KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Universe 25 [Birth Control Productions]

Number 6   1/15/2021   A Library

two lengthy “rehearsal” tracks, one per side of the cassette from a California recluse who enjoys fitting into the bray of the public rabble, probing a reflective mental fullness of decay laced with longterm effects of drug enlightenment while seducing passengers unaware of the trap he has set for you in his kill room of heavy, thick noise penetration, ruptured by periodically emerging then vanishing, odd and awkward hints of pulsing tension loosening bowels of restrained anticipation that inspires physical dance violence between predator and Teachers AIDS prey

Creation Rebel – The Best of Cutting Edge Hip Hop [coll] – [Cutting Edge]

aarbor   1/13/2021   CD, Hip Hop

Two CDs full of Japanese hip hop from 1995-2000. A variety of outfits with lyrics mostly in Japanese, although if you listen really carefully you’ll catch some FCC language hiding amidst the intense vocals and rhythms. I liked the variety and the Japanese-ness of the hip hop, although sadly all the liner notes and a number of the tracks were not only in Japanese but in Kanji. AArbor

Worrell, Bernie – "All The Woo In The World" – [Tidal Waves Music]

aarbor   1/13/2021   12-inch, Soul

Bernie Worrell (who died in 2016) was a founding member of Parliament/Funkadelic, also known for his work with Talking Heads. This is his first solo album, originally released in 1978. Featured artists include: P-Funk alums like George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and Eddie Hazel. One reviewer described it as “so funky you can smell it through the dust jacket.” This beautiful slab of orange vinyl has much of what you’d expect from Funkadelic: layered sounds, amazing horns, toe-tapping midtempo beat – a classic platter of cosmic slop. AArbor

Brown, James and The Famous Flames – "Tell Me What You're Gonna Do" – [Rumble Records]

aarbor   1/13/2021   12-inch, Soul

This is a 2015 re-release of an early 1960’s album by James Brown and the Famous Flames when they’d had a few hits, but hadn’t quite made the big time. James has gone beyond just being a “blues singer” or a gospel singer and is singing ballads and covers here as well. What I love is the energy and intensity of his singing here – a star on the way to super stardom. AArbor

Body Double -“Milk Fed” -[Zum]

mickeyslim   1/12/2021   12-inch, A Library

Crunchy, post-punk indie tastiness from Oakland’s Candace Lazarou and Noah Adams. This is the freshman release of this duo coming hot off the Zum Audio press (more or less). This new project is sure to turn some heads, and KFJC is getting a jump start on the action.

Each short track is like a vacation into a romantic era poem, full of melancholy and  disturbed musing. Float above the clouds, watching as the world below eats itself alive. Static on the TV doesn’t bother you, because why would it? It’s all just a dream anyway…

Eagle Twin – “The Thundering Heard: Songs of Hoof and Horn” [Southern Lord Recordings]

Max Level   1/10/2021   A Library, CD

Stoner doom heaviness out of Utah, but actually coming from a more unusual place than that: Eagle Twin’s songs are about snakes and wolves and trees and buffalo and antlers and wings and crows and water and blood and fire… things considerably older and more profound than mere humanity. I mean what on this earth could possibly be bigger and heavier to write music about? Whew. Two guys are Eagle Twin–Gentry Densley brings thick layers of saturated guitar and sings in a deep rasp somewhere between Tom Waits and a Tuvan throat singer, and Tyler Smith’s drumming is pure punishment yet he is creative and never predictable. Give this huge-sounding record a listen and ponder the purity of spirit animals and the beautifully brutal forces of nature. From 2018.

Maximum Ernst – “Hallmark of a Crisis Period” – [Ever / Never]

lexi glass   1/6/2021   12-inch, A Library

This sick slab of “dada spew” is the first vinyl release from Maximum Ernst, the NYC duo of Josh Gordon and Erick Bradshaw (better known to WFMU listeners as Creamo Coyl of the Spin Age Blasters show). Two sidelong sound excursions, warming up with an easy hike into the depths of a strange noiseforest on “Un Menace Natural” until the darkness descends. The deepening dread carries over into the B side “Hallmark of a Crisis Period,” a collage of spoken word rants and ravings about science and schizophrenia reverberating alongside guitar feedback, synth attacks and harsh noise blasts. Released in Fall 2020 on NYC label ever/never.

Morwan – "Zola-Zemlya" – [Feel It Records]

Thurston Hunger   1/6/2021   12-inch, A Library

Morwan is Alex Ashtaui from Kiev. For a one-man band, this release is exceptionally full sounding. Ashtaui has great ear for a bassline, and some of those drums sound crisply live. He’s Slavic singing is often doubled, with a groan-drone reverb to the chanting style…but the chanting is more aligned with a holy man on an adrenaline binge. Guitar is thin and rattly, maybe a Soviet fender icing through a dark-wave of synth. Old Cure fans could easily re-dye their hair pitch black while listening to Волны. Ashtaui’s synth work often is cloudy with arrows of faux flute piercing it. That last track, Где-то там вдали almost has an Anatolian kind of vibe, just for reference I have no desire to start a holy war over its flavor. Apparently the combination of Arabic and Slavic, old folk and post-punk are the mesh that makes this quick five-track fix so mesmerizing. Perhaps, Alex merely worships rock, stylized rock as the cover image, looking like an asteroid hewn into the rough shape of an ancient saint or future visitor. Alien, familiar and inviting sounds here. The album title translates as “Ash-Earth” so maybe that is a self-portrait on the cover by this multi-talented artist (and professor?).

We got this imported by Feel It Records to the USA in 2020, but originally it was on an interesting Russian label Sierpien Records in 2019.

Marchetti, Walter – “La Caccia” – [Alga Marghen]

mickeyslim   1/5/2021   A Library, CD

Avante-garde noise art by Italian composer Walter Marchetti. La Caccia (meaning “the hunt”) is a 42-minute long masterpiece of forest/jungle music, chirps, birds, wisps, honks, horns, whistles, all spaced out between short silences. The first track is broken into two parts, indoor and open-air. From the liner notes: 

“open-air version

>the performers execute the sound actions with the use of birdcalls, whereas the non-sound actions make use of signals of a different nature: visual, touch, taste, olfactory, etc.

>each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a different, freely-chosen call. if the number of available birdcalls is fewer than the letters of the alphabet, a single call can be assigned to two or more letters.

>the rests, or silences, that follow each sound are produced by pacing off the number of steps – in any direction, from any starting point – which is scored as a figure of one, two three or four digits.”

“indoor version

>the sound actions are performed as above.

>the silences that follow each sound are produced by silently counting off numbers of one or two digits, slowly, quickly, or at any speed one likes; with figures of more than two digits, use is made of only the third or the last two.”

Make of that what you will….

The last two tracks are electronic drone pieces, the first being very literally that, a single drone sounding like a power saw from across the room. The second is a more harsh-noise-based wall of sound and has more depth to it than the first. The first track could very well be played simultaneously with either of the following tracks; the stark contrast between naturally- and electronically-made sounds is very apparent.

Another excellent release from Italian label Alga Marghen.

Quintron & Miss Pussycat – "Goblin Alert!" – [Goner Records]

humana   12/30/2020   A Library, CD

This is incredibly upbeat, catchy dance music with just the right amount of cheesiness added by the Hammond B3. The drum machine has been replaced by a drum kit, and it will all leave you wondering just how awful a baby must look to earn a comparison to a WMD (Stroller Pollution), and also chanting “Alchemy and accessories” (Weaver Wear) while you wear holes in your socks as you bop to the music. Personally, I’d love to hear a new Halloween soundtrack that included Goblin Alert as a featured song. Have fun with this one.

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