KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Messthetics #1 “UK 78-81 DIY bands R to Si” [hyped2death]

outlier   3/12/2005   A Library, CD

Three chord punk and English power pop in roughly equal proportion. Leather jackets – Probably, but not the safety pin in the cheek stuff. Angry, jaded, anti-corporate, anti-government and definitely anti-Thatcher songs that brighten your world by telling you how depressingly awful their world is. But they don’t let their emotions get in the way of a good jolt of electric guitar and snotty vocals. Royston (3) and Seize (19) impress with some clever pop and bash respectively. Ripchords (27) and Reekie (29) are also of note. Nothing quite as enraged as Flux of Pink Indians or slick as Gang of Four but then not much is.
3w: buggered blokes bangup
– Outlier

Sun City Girls “Fresh Kill of a Cape Hunting Dog/ Def in Italy” [Eclipse]

outlier   3/12/2005   12-inch, A Library

1983-85 recordings that reinstall SCG as the grand shamen of anti-pop. 1st LP is a studio release with all the markings of SCG brilliance; a tale of cop corpse desecration, a stunning sound piece, snake-charmer guitar magic, cutup madness, mid-eastern weirdness, destroyed guitar blast and recoil…’I Told You So’ and ‘Nile Hilton Burning’ are destined KFJC classics. 2nd LP is live recordings of 1984 tour including an SF show. If I was Byron Coley I would drop in something about a cherry enema right about here.
3w: DON’T FUCK WITH
– Outlier

Valentine, Matt & Erika Elder “Ragas & Blues” [Idea] LP (33rpm)

outlier   3/12/2005   A Library

Valentine brings his anachronistic acoustic sound to the east, soaring in the winds of Erika Elder. Sundown haze, third-eye bliss…plenty of fresh air. Not as old school folk as Valentine’s recent solo release, this takes you on a subtle carpet ride over regions of underexplored sound. Music travelers journey to the exotic and enchanting mysticism of shambhalan cosmic harmony. Take a trip and never leave your living room !
3w: Hypnotic Healing Harmony
– Outlier

Gang Gang Dance “Revival of the Shittest’ [Social Registry] LP (33 rpm)

outlier   3/12/2005   A Library

More structured, shorter pieces than the musical melange of their previous release. GGD explore possibilities of ultra-drum percussion using rhythmic techniques in melodic instrument spaces. Variety of approaches to the purpose of percussive pursuits; Quaalude electro-clash, tribal sample mix, vocal musings with a residents-type march, niobe-like beats, vocals over two-note piano steps with echo-noise-beats mix, fake symphony synth and an electronics soundscape. All pieces have a distinctive signature sound that GGD have claimed as their own.
3w: Snap CRACKle POP
– Outlier

Invisible Cities s/t [Drimala]

outlier   3/12/2005   A Library, CD

Trombone and clarinet improv interplay that sounds like bird communications. Duo of Steve Swell-trb and Perry Robinson-cl. Musical wandering phrases that alternate and interlace to create swells of lyrical runs that carry the listener to a nature space. First half stays in the pure improv space, last half uses more motifs and set timing to move the pieces. Trombone and clarinet have a playful sound that mimics a conversation in music. Admirably avoids the dixie deathtrap of which trombone and clarinet are vulnerable.
3w: lyrical musical conversations
-Outlier

Rara Avis s/t [Generate Records] CD

outlier   3/12/2005   A Library

Consonant, flowing improv of tenor sax-electric piano-drums that never gets out of control. Anchored by chords and breathing patterns, this improv effort has a ‘jazz fantasy’ composition feel. Tenor phrases lead the way thru dense piano chords with drums extending the interplay once a chord is traveled. Space is colored by mutating sax phrases and ‘in key’ piano accents that give each piece a sustained tonal and timing character. Though collectively an outside sound setting, interaction seeks the inside sound, interlocking each instrument with complementary expressions. Complex rhythms that seem to suspend in space give a pleasant updrift to the wind and chime of tenor sax and electric piano.
3w: consonant flowing improv
-Outlier

Drekka “Extractioning” [Blue Sanct] CD

outlier   3/12/2005   A Library

Acoustic guitar with hum drone and landing spaceship textures, ranging from lo-fi strum to dreamy drift, vocals are mixed down giving a deep almost somnolent sound to the songs. A sound and timing between Sferic Experiment (NZ) and Clear Horizon (sorta 500mg) but spacier than all three. Structures blend into form and dissipate without concern for musicality. Very honest sound that gets its heavy feel from the layered harmonics from guitar and drone/reverb. Occasional organ add to the spacey NZ-like sound and they throw in Cat Power and Donovan covers as well as a hymnal piece.
3w: Dreamy Drone Drift

Giardullo, Joe / Zingaro, Carlos “Falling Water (Live at Mae de Agua)” [Drimala Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/10/2005   CD, Format, Jazz

Okay so this duo is really a trio, as the setting for the
sound steals a lot of the scenes. Recorded in an ancient
aqueduct in Lisbon, the amazing depth of this dank palace
alters the timbre of Giardullo’s saxes and especially
Zingaro’s violin to make this album often seem like it is
a communication between hyper-intelligent galactic whales.
Also riding with the extended reverb is fun, so lots of
times a note will drone into a sea of sustain. Slap the
violin’s body and listen to it careen around the cavern
(check #5 for some of that, maybe it is also the fluttering
of Giardullo’s fingering). There are still flights of more
fanciful playing, but the sound comes more often in streaks
rather than flurries. And as such, it is really a wonderful
release. A lot of modern jazz has musicians treating their
instruments and deviously working to pull new sound from
them…the ingenuity of “Falling Water” was to let the
situation instill the strangeness. It is often difficult to
discern who is creating what sound. And that is tremendous!
It would be interesting to hear a recording of just the
instruments, sans the nine-second shadow of reverb, interesting
but not as worthy. Immerse…

UNSANE “Occupational Hazard” [Relapse Records}

jack soil   3/6/2005   12-inch, A Library, Format

12 inches, 13 tracks of unpure, untainted, unsane sounds.

This record kicks much ass. The vinyl is 1 out of 1000. It is a much louder,
harsher, “quicker” (maybe even more mature) sounding release than their last
effort, Scattered, Smothered & Covered (out on Amphetamine Reptile, 1995).

The NYC trio is celebrating their ten-year anniversary with an unrelenting release
out on Relapse Records. Unsane consistently delivers the goods on every track; you
won’t be disappointed. Chris Spencer’s aggressive vocals are nearly indistinguishable,
but if you’re into Unsane, this to be expected. Don’t let the lack of hemoglobin on the
cover steer you wrong. If blood covered record covers were the litmus test for an
Unsane record, Unsane should have filled the Hudson river with blood for the photo
on this monster. Track 13 appropriately leaves you wanting more; abruptly ending
in a rising wall of noise. This record will punish you and your listeners, and everyone
will be happy about it. Driving sounds, crushingly inventive rhythms. Unsane.

Ugly Duckling – “Fresh Mode” [Special Records]

jack soil   3/6/2005   12-inch, Format, Hip Hop

You want simple hip hop? Ugly Duckling sets it up for you on this little single.

Side A – Two MC’s, Andy C (the C stands for Capp) and Dizzy Dustin let it flow smooth
and intelligible. Accompanied by Young Einstein on the faders, this is simple and
easygoin HIP HOP for anyone. Not much info on the trio, but this leaves you
wanting more.

Side B – Young Einstein sets the environment for an Open Mic – great for a bed or
your favorite visiting MC. No swearing here, and no braggadocio either, other than
lettin’ you know that they’re in the Fresh Mode and you should be too.

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