Music Reviews

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!

Six Foot Slotherball [coll] – [Self Release]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   A Library, CD

Two different CDrs, joined at the hip and hipper parts solely
for the pleasure of KFJC listeners. The Great NorthWet spawns
some sweet soggy pop. Rollerball *always* gets my ears a
salivating. Here they trade tunes with their Slothy friends…
The ‘ball bounces further off the beaten path, “Another Day”
is another world away from the tasty, drippy dour offerings
of Six Foot Sloth. The Sloth naturally moves slowly, though
not without grace. “Holding Babies” does a kind of “Lay Lady
Lay” calypso, and “the Jed” can carry a tune. Meanwhile in
Rollerballville, the tune gets dropped, stepped on, vocals
caterwauled and doubled up. God I love ’em! And hornage
too… Back with the Sloth, they do deliver a dirgy blues
to even their peppier moments, and lyrics have a whiff o’
mortality that’ll please KFJC’s Ophelia Necro and others.
Not whistling, but humming past the graveyard. They are
coming to visit us for a live mic pronto (with Remora as
well!!) Maybe they’ll be joined more that a hip and we’ll
get Slotherball slathered all over the pit.

Sirone – “Live ” – [Unheard Music Series]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, Jazz

1981 and you are there, just don’t get in Kazunori Sugiyama’s
way as he records Sirone and his trio (with Denis Charles!!!)
The album is pierced by a shrill and willful flute solo by
Sirone on the first cut, like a bird busy in mating season,
the trills are relentless. I dig it but if you don’t, relax as
that gives way to the trademark tuned rolling of Charles’ drums
at the very end. Charles then opens up the second track with a
nice dancing rhythm that pits and pats your elbow and knees,
alto Claude Lawrence comes in with a simple sweet refrain over
Sirone’s mellow bass, but then the expressive nature of Charles’
is allowed to shine. Nothing could be more warm than the cap’n
at the helm for a spell, the trio joins up again for a few well-
charted bars and then it’s all rubber and rapid rigid fingers
till then as Sirone takes a solo. Next up “The Journey” is all
Sirone (not quite as fast as on #2) but circling around his own
grunts and moans. “When It’s Over” feels like nighttime in the
desert. Charles’ drums are loping and is that Sirone moonlighting
on trombone?’ “Vision” then follows launched by hand (no sticks
please) as Charles softly slaps the toms with his bare hands
before jetting off into a more typical trio take of free

Kondo, Toshinori – “Fukyo ” – [Tzadik]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   CD, Jazz

Yeah, Miles…yeah, Spaceheads, but Kondo has his own fanfare
and flare when it comes to live electronic processing on his
native instrument, the trumpet. But these 14 transmissions,
like his earlier “Nerve Tripper” CD, never sound very native.
Martian flurries, echoing envelopes, sneakery squeaks. A key
is how well he grabs and locks a sample and then plays off it
(liners proudly state ‘no overdubs’). Whereas “Nerve Tripper”
cranked up some sort of adrenaline overload, this album is
more for abstract contemplation. Is not a live self sample a
mirror of sorts? I’m curious how much of his lips and spit
come through the compress/delay/robot factory…as this does
have a lot of squishiness to it. Melody gets toyed with, see
the slow steps out on the ledge in the closing track. Overall
this is a record for the shape and color of sound rather than
its linear arrangement. “Rissetsu” has that watercolor smear
that reminds me of Jon Hassel. “Seisei” is for the blow hole
in your whale soul. Earlier interviews with Kondo discuss the
musical importance of body conditioning via the martial art,
Shintaido, but does that get short-circuited by enhancements
of the man-machine? Who cares, just give the conundrummer some.

Copyright © 2023 KFJC 89.7 FM
12345 S. El Monte Road Los Altos Hills, California 94022
Public Inspection File