KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Alles Wie Gross – “Vertonung ” – [The Communion Label]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   A Library, CD

Chamber rock! Any soundtrack to “Hamlet”
such as this needs anguish, visits from
ghost, and blood. I picture the violinist
and cellist, dressed in tuxes, well-coiffed
staring straight ahead while clandestinely
mopping up blood pushing rags around with
their expensive shoes. The marriage of
typical orchestral instrumentaion with
guitar/drums/bass has room for plenty more
artists to dive in. Bassist Michael Heilrath
(of Couch and Blond) wrote all of the music
here…this is an American version of the
eminent Hausmusik/Kollaps/{Payola} empire.
Sadly, as fleeting as the life of the prince
of the Danes. Excellent debut!

Ingle, John/Joseph, Dan Duo – “Trancepatterns ” – [Dendroica]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   A Library, CD

Mystical mixolydic melodies – saxophone
snake charming and this beaded veil called
the hammer dulcimer. Plus two visits with
bewitching beauty. Miya Masaoka(!!) adds
teardrop to thunderclap koto on one piece.
India Cooke’s violin whisper drones and
pluck-tickles on another. Strange attractor
factor…a simple seed of melody joined
by Ingle and Joseph but then vanishing
while lingering. Illusory handmade loops,
ever-rising, ever-renewing, breathing
inspiration. Mandala mandate – why not
get hammered and have sax tonight?
Seriously, an excellent release.

Bang, Billy – “Big Bang Theory ” – [Justin Time Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   CD, Jazz

Always a sweetness to the sting of his
strings. Billy Bang is a vital violinist!
He’s strung out here over a pretty perky
piano and bass/drums battery. Alexis Pope
gets the second most spotlight behind
Billy, scoring best on “Little Sunflower”
bouncing lower chords under some bluesy
riffage. Still illustrateing how most
instruments can get more gritty character
than the piano… The attack of Billy’s
sound is so compelling, sometimes smooth
as a butterknife, other times a sharp
ragged dagger, or a pizzicato piercer. I
really dig his lean, mean fiddlin’ moments.
Don’t miss his solo releases that we have!
Here only “One for Jazz” features Billy’s
Jedi-style poetry, a farewell to drummer
Denis Charles. Pope’s piano is elegantly
elegiac on that. Hey, Codaryl Moffett on
drums looks to follow in his father Charles’
foot-pedal. Bang on!

Abrams, Muhal Richard – “Things 2 Come Fr Those Now Gon ” – [Delmark]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   CD, Jazz

1972 reissue, a garden of earthly delights
tended by the supple wristrake and fingerplow
of pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. Petals
alternate with thistles throughout.
Petals…
Operatic jazz call from Ella Jackson on #3
Dry drums culminate in gong splash #2 intro
Cranshaw’s vibe tone ripples on #5
Cascade of trinket percussion on #6
Thistles…
Dual drum pumping over amphetamine altos
after the splash on #2
Ari Brown’s impatient braying tenor on #4
Abram’s disso-synth textures on latter #6
One to grow on….roots of Chicago UnderDuo
and others can trace back to this.

Damon and Naomi – “With Ghost ” – [Subpop]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   A Library, CD

Once upon a time, Damon and Naomi rode around
in a Galaxie 500, sputtering rock exhaust…
but they’ve driven that musical car to the
beach and left it stalled in the sand…and
left their bodies on earth…and now eat
haiku pies and exude vocal energy streams.
The lyrics feature water-freedom eroding
sand-temple-tower-isolation. Divine m/f vox.
Ephemeral fuzz and hover-organ tracings
courtesy the Ghost trinity. Consoling souls.
This is very gentle pop music; on the days
that Brian Wilson’s phalanx of physicians
get his medication right, this is the music
he hears in his head. Me, I’ve not yet
attained satori, so in some ways I miss the
grit of existence…like on track 2 when
bridge is some monks drone-chanting. But
mostly this is seamless and seemless.
Just be. H.ng.r

Mcintyre, Kalaparusha Maurice – “Humility in the Light of The.. ” – [Delmark]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   CD, Jazz

69 reissue from the mysterious McIntrye aka
Kalaparusha (Ahra Difda). Shamanic, organic
and soothing. Maurice was there when the
AACM was laying its SOUND foundation, he even
roomed with Malachi Favors (who appears here)
and Roscoe Mitchell. His output since then has
been sparse at best, rumours of him haunting
NYC subways, sax in tote incite curiousity.
This guy had the light shining in ’69!!!
But there may be Bright Moments ahead, he’s
turned up in the company of Ayler’s Angels.
Here he races Wadada Leo Smith’s trumpet and
Amina Claudine Myers’ piano…he can ponder
a la Sun Ra (#3)…and he can smolder (#7).
Centerpiece is epic, don’t miss the lil’ bits
blended with bells, banjo, bikehorn and some
bellerin’ belted out from the sub-soul!
We should all be so humbled.

Binary System, the – “Epicenter, the ” – [Atavistic]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   A Library, CD

Roger Miller (from Mission of Burma and Alloy Orch)
Pedal-to-the-piano chases through a bustling city of
drums. Seismic surges, brass knuckle keys, some of
it is prepared piano (photos inside CD booklet show
preparation pieces)…some of this feels like he’s
duking it out with a player piano. The other Gemini
genius in this star system is Larry Dersch, who
pound for pound is the drummer, lots of tribal-tom.
Whaddya expect for a guy in the “Concussion Ensemble”
(a project with 3 drummers plus). Y’know this is as
locomotive, as propulsive, as rockin’ as anything
with a guitar plugged into it.
Grand Mal Piano Seizure………..

Lurie, John – “African Swim and Manny & Lo ” – [Strange & Beautiful]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   CD, Jazz

A film that no longer exists plays blindly
for us…its dozen ditties dripping with
soulful strut, ripe Ribot (!!!) guitar, a
little crusty rustic banjo, and somehow this
starched shirt clarinet that totally connects
“African Swim” is half goony-bassoony march
and half heat-crazed impulse.
“Manny & Lo” lifts off w/ a sort of jangle
pop anthem riffette (“Guadalcanal Diary?”)
met at the crossroads by Bill Ware’s marimba.
After that this album sweats a juju-virus
and discovers a more pensive tick-tock vibe
as opposed to willful shimmy of tracks 1-12.
Bittersweet & Lo?
Each side/suite has a classy clowny moment
(#3 and #17). Hip and hypnotic, songfishing
w/ a Lurie allure and Bernstein bait.

Jirku, Tomas – “Variants ” – [ALIEN8 Recordings]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   A Library, CD

Okay my favorite thing about this Canadian gearhead,
ambient-bent, space-time-and-beat warper is that he
appears to go by his real name. He offers 12 date
encoded and labeled tracks, numbers to numb you.
Very Basic Channel. Minimillin’? Vortex to cortex,
artificial water….you’re virtually soaking in it.
If Santa Clara supes and dupes ever get off their
asses and pump BART or BART-like substances into the
silicon heart of robotville, then this should be
the soundtrack. Touch the third rail.

Miss Murgatroid & Petra Haden – “Live Kfjc July 7, 1999 ” – [Kfjc]

Thurston Hunger   10/1/2005   A Library, CD

Independence Day 1999 (before apocalypse) brought
these two independent musicians into KFJC’s sonic
simmering pit. Miss M. deploying her accordion,
once used as the bellows on a German U-boat…
and Petra Haden on a violin strung with stolen
harp strings from heaven, but she’s not afraid
to go on some haunting scrawls. Disembodied voix
float in and mingle with the spirits. A divine
and reverb-laden (albeit short) set…complete w/
some false starts and glorious endings. Patter
too is tacked on to simulate an actual radio
experience. Glorious time-travel encapsulation
by Grawer (energy) and Anubis (matter), fancy…
fancy, now. God Blast America.

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