KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Bailiff, Jessica w/the.dithering.effect s/t [Resonant] (45 rpm)

outlier   3/12/2005   10-inch, A Library

Drift and reverb drench the haunting vocals of Bailiff while echoes of spacecraft vapors fill the void. The label is well-named, waves of drone are the attendant feature on this release. A slower, hazier, Twisted Village version of Amber Asylum. Or maybe drop Kendra Smith’s vocals in on the Garbage and the Flowers (TW-Deep Funnels of Entry comp), add drone and strum, chill and serve. A very enchanting sound, not quite sirenesque, but of the earth and sky. Some sundown haze and fresh air on the ‘there’ side. Jessica Bailiff is the female half of Clear Horizon (with David Pearce of Flying Saucer Attack), no letup on this release.
3w: HER MAGIC CONTINUES
– Outlier

Swell, Steve “Slammin the Infinite” [Cadence Jazz]

outlier   3/12/2005   CD, Jazz

HARD BOP with freeish developments, Grachan Moncur (New Africa Suite w/ Roscoe Mitchell, Dave Burrell, Alan Silva and Andrew Cyrille) is my best point of reference. Swell’s compositional style is edgier than Moncur and his trombone work is more modern with a slip and slide delivery. No chatter, some reed screed and blowout ‘bone, but we are slammin the infinite here not regressing to the average. Mateen(tenor sax, alto sax ,clarinet) gives a spirited performance while Heyner-bass and Kugel-drums seriously sustain the energy delivered by the leadmen.
3w: Limitless FREE BOP
– Outlier

Sun Ra and the Myth Science Arkestra “Live in London” [Blast First]

outlier   3/12/2005   CD, Jazz

The good vibes on this recording are infectious. Sun Ra channels the world’s discord and uses the mystical powers of the Myth Science Arkestra to convert this malaise into musical merriment. Ranging from Afro Jazz chaos to spacey intoxicated big band sounds, this set captures the unorganized cohesion that was the magic of the MSA. 1-3 are astral jazz explorations while 4-6 run the old school stride and ballad routines, singing included on 5,7 and 8. Not as out there as “Concert for the Comet Kohoutek” but nobody goes home disappointed.
3w: Cosmic Party Jazz
– Outlier

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

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