KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Curtis Chaos – “Magic Dreams” – [Lost Treasures of The Underworld]

Max Level   10/12/2021   12-inch, A Library

This short-lived Brooklyn outfit was the garage band’s garage band. Here they offer seven all-instrumental rock jams, heavy on guitar. Muddy recording mostly buries the bass and especially the drums, but the lead guitar freakouts are front and center and that’s what it’s all about. The final track is the longest and it starts off in a gentle manner. The other tracks pretty much start off full-tilt and never let up. Recorded in 2018, released in 2019.

No Silence – Sounds of The Underground [coll] – [Psychic Eye]

Thee Opinataur   10/7/2021   A Library, CD

Released in December 2020, this compilation is jam-packed with 43 bands, heavily steeped in Oakland’s Darkwave and Punk scene. Curated by Akiko Sampson, the founder of Psychic Eye (who also performs in Yama Uba and the post-punk band Otzi) we find bands representing all regions of the US. Great care went into mastering these tracks by Michael Daddona of Ratskin Records who also contributed with his band Malocclusion. 

While many of these bands may not necessarily be familiar to KFJC, there are several, Anarchy-punkers Resist and Exist out of SoCal, Cold-synths L’avenir, from Baltimore, hardcore from Iconoclast, tripped out galaxy girl Maya Songbird and of course our dear friends Moira Scar.  

A wide range of genres fills this album, with large doses of Darkwave and Post-punk, as well as Dark punk, Goth, synth wave, cold wave, funk, hip hop, and more. It’s hard not to like any of these tracks, and I’m careful not to list favorites as there are far too many that simply stand on their own.  

Akiko Sampson’s motivation for this compilation was to raise money for two relevant organizations that effectively push for institutional change in hostile local environments; BLM Louisville and The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, which represent migrants in ICE detention centers. Great music, even greater cause. – Thee Opinataur

Kondo, Toshinori – "Blow The Earth India" – [Subcontinental Records]

aarbor   10/6/2021   CD, Jazz

Toshinori Kondo, who departed this life last year, was a prolific Japanese composer, trumpet player and wanderer of the Earth. This release (from 2019) is a part of the series called “Blow the Earth” which he moved to Amsterdam to start in 1993. The film BLOW THE EARTH JAPAN came out in 2011 – it was his first project as a film director. He composed, performed and mixed all of the tracks on this album. After moving to New York in 1978, Kondo collaborated with many notable jazz musicians including: Bill Laswell, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Frith, Ernaldo Bernocchi, John Zorn and Peter Brotzman. This is arguably one of his best releases. AArbor

Colombian Soul [coll] – [BBE Music]

aarbor   10/6/2021   CD, International

Dean Bagar a/k/a Tricky D a producer from Croatia, who now lives in Colombia, has compiled a magnificent collection showcasing the works of native Colombian musicians. Tricky D moved to Bogotá in 2013 after living in London, Berlin and Jamaica. He is active as a DJ, producer, remixer, and bass player, as well as teaching workshops on musical production. Since moving to Colombia, his new works contain Afro-Colombian influences. As a bass player, he’s now working on live projects which merge soul, dub and Afro-Colombian elements. His intention with this compilation was to find dubby, downbeat, minor tuned songs. Colombian Soul is soulful songs recorded by well-recognized Colombian artists. [ Most tracks updated traditional music: 6-world folklore and electronic dance music, 10 – Afro-Colombian reinterpreted, 11 – Latin drum ‘n bass, 12- Peruvian Cumbia reinterpreted, 13- Contemporary Colombian tropical, 14- Dub textures morphed with rolling bass, percussion and cumbia rhythms]. AArbor

AlHaj, Rahim Oud and String Quartet – "Letters From Iraq" – [Smithsonian Folkways]

aarbor   10/6/2021   CD, International

Rahim Al Haj has been an oud player since he was a child in Iraq. When he graduated from the Conservatory of Muisc in Baghdad he had won awards and had played in many parts of the world. When he refused to support Saddam Hussein’s regime he was twice imprisoned and tortured. Under threat of execution he went into exile in Jordan in 1991. Later he moved to Syria and then to the U.S. The 8 “letters” here are mostly very sad with accompanying very sad stories in the notes. Letter 7 is the most upbeat and Letter 8 is hopeful. According to Al Haj this is “Music to help us realize peace”. His wish is that this album will inspire listeners to choose love, wonder and hope. AArbor

O’Seis – Suicida/Apocalipse- [Mr Bongo]

Thee Opinataur   10/5/2021   7-inch, A Library

Both of these songs are drenched in morbid humor (see lyrics below). The record features anthemic, psychedelic rock undertones on ‘Suicida’ with deeper, tripped-out Brazilian Tropicalia folk, with mellow, sweet, harmonies, feel-good, vibes, on ‘Apocalipse’.   

Originally released in 1966, it was one of the rarest and most sought-after records. Re-released by Mr. Bongo in 2018, It was their only recording before three of them, Rita Lee and the Baptista brothers would go on to form Os Mutantes who went on to spearhead the Tropicalia / Psyche-rock explosion in Brazil a few years later. – Thee Opinataur

Sucidia

I scared out the other day and wanted to kill myself
I went to throw myself off the Tea Viaduct
The passing class didn’t want to leave
Life for my side was bad
Heavy conscience told me to jump
Heavy conscience told me to jump

So I decided to jump
The passing car I flattened
My head’s shaved
And the chauffeur inside screamed

The viaduct broke
Or someone crazy got
On top of the bonnet my body lay
And by my face the blood was dripping
They called my father but my aunt came
Take it to the morgue she wanted

For I no longer lived
Another useless man died

The next day the funeral came out
For the Fourth Parade he was heading
A black flower my coffin covered
Cold tomb the earth covered
It was another one that left
I was buried in my uncle’s shirt

It was midnight when I wanted to leave
The pit was tight for me to sleep
I was a ghost and I wanted to talk
With someone who was sitting smoking

It was an ordinary skull
You can’t even a**ustar me

Apocalipse

I’ll have the world in my hands (anytime I want)

And I want it all to end

My power will not be in vain (I destroy what comes)

The world will end

Everyone tries to escape

But it’s useless to live

Everything will be annihilated

And humanity perish

With screams of terror

They won’t know where to go

But only I know

That the world will disappear

Now I’m so lonely (and the world finished)

Without having someone to talk to

I then keep meditating (if I did something wrong)

And with the world ending

(If I did something wrong)

everyone tries to escape

But it’s useless to live

Everything will be annihilated

And humanity perish

with screams of terror

won’t know where to go

but only i know

that the world will disappear

Now I’m so alone (and the world is over)

not having someone to talk to

I then meditate (if I did something wrong)

And with the world ending

Pom Poko – Cheater – [Bella Union]

Thee Opinataur   10/5/2021   A Library, CD


A hyper-energetic noise- pop, surrealist art-punk, math rock, and grunge with offbeat song structures. You never quite know which way any of these songs are going to swing throughout the album.

Feminist lyrics, incessant energy, chants, bright falsettos, sharp diction, yelps, and guttural Bjokian snarls, comprise lead singer Ragnhild Fangel’s voice, and it makes for infectious ear-candy.
Martin Tonne’s heavy guitar riffs, jagged jazz-grunge guitar work contend against bassist Jonas Krovel and drummer Ola Djupvik’s funky rhythm section.

While the frenzy of rock ‘n’ roll guitars is the fuel behind the band’s songs, Fanglel’s strong voice powers along during the unprocessed rock instrumentation in the first 6 tracks as well as the more contemplative nuanced tracks in the last few songs on the album. – Thee Opinataur

TEKE::TEKE – “Shirushi” – [Kill Rock Stars]

SlartiBartfast   10/5/2021   12-inch, A Library

TEKE::TEKE – “Shirushi”

Japanese garage, surf, psyche-rock from Montreal? Yesss!! This Quebec ensemble will transport you in the way-back machine to the raw sounds of the late 60’s Japanese and Asian psych rock scene to a modern day, transformative, high energy, psychedelic rock-n-roll experience. On their 2021 debut release “Shirushi”, front woman and visual artist Maya Kuroki lays down powerfully energetic vocals, injecting raw emotion into sizzling instrumental energy that includes a traditional Shinobue (bamboo flute), trombone, and ample guitar fuzz to satisfy the fuzziest of ears. Listen and enjoy the journey to the other ghostly side.

TONTO’s Expanding Head Band – “Zero Time” – [Real Gone Music]

SlartiBartfast   10/5/2021   A Library, CD

TONTO’s Expanding Head Band – “Zero Time”

Don your “space oddity” suit with anticipation, strap yourselves into the space capsule, and prepare for liftoff! Originally released in 1971, “Zero Time” will take you on an electronic, psychedelic, ambient trip to the outer rim of the galaxy. TONTO (The Original New Timbral Orchestra) is the first and largest multitimbral polyphonic analog synthesizer in the world built by Malcom Cecil who took a Moog III and kept adding custom modules to TONTO while making sure it was ever expandable. Each note that is played has the tonal quality of a different instrument and Cecil and Robert Margouleff play it to perfection. TONTO’s Expanding Head Band will guide you through a meditative and introspective cosmic journey that at times propels you through moments of psychic challenge and expansion while TONTO provides that galactic trip heard inside your space helmet. 

Various – "[AMHARA] WEDDING SONGS" – [Domino Sound]

aarbor   9/29/2021   12-inch, International

These are well-known Amhara wedding songs from Ethiopia. Amharans are an indigenous group who live in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia, and have their own language. They are about 26% of the Ethiopian population. In Ethiopia Amhara families invite as many people as possible when there is a wedding. Festivities can start as much as a week before the actual wedding day. Read the notes for more details about what each song means and how it fits into the wedding festivities. AArbor

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