Music Reviews

Sexmob – “Din of Inequity ” – [Columbia Records (Jazz)]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, Jazz

Well, a guy plays around with “Spanish Fly” long
enough and sooner or later a Sexmob’s gonna break
out. Steven Bernstein has shed his Lounge Lizard
skin, and created this other project to flirt w/
Briggan Krauss’ sex-a-mo-phone. While there is
plenty of four-play, Wolleson/Scherr do provide
some locking bump and grind rhythm.(Wolleson!!!
“power-splashes” and at other points he even goes
dubmarining.) The excitement, though, is between
Krauss’ sexy saxy screams & Bernstein’s slippery
slide trumpet. They’ll ride together on a riff
awhile, then it’s off for a teasing call and
response of solo gyrations. There’s a lot of
sweat and energy, but the pace never rushes, a
funky writhing like…well sex, and with plenty
of goofiness and fun. Covers of James Bond
themes, Prince and a drunk hot-tub “Macarena”
A gorgeous orgiastic elastic score

Bailterspace – “Photon ” – [Turnbuckle Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Same old zeal from these transplanted New Zealanders.
Following the distorto-drive trajectory of their
early work(which KFJC is blessed with a wealth of),
this *very short* EP has some fine blister rock.
Song structure as simple as fossils, occasional
shadowy vox sneer in. Track 3 offers a nice change
of pace in the guise of a depresso-ballad. Again
at a whopping 18 minutes I am not sure what is up
here, did a band member get injured a recording
contract go sour or all of their amps burst into
flames?’ Track four (!!) and the last two proto-
songs promise much don’t stick around long.

Fischoff, Dave – “Winston Park ” – [Secretly Canadian]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Horton hears a Hoosier? An artist’s enclave seems
to be blossoming in Bloomington, home to the artist
and label here. Fischoff’s first official release
is like the opening scene of “To Kill A Mockingbird”
a slow detailed close-up of intimate totems. Sad
ballads linger with quiet force, hushed death-bed
vocals over gentle music box guitar. Solid in and
of themselves (lyrically loaded!) the songs are
wonderfully augmented by stolen memories.
Thriftstore cassette scrounging provides Fischoff
with some wistful hissing snippets to mix in with
his work – a piano lesson on track 5, a chorus of
happy birthday. children singing a hymn. The audio
equivalent of the old inscribed photos that adorn
this compact disc. Note some songs track.
A melancholy voyeur’s delight.

Lau Nau – “Kuutarha ” – [Locust Music]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Worried that Florian’s Frickeing death prevents a holy union
of Popol Vuh and Caroliner?’ Fret not, Lau Nau (nee Laura
Naukkarinen from the Anaksimandros from Finland) channels
the sonic spirits. The results are enchanting, with that tiny
twitch of itchiness clawing at your fleshly earlobe a la
Caroliner. Voices and flutes float on top of each other,
tambura fires burn eternal on tracks, percussion-on-a-stick
in-a-slow-breeze fills many of the tracks. Nepal nuances are
not just covert, there’s a cover of a Nepalese number on #9,
complete with those see-sawing strings. Icy steadiness on a
lot of numbers, make it feel almost like a field recordings
album that the musicologist was moved to sing along with.
“Kuula” is too kuula for school, definite siren song.

Los Hermanos – “Resurrection ” – [Underground Resistance]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

Gerald Mitchell delivers the brotherly beats here with a nice
aquatic Submerge’d subway rider on “Resurrection.” All clean
curved corners and rail-riding rhythm. 808 claps slaps your
neck in and out of joint. On the flip side “Freedom Dancer”
jumps immediately in your face with a four-quarter pounder.
Brilliant fleck-flings of piano add the to manic movement,
and some sort of “Who do you love(?’)” voodoo sample is
summoned on top. As this is just the 7″, the sweat barely
breaks theoretically on all you mental dancers right when
the slow fade on percussion knocks you out of your ruby
slide slippers back into your sleepy socks. Still the
battle of the bounce has been won, who said Resistance is

Borful Tang – “Root ” – [Snurp]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Back on the Tang gang with Dominic Cramp and his supersonic
blender-in-a-briefcase. Scoring a big yes from Cramped-up
samples of No Means No (#1) and the outstanding international
collections of the Secret Museum of Mankind which gets
dropped into a hyperkinetic drumroll on #4 (the bagpipes
are nearly torn to bits, but survive). There’s organ bombast
on “Majestic Shuffle” strafed by unidentified flying synths.
And if you missed meeting John and Mary on the “Destroyer”
CD version Dominic tricked us with earlier, they are back
and as confused as ever here. Indeed they are hungering for
more in “The Restaurant”, which cuts me up and my lil pumpkin
head. Accidental digital hardcore whipped up on #2, but by
the end of all the denaturing of sound, the robots, samples,
pedals, effects exist solely to take a walk in the snow with
the birds. (Probably robot birds, built out of scrap from
Chinese prison toy factories…). Plunderphrenetic.

Psychatrone Rhonedakk – “Disturbs the Air ” – [Black Plastic Sound]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Attack of the ten-foot Rhonedakk! I didn’t realize this
Scrantoniac was actually the lantern-wielding wizard from the
“Song Remains the Same”, who knew? Fortunately, Rhonedakk’s
songs vary a great deal from release. We start with a dry
tabla lit up under a psych-rock riff-n-flamer. “Violet Ray
Theme” gets the percussion going sideways and on collision
course with other overdubbed rhythms. That’s pretty much the
only ostensible guitar-work on the album. Other dry homemade
percussion clatters in on #7, with a zombie moan mantra
on top. That moan is on #2 as well, with a whale-laser
sustain sound that could be a theremin’ Or maybe it is the
last vestige of guitar. The rest of the album works an
omnisynth with ominous tones. “Ground Zero Station” starts
like Oskar Sala in an outer ring of hell. But dials in some
freakier frequencies on top as time goes along. “Disturbed
Air Molecules” is an 11+ min opus of hob-goblin-knobbery.
Outstanding dark matter on that! A Warren Zevon cover creeps
in the shadows as well followed by a wet chime climbing.
The album ends with jammed transmission clearing for vocals
(his grow on you with time and reverb). The Plastic bleeds a
bit more Black this time…

Chrystal Belle Scrodd – “Inevitable Chrystal Belle Sc.. ” – [Klang Galerie]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Colonel Cliche says “Behind every good man is a woman” …but
the trick is to get her out in front of him. CBS was the sonic
union of Diana Rogerson and her wounded half, Steven Stapleton.
Together they create an intoxicating psycho-active, sexually
charged experience with help from their friends and offspring(?)
This is a reissue of their second album from 1985, we’re lucky
to have the original first on vinyl! The controlled cacaphony
of the tracks is more than compelling, but the over-the-top
and under-the-skirt vocals of artist/goddess Diana bewitch us.
Her thoughts fertilize the loamy mix of sax, tapes, piano, all
manner of klunk-and-junk percussion. The result is a mind-meld
of psychedelic and psychosis. The lead-off cut zigzags screech
vocals a la Diamanda with broken glass rock leading into a
saucy spell. Outstanding! We get a child’s split personality
on “The Little Seed / Schitzo” while on “Relax” it’s a vampy,
loungey therapist treatment. For “Two Hot Pricks” it sounds
like dueling tibetan horns. “Reach for Your Gun” is a drive-by
rant. “Unknown” wanders through some wasteland, with operatic
voices drifting in and out of clouds of music. The whole album
pegs a pagan power. No Belle, No Prize!

Johannsson, Johann – “Englaborn ” – [Touch]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

I checked this out as I had heard Johannsson helped found the
outstanding Kitchen Motors label (he’s also in the Apparat
Organ Quartet which has released music on that label). This
is music from a play of the same name. Several bittersweet
themes are worked in and out of the tracks…including the
opening sung by a (heart?)shattered robot. There’s an overall
feeling of sun breaking through clouds ray by ray, slow notes,
pauses between phrases, little high-octave piano melodies
that drop so tiny. Like tears. The chamber quartet give this
a conventional feel, but the composition has an undeniable
beauty. An Icelandic vibe still chills the air through,
notably on “Karen byr til engil” and “…eins og venjuleft
folk” and other moments. “Salfraedingur” takes one of the
now-familiar themes and pours it over a rapid refrigerator
rhythm. The entire recording really begs to be listened to
all the way through, though the leading number with the robo-
latin intonation is so drop-dread gorgeous it overshadows
the rest of the album, which has its own stately sorta
Gavin Bryars sweep. In HAL tradition, the computerized vox
return at the end, slowed waaaay down though not singing
“Daisy” but instead the “Odi et Amo”

Narita, Munehiro – “S/T ” – [Psf]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Scathing searching electric guitar from Narita of High Rise.
This is Narita’s first solo recording and he wastes no time
firing up the acetylene distortion and ripping through four
extended pyro-improvs. The fourth is a slow burn rising with
Ueno Takashi (of Maher Shalal Hash Baz) slowly tinkering
and fingering away while Narita solos in a more relaxed way
weaving in and out till then end which is sort of Yardbirdsy
if you know what I mean. Takashi is also on #2, which has a
more mysterious feel, and some great whinnying feedback (like
a flute sputtering). There’s a great envelope of effects on
the guitar on #2 and through out, with Narita making minor
knobby adjustments here and there. But always a lot of sustain
and bite to the electricity. Track #3 was my favorite feeling
like a gestational song for long stretches, before the bbq
guitar grill kicks in. And at times the amp sounds like it is
clotting with distorto-dirt. Great! With a quintuple-exposed
photo inside I flashed on Jimmy Page, is there any doubt that
the Solo Remains the Same. Wail on, Sky Dog!

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