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Outsideleft Week in Music. We're hearing from REM, ATA Records, Alan Vega, Jyroscope & Montana Macks, Sex Pistols, Dry Cleaning, Haim, Saint Etienne, Anton Barbeau, Jamila Woods, Midwife, Moorea Masa & the Mood, Discodor, Brother Lee, Pavement and Cameron Forbes

Outsideleft Week in Music.

We're hearing from REM, ATA Records, Alan Vega, Jyroscope & Montana Macks, Sex Pistols, Dry Cleaning, Haim, Saint Etienne, Anton Barbeau, Jamila Woods, Midwife, Moorea Masa & the Mood, Discodor, Brother Lee, Pavement and Cameron Forbes

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: July, 2021
Anton Barbeau, Oh the Joys We Live For is the coolest cut of the bunch this week

RECORDING OF THE WEEK

ANTON BARBEAU - Oh the Joys We Live For (Big Stir)
Oh the Joys We Live For is a great, great new LP from Anton Barbeau. Read John Robinson's full review here.


SINGLES

DRY CLEANING - Bug Eggs/Tony Speaks! (4AD)
by Jay Lewis

Initially released as additional tracks on the Japanese edition of their 'New Long Leg' album, these two numbers show Dry Cleaning at their raw and exciting best.

Untangling Florence Shaw's surreal lyrics is always a delight (apparently 'Bug Eggs’ is '...about the confidence that comes with age, fragility, and sexual desire.'), and there's so much to cherish here ('I was a toasted teenage tea peanut/I should have tucked my teeshirt into my Y-Fronts'), it feels both hilarious and tragic in the same breath.

Better still is 'Tony Says' which traces Shaw's reflections on '...climate change, environmental catastrophes, and political campaigning,' in the wake of the 2019 general election. Shaw is at her most piercingly astute best whilst musically it's one of the band's most abrasive and squalling soundtracks. An angry triumph.


HAIM - Cherry Flavoured Stomach Ache (Universal)
by Katherine Pargeter

There's a much-revered musician (I'm sure he'd hate that term), from a place just outside Bristol that starts with a P.

His name is Geoff and, when he isn't releasing deliberately difficult music that distances himself as far as he can from his Mercury award-winning debut, he's slagging off the LA-based band Haim, either in interviews or on social media.  Yes, Haim, as you know, the three sisters who write and perform classy pop tunes that have brilliantly biting lyrics, as shown on their last album (the award-winning and respected Women In Music 3).  Yes, that Haim! who can pull off this splendid theme to forthcoming Netflix drama without breaking a sweat. Unlike Geoff who's still struggling with his difficult personal life and is still writing spiteful and sexist tweets.  Geoff really is a bit of twat! 


MOOREA MASA & THE MOOD - In The Mood ()
by Hamilton High

2018's I Can't Tell, was a sumptuous, sultry, sparsely furnished house of love. It didn't need much except Moorea Masa's voice and the lyric, (probably didn't need the orgasmic guitar solo...) You are familiar with that moment in love, "I can't tell where you begin and I end..." And if you're unsure, maybe, seriously think about moving on till you find that feeling. Just for a few seconds in your one life at least. Hearts skipped beats and eroticism was made as real as a pop songs can... Anyways...  I Can't Tell, was a massive global hit and a tough song to follow and so here we are. In The Mood sets the mood out all over again. It's a little soapy, it's a little tender and a little soft and sweet. It's a little soundtrack to a Viagra commercial though. It's a struggle this time. There's promise, but to realize that intimacy, there's a struggle and, is it worth being part of? In the end. Adult ed.


CAMERON FORBES - Send Nudes (Things We Like)
by Hamilton High

Cameron Forbes, he's doing something, he's always trying to address massive complex issues in three minute pop songs. Send Nudes follows If I Was White. And you can see his dilemma. He's accused of over-simplification, maybe because he's trying to say something... But you can add in your own dash of sophistry til you confuse me, sugar. Send Nudes addresses that point when you get to that point where you just really wanna see someone naked. In our morally perversely panicked world maybe that's one of the purest and least fucked up things there is left. Just biology after all. Don't ask, don't get, don't get, don't know what you want... Whatever. This video is no more dumb than those funny Dave Grohl ones and not really much more fun that those either Although for everyone on your side of the screen looking at this right now, far easier on the eye. Check it out. 


SEX PISTOLS - Pretty Vacant (Sex Pistols Residuals)
by Hamilton High

Well really. Right here's the problem with curiosity. Ask any cat. You might just find out. This single, Chris Spedding produced, Pretty Vacant b/w No Feelings is... Well. In the form you know these songs they are two beautifully realized aggressive examples of the Sex Pistols as a primal rocknroll force. Artful outrage abounds, the greatest and funnest and life-affirming / life-changing of hits. What's happening here with Spedding is something else not quite altogether. No Feelings feels like they went straight to new wave eschewing punk completely. Thank gods, all gods, Christ Homas came in and produced the Pistols. This is meek and controlled. And yet and yet, Steve Jones is there, Paul Cook is right in there, Johnny Rotten is so nearly there. I don't know about the bass quite either. If you're a big fan this could be an unsettling experience for sure. 

and how demonically brilliant they were...


DISCODOR - Bonjour Capitaine! (Wonderful Sound)
by Hamilton High

There's something joyous and delightful about the perfectly lush, yet perfectly imperfect Discodor. Bonjour Capitaine! comes from their eponymously titled album released just a little while ago. Bonjour Capitaine! is dreamy and escape-y, if you wish to travel oh this will take you. The light and color of the South of France, where i believe this to be crafted, sparkles through as an essential element. And a big bonus - the joy of the long, telegraphed back to shore fade out. Gently weightless bliss.


SAINT ETIENNE - Pond House (Heavenly)
by Jay Lewis

The first new material from St Etienne in four years. A preview of the LP 'I've Been Trying To Tell You' - an album and short film that explores themes of optimism, how memory can be an unreliable narrator, and the late 1990s. Whether it will tackle the early days of New Labour and how we're no longer allowed to think of it in a positive light remains to be seen.

'Pond House' is the teaser single, where pulsating percussion, woozy keyboards and cut up vocals create something as tantalising as Massive Attack in their hazy mid-nineties trip-hop glory. It's as seductive as a late summer sunset. An absolute joy.


EPs

JYROSCOPE & MONTANA MACKS - Happy Medium (Self)
by Ancient Champion

What's not to love about the Jyroscope EP, Happy Medium? Middle-aged men rapping their way through middle-age men concerns. IB Fokuz and Collasoul Structure have found a fertile and frustrating dichotomy to mine for sure. From this observer, work wants too much. This workaday life as Jyroscope tells it, is redolent of a Chuck Watchel tale. It's something we talk about a lot here at OL. A lot of us are getting on a bit. Do we have time to make art, or will we run out of time while being bureaucrats? It's a debate held not infrequently, although not as musically nor as eloquently as Jyroscope do it. And we don't have Montana Macks, the perfect lo-key foil producing the soundtrack to our murmerings. 


LPs

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Cameroon Garage Funk (Analog Africa)
by Ancient Champion

Love Analog Africa, never failing to deliver and how! Cameroon Garage Funk is something like their 45th release. It'll be available on double gatefold vinyl with every tune a suitably freak out epic punch in the head thrill. I can't see the record spinning from here but if I could I am sure I'd see the turntable tone arm swimming in sweat. Available on September 3rd, but you can pre-order now here. Do.


ALAN VEGA - Alan Vega After Dark (In The Red)
by Spanish Pantalones

Made from a previously unreleased late-night session with several members of Pink Slip Daddy, this one is darkly atmospheric and feels like a warm blanket on a cool night after the drugs and booze have worn off; cocoon-like. Depressive types will love it.


BROTHER LEE - Seventh Season (Dime Records)
by LamontPaul

A solo album from Brother Lee (aka Lee Skelly from Discodor, The Prescriptions, The Peas, Inner Space Quartet, Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, etc). Lo-fi and hazy, sparse and spectral, psyched-out and defiantly beautiful. - Read our full review here


ATA RECORDS - ATA Records: The Library Archive Vol.2 (ATA Records)
by Ancient Champion

ATA Records is a vintage equipped recording studio and record label based in Leeds. It was set up in 2004 by Pete Williams and Neil Innes, devotees to 60s recording equipment, valve driven preamps and fat, fat magnetic tape. They dream in authenticity. ATA Library Archive Vol 2 is influenced by the 70s Italian acid loungers, I Marc 4, amongst others, but is far less further along that easy listening spectrum than they, and ATA truly dares to give the often lowly regarded library music a good name. It's jazzy, it's funky, it's edgy and lovely all at once. The best record I've listened to all morning. Now hear this...


MIDWIFE - Luminol (The Flenser)
by Lee Paul

Multi-instrumentalist Madeline Johnston's, Midwife parade their self-coined brand of Heaven Metal to full effect across the six tracks of the shimmering new LP Luminol. (Named for the chemical that reveals blood residue at crime scenes). Midwife's guitars and electronica paint their walls with inertia. Scratching their surfaces. And the vocals are never really there. You'd have to imagine if Lush kept producing records into their dotage, they might have gotten more musically lovably laboured, like this. Luminol is a coolly contained experiment in stretching what we can hope for from songs and sound.


Other Materials

REM - Radio Free Europe (Hib-Tone)
by Lee Paul

REM are 40. The major label indie band and their singers' suppressed art-core pretensions are celebrating in style by, erm, reissuing their first single and completists will know this mix. The hib-tone mix is not necessarily generally available elsewhere. Or is it? Some say you'll find it on their collection, Eponymous. What is exciting is the cassette recorder you get that comes with it to play it on. Some fun for old men.


PAVEMENT - We Need Secrets (Live 1994) (Freefall)
by Ancient Champion

The late 80/90s produced a slew of great american bands. Buoyed maybe by the exposure on MTVs 120 Minutes. Oh how we'd sit up late on Sunday Nights for the premier of a Cut Your Hair video or a new Buffalo Tom song. One of the greatest of the bands unearthed in that era was indeed the Stephen Malkmus driven Pavement. This archival material, We Need Secrets (live 1994) is a typically languid affair and a joy for being so. We Need Secrets includes a number of hits and what sounds like the traffic you'd hear while waiting at a bus stop in between songs too. 18 tracks of magic even now. 


Main Image: Anton Barbeau (borrowed from his website)

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

Anton Barbeau, Oh the Joys We Live For is the coolest cut of the bunch this week

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