KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Boris- ?dronevil? [Misanthropic Agenda]

outlier   4/21/2005   12-inch, A Library

Guitar-driven evil and dark, resonant drone are the two sides of Boris. The drone disc is a 21st century take on Tony Conrad’s minimalist works: 1 is a hollow, cavernous, reverberating, eternal gong vibration thing, 2 is dark, ringing siren sounds. The evil disc is an exercise in hypothermal headbanging; 1 is a Skullflower at 16rpm start, then a kind of ambient interlude finishing with a headbanger in full rage at 16rpm. 2 is a 4-note descending sequence drenched in feedback and hum. Like a hovering spacecraft beaming extra-sensory information directly to your central nervous system with sonic sorcery,
inducing a slow-motion whiplash of endorphine releasing motion.
3w: Hypothermal Hypnotic Headbanger
– Outlier

Thollem and Rivera – ?Everything Is Going Everywhere” [Edgetone]

outlier   4/21/2005   CD, Jazz

Pn-dr Adventurous, articulate, precise and lyrical expression. Thollem is a native Bay Area composer/pianist virtuoso with shades of Bill Evans, Glenn Gould and Mose Allison. Pieces range from playful/bouncy to elegant/forceful, beautiful waltz to meditative fantasia. Unique is not adequate to describe the rich, priceless tones and clusters Thollem commands from all 88 with perceptive, percussive accents from Rivera. This isn’t
piano bar music and Thollem doesn’t want the chump change from your bar tab. Rather, he wants to induce contemplation of our world with sounds conveying urgency and incisiveness like political essays transcribed to music. The sounds can set your heart racing or cool you out.
3w: CLASSICAL JAZZ GENIUS
– Outlier

Br. Danielson – Brother is to Son – [Secretly Canadian]

Mac   4/16/2005   A Library, CD, Format

Br. Danielson
Brother is to Son
[Secretly Canadian]
Here we have the 6th full-length Danielson Famile release, and you’re
in for another romp through indie folk pop. This is Daniel Smith’s
(aka Brother Danielson) personal project but stays in the Famile mold
of lo-fi unconventional spiritual exploration. The term Christian
rock DOESN’T apply here. The nonsecular messages often don’t require
a religious context, and the music is a real treat.
The album has two halves – songs 1-5 are upbeat rockin’ jamborees
featuring Daniel’s acoustic guitar and distinct falsetto vocals
/yelps. The family backs up (and I mean family, the Danielson clan is
a modern Partridge family, hear track 10’s chorus: “Sisters and
daughters and brothers and sons are we.”). Backing up are heavy doses
of chorus singing (bordering on screaming) and a spattering of
instruments including classics: piano/electric guitar and down-home
goodness: banjo, jaw harp, and tambourines. The arrangements are
more complex than previous Famile releases and the result is
captivating. They sound like a country lo-fi version of the Shins.
Each song has a different raw sound, so don’t dismiss the album based
on one song.
Track 6 represents a transition to the second half of the half, where
Daniel tones it down and pours his emotion into slow, vulnerable tales
of spirituality. Of the three following songs, track 9 was my fav.
Track 10 brings it all back together with a solid upbeat finale of
family chorus.
Overall I’d call it the best Danielson Famile release to date.
– Brother Mac

Tsurubami – “Shohjohkisshotan” (C3R)

outlier   4/10/2005   A Library, CD

More wall of sound at the event horizon stuff. Streaming, screaming, flashing beams of sonic iridescence shimmer in the complex polyrhythmic density laid down by Nobuko-dr and Hiroshi-bs. Kawabata-gtr orbits the rhythmic nebula with an interstellar cosmonaut’s awareness and vision. Like an Abstract Expressionist piece, density can be mistaken for congestion and distortion when infact the complexity is necessary to capture the ultra-physical (read extra-tonal) qualities of the subject. This is the audio companion for the Leave No Tripper Behind program.
3w: Immaculate Interstellar Iridescence
– Outlier

Gang Wizard – “Jeckyll Loves Hyde” (Ecstatic Peace)

outlier   4/10/2005   12-inch, A Library

Filthy, destroyed, early Sonic Youth influenced NY gtr sound. A tight unit that thrives on a bent rhythm playing off the higher frequency guitar attacks with momentum building convergence and space creating divergence. While they cast their shadow on the lo-fi, igno-rock sound, GW smartly explore percussive possibilities within the hard-driving outside rock sound. Clashing, driving, pounding structures ride the waves with an aggressive, instinctive posture that the ultra-meter drumming makes wholly fucked (in a good way !).
3w: Filthy Destroyed Frequencies
– Outlier

Fuchs, Wolfgang – “Six” (Rastascan)

outlier   4/10/2005   CD, Jazz

Free sextet of Fuchs-bcl+ss, Djill-tr, Perkis-elec, Robair-perc, Shiurba-gtr and MATTHEW SPERRY (1968-2003)-bs honor Sperry’s life with 6 remarkable soundpieces. (1,2) are sound factory tours that begin at floor level and build up to a collective form at a time-enhanced perspective. (3) takes a more symphonic path in coagulating the sounds while (4,5) are of a free jazz form and texture. (6) returns to free-form soundstorm with wind chatter interludes. The soundpieces stand on their own but knowing this is the document with which Sperry’s friends honor him gives it a very special place in free music.
3w: Sperry’s Spirit Resurrected
– Outlier

Tiner and Baggetta, Kris and Mike – “There Just As You Look For It” (pfMENTUM)

outlier   4/10/2005   CD, Jazz

Acoustic guitar and trumpet post-jazz possibilities are explored by two young jazz improvisers of west and east coasts respectively. Baggetta’s style is of Spanish influence with a Derek Bailey sound of chimes and tweaks, giving Tiner’s chamber trumpet sound a percussive fabric to play into. Space is the canvas, timing is relative. The full timbre and resonance of tones suspend in time, then evaporate into the surrounding wake of sound. Evening is the mood and all is calm as these young lions of free music eloquently pursue the masters’ path.
3w: Acoustic Magical Post-Jazz

Hay, Emily – “Like Minds” (pfMENTUM)

outlier   4/10/2005   CD, Jazz

A collection of various projects undertaken over the decade by the phenomenal Emily Hay, experimental vocalist-flutist from SoCal. Pieces range from surging winds and street smart rhythms in experiment (1,5,7,11) to free vocals with percussion and/or electronics (6,8,9,10) to song structures of Dadamah-like magic (3,12) to post-classical virtuoso conversations (2,3). The lyrical phrasing and instrumentation keep the experimentation in the musical dimension. Hay’s vocals are about hearing what the voice can do as an instrument. Infusion of unrestrained vocal energy into the trio/quartet creations thru evocative utterances over and in between flute expressions bring you intimately into her soundspace, moving beyond words to true emotive convergence between artist and listener as the sounds are shared.
3w: Emotive Evocative Expression
– Outlier

EXIAS-J electric conception – “Balance of Chaos” (PSF)

outlier   4/10/2005   CD, Jazz

Free music exploration of the organic guitar sound with smart electronics in support. Enters the same sonic space as Wired but less orchestral. Cavernous, echoes with deep resonance and some eastern psych meditations (less tribal than Tohosara and less wall of sound than Tsurubami- last two tracks excepted). Flowing sonic energy that reaches climax in an AMM style with 2 gtr-pn/synth-elec-bs-dr. Guitar tones cast the sonic beams by which the unit is led, the path is true and free.
3w:
– Outlier

Morris, Butch – “Homeing” (Sound Aspects)

outlier   4/10/2005   12-inch, Jazz

Dense tapestry of orchestral sounds that displays wondrous collective cohesion in a multi-directional, multi-dimensional work. Improvised symphonic group exploration led by the master vision of Morris. Cacophony never results from the mass layering of sounds that rise from each wave. 12 musicians that sound like a full orchestra with musicianship that rivals any classical artists. Each movement flows into the next seamlessly, making the sonic voyage an inspiring flight over what would seem an exhausting path of musical destinations. Recorded live in Berlin 1987, this work is an undeniable masterpiece.
3w: STRAVINSKY WOULD DIG
– Outlier

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