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Outsideleft Week in Music is learning to chill with the Sun Ra Arkestra We're hearing from Skullcrusher, Nils Frahm, Windser, Angel Olsen & Sturgill Simpson, Fred Again, Manic Street Preachers, Hamish Hawk, bjork, Ibibio Sound Machine, Cate Le Bon, ABC, Crossword Smiles, Sun Ra Arkestra, Kelela, Roger Eno, David Chutby, 9m88 and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard

Outsideleft Week in Music is learning to chill with the Sun Ra Arkestra

We're hearing from Skullcrusher, Nils Frahm, Windser, Angel Olsen & Sturgill Simpson, Fred Again, Manic Street Preachers, Hamish Hawk, bjork, Ibibio Sound Machine, Cate Le Bon, ABC, Crossword Smiles, Sun Ra Arkestra, Kelela, Roger Eno, David Chutby, 9m88 and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard

by Ogglypoogly,
first published: September, 2022
Chopin, from the forthcoming Sun Ra Arkestra LP Living Sky, is seven beautifully meandering minutes long... Remember, Space is the Place

What a great Week in Music that was. Whittling their way through the vinyl and digital mountains this week: Ogglypoogly, Tim Sparks, Katherine Pargeter, Tim London, Toon Traveller, Ancient Champion, John Robinson and Jay Lewis 

SINGLES

HAMISH HAWK - Think Of Us Kissing (Post Electric)
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by Ogglypoogly

Have you ever had a chance encounter with a complete stranger and found yourself disarmingly at ease with them, as though somehow you’ve always known them. Once you get beyond the initial unease of trying to trace them in your own history and coming up blank you can relax into the moment and enjoy their company however long they stay around. ‘Think of us kissing’ evokes that same sensation. A track that’s instantly familiar without being derivative, musical deja vu in the best of ways. With a bouncing reverb and steady beat layered beneath a crisp vocal, the song moves fluidly with gentle refrains and building intensity before finally soaring over the edge, hanging in the air for a moment and gently fading out leaving you wondering if it really happened. The kind of song you really should keep coming back to, give it a listen.


CATE LE BON - Typical Love (Mexican Summer)
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by Tim London

Props for mixing it up. What sounds suspiciously like a fretless bass, that wobbly chorussed guitar sound loved by Au Pairs, and a person with good timing trying to escape a locked bathroom. I’m missing the meaning of all this, probably because I’m not concentrating. I do wonder if Cate were to make a point of not being quite so 80s post-punk that she would create something aaaaawesome that I could love.


BJöRK - ovule (One Little Independent)
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by Tim London

I feel churlish because I am not paying much attention to the video which, when I glance, is rich with digital, fashion detail. There’s a huge list of people involved in the production. And it seems strangely old fashioned. Björk is blessed with her own tune, like Scott Walker, Dave Murkage, Mark E Smith, Morrissey, Billy Holiday. Singers who manage to use a variation of certain melodic ticks and phrases on every song they sing. So, really, a review of this track is more like a review of a charming pool into which you can choose to swim or not, depending on how you feel. Same pool, different water.


NILS FRAHM - Briefly (LEITER Verlag GmbH & Co. )
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by Katherine Pargeter

I've started to wonder which monarch will be on the throne when all life on earth finally shrivels up and dies because the human race has finally fucked the wheezing wreckage of the planet for the very last time. I reckon that it's likely to be one of William's kids who, by then, will be living at the top of a tower block in Sheffield because Buckingham Palace will now be a  sunken kingdom at the bottom of a very large lake and most parts of London are now denied as ever existing by skeptics who are convinced that it's all just an Atlantis-like fairy tale. 

When I do start to entertain such apocalyptic thoughts, one of my eldest children guides me to a darkened room where they insist that I listen to this mesmerizing twenty-eight-minute ambient delight (and anything else from the man who gave us 'Piano Day' ) until the clouds depart. Pretty soon I'm back on my feet again and can contentedly watch 24-hour rolling news of the approaching armageddon and people queuing up to look at a coffin. 


WINDSER - Capsize (OWN)
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by Toon Traveller

One of those all pervasive-generic sounds. Reminds me of Coldplay, the vocal refrains, the drop in tempo, the injection of falsetto as the pace changes. A 'contemplative, reflective' guitar solo. The three note intro, the high pitches of the guitar, the steady easy going drums, the repeated lines, tempo acceleration, then a drop in pace, guitar twiddles, and yeah this could be a very well played Coldplay out take and so if you adore Coldplay this may be for you. From the desktop physician, "has a similar effect to quaaludes." 


KELELA - Washed Away (Warp)
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by Tim London

An extended intro for a flaxen-haired DJ to start a set with in Dubai.


IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE - Heroes (Merge)
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by Toon Traveller

Always interesting when someone covers a Bowie song, it has to be different  This is not the ice cold, sleazy, precise, Germanic Bowie. A soft underplayed intro, a seductive comforting voice, not the challenge thrown down by David. This is love remembered in the late summer sun of Naples, or Madrid, not the dirty frozen Berlin winter slush that Bowie's original evokes. The instrumentation implies music from street players, drummers and guitarists, europop drifts from verandas, Spanish, Latin, and local folk sounds. Changing rhythms keep the song's swaying, gentle tease moving, to who knows where. A flute, a distant cuckoo clock motif, is a perfect ending to a street walk, in who knows where, or with god knows whom. It's no funeral in Berlin. That's for sure. 


FRED AGAIN - Danielle (Atlantic)
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by Tim London

The handy thing about house music is that you can skip to the vocal confident that you haven’t missed anything particularly of note. Once the singing starts… it’s a heavily autotuned set of cliches and a pleasant, ‘inspirational’ melody set to the standard, sub-Ibiza boofboof that depends on quality E and youthful health and energy to have a positive effect.


KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD - Ice V (KGLW)
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by Toon Traveller

Great speeded up intro, old, old trick, but a good one, funky off-the beat sounds, and 70's Urban soul feel with raw lead and silky backing vocals. The music... Outta that strange world of Urban Jazz, funk crossover. Think a Funked up War in the Galaxy phase. This has flutes, horns and twittering of what sounds like early Casio keys, and some fab horns. Oh so kool it's a solid concrete truckload of funk, with wah wah guitars splurging over the sides. This is a super sound, takes me back to the late 70s. A slab of great memory of 70's Jazz, funked out, and strutted  up to 11. Turn it up and groooooove. 


SKULLCRUSHER - It's Like A Sectre (Secretly Canadian)
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by Tim London

I was looking forward to a heavy metal laugh, now the laugh’s on me! They made me learn a new word in order to understand their lyrics. I say learn, I mean, investigate. ‘Asymptotic’, you fuckers. No wonder you’re called Skullcrusher - my head hurts. Look it up. I’m right. Like doing maths and enjoying it.


9M88 - Star (Jazz Baby Co)
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by Toon Traveller

9m88, I love your unusual bass lines and vocals, your street poet vibe like a latter day Rikki Lee Jones splicing herself into the sounds of those 70s socially aware soul artists; your warm comforting vocals and great great relaxed groove here. As I hear listen through again... Now I love the guitar too, drums are a bit too upfront for my taste, but nothing is perfect. It's an easy lazy summer groove, that slides into early Autumn. There's hints of Minnie Riperton maybe, a dash of Joss Stone... - This is a song for those dog days of summer, just before the fall, laid back back 'n' easystreetwise.


DAVID CHUTBY - Recognition (no label)
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by Tim Sparks

From the recording stable of mixmaster Adam Fiasco, we have a great solid first track from David Chutby, from the guitar and Kick intro where there are nods to Beatle sound FX with the reverse sounds...we get going through a driving verse and into a real melodic chorus, the guitars and Bass really keep this track together, the vocal is crisp and and sits well in the mix, and drums are well balanced throughout.The whole thongs reminds me of a Mike and the Mechanics vibe, which can only be a good thing ! Definitely a band to keep our eye on.


SUN RA ARKESTRA - Chopin (Omni Sound)
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by Toon Traveller

From the forthcoming October LP, Living Sky, Chopin is the first single meandering beautifully through seven minutes. Currently led by Marshall Allen, who has been with the band since 1958. I am always willing to give Sun Ra's disciples a go, and so... Love the piano intro, playful, delightful as the horns build and the rhythm develops. The delicate  piano a prelude to that City waking, stretching, dreaming of coffee, eggs over easy and hash browns,  and just "one more cup of coffee". Breakfast diner chatter, plates clatter. Traffic horns, aggression, faces scurry, hurry, dash and splash, just stopped rain formed puddles glisten. A sax and horn bob and weave through a brightly lit soundscape of city life. Love the underlying calm though, as occasional interjections of noise, a city coming alive - the days ritual start. Five Hearts, but I am not an unbiased observer. Listen...


ANGEL OLSEN & STURGILL SIMPSON - Big Time (Jagjaguwar)
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by Tim London

Angel continues her explorations of cahntree n western. No bars were de-segregated. No good ol’ boys disabused of their absolute privilege. The waltz loops round and round and America ignores the mirror. Country music went through the irony wardrobe a long time ago and now lives in a Netflix world of chunky, shiny trucks, multi-cultural friend groups and bankers in Stetsons.


EPs

ROGER ENO - The Turning Year (Solo Piano Verion) (Deutsche Grammophon)
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by LamontPaul

Because solo piano sets me free from everything. Although this is not the solo piano verion you'll find here.


LPs

CROSSWORD SMILES - Pressed and Ironed (Big Stir)
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by John Robinson

Crossword Smiles are Tom Curless and Chip Saam, pop-rock veterans of Michigan, and Pressed and Ironed is their latest LP. John Robinson offers his thoughts, here


MANIC STREET PREACHERS - Know Your Enemy (Deluxe Edition) (Sony Records)
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by Jay Lewis

Some years after 'Know Your Enemy' was originally released, Jay Lewis says, having suffered twenty years of sniffy indifference, the Manics have tried to reshape the somewhat unfocussed 'Know Your Enemy' into a more coherent shape than beforehand.  Read Jay's full review here


ABC - Skyscraping (Sony Music)
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by Jay Lewis

Just been added to the world of streaming services for the very first time, ABC's 'Skyscraping' (1997), is a long overlooked gem and a joyous dip into the eclectic musical mind of Martin Fry.

There always was so much more to Fry as a singer and songwriter than the legacy of the 'Lexicon' would have you believe. After ABC's wide-screen debut, the deliberate deconstructions ('Beauty Stab', 'How to be a Zillionaire') and dalliances with dance (the buoyant 'Up' from 1989 is a fine place to start), this is Fry at his most comfortable and self-assured.  There's a Roxyesque ease to the arrangments on 'Skyscraping' (the elegant title track and lead single 'Stranger Things') as well as a Ronson-like glam swagger to 'Love is it's Own Reward' and 'Rolling Sevens'.
To add to the mix, fellow Sheffield pop alumni Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 is a co-writer. 'Skyscraping' is a suave selection of songs, an essential part of the ABC canon.


Essential Info
Main Image Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra (since 1958!) by Vladimir Radojicic

Ogglypoogly

Ogglypoogly is a Sheffield based seamstress and mother of two. Uncultured and often uncouth, a lover of bubbles and foxes.


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