KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

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.

Straphangers’ Art Ensemble “Straphangers’ Ball” [Artichoke/Rolling Records]

jack soil   3/6/2005   A Library, CD, Format

Real-time improvisational sounds inspired by the subways of NYC; there’s more go
ing on here than you can imagine. My best guess is that Straphangers refers to t
he people holding straps day in and out while mindlessly traveling around the bo
wels of NYC. Eight people on multiple instruments. All home tapers – ideally, th
is would be a cassette release. All headed in far out directions, everyone augme
nting one another despite themselves. This is a bizarre experience for anyone. R
antings, screaming, cacophonous insanity. Heavy use of panning effects in portions.
Echoes, free-form sounds, underlying drones, all blended together in a free-form
manner which could cause you to stop breathing. This was done in one take. Even
though there are tracks listed, the whole thing is one enormous beautiful nightmare.
Hardly a quiet moment to be found in 74 minutes of sonic pressure. Starting off with
the feel of a 300 year old American indian burial ceremony and leading on to
territories unknown. Pot in wherever you like, pot down when you realize that
you’re forgetting to breathe. Definite difficulties await you, are you up for the
challenge?

Puro Eskanol – “Rice and Beans – latin ska underground vol. 2” [Aztlan]

jack soil   3/6/2005   A Library, CD, Format

Part DOS of project by a couple of guys from San Francisco on the Aztlan label.
The focus of the album, just like Volume 1 is Latino based ska. Some songs are
in Spanish, others are in Engles. Pick and choose your favorites. Many of the
bands on the collection have been around for more than 10 years. The sounds range
from classic ska, to almost pure latin sounds done by ska bands such as the ”
Skaliente” track by Yeska. Tops are Let’s Go Bowling’s “Esta Noche”, Link 80’s quick
little “El Estupido”, and Hepcat’s instrumental “..Solo”. Don’t stop there though.
All are fine little numbers. Pickit up, pickit up, pickit up!

Resonance Vol. 6 Number 1 [Resonance Magazine]

jack soil   3/6/2005   A Library, CD, Format

Equation: choose an adventerous show on KFJC, eliminate all mic breaks, don’t segue
any of the track = this fantastic disc bundled with the Resonance sound magazine – published by the likes of the LMC (London Musicians Collective). Full of
variety and ear tingling sounds. There are experimental sounds here for everyone.
Spice it up. Track feelings are listed below.

1. Tumbling into a bottomless pit – silence for 2 min.- resume your fall.
2. Beautiful Harp and lost church bells
3. Simple drum solo – could track into 4 if you wanted
4. Additional drum solo
5. Quick eastern flavors – very appealing
6. Improv – air, walking bass, guitar, drums – fusion-esque
7. Free jazz sounds pieced together to create a monster. Examine.
8. Quiet, nearly lonely, sax figuring it out
9. Skronky
10. Broken sounds; glue missing; instructions smeared; frustrations
11. Extremely quiet leading to an over modulated psych meltdown

This is Ovenguard, Volume 1 [coll] – [Ovenguard]

jack soil   3/6/2005   A Library, CD, Format

An Eclectronic (a new word?) Sampler. Behold the inaugural CD release from
Ovenguard Music. Whacked, spaced-out, tape loops, ambient situations, found
sounds, turntables, sound collage, great use of stereo effects, well thought out noise,
deeep basss and insanity all put together in this collection of avant oven guarde
music produced by an troupe of DIY scientists. Wobbly – provides the instantly
catchy insanity. Seattle based Bran Flakes inject humor into the collection by
providing looped beats with the humorous assistance of Charles Grodin, the Beatles
and Mr. Rogers. Known in Bakersfield – simple tryyped out electronic collages and
loops. Space Mesa – takes you on a paranoid tryp to their own world and back
(includes guide, Charleton Heston as Moses). Liar Ball ?’? Involution – an East Bay
outfit checks in with deep bass influenced noise. The Involution tracks were my
favorites. All are great. I believe this CD is one out of 200. It’ll Piss listeners off
because they’re gonna love it but they’ll never be able to find it.
Great for headphones. Experiment.

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