experimental two piece of Rodnie King and Riot Dent. They floor it right out of the gate, ripping through the first four tracks with blasts of drums, filthy bass and monstrous screamed vocals. There’s hardly chance to catch your breath between the call to lose yr shit on the dance floor (T5), a hip hop interlude on the slow suffocation of being black in America (T6), a sludgy, squirming jam (T7), and an increasingly familiar moment of disbelief, where there’s no words but “oh, fuuuuuck” (T8). The tape runs out with total noise breakdown of “endless death” (T9), while the last couple tracks swerve into oncoming traffic to end it all. Recorded and self released in 2017, but hits just right during the current cataclysm.

FCC T8

Dagger – “Writhing In The Light of The Moon” – [Lengua Armada Discos]

whngr   8/3/2020   7-inch, A Library

Aggressive low fidelity hardcore punk with hooks from Crown Point and Hammond, Indiana ca. 2017.

Shrieking, down strokes, tinny, fast, four guys, one-two, angry, and good. Have a listen, then a look at the four part docu-series of their first tour and decide for your fucking self:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=29&v=aaHlj43lgx0&feature=emb_logo

Za Frumi – “Tach” – [Waerloga]

whngr   8/2/2020   A Library, CD

Pan flutes and bongos, ambient cave sounds, synthesizers, and Orcish musings. Not sure if they are inspired by Tolkien, World of Warcraft, or both but it is pretty absurd, simplistic, and difficult to sink one’s teeth into. Points for being Swedish and releasing their first album before the Lord of the Rings movies.I was introduced to Za Frûmi when we added “Za Shum Ushatar Uglakh” to the library last year and after hearing to the review but before listening the album I was pretty bummed that I wasn’t the first volunteer to be considered for any and all Orc-synth reviews. I guess they just don’t know me that well yet, I thought. But now that I have been saddled with “Tach” I slightly resent having to absorb and review it. Honestly it is pretty lame, niche, and makes me think about what the night-shift worker at the AM/PM might record when they had to work the weekend of the renaissance fair. That said, it is so far off the beaten path that I find it hard to imagine anyone else trying to add to this extremely esoteric genre. Making it so nerdy and cult that I am obligated to champion (if softly) this project (for a little while anyway). 

Namanax – “Cascading Waves of Electronic Turbulence” – [Release Records]

whngr   8/1/2020   A Library, CD

Namanax is mid-weight to harsh electronic noise from James Plotkin (O.L.D., Khanate, et al.), Bill Yurkiewicz (Exit-13, Pica, Purge), and Kipp Johnson (Also of Purge, Candiru, Elixir) and all three are in Solarus.
Track 1 is pretty intense, unrelenting and relatively short (11:39) when measured up against the second track (47:01) which has a trembling pulse that stretches through its entirety. There is some structure to the dissonance, white-noise, and near subsonic sounds that act as a beat of sorts. Hypnotizing and methodical with intermittent jarring stabs of crunchy noise. Again, after a while I begin to hear voices but they come from within my brain as this kind of repetition has a way of exciting my language center. It seems though the words lack meaning they allude to self preservation and perseverance.

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