Indigenous Peoples' Day

This year October 8th KSUA will be hosting a special all day event for Indigenous Peoples' Day. Gov. Bill Walker signed Indigenous Peoples’ Day into law 2017. UAF officially started to recognize the holiday on campus the same year, and we are proud to begin to host the radio broadcast of the event this year. This year our broadcast on October 8th will feature stories from Inupiaq Elders, traditional drumming, the history of Traditional Native tattooing, and much more. We are inviting all members of Alaska’s indigenous community to share their stories, history, and culture with KSUA listeners. If you’d like to reach out to someone about Indigenous Peoples' Day please contact Jack Ewers (907)-347-6943 or ksuaproduction@gmail.com, or Kellie at (503)-828-4909 kplynch3@alaska.edu. KSUA’s studio can be found on UAF Campus 3rd floor of the Constitution Hall building.

For a list of the day’s scheduled broadcast check out the spreadsheet. Please keep in mind that the schedule might change during the broadcast.


Kevin Swenson
College Radio Day

As we celebrate College Radio Day with stations accross the US the staff and volunteers of KSUA wanted to share their opinions on why college radio matters.

Kevin: Growing up in the interior of Alaska made finding new music a challenge. Having a local station to turn to that had such a great variety of music is initially what pulled me into to being a KSUA fan when I was a teen, and now that I work at KSUA it gives me a sense of pride in where I work. Being a station where all the programming is run by members of our community lets me see how varied our small community really is. Every semester I’m blown away at how many new volunteers are excited to work alongside station veterans. Anytime I see a KSUA bumper sticker in the wild I get excited to see how much pride members of the community have in our station.

Philip: College radio matters to me because it an underlying backbone of the Fairbanks music and art scene. When I think of the most inspiring and influential people that I knew or knew of in the last few decades I am inevitably led back to KSUA. For me, college radio was one of the the ways into a community of open-minded artistic people who made me feel like I had a place in this town. The appreciation for music here transcends all categories. For me, KSUA will always be the embodiment of the iconoclastic Fairbanks spirit, and I believe it will live on forever!

Tara: In a world filled with corporate radio stations with no consideration for local taste, interests, or issues, college radio remains an independent source of expression that really matters. College Radio gives students a place to learn, express themselves, find confidence, and grow with a community. I am so thankful for my time at KSUA radio and the friends I have met along the way.

Khan: The fun and spontaneity of College Radio was exposed to me by my high school music teacher. I was helping to run our school's radio program at KCAW and having a blast. He must have noticed, because he invited to check me out of our boarding school dorms to come onto his own late night show on KCAW, simply titled "College Radio" hosted by him and another local DJ. Every show began by blasting "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell", which set the free-form goofy improv precedent for the next two hours. I've strived to take that energy to KSUA and onto my own show "Subject to Change" with myself and bff. College Radio is a medium that we can't afford to lose!

College radio matters to me as it’s been an important way for me to express myself through literature, and involvement with the community.” Austyn, host of Literally Literal Fridays 11am to 12pm. He is a new volunteer here at KSUA and already his show has been a big hit. He reads short stories live on air, and this month he’s been doing horror themed stories.


Kevin Swenson
Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of “Age Of” Review

Oneohtrix Point Never - “Age Of” review

And so begins Philip Glowa’s Music Blog for KSUA 91.5 FM.

So this came out on June 1st I believe. It is probably something like his 20th full-length record? Daniel Lopatin a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never (OPN) has a lot of singles & EPs too. Discogs says 51 in total, and also this guy invented vaporwave back in 2010 with his “eccojams” which were just endless loops of chopped & screwed pop song hooks with lots of delay and reverb (check out END OF LIFE ENTERTAINMENT SCENARIO #1). Basically, D-Lo has released a lot of music in the last ten years and he has been quite influential.

That kind of taking apart and re-molding of cultural miscellany has continued to inform OPN’s music ever since, but with every album he’s gotten a bit more hyper. Anyhow let us get to this album. “Age Of” is a bit of a mixed bag, as they say. Like Gorp or something, unless you love chompin down on a bunch of weird shit all at once, you might not like every moment of this album. I’d say it is OPN’s take on a prog album or something. The album starts out with the title track “Age Of”, which is kind of grandiose with harpsichords n’ such boppin around with static yelps and screams ripping it apart. It has a bit of a free jazz sound, which is promptly negated by the following track.

There are several attempts at what one might consider “pop” songs on this record. There’s “Babylon” which sounds like a Bon Iver outtake, “The Station” which actually started as an instrumental commissioned by Usher but was rejected. This tune is pretty deece. It has this grunge/90’s rnb hybrid thing going on and then it fades into space ambience over a general midi guitar loop. Feels a bit like a cop-out. Then there is “Black Snow” which has this beat poet / country singer / android vibe going on. A leisurely paced tune that dips into the uncanny valley as it goes on with strange inhaling noises and groaning sounds. Those are really the three tunes that border on being “pop”.

Peppered between those 3 tunes are “Manifold”, which is a contemplative interlude that is a good aural synecdoche for the rest of the album. It fuses a pleasantly sombre piano ostinato with wailing synths and distorted and reversed rhythmic screaming. There is “Toys 2” which apparently was OPN making a hypothetical main theme for a sequel to the 1992 bizzaro fantasy movie starring Robin Williams. It’s a slightly bombastic and positive sounding piece that is very melodic, yet doesn’t forget to add some creepy distorted bits. It almost settles into a loopy new age loop that was one of the defining features of his 2013 album, “R Plus Seven”. However, it doesn’t capture the feeling of awe that I got from that album.

Anyhow, after “Black Snow” it gets into the good stuff (for me, at least). “myriad.industries” serves as a minute-long bridge into the second half of the album, which I find to be the more compelling half. The interude features aquatic knocking, crows squawking, more glitchy harpsichord noodling, and a creepy Ligeti choir outro. Then we get “Warning” which is a tense and cinematic thing that has this ominous voice repeating “WARNING, WARNING, WARNING, WARNING”, etc. It has sounds of glass breaking and seamlessly transitions into something like a trap beat with kind of paint-by-numbers OPNisms carrying it out.

“We’ll Take It” follows, with spacious metallic reverb surrounding a beat that sounds like someone harshly pulling on packing tape. There are deep and militaristic pads that remind me of the game MDK (check it out sometime). It of course, abruptly ends, like most things on this album. “Same” is one of the cooler moments on this album, with collaborator ANOHNI’s highly processed vocals providing some kind of cultish refrain while the space around the track flitters around in glitched out chaos and screaming while ironically falling into religious sounding choir and organ.

“RayCats” is where the album takes the best turn, IMO. It hones in on an energy and aesthetic that I wish this album would’ve focused on. Basically this tune, “Still Stuff That Doesn’t Happen” and “Last Known Image Of A Song” feel a bit like a suite. They have a similar kind of sombre, noir-ish jazzy sound comprised of verb’d out pads, melodic dulcimer passages, acoustic bass, brushed snares, culminating in an enjoyable melancholy. I’d love to hear an entire album of this kind of posthuman jazz…(hint: there are plenty of albums out there that achieved just that, like, 30 years ago).

All that said, I would recommend anyone watch the music video for “Black Snow” if they want to see some real surrealist shit.


Phil Glowa

“Culture II” Is An Unfocused, Unworthy Sequel To The Original

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Never will there be a socially accepted pity party to pacify the plight of a superstar. Still, all the riches and success often ignore the effort it takes to maintain that notoriety at the top of the food chain. Eminem recently showed a legend’s vulnerability on his quest to please varying audiences through his latest LP, resulting in his lowest received album of his career. And despite having a legacy that single-handedly altered the DNA of both Hip Hop and R&B, Drake will forever be blemished by the moment he had to admit he uses individuals “to spark” ideas, a sugar-coated phrase for ghostwriting.

And now it’s Migos — who’ve enjoyed the past 365 days and some change — eclipsing career milestones. Thanks to their Billboard-topping Culture album + “Bad and Boujee” package deal that brought forth mainstream crossover ubiquity and more paid appearances than a former U.S. president — who are feeling the pressure to stay scorching. Culture II arrives a full year after its predecessor in obvious efforts to duplicate the massive status bump but the tight-knit trio of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff instead pull a 180° and drop off a thumb drive of songs that completely undermines their self-proclaimed “biggest group ever” title.

That’s not to say the first Culture installment was the trap genre’s answer to The Police’s Synchronicity; an impenetrable hit-laden classic that simply calls for a curtain call. Yet, between the aforementioned “Bad and Boujee” and other all-inclusive catchiness like “T-Shirt” and “Slippery,” the group easily joined the ranks of rap’s upper echelon. But Migos appear to have overlooked the time and dedication it takes to create a sound body of work. The past year has seen Quavo rise as a leading guest feature, event host and budding TV star while Offset has given Instagram followers real deal Love & Hip Hop episodes through his relationship with Cardi B. The cousins also extended their rapping talents into adjacent 2017 projects (with Travis Scott and 21 Savage, respectively) and their stretched dedication sets the stage for the generally unassuming Takeoff to easily outshine his Migos brethren all throughout Culture II.

The sheer incredulity alone of trying to pass off 24 new records as “quality control” is insulting as virtually every song title serves as the chorus with the assembly treatment. On the failed buzz single, “Supastars,” Quavo croons “Supastars, supastars, supastars out” atop a smattering of whizzing 8-bit Nintendo sound effects, and the anticipated Drake feature, “Walk It Talk It” is deflated by the Migos’ leader’s stilted delivery of “Walk it like I talk it (walk it)/Walk it like I talk it,” thrown on the blender’s highest setting. This coming from someone who’s been responsible for some of rap’s biggest sing-a-long moments in the past couple of years.

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In fact, Quavo’s lack of highlights throughout the album’s 100+ minute duration isn’t limited to wack hooks. His bars this time around are ripe with Bill Walton-level sports commentary (“Shoot like I play for the Duke”; “Catch a Babe Ruth/The bat I batted the bat”; “Look at my muscles/MVP the whole game/Quavo Russell.”)

The creativity scrapes the bottom of the barrel on “Too Much Jewelry,” which, as the song title indicates, finds Zaytoven’s space-age production being wasted with four minutes explaining the afflicted lifestyle of owning more ice than the polar caps.

While the bulk of the songs can’t disguise their rush-job origins, tinges of Trap Boy Magic do spring up from time to time. Wedged near the end of the elongated tracklist, surprisingly pure “Made Men” officially marks the ATLiens’ venture into traditional Hip Hop territory. Although it was billed as a precursor for greater things to come, “Motorsport” — a Hemi engine of trap powered by both unleaded testosterone and estrogen (the latter delivered by Nicki Minaj and Cardi B) is the project’s most sturdy pillar and indicates Migos didn’t exactly lose their talent as much as their focus.

A close second arrives in the form of “Stir Fry,” an energetic rocker that finds Pharrell continuing with the buoyancy displayed all through N.E.R.D.’s last album. All three Migos deliver enthusiastic commercial-ready performances — as in perfect for any streaming service or home studio TV spot. Regardless, the few bright moments still alleviate the task of having to comb through radio reaches like the sugary “Gang Gang,” the boring “Bad + Boujee” clone “Beast,” or “White Sand,” where Travis Scott, Big Sean and Ty Dolla Sign hit the beach to simply squander studio time.

It should probably matter more that Culture II is a dud, but in today’s feeding frenzy musical climate, its lack of cohesion won’t prevent concertgoers enduring the forgettable records just to see “Bad and Boujee” performed live; nor will it quell any future “Migos Nights” at Atlanta Hawks games; nor will it stop the bag.

But when one considers how often star artists are able to completely command the anticipation, it becomes clear that Culture II will go down as a missed opportunity to obtain immortality. An opportunity that may never come again.

Review by Trent Clark via hiphopdx.com

KSUA GM

Diet Cig and Ian Sweet Concert @ UAF

Photos by Connor Grasso

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Connor Grasso

Acid DIVA, ILL GOTH, & YEULE REVIEWS

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ACID DIVA – FEB ’17

Latest release by Sharp Cheddar, a new label by Perris Dietrich (Shisa) that seems to be replacing his previous label, Hopesick Cola. The opening track is heavy, distorted, with sludge guitars, horns and oboe toms. It rises into a crescendo and turns into an epic rock ballad. “pillow fight + tokyo race” is completely different sounding. It starts out with a slowed down vocal with brevity and piano, then a house melody cuts in and out. Eventually the song rides and bass claps tweak in. There is a moment of silence before everything takes a turn in a whole ‘nother direction. “LOVE [remix]” is a chopped and screwed Korean rapper. Its really well done.

genre: devotional hardcore

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ABSOLUTE DESTRUCTION OF CONTROL II (IG 006) – ILL GOTH

Ill Goth is another new label started by Ann Drew Lou from Vancouver, BC. The label’s mission statement is posted in their bandcamp description as: “began from the resonance of intersecting points // forced identity.” “Absolute Destruction of Control II” is a compilation including 8 separate artists.

The first track is by Max Renn titled “STAMINA.” The track has glowing synths and retro drum machines. While Renn’s song is more minimal techno, Neon Annex follows up with a synthwave techno hybrid. Its hits really hard and is quick to infect. Its like hard 80s with an instant 90s afterwards. “Introjection” is the name of that song.

RiDylan return to the minimal wave sounds in “Backlit”, a very cyberpunk song. Usd. creates the song “SORM-3” with very abrasive textures in an industrial manner. It’s easily one of the most experimental tracks on this compilation. “subterfuge 2” by Matt Tecson and Tom Prilesky is a mixture of ambient noise and techno.

NAP’s “MC03” uses very contrasting elements to bring out a very spiritual experience. There are deep pummeling drums, soft wind, cutting arps and heavy breaths. “Guzen” by thegn is very straightforward and would fit well with any fighting game or inner city stroll.

genre: ebm

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Yeule – Pathos

Yeule is an electronic artist based out of London, UK. I had first heard of her through her self titled release with Zoom Lens. At the time of that release, I believe she was based out of Singapore, Malaysia. “pathos” is a less pop-oriented than her self-titled with Zoom Lens and it definitely feels like a more personal album.

“Desire” is very drifting and longing. It reminds me of a My Bloody Valentine song without all the guitars and Kevin Shields. “Tint” carries a mood-intensive rhythm and yet everything sounds perfectly placed. It maximizes with only a drum track, keyboard, vocal and percussion.

“Soul Catcher” is another downtempo ambient track. It is happy but melancholy at the same time. Everything sounds bare and cold, but the melody is happy.

genre: bedroom landscapes

Connor Grasso