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Outsideleft Week in Music: My One Heart is a Blur We're hearing from Blur, Billy Woods & Kenny Segal, Amelia Moore, Citizen Rage, Kylie Minogue, Bill Pritchard, Soft Machine, Deer Tick, MC Meno Japinha Luana Maia Yuri Redicopa e DJ Pizza, Dragon Welding, TV's Daniel, Being Dead, MC W1 MC Doiszin MC Marc7 DJ Rafinha Duarte e DJ GD Beats, Savannah Conley, Bendik Giske, Jeremy Tulpin, Big Girl, Ultra Vivid Scene, Bill Pritchard, Mandy, Indiana, The Murlocs, Delvon LaMarr Organ Trio, Sumbuck, Not My God, Night Asylum

Outsideleft Week in Music: My One Heart is a Blur

We're hearing from Blur, Billy Woods & Kenny Segal, Amelia Moore, Citizen Rage, Kylie Minogue, Bill Pritchard, Soft Machine, Deer Tick, MC Meno Japinha Luana Maia Yuri Redicopa e DJ Pizza, Dragon Welding, TV's Daniel, Being Dead, MC W1 MC Doiszin MC Marc7 DJ Rafinha Duarte e DJ GD Beats, Savannah Conley, Bendik Giske, Jeremy Tulpin, Big Girl, Ultra Vivid Scene, Bill Pritchard, Mandy, Indiana, The Murlocs, Delvon LaMarr Organ Trio, Sumbuck, Not My God, Night Asylum

by OL House Writer,
first published: May, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

but this... is so underwhelming it just smells of busy schedules and sober rehearsals at sensible times of the day. Ultimately, it's booooooooorrrrrrring (Blur's The Narcissist)

The Outsideleft Week in Music. Relax. It's like Eurovision, but the music matters. 

SINGLES

BLUR - The Narcissist (UMG)
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by Tim London

Dum dum dum... Blur do, um, U2? In fact, I think probably U2 would manage to push the revival lorry a little further up the hill from 2001. I mean I wasn't expecting anything much, not being a big Blur fan, although I've really enjoyed the odd bit of Gorrillaz, but this... is so underwhelming it just smells of busy schedules and sober rehearsals at sensible times of the day. Ultimately, it's booooooooorrrrrrring.


BILLY WOODS & KENNY SEGAL - Soft Landing (Fat Possum)
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by LamontPaul

"Killing is one thing, what sticks is how casually... " That Billy Woods is a one. And that Kenny Segal is a one too. And Maps, the LP that Soft Landing is from, is one too. A great one. One so great I'd recommend it to everyone. 


NIGHT ASYLUM - Scream Machine (Frontiers Records)
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by Alan Rider

Hahahahahah!  That's the sort of maniacal laugh accompanied by fists punching the air and devils horn salutes that I'd imagine accompany Iron Maiden copyists Night Asylum's every waking moment.  Every heavy metal cliche in the book is thrown into the mix here; duelling guitars, thundering drums, sword and sorcery lyrics, chuggy head nodding choruses, power chords aplenty, OTT guitar solos, and screamy shouting.  Lots of screamy shouting.  So much screamy shouting!  Well, the track is called 'Scream Machine' after all.  Like Spinal Tap on speed, this is simply hilarious and is the ideal blast after a frustrating day.  Give it a go. Its a right old laugh! Now I'm even starting to wonder, do Amazon sell spandex trousers?


TV'S DANIEL - face Down In The Ditch Of Love (Wild Honey Records)
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by Tim London

This might be the moment that the post-punk/pre-punk dadrock beloved by those (us? Me?) who profess to love modern music and have certain touchstones (Television/early Modern Lovers/Velvets/Subway Sect etc) that they deem sacred have to face up to the fact that this strand of music has been so examined it is now possible to put a band together to make something akin to an IKEA version of a design classic. I can’t find any live footage so my suspicion that this is a clever late night chat show construction is piqued. The problem is… at the moment, I really like it. Damn it. It’s worked. Those last three listens - that’s me. (PS I did some research after writing this review and I was wrong, so wrong, but so right)


THE MURLOCS - Queen Pinky (ATO Records)
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by Alan Rider

Although Mebournes' The Murlocs are usually tagged as Psych-Punk , or even Country-Rock, 'Queen Pinky' sounds far more like the best, biggest, Soul hit to me.  Like Rick Astley previously, singer Ambrose Kenny-Smith sounds like he should be a classic all-American Soul singer, pumping out Gospel tinged staples in a Dixie bar, yet in reality he looks more like someone from the Accounts Department having a bash on the karaoke machine at the Christmas Party.  More power to him and the rest of The Murlocs though I say, as this is a real belter! 

Their album 'Calm Ya Farm' is released 19th May


SUMBUCK - Hew Honey (Gjenny Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Sumbuck singer songwriter, sadly so unfashionable, unhip, unloved, and, well, well you get the idea. This is one of those of the love songs that's dedicated to his amour. Real delight in his love, how he feels, what she does, "picks him up from, off the floor" and "doesn't keep a score". We've all done that, had it done to us, it can be, the start of the end of relationship, auditing your lover's failings, or, or a self analysis of your own shortcomings  and realising what more you need to give, to keep love alive. The guitar builds, the backing slides in, well scored, well played and balanced. Voice front of the mix. Words, clear and tender, love, and joy, a message for us all. He's got a lovely relaxed, late afternoon voice, soft and tender, just the right level of gentle whimsy. It's that, sitting in a cafe window, summer sun, cooling coffee, and memories of a last lingering lover's, tender kiss. It's just, lovely.


AMELIA MOORE - Name Everywhere (Capitol Records)
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by Alan Rider

Gosh, this is a difficult one to get your head around.  Lyric heavy, trying-a-bit-too hard vocals underpinned by piano and strings, plucky guitar, and experimental wibbles interspersed with slabs of guitar, it really can't make up its mind what it wants to be.  A warbly Bob Dylan? An edgier Taylor Swift?  I dunno.  Take your pick. It all got a bit much for me by the end of the track to be honest.  I think I need to go and lie down.


MC W1, MC DOISZIN, MC MARC7, DJ RAFINHA DUARTE E DJ GD BEATS - SET DA GM (Portuga Records)
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by Tim London

Somewhere else, something else is happening. Dynamite!


BIG GIRL - Instructions 2 Say Sorry (Weird Sister)
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by Alan Rider

Big Girl are in fact one girl and three hairy blokes, but after the collection of female arses waving at you in the opening shots of the accompanying video, I was ready to write this lot off as yet another of those scantily clad, but angry, "stop looking at my tits" shouty girl singer Pop Punk acts.  However, I have to say they are a lot of fun.  They remind me a little of the Au Pairs with the scratchy guitar intro and the in-yer-face accusatory stare, but with more of a tongue in cheek smile this time round.  Apparently some bloke forgot to apologise to perky singer Kaitlin Pelkey for doing something wrong. Maybe putting a shelf up wonky? Its not clear.  Their debut album 'Big Girl Vs God' on the amusingly named Weird Sister Records sounds a hoot too.  I like Big Girl.


KYLIE MINOGUE - Padam Padam (Some Big Conglomerate)
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by Tim London

Strangely retro Turkish electropop which makes it sound much more interesting than it is. Hope she has invested soundly and, if so, that means she can retire to chat shows and marry Rupert Murdoch before he pops his clogs (presuming Murdoch is actually a sentient, living human which is not completely clear. But, then, would that stop her marrying him? I mean, he had a lovely lizard get together with Jerry, didn’t he? Like so much scifi, it’s really just Hello mag in shiny catsuits. Real life, I mean. No, Kylie’s career, I mean. So marriage is a real possibility.)


SAVANNAH CONLEY - Help Myself (UMG)
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by Toon Traveller

A lovely introspective voice, alone, but not desperate. A sense of being at a crossroads, not too sure where she wants to go. There's none of the desperation these songs usually have, none of the usual hopelessness that these hearts usually ache with. This is a heartfelt song, full of the confusions and confessions we all face, as we traverse life's hurdles. It's the insightful inner confessions, we all cover up, when we all hide our fears, indecisions  and occasional despairs. It sings to our fears, and wraps around ourselves, gives inspiration to overcome our fears, our despairs, our deep places of darkness. There's wisdom in this voice, we can apply to our own lives, and have positive outcomes, we just need to reach out.


MC MENO JAPINHA, LUANA MAIA, YURI REDICOPA E DJ PIZZA - BEAT ESTILO RAVE (Portuga Records)
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by Tim London

DJ Pizza, introducing us to right now. What do you think of that, then, old man? I fuckin love it, but I hate it, too.


BENDIK GISKE - Rush (Smalltown Supersound)
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by Toon Traveller

Norwegian Sax players, heard a few, most notably Jan Garbarek. Just the thought always makes my ears prick up. Bendik is an inventive player, opening up with rapid fingering and circular blowing, laying down an almost African rhythm that builds in volume, speed and intensity, fast and furious. Rush bursts through, a ghost out of a confused foggy gloom. Intense, razor sharp, white hot as poured steel, it explodes in passion and energy. This has that sense of speed, and fingered brilliance. Remember this is just the player, a saxophone, and a few treatments. Bendik is spreading ideas like honey bees spread pollen, develop into works of beauty and delight. This is a master at the top of his game, I love him, his playing, and remember there's more to a sax than heard in Brown Sugar, or Born to Run.
Rush is inventive, it's passionate, it's provocative, it's what great music should be.


BEING DEAD - Daydream (Bayonet)
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by Alan Rider

Weirdness upon weirdness. A surf rock, freaky pop and frantic punk mash up, 'Daydream' switches tempo abruptly halfway through, is accompanied by a truly bonkers video, and confuses and confounds all at the same time.  I have no idea what this is about.  I bet they don't either.  I am, however, forever grateful that such oddities exist in the world and that a band like Being Dead can get away with it.  Being Dead for President!


DEER TICK - Once In A Lifetime (ATO Records)
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by Alan Rider

When I reviewed Deer Tick's previous single, 'Forgiving Ties', I said that they made me want to punch them.  This is not as nauseous as that track, so they might get away with just a kick, but there is still something about them that makes my skin crawl.  Its not that they are not a perfectly competent Country Rock band, or that this is a particularly terrible song, and they are probably all lovely people.  Its just that I really hate Deer Tick.  It simply can't be helped.


EPs

LPs

MANDY, INDIANA - I've Seen A Way (Fire Talk)
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by Alan Rider

This is absolutely epic.  Reminds me of vintage PIL in a way. Containing elements of Cabs, Foetus, Pretty Hate Machine era NIN, and early Sheep On Drugs and all done in an admirably confrontational way with lyrics in French (despite that they are from Manchester), it's impossible to ignore and expertly crafted, guaranteed to push your boundaries. I'm sorry, I'm still going back to PIL when they were good as the best comparitor, in spirit as much as in sound.  It's exactly the sort of confident left field weirdness and verve we love here at OL.  Standout tracks are the singles Pinking Shears, Drag [Crashed], and the twisted acid bath of Peach Fuzz, all driven along by a DAF like combination of drums and samples. Live, these (I imagine) would conjure up the kind of audience vs. band tension that brought the best out of classic old industrial acts and resulted in messy and often violent performances that stuck in the memory like glue. Like a blast furnace compared to the feeble scented candle flames of the Ed Sheeran's of this world, Mandy, Indiana have declared musical war on the world and prisoners are not being taken.


SOFT MACHINE - The Dutch Lesson (Cuniform Records)
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by Alan Rider

I confess to my everlasting shame to having actually seen one of the many line ups of Soft machine at a festival in London many moons ago, but this re-issue of a recording of a Rotterdam concert dates from way before that.  1973 to be precise, when (musically) dinosaurs roamed the earth.  This is a great summary of those jazz-folk-rock times, where many hours of young lives were pointlessly squandered listening to the vague noodlings and endless improvisations of bands like Soft Machine.   With titles like 'The Soft Weed Factor' and 'Improvisation', every track seems to be a random mixture of quietly stoned intros building into a flailing and improvised series of diversions where every member of the band appear to be playing by themselves, but just happen to be sharing a stage.  Its the sort of music that mean I still hate going into a guitar store as I am sure to be faced by the very type of muso that would love this.  As a cure for insomnia it does the job, but otherwise giving this a wide berth is highly recommended.


NOT MY GOD - Obverses (Metropolis)
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by Alan Rider

A superior slice of industrial darkness, Not My God are a side project of Tim Skold (Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, Skold) and Nero Bellum (Psyclon Nine) now on their third outing.  This is pretty heavy duty stuff, but immaculate for all that. Cinematic electronics with Marilyn Manson style guttural vocals throughout, the standout track is the wonderfully bubbling 'Unwind The Helix'.  This may not be breaking any new ground, but these US Industrial acts can certainly rock a genre.  There is a huge audience for this of course, which doesn't include me these days I have to say, but this is certainly a master class in hitting all the darkest buttons dead on.


CITIZEN RAGE - Harsh Reality (Cursed Blessings)
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by Alan Rider

Bash, Bash, Bash, Crash, Crash, Crash, Woarrrrggh!!, Keranngg! WoargggHHHHHHH!!!!!  That just about sums this up.  Hardcore is the lowest point of musical development.  Its like they strapped a guitar onto an angry Gorilla. 


JEREMY TULPIN - Orville's Discotheque (Trapped Animal Records)
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by Alan Rider

'Orville’s Discotheque' is a fully fledged concept album with it's own cast of characters, loosely based on the underworld wandering classical Greek tale of Orpheus.  Tommy it 'aint, though, and leaving aside the fact that I will forever associate the name Orville with a ventriloquists' dummy of a pale green duck in a nappy, popular on TV in the '80s, this lightly synthy affair tells the story of a flawed disco-enthused antihero and his romantic travails, set in the 70s or 80s (or possibly the future).

Let's cut to the chase. This is all as naff as it sounds, with Jeremys breathy vocals, strummy song writing, and consistently mid-paced and inoffensive delivery making 'Orville's Discotheque' a forgettable album at best.  By the end I honestly couldn't care less what happened to Orville, having lost the plot a while back.  I just hope that green duck in a nappy manages to find his way home, that's all.

 


BILL PRITCHARD - Bill Pritchard Sings Poems by Patrick Woodcock (Tapete)
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by Jay Lewis

Bill Pritchard Sings Poems by Patrick Woodcock is a triumph. You wanna know why? I know you wanna know why. Jay Lewis tells you so right here⇒


DRAGON WELDING - Fictionary (Dimple Discs)
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by Alan Rider

Kicking off with the urgently pulsing instrumental 'Clear Road, Clear Night, Clear Mind', Fictionary is the third album from Dragon Welding, the anagrammatical alias of Andrew “Andy" Golding, a multi-instrumentalist (or 'Show Off' as I prefer to say), programmer and videographer who used to twang the guitar for mid-80s 'C86' (an obscure NME reference term) band The Wolfhounds. If you don't remember them, it doesn't matter as this sounds nothing like them.  Its more interesting.  Swinging from repetitive and noise oriented tracks, to those attempting to be more of a song by recruiting guest vocalists ( 'An Angel Not Of This Earth', 'The Dark') and incorporation more of a song structure, the urgent tone is maintained throughput by the use of a constantly pulsing rhythm, to great effect on the track 'Mirror Dancer' which marries an electro beat to a reverberating psychobilly guitar and the excellent Sci Fi soundtrack-y 'Water Boatmen'.  By the time we get to the final, expansive, fifteenth, track it's wearing a bit thin though, to the extent I was relieved when it stopped.  So this is a little one dimensional and would certainly have benefitted from more discipline and variety in a number of the tracks.  For a third album I'd have thought he would have cracked that by now

Fictionary is out 26th May


Other Materials

ULTRA VIVID SCENE - Mercy Seat (4AD)
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by Ancient Champion

Made a scene at the time. An Ultra Vivid One. And then... 


DELVON LAMARR ORGAN TRIO - Live at Relix (Colemine)
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by Ancient Champion

Caught up with these guys and oh wow! How wholly superb was that. They played for two hours and it felt like 20 minutes. They're on tour so catch them if you can.


Essential Information
This is generally where we put something useful. Not so much this time.

but this... is so underwhelming it just smells of busy schedules and sober rehearsals at sensible times of the day. Ultimately, it's booooooooorrrrrrring (Blur's The Narcissist)
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