KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

GRANDEGGIO! TEMA DAL FILOM GILI 45 ANCORA UNA VOLTA

aarbor   11/13/2019   A Library

This is the soundtrack from the 2007 film Gili 45 ancora una volta (Gillian who is 45 once again). In fact this soundtrack is a compilation of other (mostly Italian) soundtracks. There’s something everyone can enjoy here. AArbor

LOS GUAPOS SENSIBLES – Bigaton/Decimas Del Desamor

aarbor   11/13/2019   A Library

On delicately pink vinyl, this is the 3rd release from Los Guapos Sensibles which came out last Valentines Day. A side: Bigoton was written by Alfredo Varela which features some vocoder vocals. On the B side: Decimas del Desamor (tenths of Heartbreak) was written by Ryan Drury (who is also part of Los Discos Duro and Los Jalogüines) and M. Juarez. This is danceable Cumbia music. AArbor

Valera, Kiki – Vivencias En Clave Cubana – [Origin Records]

aarbor   11/13/2019   CD, International

This is Kiki Valera’s Debut solo album. He is a Cuban master of the Quatro a 4-stringed chordophone now living in Seattle. He is a member of the Familia Valera Miranda – a century-old music dynasty which is known for Son Cubano, the infectious Cuban call and response song form which blends Spanish (song style and meter) and African (rhythm) musical traditions. Valera was exposed to Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Chick Corea through cassette tapes while in school and those jazz inspirations influence his cuatro solos. Valera is joined here by childhood friend, reknowned Cuban vocalist Coco Freeman. Valera and his ensemble pair 12 original songs with lovely instrumental work – put on your dancing shoes. AArbor

Anderson, Laurie / Choegyal, Tenzin / Smith, Jesse Paris – Songs From The Bardo – [Smithsonian Folkways]

aarbor   11/13/2019   12-inch, International

In Buddhism the “Bardo” is the period between death and rebirth. Tibetan Buddhists believe that when someone dies, their consciousness wanders through the Bardo for 7 weeks (49 days) before transitioning to a new life. The consciousness of the newly deceased becomes aware of and accepts the fact that it has recently died, and it reflects upon its past life. Here Laurie Anderson is your guide through the Bardo reading passages from The Tibetan Book of Dead (The Bardo Thodol) which is translated into Enligsh by Tenzin Choegyal. Feel the unknowable expanse of the Bardo through vibrations from various resonant instruments. Add a meditative set to your show while you reflect on your life.  Perhaps new inspiration will appear… AArbor

SONS OF KEMET – Your Queen Is A Reptile

aarbor   11/13/2019   A Library

The Sons of Kemet are a British jazz group formed in 2011. On this album (which was named Release of the Year 2018 by The Wire magazine), bandleader Shabaka Hutchings wrote and plays saxophone on all tracks, Theon Cross plays tuba, Seb Rochford and Tom Skinner play drums. It also features toaster Congo Natty and performance poet Josh Idehen. The album title and sleeve notes refer to the British monarchy and how it does not represent black immigrants; “Your Queen is not our Queen / She does not see us as human”. Instead the track titles all refer to influential black women throughout history.  Ada Eastman was Hutchings’ great grandmother from Barbados. Most Americans know who Harriet Tubman and Angela Davis are, but here’s a run down of who the other “queens” are. Mamie Phipps Clark was an American social psychologist who investigated the African American children’s attitudes toward race and racial self-identification which influenced the Brown vs. Board of Education court case.  Anna Julia Cooper an American who earned at PhD at the Sorbonne, was sometimes called “the mother of Black Feminism”.  Nanny of the Maroons was an 18th century leader of the Jamaican Maroons – she was named a National Hero of Jamaica. Yaa Asantewaa was the queen mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Empire who led the Ashanti War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism. Albertina Sisulu was a South African anti-apartheid activist. Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, OBE promoted reforms of the police service after her son was murdered in a racist attack in South East London in 1993. AArbor

Ag Oumbadougou, Abdallah – Anou Malane – [Sahelsounds]

aarbor   11/13/2019   12-inch, International

Originally released on cassette in 1995, Anou Malane is one of the first studio recordings in the Tuareg guitar genre. Recorded in Benin with Nel Oliver, a West African producer known for his work on a number of seminal boogie and Afro-funk records, this release combines the Tuareg guitar sound with programmed drum effects and backing synthesizer, transforming Saharan political ballads into Afro-boogie anthems. The resulting album became a classic and pushed Tuareg guitar (and the rebellion) into the public consciousness. This reissue is first time the album has been distributed outside of Niger as well as the first time it has been released on vinyl or digitally. You’ll notice the “flickering” melody jumping from vocal lines to guitar lines which is typical of Tuareg guitar music. AArbor  

Carlton Melton – “Mind Minerals” – [Agitated Records]

atavist   11/12/2019   12-inch, A Library

Carlton Melton does psych—or, to quote The Quietus from a nice write-up of the album, astral psych. One observation from The Quietus that resonates with me is the idea that CM have been on a mission to distill their sound over the years, perhaps break it into its component parts. Their recent live mic in the Pit (11/2/2019) is evidence of their current working method, and the same could be said of “Mind Minerals”, their most recent LP, released last year. Each track takes a limited host of sounds and explores them inside and out, giving them time to breathe and expand. The album has its more rocking moments, but a lot of it is slow and patient jams and noodlings. So definitely more open-ended, free-form, and minimalistic than, for example, “Out to Sea” from 2015.

A1: Big, amorphous intro.
A2: Establishes a straightforward beat, pretty deliberate in not changing up the routine too much to start.
A3: Mellow, serene. Staring up at a starry night sky.
A4: Starts out with the drums running solo, and then the guitar comes in hot. Definitely the most rocking song on this side.
B1: Droney synths with a hint of percussion, minimalistic.
B2: Easy drive down a country back road. Rolling along, but not in a hurry. The fields pass by.
C1: Let’s open it up a bit and ride the cymbals, let the amps scream. Let’s not be hasty and settle into it.
C2: Droney, meandering guitars and minimal percussion. Sun-faded memories.
C3: A synth patterns starts out this very minimal slice of mood.
D1: Blissed out, spaced out patterns. Best track for considering the inner spaces.
D2: Turned-up amps blazing. One last jam before fading to noise.

Rautavaara, Einojuhani – "Cantus Arcticus" – [Catalyst]

Hemroid The Leader   11/11/2019   A Library, CD

Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara (pronounced AY-no-yu-hah-ni ROW-ta-vah-ra) was born in Helsinki on Oct. 9, 1928. Cantus Arcticus & Symphony No. 5 performed by the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. String Quartet No. 4 performed by the Sirius String Quartet.

Canticus Arcticus (1972) is a Concerto for Birds and Orchestra. Foggy & textural gradients. 3 movements, 17 min.

String Quartet No. 4 (1975) cool postwar quartet, Schoenberg 12-tones. Indeterminate pitches. Meditative. Different from the usual Western stuff. 3 movements, 22 min.

Symphony No. 5 (1985) is big and ambitious, a little disjointed here and there, maybe from the large scale. Entertaining and likeable. Maybe listen to the first half. 31 min.

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