KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Century Plants – "Intrinsic Geometry Vol. 1" – [Tape Drift Records]

cinder   1/5/2022   A Library, CD

Duo out of New York. These improvised tracks were recorded without overdubs in August 2014 and April 2016. Drifting endlessly through haze covered hills and sun drenched highways. Guitar and electronic drone explorations that relax you into a deep hypnosis. Lovely textures and tendrils of wafty psych.

Blectum From Blechdom – "Deep Bone" – [Deathbomb Arc]

cinder   1/5/2022   12-inch, A Library

Duo of composed of Kevin Blechdom (Kristin Grace Erickson) and Blevin Blectum (Bevin Kelley). Quirky, magical and entertaining spunky electronic cacophonies of interesting sounds and whimsical treats! A few with effected vox in robotical ways. Super fun and playful.
Two covers – Jackie (written by Jacques Brel, Gérard Jouannest, and Mort Shuman), and Noise About Boys (Olsen Twins, haha) featuring Eugene S Robinson beat boxing (Oxbow)!   

Wasted Cathedral – "I'm Gonna Love You 'til The End of Time" – [Centripetal Force / Cardinal Fuzz]

cinder   1/5/2022   12-inch, A Library

Hypnotic, drifty and transcendal. Solo project of Saskatoon-based musician Christopher Laramee (Shooting Guns, The Switching Yard, and The Radiation Flowers). This is definitely one to bring together both the psych heads and the electronic peeps. It’s chill, has a downtempo vibe, but also uses droned guitars and pedals for a floating tendril feel. Has the perfect rainy day, window gazing, cozy blanket and hot sipping broth vibe. They say if you’re into Flying Saucer Attack, DJ Shadow, Spiritualized, and Portishead (no vocals) you’ll dig this and I agree. Lovely!  

Chaudhary, Amanda – “Meow Meow Band” [CatSynth Records]

Max Level   1/3/2022   A Library, CD

Good-natured, jazzy electronic pop from Bay Area mover and shaker Chaudhary and a talented cast of players. The first track is a mysterious invocation of some kind that sounds very different from the rest of the tracks, which tend to be bright and uptempo. Chaudhary’s keyboards and synths are the backbone of these tunes, some of which also feature nice saxophone work by Steve Adams of ROVA. The rhythm section (Jamaaladeen Tacuma on bass guitar and G. Calvin Weston on drums) shines throughout. Tracks 3 and 5 are instrumentals and track 6 is mostly so. Those are the tracks I prefer.

Grouper – “Shade&” – [Kranky]

humana   1/3/2022   A Library, CD

Liz Harris is Grouper, and sadcore is one of the ways her music is described. I would say it does appeal to the sadness within, especially “Ode to the Blue” (3). Her folksy, high-pitched voice and lovely guitar (both of which find their element in track 2) will appeal to many (especially fans of Marissa Nadler). The last track is my favorite because it is more melodic and less hazy than some of the other tracks. Although I have no idea whether Grouper refers to the fish, it seems an apt moniker for this music that is “heavy-bodied” and “found in warm seas”–Harris’ voice may stir sadness, but the feelings it stirs are warm.

Platonos, Lena – “Balancers” – [Dark Entries]

humana   1/3/2022   12-inch, A Library

These are poems set to electronic backgrounds that were recorded between 1982 and 1985 by Greek electronic musician, composer, and poet Platonos. The liner notes describe the meaning and inspiration of each song, which is nice for those who can’t understand the very earthy Greek. A couple just have field sounds and electronics, while most of them focus on the spoken words of the poems set to minimal aural backgrounds. These previously unreleased tracks fill a nostalgic niche.

Gateway “Flesh Reborn” [Chaos Records]

atavist   1/3/2022   A Library, CD

Descend into the black cavern and hear the voices rise echo around you in a foul greenish glow—thundering drums, viscous guitars. Belgium’s Gateway craft the massive doom-hammer riff and frequently ratchet the tempo up to a solid gallop. There are some instances of odd vocal textures paired with the rancid crypt breath. The first three tracks are relatively short and quickly unfurl the pummeling onslaught. The title track, in contrast, is the longest and closes out the 26 minute EP, a mournful dirge that, in time, introduces a ghastly riff, but otherwise keeps the tempo low and the atmosphere thick with decay. 

Aldebaran “…From Forgotten Tombs” [Kreation Records]

atavist   1/3/2022   12-inch, A Library

This 12” from 2008 compiles tracks from a couple of this Portland, Oregon doom band’s early 7” and split releases (plus a cover of “The Ghoul” by Pentagram). A little stonery, a bit crusty, all cranked into the red and heavy. Appropriately foul vocal stylings, guitars perpetually on the verge of careening into unrestrained feedback. They dig Lovecraft, and track 3, “They Bend the Trees and Crush the Cities” is instrumental save a Yog Sothoth incantation audio sample. “Aldebaran Red” is the big epic track, and “Tower of Famine” has a bluesy riff that gives way, in the middle, to a wild sprint before stumbling, as if catching its breath, into thick plodding doom. “The Ghoul”, with its satisfyingly ghoulish lyrics, closes out a consistent record. Every track does the trick.

Nadja “Sonnborner” [Broken Spine]

atavist   1/3/2022   12-inch, A Library

Two contrasting sides of a 12” from the stalwart minimalist guitar dronescape pioneers Nadja. Side A, played at 33rpm, is a 21.5 minute sonic landscape that slowly builds and builds from a quiet, somber beginning into a classic Nadja wall of sound via plaintive swells of strings. Having led the listener through the storm, the track fades out into an extended passage of haunting strings. Side B, played at 45rpm, consists of three quick, high-tempo and high-energy tracks followed by a slow tempo closer. Though distinct, the side B tracks essentially run together—the pauses between them are almost non-existent. Slabs of distorted drone wash with pounding programmed drums cut through with straight up metal riffs. Ghostly whispered growling vocals amidst a wash of echo. “Stillborn (A Fragment)” provides a respite from the onslaught, sunlight breaking through the thunderheads—but it clocks in under 2 minutes. Sunborn (Coda) wraps up the album with a return to Nadja’s typical tempo, eluding to side A before sinking under its own weight. This release sees Nadja trying out new textures and compositional structures and the result is moving and intriguing.

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