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Outsideleft Week In Music We're hearing from... Silk Sonic, Spiritualized, Poppy Ackroyd, Martin Wind, Low Life, Johnny Marr, Tasha, New Age Doom, Lee Scratch Perry, Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, Benny The Butcher, Busta Rhymes, Dave Gahan and Soulsavers, Loose Fit, Natalie Bergman, Courtney Barnett, Ghostly Kisses, FUR, Massage, El Michels Affair & Bobby Oriza

Outsideleft Week In Music

We're hearing from... Silk Sonic, Spiritualized, Poppy Ackroyd, Martin Wind, Low Life, Johnny Marr, Tasha, New Age Doom, Lee Scratch Perry, Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, Benny The Butcher, Busta Rhymes, Dave Gahan and Soulsavers, Loose Fit, Natalie Bergman, Courtney Barnett, Ghostly Kisses, FUR, Massage, El Michels Affair & Bobby Oriza

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: November, 2021

approximate reading time: minutes

It's like listening the Tony Blackburn show from 72 or something

We're getting there but I'm not saying we've made it yet. It's time for a lot of dad and mom products to flood the marketplace so... I don't know how much time we have left before we scrape the barrel for good releases, so this might be the last great week for music this year. At least we get one of the bona fide albums of the year right off the top.


SILK SONIC - An Evening with Silk Sonic (Aftermath)
by Ancient Champion

"You smell better than a barbecue..." Lyrically that is of the highest order... Silk Sonic is Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars, with special guests, notably 'host', Bootsy Collins, who gave the ensemble their name after hearing their Abbey Road recordings. Oh, there's a cavalcade of stars here too. The hit, Leave The Door Open has already been streamed like literally a billion times. Anderson.Paak with the Free Nationals has made some of the greatest faithful and faithless pop records in the past few years (Come Down, the song that I really wish I'd written that year is astonishing pop) and An Evening with Silk Sonic actually delivers what it promises on the tin. A fantastical evening of throwback funk and soul - thrown down from the glory days. Barry Biggs Sideshow one minute, untamed Millie Jackson the next. And the production is just astonishingly over the top from start to finish. When is a pastiche so perfectly perfected it's a paean? Oh man, these guys love this stuff so much it is who they are. It's like listening to the Tony Blackburn show from 72 or something. It's irresistible and almost certainly the Outsideleft LP of the year I'd presume. For authentic 360 all-night-long entertainment, there's not been anything even approaching this year. There's humor, there's romance, there's romance gone awry, there's... Who couldn't love this record? The soulless, that's who. 


SPIRITUALIZED - Always Together With You (Bella Union)
by Ancient Champion

I don't know when this comes out. Seems to say 2022 and we're so nearly there. Spiritualized. I can't tell when they are being serious. Can you. This is like a pre-synth experimental state doo-wop thing. Like in the final days before Lou met Andy. Before everything changed. When Phil Spector was killer and not an actual killer. Or something. It takes off of course. And should not be underestimated. Not many bands can keep you through six minutes. Can we just call the video chillingly transcendently brilliant? I wish I'd made that. Pop music can still be unique though, in Spiritualized hands, it can still be great.

NEW AGE DOOM, LEE SCRATCH PERRY - Holy Wings (We Are Busy Bodies)
by Hamilton High

New Age Doom follows up its critically acclaimed 2020 drone metal opus Himalayan Dream Techno with a serendipitous LP featuring the dub legend Lee "Scratch" Perry as lead vocalist. With its central themes of experimentation and dreaming, the album takes listeners on a sonic trip through a genre-defying blend of drone, jazz, stoner rock, noise and (of course) dub. "It felt natural to team up with an artist well known for boldness and experimentation," reflects drummer and co-producer Eric J. Breitenbach on the choice of approaching Lee "Scratch" Perry to appear on the album. "We never expected him to say yes, but at the same time, never doubted that he would. Once he was aboard, everything else just fell into place."

POPPY ACKROYD - Murmurations (One Little Independent Records)
by Tim London

See, proper musicians don’t need to mime - they’ll play live and it will still sound gorgeous. Although there are moments during this video when it’s just Poppy’s head and shoulders and only the evidence of the piano hammers striking the keys to prove she’s not practicing her typing. I’m going to sit down and examine which strings are being hit by which hammers connected to which keys to make sure it’s really not Memorex. No, I’m not. This is presumably a musical painting of the murmurations of huge flocks of starlings that, when I see them myself, make me wonder whether life is just a psychedelic prank when comparing them to the more mundane things, like a squashed snail or dumped fridges. And it is, as Poppy smiles at the end, ‘the one’. Image. Captured.

LOW LIFE - Agony and XTC (Goner Records)
by Toon Traveller

wow for a few moments i was back at the end of the 1970s post-punk in that music zone including Mekons, Gang of Four, Joy Division. That Lot. A world of resigned despair and angry flashes, no attitude posturing, no poverty chic, no fashion anger these times were the real. Real Rage against the Machine days and years. Low Life capture that focused yell, that anger of despair, that suffering. As a rework this is fine, but if you want the roots to look to the pre-goth, post-punk UK northern Rock you'll hear the real anger of your 65-year-old grandparent's songs and sadly, like this 65-year-old pensionista, you'll understand how little has changed in 40 years for ordinary people and their families. Great record.

MARTIN WIND - Mean What You Say (Laika)
by Toon Traveller

If recently I was negative about a well-respected Jazz artist Herb Alpert, and I think with good reason, then taking the Jazz as a journey analogy a few miles, kilometers on, this is like a tourist steam train ride. Sure there tea in china cups in the buffet, and horses racing the train in fields gliding effortlessly past a smokey steamy window, distant streams, diamonds in the late summer sun, but really it's the memories, or in many cases imagined memories that make the music, yes the playing great, and the beat skips perfectly, but like tourist trains it's all too clean, too polished, too loved, too, too, much a parody almost of that's preceded it. Yes, the tracks rat-a-tat, and whistles whine, but the journey is one into a golden past, all the good things and none of the bad, no missed notes, false starts, wheel spin, specks of dirt on a table cloth, everything in its place. Yes great memories and a lovely experience, and one that's best shared, friends and family, jazz heads, yes but it's the memories brought to life and they are best seen live and direct, Jazz on DVD just ain't the same. "Mean What You Say" is the first track from the Martin Wind Quartet's album "My Astorian Queen," out November 12, 2021, via Laika Records.

TASHA - Dream Still (Father/Daughter)
by Ancient Champion

Tasha's Dream Still sways so gently it swaggers. It's really really immersive in a miasmic fantasy hanging out in the technicolor dream world of Holly Golightly's Audrey Hepburn, sort of way. "Waking late in the morning, with sleep in your eyes..." And finding Truman Capote in your apartment goading the orchestra members up the stairs and in through the front door but already strings are swept out onto the balcony. Oh Truman a crush is a dangerous thing. More strings he'd say. I can't keep feeling without them. And so, Dream Still sways so gently it swaggers. No one loses girlfriends as sweetly as Tasha does. Epically gorgeous.

LOOSE FIT - Exhale (Fat Cat Records)
by Tim London

Disappointed! Thought this was Tight Fit reforming for more muscle men in leopard skin underpants miming fun. Instead, it’s a sloppy post-punk-funk rattle-about from Australia fronted by some very clear-dictioned, English accented singing. Get the feeling they would be great live. Still disappointed, though.

EL MICHELS AFFAIR, BOBBY ORIZA - Stack The Deck (Big Crown Records)
by Ancient Champion

Another soul pastiche but oh boy do these guys own it. It does sound like Bobby is singing, "You're a wanker, off the job..." and being Scandinavian maybe he doesn't appreciate how important masturbation is for male prostate health. Ladies, I don't know. Because, ladies I don't know. Because Bobby well he's not making it sound positive. Lots of dreamy longing going on. But. If you loved the first El Michels/Boob Oriza collab, Reasons - then this is another quality Big Crown -  a favorite label -  release for you.

GHOSTLY KISSES - Blackbirds (Akira)
by Toon Traveller

Wow! A great ethereal intro, love the slow simple phrasing, the understated instrumentation underpinning a wistful vocal. This is chill out, cool down music, this is music for relaxation, contemplation, and reflection I loved this. There's breathlessness, an anxious unknowing present in the music. Heard this first thing. Those OL people send over stuff throughout the night. This was a great way to start the day. Really Great. 

JOHNNY MARR - Tennement Time (BMG)
by Tim London

If he’s not the most charismatic of performers our Johnny still has a way with a riff. This is one old artist I’m willing to give a certain amount of latitude to, critically, mainly because of the way he has dealt with his Morrissey legacy so honestly and elegantly. It can’t be easy having your old mucker turn out to be a wee nazi. Along with fellow ‘good egg’ older gits like Beak’s Geoff Barrow and Massive Attack’s Rob Del Naja he can give an intelligent appraisal of the world without his ego getting in the way. I may not be into their music big time but it’s not terrible enough to negate that point. Here is a chunky riff over a lumpy rock arrangement and some surprisingly effective massed vocals that will probably be echoed back at him when he starts gigging. I don’t mind.

by Lee Paul

From Snoops much anticipated new LP, Algorithm, which arrives handily mid-month making it the perfect present for old dad rappers this Christmas. Murder Music sees Snoop rolling back the years, not to when he was bagging groceries in a Long Beach supermarket but not far from it. He's the elder statesman, the national treasure at large here. He's still so smooth. Murder Music is boombox beautiful. So raw and pretty. Like a wound.


NATALIE BERGMAN - Keep Those Teardrops From Falling (Third Man)
by Lee Paul

Natalie Bergman deposits a lovely piece of Americana-Soul into the annals. It's a good one. "If I ever get to see you again, I would never let you call my friend..." Been there. We all want to keep those teardrops from falling. We want to let the sunshine in. Natalie's still finding through her restorative powers for us all through her gods. A faux gospel beauty for sure.

MASSAGE - In Gray and Blue (Mt.St.Mtn)
by Hamilton High

In Gray and Blue is the first song from the forthcoming Massage Lane Lines EP. Very good it is too. Now some aspects of this might look and sound familiar to you guys with long memories or tune in to  legacy music station in the UK, 6 Music. You've got an OMD man in glasses on vocals, Peter Hook's bassline on bass. Gillian synth sweeps from a person with sewn in-creases in their pants. Filmed on the whitewashed set from Love Will Tear Us Apart. Oh, so what. Not everyone is a slave to Joy Division. Particularly liked Lindy Morrison on drums. In Gray and Blue though, for all of those accouterments, is a pretty, pretty solid just post-C86 epoch song. A lot of people I feel are going to find more to like about Massage than the happy ending.  


FUR - When You Walk Away (pt1) (777)
by Toon Traveller

I suppose it had to come, things do in cycles. The sorta 00's revival of 90's Britpop revival, the black and white urban images, the cutting riffs, the simple sing-along chorus, the guitar drive and up and down the frets, fun thymes, and upbeat vocal harmonies. This is a lovely slice of guitar pop, reminds me of bands like... Well the Lightning Seeds, James come to mind. Harmless, happy, dance, and jump, yeah it has it all in a medium club with your mates, getting used to post lockdown world, shedding post lockdown blues, but no crowd surfing. No mosh pit. If it's bed-sit exuberance you need this could be for you. 
I never chimb in/interject but didn't you mean to write this is surely, simply, everything that is wrong with music? - Lamontpaul

DAVE GAHAN AND SOULSAVERS - Imposter (Columbia Records)
by Spanish Pantalones

David recorded his Pin-Ups with some guy named Soulsavers. Or maybe it's his American Recordings. Either way, his voice sounds pretty good here, sorta like a lightweight Elvis during the King's spiritual phase. If only he chose more interesting songs to sing. 

COURTNEY BARNETT - Things Take Time, Take Time (Mom-Pop)
by Spanish Pantalones

Jesus, is this only Barnett's third album? I feel like it's her hundredth. It sounds like her hundredth, too.

Other Materials

JOHNNY MARR - How Soon Is Now (Youtube)
by Lee Paul

Alright well, generally I don't have to think about Mr. Marr much. He's accomplished, and he wrote some of the greatest pop songs of all time. He has his own hair and he's done that currently common northern styling thing where you add a little frost up top. Like Marcus Rashford. Marr looks more like Luxe Interior of course. But he's not and is never gonna have the leather keks. Is that northern vernacular. Anyway. The revelation here is the singing. This is not How Soon Is Now's Masters' voice. It's a rich alternative and I mean rich. It's as if it has taken a while for his singing to catch up with his guitaring but it is all here all right now on this version of this song. I really like the way he moves too. That's kinda cool. Really enjoyed it.

Main Image: Silk Sonic screengrab

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 »»



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