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Outsideleft Week in Music: From a Tiny Garden We're hearing from... Jamila Woods, Mid-City Prowlers, Saul Williams/Sun Ra, Cavern Deep, Ultravox, Colonel Dax, Interpol, Bella Moore, Teen Idle, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Alan Goraguer, Blue Lake, Mattstranger, Bedless Bones, THEIA, Danko Jones, Ursa Major Revelation, hackedepicciotto, Big Joanie, Felt, Geese, Monster Rally, Leela James, Swans and the songs of Nick Drake

Outsideleft Week in Music: From a Tiny Garden

We're hearing from... Jamila Woods, Mid-City Prowlers, Saul Williams/Sun Ra, Cavern Deep, Ultravox, Colonel Dax, Interpol, Bella Moore, Teen Idle, Sarah Mary Chadwick, Alan Goraguer, Blue Lake, Mattstranger, Bedless Bones, THEIA, Danko Jones, Ursa Major Revelation, hackedepicciotto, Big Joanie, Felt, Geese, Monster Rally, Leela James, Swans and the songs of Nick Drake

by OL House Writer,
first published: July, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

Bearwood huddles beneath a b-movie 100 year storm listening to records...

The Week in Music scours the globe for records that most likely will never be hits anywhere. And here they are. Old friends and new favorites. And sort of not one of the records you can hear tonight at the Outsideleft Record Club which is the latest Outsideleft Night Out in Corks in Bearwood where our record players will be disco-ing and funking the place out while Bearwood huddles beneath a b-movie 100 year storm.

SINGLES

JAMILA WOODS - Tiny Garden ft duendita (Jagjaguwar)
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by Ancient Champion

Jamila Woods has always been a superior talent since she introduced herself with her poetry, moving on and reshaping the whole poetry program for Chicago schools. And her vocal showcase piece, Sunday Candy with Donnie Trumpet. Blk Girl Soldier the single was an incredibly moving statement of fact. Oh man so much to love. And so the perfect stripped inflections of Tiny Garden, from the forthcoming autumn LP Water Made Us. Pop single of the summer so far you might think. Get transported to a Tiny Garden. You'll be happier there.


SARAH MARY CHADWICK - Looked Just Like Jesus/Shitty Town (Kill Rock Stars)
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by Alex V. Cook

When people profess their trainwreck fetishes for PJ Harvey or Amy Winehouse, I just sneer and check my ATM balance to see if I can bail out Sarah Mary Chadwick again, because I always will. These transmissions from her forthcoming album have all the waves of piano chords crashing on night's Plutonian shore like her recent tails of I-fucked-up-again with an added subtle orchestra of synths, a crusted oyster shell on which this damaged Venus may once again be birthed. Just love her.


TEEN IDLE - Birthday Cake (h1Massive)
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by Ancient Champion

Teen Idle are spectacularly amazing aren't they. Well isn't she. Sara Barry as we once said in OL has been sent to rescue pop music. Here Sara handles vocals, guitar, bass and extraneous sounds. Nominally at one time, Teen Idle were filed under shoegaze, Birthday Cake, is languidly polished and stretching every lo-fi muscular sinew. It's suits Ms Barry so well. Her voice is a statement. "This is a special song that talks about themes of emerging adolescence intertwined with recklessness that I’d observed in certain people through college and growing up." Number one in this parallel universe.


ALAN GORAGUER - Déshominisation (Creazioni Artistiche Musicali, under Exclusive License to Decca Records France)
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by LamontPaul

What an amazing record this is. Unputdownable. Sweeping, epic and entertaining. Not to be gawked at to be immersed in. What can I convey? From the soundtrack ton the 1973 movie La Planete Sauvage, a psychedelic high, now expanded and even more amazing.


THEIA - Im Plastic (Independant)
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by Tim Sparks

I spotted THEIA at a local festival recently...and what powerful outfit they are... The current track I'm Plastic is a manic fusion of Fuzzbox / synth / Rock and it definitely exceeds the speed limit. Guitar driven melodies get us straight into it, then a monster chorus where Kyles saturated vocal style really shines, the backing and harmonies add all the colour and dynamics you need, all tightly super glued together with drums, Bass and Synths. The whole sound is big, the arrangement is spot on, full time overdrive and I'm liking it! I did check out some of their other tracks and there's no disappointment there... You would do well to keep these guys on your radar.


BIG JOANIE - Today (Kill Rock Stars)
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by Ancient Champion

In the week Big Joanie feature in the New Yorker they also release a version of Today, featuring pop hot shot/living legend, Kim Deal. 


MONSTER RALLY - Moon Flower Bloom (Captain Planet dub remix) (Monster Rally)
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by Ancient Champion

Straight Five! Dubby, spooky, organically, hugely entertainingly. Done.


LEELA JAMES - Right Back In It (Shesangz)
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by Lee Paul

Leela James is a distinguished by have done so much. Unsure she rests. James worked with the Roots and has a plethora of hits. She does this so well. Hers is a superior neo soul really. This video owes a bit to Queen and Slim maybe. But then maybe we're all always on the run from something. Great.


ULTRAVOX - Reap The Wild Wind (Steve Wilson Stereo Remix) (Chrysalis )
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by Jay Lewis

I'm now midway through my 50s and I've begun to question whether I have enough time left on earth for certain time consuming tasks...you know the sort of thing: ironing tea towels, editing my LinkedIn profile or spending four and three-quarter hours listening to a box set of Ultravox (Mark 2)'s third album.  

There are sixty tracks on the Deluxe Edition of 'Quartet' and some of them have been remixed by the guy from Porcupine Tree who now specializes in that sort of thing. Whilst I ponder whether or not to tackle the other 59 tracks, the remix of 'Reap the Wild Wind' audaciously seeks to improve on George Martin's original. The bass is clearer, the vocals more distinct. Oh well, only another four hours and forty minutes to go...


COLONEL DAX - I Weave, You Loom (Independant)
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by Tim Sparks

Discovered surfing for new artists, the off beat intro got my attention straight away, tight and powerful, this has a taste of Prog rock in a more modern style, the instrumentation is great, vocally its excellent, guitar playing is sublime, the solo sound is just wicked... The stereo field in the cans is very nice...just spacious and awash with different frequencies..arrangement and production is really good all round. I can't think of many doing this quality material right now, check it out, Im sure you will enjoy! I'm off to play it again.


SAUL WILLIAMS/SUN RA - When Angels Speak (Omni Sound)
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by Alex V. Cook

There is so much Sun Ra material out there, one doesn't know where to start. His keyboard freak-outs? His Duke Ellington phase? The smooth jazz fractures of Lanquidity? His tehsis statement Space is the Place? My suggestion is to go for anything where Sun Ra reads his afrofuturist poetry over anything, because it is capital K cool. Celebrated doer-of-that Saul Williams offers this opening salvo from My Words are Music, a collection of people doing their best to travel his iambic spaceways. With this, I suggest someone resurrect the late Ken Nordine's Word Jazz with Saul Williams' voice at its molten core. Cue finger snaps.  


URSA MAJOR REVELATION - Tar Pits (Streaming platforms)
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by Alan Rider

This is all about falling in love with someone trying to escape heroin addiction, being obsessed with their health, and needing to be their saviour.  All heavy duty and worthy stuff. Its just a shame that the song and the (frankly) rubbish video accompanying it don't match up to the subject.  'Aint it always the way?


DANKO JONES - Good Time (AFM Records)
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by Alan Rider

You really wouldn't want Danko Jones moving in next door to you.  On the strength of this and their previous single, they don't have a volume control so everything stays cranked up to 11 every time. That could get a bit wearing and having Danko shouting and cussing in your face all day and night would get to you too after a while. Before you call the cops on them though, it's worth sticking this on full blast just to blow away those cobwebs.  In fact this will probably blow away cobwebs in the next county too. They really should supply free earplugs with every copy.


BELLA MOORE - Benny Valentine ( Launch Left)
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by Toon Traveller

PR? don't usually bother reading. Apologies English Grads. Describes this as "Hauntingly Beautiful" it's not far wrong. Opens, a voice echoing in alleys, bouncing of walls, stone streets, and wooden shutters. Southern Europe, North Africa,it's nowhere near me. That's is beauty, it's somewhere exotic, inspirational, evocative. A repetitive hammer beats, steady, hard and menacing, monotonously regular. A nod to those German noise pioneers, Einsturzende Neubauten taken to a darker, more primitive place? All of those struggles, sheer efforts to survive, in the face of raw power, crushing humanity and hope. Industry, craft, poverty, they're all the same, here, bleak, dying, destroying, eliminating the human spirit. Haunting, it's got that, it's dark, terrible, entrancing, hypnotising horror film you have to see through to it's bleak, depressing conclusion. Beautiful, in it's raw, tragic relentless monochrome vision, a scarred winter bleakness of the Soul.  This a starless bible black night, a terrifying, advancing electric storm  


INTERPOL - Something Changed (Water From Your Eyes Interpolation) (Domino)
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by Ancient Champion

What a fab mish mash. I have a soft spot for Interpol - you know that one, you get together with someone and you find records in common in their record collection. So I tend to give Interpol some slack when they are difficult to like. Which is often. So Something Changed is a total shock as it is extremely uncharacteristically brilliant. What are you left to do when the National have been eating your breakfast and lunch for so long? Dial up the gonzo that's what you do. And then they can't stop and halfway through they throw in a lump hammer at the glassworks. Then they remember how much Warm Leatherette mattered and get to reworking it. It's working. A sensational uptempo turn from avowed miserabilists. This is a bit of a joy really.


LPs

HACKEDEPICCIOTTO - Keepsakes (Mute)
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by Alan Rider

Having interviewed the Berlin-based Avant-Garde duo, he's full of praise for their fifth long player. Full review here.


MATTSTRANGER - Hello (Hot Societe)
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by Ancient Champion

From the LP Perfect Blue. Home-recorded in the dead of night, Perfect Blue is named after the film he was planning on watching with his former lover just before they broke up, his music is the bitter aftertaste of something that was once so sweet. He describes the record as “a cold beach where you’ve once had fun summers, but now summer is coming to an end and the beach is blue.” His guided songwriting breaks through with the classic pop and folk of the Beatles, Nick Drake and the Beach Boys, as well as the hip-hop productions of Earl Sweatshirt, Madlib and RZA and outsider influences Black Moth Super Rainbow and Koji Kondo.


SWANS - The Beggar (Young God)
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by Alex V. Cook

Speaking of Swans, this latest from the latest incarnation of the legendary noise and violence institution is just sublime. There is a tender tension and they lean into the chant-ier side of their deal, like one of their best albums Children of God. Swans is a hard sell - you have to be ready for stillness, like 43 minutes of it in the case of "The Beggar Love (Three)." Big drama in cave lighting. Basically as long and closed circuited as a Grateful Dead outing, yet the opposite. In their immolation, you are reborn.  I can't stop listening to all two hours of it but then, I have been handing out flowers at the airport in their name for decades now. You don't need to shave your head to join the cult, but it would help. See Alan Rider's Swans review here⇒ 


BLUE LAKE - Sun Arcs (Tonal Union Records Ltd)
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by Jay Lewis

Blue Lakes ...you remember when bodies of water were clear and unpolluted and, well, blue. I imagine that Jason (a Texan living in Copenhagen, who began this album whilst living in a log cabin in the Swedish woods), could name a few unspoiled bodies of water.

'Sun Arcs' is a pure delight. Duggan built a 48-string zither for the project and the music that he created is both strange and familiar, the beguiling sense that something has always been with you despite never hearing it before. Opener 'Dallas' hints at Country and Folk music before the added strings and woodwind lead this into Penguin Cafe Orchestra territory. Best of all is 'Bloom’ where the ensembled musicians (cello, slide guitar, and zither),  weave around each other as if the players are staring deep into the woods and recollecting their combined love of Neu at the same time.

Elements of jazz, classical, drone as well as the aforementioned country and folk merge together on this collection. Sun Arcs embraces the extraordinary beauty of nature, you should enjoy it before it is just a memory.


MID-CITY PROWLERS - Mid-City Prowlers (Bandcamp)
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by LamontPaul

Quick mention of the new self-titled LP from Baton Rouge's Mid-City Prowlers. Bandleader, Andrew Hill's songs are born out of longing and redemption, embracing his influences of Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, CSN&Y, Drive-By Truckers and beyond. And opens with grungy not grunge-like dirty guitar chords and the memorable "Snakeskin boots in the closet..." Alan sonds suitably Green on Red snotty from the get go. This collection is was recorded at Alex V Cook's Baton studio and features Andrew Hill - vocals and guitar, Robby Barringer - guitar and vocals, Ben Milam - bass and vocals, James Arthur Thomas Hyfield - drums and vocals and Alex - keys, accordion and vocals, with Jason Milam and Margaret Fowler doing the party vocals on "Hurricane Drinking". 

Andrew is preparing a Track by Track for Outsideleft that will be available soon. Meanwhile the Mid City Prowlers are barely being contained by Bandcamp here...


VARIOUS ARTISTS - The Endless Coloured Ways : The Songs of Nick Drake (Chrysalis )
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by Jay Lewis

When listening to 'The Endless Coloured Ways', a new Nick Drake tribute album curated by Cally Callomon (Manager of the Nick Drake Estate), and Jeremy Lascelles (Head of Chrysalis Records). Their brief to those artists was simple: “...ignore the original recording of Nick’s, and reinvent the song in their own unique ways" Did they meet the brief? Jay Lewis listens and lets you know, right here⇒


GEESE - 3D Country (Partisan/Play it Again Sam)
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by Alex V. Cook

I always wanted to make a Swans tribute band called Geese, but thankfully someone has claimed the name and relieved me of this obligation to realizing whimsy. the opening track has the gear-stripping joy of Tropical Fuck Storm and Jon Spencer products, with a little Birthday Party dashed in with the full commitment to abandon excised. Normally that would be a mark against a band, but they embrace their grooves like on the title track and the perfectly titled "Cowboy Nudes" with their lanky arms, like sweaty twentysomethings engaging all those hugs they have for each other. I'm into it. Swans would thank you too if they were the thanking kind.


BEDLESS BONES - Sublime Malaise (Metropolis)
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by Alan Rider

Bedless Bones is Estonian singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist Kadri Sammel and she makes a big sound.  Often described as darkwave, EBM, or gothic, the too loud pounding drums and over reverb'd vocals typical of those genres are here in force.  This is a resissue of her 2019 debut album though as a teaser for a new third album coming up later in 2023, so she will have moved on a bit from this by now I hope.  The production is unforgiving, pummelling any subtlety into the ground and the use of multiple reverbs on the vocals is over done on every track.  There are also a few unimaginative and forgettable re- mixes tacked on to the end of this to justify its re-issue I suspect.  However, I have a feeling there is real talent here fighting to get away from all the darkwave cliche's and tyrannical drum beats, it just needs someone with a better production ear than Kadri herself to draw that out.  The jury is still out on Bedless Bones until that new album comes along, but there is hope.

Sublime Malaise is streaming now, with an extended CD due out 11 August


CAVERN DEEP - Breach (Bonebag Records)
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by Alan Rider

Cavern Deep are a slow paced Doom Metal band. That sentence should tell you all you need to know about this record.  Every track sounds the same, and they sound the same as every other Doom metal band, resembling a slowed down and less inventive version of Spinal Tap.  The fact is, Doom Metal is insanely easy to create.  You just need a guitar tuned to a bar chord, a Boss Metal Core pedal cranked up full and a slow drummer/drum machine. Trust me, I just tried those out and Hey Presto! I am the Overlord of Doom!  Just add a few gruff and gloomy male vocals/weepy female warbles, plodding tunes and fantasy based lyrics and I am transformed instantly into Cavern Deep.  The best I can say about this is that 'Breach' represents a gross and pointless waste of the worlds precious resources.   One heart awarded just for making me try out a Heavy Metal guitar pedal against my better judgement.


Other Materials

FELT - Song For William S Harvey (Sony)
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by Hamilton High

I've spent a good bit of the week trudging to the train station at Rolfe St. Some distance. Accompanying me on my journey most days this week has been the LP, Absolute Classic Masterpieces Vol II  from Felt. I was sorry that Outsideleft had nothing to say about Martin Duffy's passing, an omission which shows what shits we are, I mean, reflects poorly on the publication. Song For William S Harvey. Hear this. Oh wow!. Oh and read one of OL's most amazing interviews from 2018, with the band's guitarist, Maurice Deebank, here⇒.


Essential Info
main image screen grab Jamila Woods Tiny Garden video

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