KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Wong, Theresa – “Practicing Sands” – [Focsle Music]

kittywompus   1/31/2023   A Library

Practicing Sands is the latest project from Bay Area cellist, composer, and vocalist Theresa Wong. Experimental improvisation pieces inspired by “…the sounds of the natural world and sensation’s of [her] sonic genetic memory.”(bandcamp), each song runs about three to four minutes long with the exception of Opening Sea which runs 11:52. Deep, wavy plucking and Wong’s own vocal interjections create a variety of sounds ranging from spooky to mournful and occasionally bizarre. My favorites off this album are Everyday Light, a very unexpected but playful track reminiscent of birds flittering through an early spring morning, and Opening Sea an ominous and entrancing track appropriately suited for deep dive into the recesses of your mind. – KittyWompus 

Masma Dream World – “Play At Night” – [Northern Spy]

kittywompus   1/31/2023   A Library

Hypnotic and unnerving, Devi Mambouka’s otherworldly vocals and tone changes create a transcendental experience to the listener. The tracks are relatively short (averaging 2 and half minutes) but impactful, and flow into one another creating a cohesive trip into phases mirroring that of an actual trip, you find yourself thrown into to different scenes; a music filled temple, in front of a live band, a void of your own self awareness and dread, a room where you swear you hear static on the floor though no one else seems to, and back to the void. “Rest in Peace” and “Sundown forest” are my two favorites from the album, but be sure to listen to the album all the way through with headphones on, it’s an experience. 

Hermanos Gutierrez – “El Bueno Y El Malo” – [Easy Eye Sound]

Albion Moonlight   1/29/2023   A Library, CD

Guitar duo Hermanos Gutierrez, brothers Estevan and Alejandro are Ecuadoran-born musicians who reside in Zurich, Switzerland. These 10 instrumental tracks are rooted in Western (‘the old west’) and Latin American music traditions. In an NPR interview, they stated that they are heavily influenced by movie film scores, hence the release’s title. What results are beautifully haunting compositions featuring electric guitars and sparse percussion, with lots of reverb and sustain; surf music of the Pampas perhaps?

This release was recorded in Nashville and produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Highly recommended. Take a journey with the brothers to unimagined tonal vistas both familiar, strange, and melancholy.

Diamond Ortiz – “Bulletproof” – [Needle to the Groove]

karma   1/27/2023   12-inch, Soul

Diamond Ortiz was raised in Oakland, and he and his family played with funk musicians from Graham Central Station at an early age. He is now a modern/street funk musician in LA, and has also done session work for many hip-hop/rap artists (such as Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hussle). This album pays homage to classic funk and hip-hop, and sometimes mixes them (the funk cover of California Love can duke it out with the orchestral version of the song from Sly5thAve). Ortiz’s talkbox skills and infectious optimism are a welcome dose of serotonin for the dark, cold nights of Soul Patrol. Or anytime!

Acid Twilight – “Mustang Zodiac” – [Not Not Fun]

karma   1/26/2023   A Library, CD

Second release by Buenos Aires-based modal psychedelia entity. Meandering instrumental tracks which feature a combination of electronic synth and a variety of acoustic instruments. The marimba on track one in particular has an earthy feel. Listening to Mustang Zodiac is reminiscent of a days-long train journey through slowly yet dramatically changing landscape. The album takes a while to build steam, and the message it sends is most visible after repeated listening.

“I want this music to invite the listener to contemplate the curves, cliffs, peaceful valleys, and quiet lagoons, the nights through the desert in the light of the full moon, the early mornings through immense sand dunes of imaginary sea coasts. The fire, the flow of water in the river. It’s a séance and a ceremony. Mustang Zodiac is a journey to rediscover our external world and our inner nature, a dialogue between being and environment. It is a commitment to the technological and the telluric, a hybrid of the Fourth World and electronic primitivism.”

-Acid Twilight

Deadform – “Deadform” – [Brainsand]

whngr   1/26/2023   A Library, Cassette

Created with GIMP

Oakland It Hurts

Feels sick and hopeless with despair. Five sonnets scrawled in the illegible script of the forsaken psychiatrist who has given up on the oath of Hippocrates, wrote on the gutter stained prescription pad of a life filled with abuse, confusion, and loss. Moderately fierce, feverishly despondent, three-piece sludge merchants/doom-saints crust out with chugging and a few perverted nods to Iommi. Unsettling samples/ambience, furious kit abuse, and a bit of slightly cringe worthy guitar leads that are rough and pinchy but paradoxically enjoyable… with riffs and guttural bellows that stretch bestial tendrils into the primordial lizard brain. The endless search for heaviness continues by one of the absolute paragons of the dark crafts and cultivator of an unmistakably regional sound that effectively channels profound mental illness into a life devoted to suffering.  An arguably noble, if hellish, cause that has grabbed many of us by our foundations, executed by one…

Dino Sommese (Dystopia, Asunder, Noothgrush) drummer and vocalist of profound influence with bassist Brian Clouse (Stormcrow, Fema Coffin), and Judd Hawk (Laudanum) on guitar. 

When AIDS slid this into my box and I discovered Dino was up to something new I went straight to the internet to see if I could cop a feel off b-camp and was immediately enthused but when I went to dub the cassette it sounded pretty fucking murky. Sometimes that can be good… but I decided that I would purchase the FLACs for a bit of unit measurin’. Whose do you prefer #6’s dirty as fuck analog contribution or my super clean, soulless offering built with ones and zeros. They are both on the cd. Mark your preferrence, ya slag, and I’ll tally all two of your meek little votes, and award the winner with absolutely nothing… at the end of never.

Oakland CA – 2022

Mo*Te – “Regulate Body Temperature” – [Rural Isolation Project]

whngr   1/26/2023   A Library, CD

Strange washes of mid-weight noise with distorted child-like melodies.

A child is playing alone quietly in the dayroom as the sun from the window stretches in oblique angles over the wall and floor, suddenly the air expands, making the windows flex gently as the crayon drawings taped to the colorful, muralled walls flutter and then fall to the carpet ornamented by friendly fish… our little one has discovered the gift of telekinesis and the blocks they were playing with begin to spiral into the air in a helical anomaly. Life will never be the same.

MO*TE is one  Fumiyuki Nagura of Saitama. Solo noise artist with at least 41 releases stretching back to 1995 and who was inactive from 2000 to 2009.
Japan – 2022

Schurer* ^ Steinbruchel* – “Falte” – [Non Visual Objects]

whngr   1/26/2023   A Library, CD

European High Art

Mostly somber abstractions constructed using the exquisite corpse method. I do something without you, you do something without me, and when we connect them it must be divine providence. Bells, chimes, drones, and hums, digital burbs, purrs, and equilibrium disrupting chords on these minimalist compositions intended tor an installation in 2006 at the Kunsthaus Zurich with a four channel visual accompaniment by Yves Netzhammer that we all most likely missed. These tracks might pair well with artisanal French pressed coffee and the rain on a quiet afternoon, inside with a cat and some light reading or possibly a dream of being pressed lightly inside a quiet French cat after noon in the rain.

Schurer* is one Brend Schurer, electro-acoustic, computer music composer, conceptual sound, performance, and installation artist (oh brother… you get an eye roll for that cv off from soundcloud) and Steinbrüchel* is German musician and graphic designer Ralph Steinbrüchel, both of whom reside in:

Zurich – 2007

Cetilia, Mark – “The New Way” – [More Records]

whngr   1/26/2023   12-inch, A Library

Not “modern jazz” you blind old fuck! MODEM JAZZ. If you’re volunteering here there is a 89.7% chance that you are closer to your grave than you are from your mother’s “Master studio” and if you’re from around here you are well beyond remembering the modem… you probably helped design them! Anyway this record yeah, sounds like modems drunk on jug wine and smoking filterless cigarettes with a fair amount of drone… and probably a few nasty surface nicks… that quizzically sound a little like other parts of the album that potentially are not a damaged record but at this point, here in 2023, in our modern audiosphere,  who can truly know the difference between intent and destiny? What is the difference between a quiet percussive passage and a damaged LP? What is intent? What is your intent… right now? Does it involve free will? Is the man in control of his destiny, or is the computer manipulating the man. Have computers finally freed us from free will? All important questions to ask… one’s that I have no answer to, but know this, you are free to play this potentially damaged double LP on the radio to a handful of other people whose lives are likely on the short end of their life stick. 

“The New Way” could easily be accused of having beats, but could also just as easily be considered interpretive beats or maybe “beat adjacent”? Beepy beats? I dunno, there is a lot of quiet and minimalism too. Maybe it’s a metaphor for something…  maybe the space between the beeps are the beats. 

“What is beats”?

From his very pretty website:

“…. Mark Cetilia is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice exists at the nexus of sound and image, the analog and the digital”… including …”generative systems in art, design, and sonic practice…” and, “…carefully controlled chaos.” 

So this is art I guess.

Rhode Island – 2022

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