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Music Reviews

Toniutti, Agnese – "Subtle Matters" – [Neuma]

Cousin Mary   7/30/2021   CD, Jazz

Italian pianist Agnese Toniutti explores the possibilities of sound from piano, timbre piano, and toy piano in the her compositions and those of Lucia Dlugoszewski, Tan Dun, Phillip Corner. Tinkly, booming, comedic, and thought provoking.

PGM: Some tracks go quiet quite a few seconds before they end.

Hiraoka, Toshiyuki – "Waterphone II" – [Edgetone Records]

Cousin Mary   7/30/2021   A Library, CD

A waterphone (invented by Richard Waters) consists of a steel resonator bowl with steel rods around the perimeter. Sometimes it is used with water to create an ethereal effect. Hiaroka is known for his horror film soundtracks. This album’s cuts are minimal, repetitve, and shimmering that result in a very pleasant and soothing sound. The metallic and echoing tracks are very mysterious.

Lewis Bailey – "Instrumental Stylings of .., The" – [Laguna Bay Records]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   12-inch, A Library

As explained in the album insert, Lewis Bailey was involved with a number of instrumental surf bands after leaving the Woggles. This limited edition album includes the bands Stingray International, The Surf Kings, and The Novarays. Extremely well played and arranged surf standards and originals. Bailey has relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area from Florida, much to the delight of the local surf music community.

Santo & Johnny – "Hawaii" – [Canadian-American Records, Ltd.]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   12-inch, B Library

Santo and Johnny are of course known for their classic Sleepwalk. This 1961 album featuring many Hawaiian cornball tunes is saved by their fine steel guitar work. The Hutch Davie Orchestra and Chorus add some campy harp glissando and vocals that are almost too much, but there is a sweetness here that will take you to a different time and place. I especially liked the tracks written by Santo and Johnny – Sea Shells, Reflections and Isle of Dreams. A fine way to cool off on a summer day or warm up in the winter.

Tremolo Beer Gut, The – "You Can't Handle…" – [Musick Recordings]

Cousin Mary   7/29/2021   A Library, CD

This terrific album is welcome news from this (mostly) instrumental band from Denmark that is held in high regard by the surf music community. Lots of variety in these tunes, just check the liner notes to see the long list of instruments, especially keyboards. “Vocals” are occasional syllables and words. Heavy sound, lots of bass, sort of scary. Fuzz on track 15, the whistling on track 16, have fun exploring.

Disrage – “Noise Rhythm” – [Craneal Fracture Records]

whngr   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Low fidelity Hardcore from Spain 2015

Renou i ràbia desde Menorca.
Noise and rage from Menorca.

Furious attack (guitar,bass,drums,vox) without brakes.

A tirade of malice, though unintelligible, the message is clear:

Aim for the heart and pull the trigger.


Las Garras de la Otan = The Claws Of N.A.T.O.

Aphotykum – “Cimmerian Sessions, The” – [Legion Blotan]

whngr   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Crusty Tinny and Tyrannical

2-piece Black Metal from the U.K./Switzerland 2017

Malevolent and sadistic, this deviant offender is a known associate of Legion Blotan. Blaring murky riffs while extolling the virtues of Cimmeria, the culture of a nomadic people in Asia-Minor ca. 1000 B.C. Stating their lyrical themes on Metallum as: Dark Ages, Barbarism, Pagan Heritage with evocative titles like “A Falcon’s Quest” and “Spirits of the Mounds” we are drawn into an ancient world filled with violence and war expressed with a phenomenal guitar tone and a dismal recording that is both visceral and disorienting. Listening at high volumes may lead to head wounds by disrupting the equilibrium, causing falls and leaving listeners concussed. Fitting, as the final track, “Stormriders of Death” (A8) features a sample of bombs being dropped from a plane, not barbarian activity but of a similar brutality perhaps. Not clever but still quite appealing to the ear of this miserable volunteer.

Abi Ooze – “Bad Egg” – [Aklasan Records]

whngr   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Cynical and catchy Garage Power Dirge Pop Punk Rock from Philadelphia 2018Snotty, smart, and honest fem lyrics with a biting perspective on both social and personal subjects. Heart warming and heart breaking tones and delivery. Like falling in love the moment her spit hits your face. Vicious guitar tone with nasty hooks on a solid Pop foundation in front of a thunderous shimmering beat. Shake your ass to the rejection. Aileen Wuornos chimes in, spoiler alert, she’s pissed. Includes a few cameos by other contemporary monsters. Five cutting satires of the travesty that is our modern society. Hopeless and direct, “Bad Egg” is probably a reference to the genre and its rival , “Egg Punk” (twee, silly, major keys) and “Chain Punk” (aggressive/nihilistic/minor keys). One might suppose that this EP was titled as a kind of response to the divisive online debate (smh why can’t we all get along?! ;P) that raged(s?) by proponents from both camps. Flame wars, ghosting, and doxing may have occurred but who the fuck cares.? Not Abi Ooze. She just wants to fucking rock out!  And perhaps flip the ugly razor-blade frittata of a cassette, greasy side down, on the pallets of people with ears that hear and brains that think. Are you one of ’em?  
Abi Ooze is one Jade Baisa (all instruments)
There may be FCC’s on A1 (is that a Amber alert tone or just guitar feedback?) and A3  (I’m sure that she’s sayin’ “SUCKERS, SUCKERS!” not the other, far naughtier word. Roll the dice outside of safe harbor, pay the consequences I guess, but don’t play it all and you are the one who loses (your listeners being the unwary bystanders to your hapless mistake). Forbidden sounds removed (primarily) from this cassette and cd, conforming to on-air requirements in an effort to maintain friendly relations with the Federal Communication Commission. True completists will need to scour the internet as Sorry State is sold the fuck out and the release seems to have been pulled from Discogs which is… Punk af 

Golden Hallway Music – "Rules & Chance Vol. 2" – [Not Not Fun Records]

cinder   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Solo project of Zack Tornaben, who created this over the pandemic in his Manhattan apartment, using a 1968 electric combo organ and primitive drumbox, ran through a two-machine tape delay. It’s a harmonious cosmical journey through cotton candy clouds and iridescent dew kissed tulips. Very light, airy and relaxing rhythms. An ambient looped voyage. Shimmery, meditative, and summery. 

Burial Wreaths – "Burial Wreaths" – [Threat Electronics]

cinder   7/28/2021   A Library, Cassette

Not a lot of information floating around on this project, but it’s a collective from Southern California. They’re calling themselves power electronics, and you do get some of that. It’s not blasting white noise and power drills though. It’s more experimental electronics and the weird sounds you can make playing around with your digital and analog toys. There’s repetitive beats, twisted knobs, echoed winds… industrial more than harsh. Each “track” is a new discovery. Intriguing group? Person? Robot?

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