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Outsideleft Week in Music where 3+3=3000 We're hearing from... Tomeka Reid Quartet, King Isis, Hawkestrel, Waxahatchee, Kaleah Lee, Iron and Wine, Michelle Moeller, Gagarin, Martha Rose, Leon Frear, Eyesore & The Jinx, Alison Brown & Steve Martin, La Suspendida, Gglum, Vesseles, Alessandro Allesondroni, Now After Nothing, Bass Communion, Nuha Ruby Ra, Junior Byles, Logic 1000, Seerr, Seamus Ennis and Tempers

Outsideleft Week in Music where 3+3=3000

We're hearing from... Tomeka Reid Quartet, King Isis, Hawkestrel, Waxahatchee, Kaleah Lee, Iron and Wine, Michelle Moeller, Gagarin, Martha Rose, Leon Frear, Eyesore & The Jinx, Alison Brown & Steve Martin, La Suspendida, Gglum, Vesseles, Alessandro Allesondroni, Now After Nothing, Bass Communion, Nuha Ruby Ra, Junior Byles, Logic 1000, Seerr, Seamus Ennis and Tempers

by OL House Writer,
first published: March, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

This is the 3000th story we've published in OL, which means something to us.

intro

This intro goes like this. This is the 3000th piece of writing we have published. Not all have survived the cease and desist letters from lawyers, allegations of plagiarism or writers thinking better of it. Journalism, speculation, record, movie and book reviews, poetry, interviews. Empty page containing the thoughts of Prince Harry. Lake once went to the opera and complained about people rustling their newspapers during the show, leading to the demise of the broadsheet and the introduction of crinkle proof silent plastic flecked paper and later digital newspapers. Lake once went to Frieze and because his glasses were broken, was wearing sunglasses and the staff became intensely helpful and treating him as partially sighted, walked him through the entire exhibition while describing each piece as they went. Something like that. We've lost great writers along the way, Joe Ambrose, who contributed so much. The rest leaned on some sort of survivalist prepper skills to get through. In most instances we've just waited and waited around for things to happen. Anyway, now I am getting wistful and nostalgic and... Tons of record reviews this week and grats to the stellar OL crew that have put this together... Lee Paul (2), LamontPaul (1), Ancient Champion (4), Alan Rider (8), Jay Lewis (1), Toon Traveller (8). 

singles

TOMEKA REID QUARTET - Sauntering With Mr. Brown (Cuneiform Records)
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by LamontPaul

This is from the forthcoming long player 3+3. And I can only say... After the years of waiting... You know Tomeka Reid literally is a genius? MacArthur Genius, sort of certified then I guess. This woman is destined for inclusion in those sort of Christmas bookstore front of shop table gift books of the Women Who Changed The World with a Cello, type of thing. Tomeka Reid has done that and will again and again. Every time I get a new email from her record label before I open it, I hope, I get excited, wondering whether this will be the one with info about a new Tomeka Reid record. It hasn't been until now and I don't think I feel that way about any other artist. And while the album isn't here yet, these 8 minutes of cello genius almost say it's gonna be worth the wait. I'm a little impatient though too. I'd rather there was a new record from Tomeka every week. I don't wanna wait around no more. This is simply sensational. Anyway, the LP ships on April 26th, I know I'll never get a copy to England. Oh well. #sad ears for that. For all else here? I don't want to say now I can die happy, but this really helps.

GAGARIN - Saeta (Geo Records)
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by Alan Rider

Gagarin is the solo project of Graham ‘Dids’ Dowdall, a British musician who has previously performed and worked with Nico as part of her backing band Faction until her untimely death in Ibiza in 1988. Saeta is a radical revamping of her 1981 single, drawn from his album 'Komorebi', a Japanese word that refers to how sunlight is seen and felt through leaves and branches.  That's a good description of this actually, as it unfurls over five minutes, evolving around a single, repeated, hypnotic phrase.  It washes over you much like the swell in the video, with the ghost of Nico appearing at intervals.

VESSELES - Suffocating Flesh (C Music)
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by Toon Traveller

Video, talks about rotting flesh, "bring forth this method of escape" while the music races from the get go to the go slow part. Two minutes in, metal dies, Solo piano, a counterpoint, momentary calm. Pause and  roars back to drunken incoherence screams, and metal bashed thrashing, trash. You'd get the same benefit listening to ranting boozers at your local Outdoor Drinking Club. The piano passage is good tester to see if anyone listens to the whole song, and deserved a heart for this inventive trick.

GGLUM - SPLAT! (Secretly Canadian)
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by Toon Traveller

Gglum's new LP on Secretly Canadian, entitled The Garden Dream, will be out next week. And Billboard magazine have managed to get a copy and they say Gglum offer "a bold new vision of indie-pop". Let's be glad that someone hears that. What I hear is on this track, Splat, is... Oh right it's got that Roxy Virginia Plain opening, turned down volume, you turn it up, then their LUF meter love has it blasting your ears. That said, it bounces, pops along well enough, drum driven, mockney twee vocals. Like a car from an 80s Hyundai production line. All the requisite components are there. It's late 80's UK pop happy, cheery, new wave sanitised, poshed up, watered down. There's good melodies, easy dance steps, easy on the ear, and inoffensive. Rolling along without rockin' much.

KALEAH LEE - Birdwatcher (Self-Released)
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by Ancient Champion

There's this contemplative place and that's where Kaleah Lee comes from. Kaleah is not the only one, but a significant part of a quietly contemplative community. The title track from the debut Birdwatcher EP is singularly revelatory for sure, insistent, yet unassuming, like a frame from the famed eye opening introvert Ted Talk. How to tell a world something you are reluctant to share?  

HAWKESTREL - Evil Rock (Cleopatra Records)
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by Alan Rider

Evil 'Rock n' Roll music' has taken your soul. Apparently.  Who'd have thought it eh? Superannuated rock and roll veterans of various muso persuasions, drawn from ex members of Hawkwind and the Rolling Stones, plus (improbably) William 'Captain Kirk' Shatner chug away predictably at this with embarrassingly cringe worthy results.  The question that springs to my mind is 'why???'

JUNIOR BYLES - Curley Locks (Sanctuary)
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by Lee Paul

From a new Sanctuary Records Junior Byles compilation, Curley Locks - The Upsetter Singles 1973-75. Junior Byles has it all... Melody, rhythm, and just the right amount of slightly off the wall mixing going on. This video might not be the new version, but I think you'll understand the greatness.

NOW AFTER NOTHING - Sick Fix (Streamimg and download platforms)
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by Alan Rider

You know, I'm really not sure whether I like this or not.  It's a remix.  It's a bit of a mess.  Ok. I think I've decided now.  I don't like it. Sorry.

IRON AND WINE - All in Good Time ft. Fiona Apple (Sub Pop)
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by Lee Paul

My ears are kind of hurting and this seems sort of epicly loud and obvious for acoustic balladeers. Back then, like they were never away. Really, just like that.

LOGIC 1000 - Self To Blame (Therapy)
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by Toon Traveller

From the LP Mother which is out about now. Percussion opening, sampled? perhaps. An 80's, 90's street bass and drum beat, sure there's slick stick work. A mad drummer piece, chuck in revivalist Seal, and his acolytes, all bass and keys, samples and echoes. No voice, it's drums and a bit of bass. Brilliant Mix, swooping synths, (late 80's early 90's sense). I might have loved it then, but now, it's nothing that can't be found on a lot of early 90's club bargain bucket CDs,festering in UK charity shops.

ALESSANDRO ALLESONDRONI - Carosello Elettrico (Four Flies)
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by Ancient Champion

I wouldn't like to leave a suitcase open like that. Not with the cat in here. She might stowaway. And so one perfect minute from Alessandro Allesondroni's collection Decameroticus gets cropped out of the cinema in my head to soundtrack the potential behaviour of a sleeping sitting up cat. It was only a minute long to begin with.

NUHA RUBY RA - Fetish 2 Forget (Brace Yourself Records)
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by Alan Rider

With her first new material since the 'Machine Like Me' EP, Nuha Ruby Ra is one of a new breed of female pop stars that aim to terrify as much as mesmerise.  She does so with some style too.  You can't help but be thankful she is not sitting next to you on the night bus home, and not many can elicit that level of discomfiture from a song.  No one has come this close since Lydia Lunch, and that is a very good thing.  Nuha Ruby Ra is raw, rude and out to shake things up, including you.  This is good.

KING ISIS - NVR RLLY (No Matter/ Dirty Hit)
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by Alan Rider

King Isis doesn't seem to know what they want.  This track is fluffy, dreamy R7B tinged pop one minute, Grunge the next. The video is equally confused.  Apparently its about catharsis, but seems to be largely King Ink running about in a field in a big dress, jumping up and down and rolling on the ground a lot. This track is taken off the new EP 'Shed', the cover of which does not feature, as you'd expect, a nice garden shed, but a full frontal nude photo of King Isis herself.  She no doubt regards this as 'empowering' rather than exploitative, though I beg to differ.  It just looks like a transparent attempt at cheap tittilation to me.

LA SUSPENDIDA - My Corpse, Your Dungeon (Silent Pendulum Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Reminded of late 60's prog rockers, jazz funsters, avant garde gangsters, King Crimson, and dark side heavy classic 21st Century Schizoid man. There was a magic there, this barely a parody. There's enough power chords to drain a string of Nuclear power stations. The vocals, interestingly, could be a Hobbit sample speeded up. It's speed metal/Jazz Rock/Prog Rock noodled, twiddled, piddled, and pissed away. Music? There's splashes, dashes, snatches there, not sure whether by accident or intention. One heart for sheer cheek in placing on YouTube.

LEON FREAR - She Fed Me Water (Self-Released)
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by Toon Traveller

Every now and again, a slice of drum thumping, jangling guitar chords, and whispered rasping, life tired, played out, last days, edge of life, rock just hits the spot. This song just does just that, broken hoarse, tired crying vocal, sanguine regret, bereft of anger, but desperate hidden pain. Storytelling in a backroom blues bar, a few sad faces, empty glasses, memory's broken spaces. Hearts and sun bleached, life-leached memories, this oozes sincerity, intimacy, pain and loneliness. Love lost, lying in the dust of dried out memories, leaves into dust, husks in the bitter wind of regret.

ALISON BROWN & STEVE MARTIN - Bluegrass Radio (Compass Records)
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by Toon Traveller

I love a good slice of Bluegrass, and this is it. Prim vocals, banjos, fiddles, guitar, "No3 California, 5 in Arizona, and no 1 on Texas Bluegrass radio," it's a delightful slice of Irony, words are superb, clever, witty, charmed. It's about success and radio play, and it's just magical. His song's on heavy rotation. A radio hit, his life changes, and he gets breakfast made for him. There's delicious instrumental interplay, and and great comments on critics. it's just the widest smile in music this month, sheer joy. 

MICHELLE MOELLER - Nest (AKP Recordings)
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by Ancient Champion

Michelle Moeller just gets it... This is beautifully, dimly-lit and marginally off-kilter but not so far you wouldn't welcome it back to your place late at night, sneaking up the backstairs in case the bore you encounter regularly in the hall attempts to hijack such exhilarating company. Like a lush Piano that had Been Drinking with Tom Waits. Delight!

MARTHA ROSE - The Same Feeling (Mansions and Millions)
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by Toon Traveller

Drums 80's drums, razor sharp crispness, tight, tough, nail hardened. Complete counterpoise to Martha Rose's semi-angelic vocal. Floating, teasing and rangey, especially over bog standard drums, weak simpering, whimpeing, synth strings. This appeases the ear though and is easy to hum along to. Very well written, composed, and played. It's got ideas, and soft sense of popping along. It's a summer away, there's far-a-way, another day, an other rejection, a willow wistful reminisce. It's almost a delight. Almost. 

eps

SEERR - Arcadians and Imperialists (Bandcamp)
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by Jay Lewis

'It's us and them again...'
Somehow it's the 'again' that resonates so much when listening to Seerr's latest address. It's them! Again! But there's a fighting spirit, a defiance in the driving noise of 'Arcadians and Imperialists' . He's pleading for 'peace and love for every soul' despite it being in short supply.  What the world needs now is love sweet love... as a wise person once said.  Elsewhere, there's an ugly corruption at the heart of 'Gatekeeper' that Seerr is here to expose ('No room for scruples, get the money in...') , but best of all is the slow, brooding menace of 'Hardon Collider'  - (...I've been greeted by some curious looks as I've sung the name of the particle accelerator - thanks Seerr!)   'No one consented to this fate' he observes. No, we didn't and we need far more voices of dissent like this.

lps

WAXAHATCHEE - Tiger's Blood (Anti Records)
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by Ancient Champion

There’s something about that voice. Tugs heartstrings and teases out the tears. Probably good then, for the best, that I have no fucking idea what she is going on about. The tensions leading up to the drum/bass interjection of the opening song, 3 Sisters, are immense so what happened there? A collective loss of nerve? Something artfully and archly brilliant sidles into a siding with some pretty routine playing. Not at all and never bad but merely routine blathering around in the background. Hello Katie Crutchfield, Goodbye Heart. I haven’t been granted a large enough pleonastic place to impart fully how I have lived solely on Tiger’s Blood for seven days, and can most likely for far longer, but if I did, I probably wouldn’t need as many tests of my haemoglobin as have been ordered up. As music goes, astonishingly great.

BASS COMMUNION - The Itself Of Itself (Lumberton Trading Company)
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by Alan Rider

Started in the mid-90s, Bass Communion is the solo project of Steven Wilson (previously of Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, Storm Corrosion, No-Man) and is dedicated to "exploring his deviations into the realms of ambient, drone, noise and other sub-genres".  You can expect the unexpected whenever you come across Bass Communion, and this is no exception. 'The Itself of Itself' is Bass Communion’s first album for 12 years, and draws on musique concrete, noise music, and abstract electronics rather than the ambient and atmospheric sounds of previous releases. Stretching the definition of music to its extreme in places, with pieces based on tape hiss and static noise, alongside ghostly and ominous tones that would not sound out of place in many a horror film, the opener, 'unsound' is closer in approach to SPK and Nurse With Wound's sonic experiments with insect sounds and the like, though closer to a bell jar filled with an atmosphere drawn from the other side of a dark mirror.  Tracks like 'bruise' are so ethereally light that they barely register in places, yet others such as 'Blackmail' reference radio static, before building to a cacophony of industrial groans and mechanised grinds.  The title track turns convention on it's head, being the slightest of all the cuts on the album.  'Tape Hiss Study' is exactly how it sounds.  Whilst I am reviewing this, my neighbour is working on rebuilding his house so his distant drilling and sanding sounds mix in with this seamlessly.  Some may say that proves that this is not 'music', and they would be right in the conventional humming, head nodding, and toe tapping sense, but that misses the point entirely.  This is music that is non music, and deliberately so.  That it confuses, challenges, and confounds means it has succeeded entirely.  This is not for you, and also is for you.

'The Itself of Itself' is out in May.  Pre-order from Fourth Dimension Records

EYESORE & THE JINX - Jitterbug (Self released)
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by Alan Rider

Eyesore and The Jinx are one of those Marmite bands.  They are not for everyone. They remind me more than a little of The Fall, maybe Gang of Four too.  'Jitterbug' is the perfect title for this. It's itchy, it's scratchy, it won't sit still.  Neither will you.

so, have you got anything else?

SEAMUS ENNIS - As I walked Through Dublin City (Rounder Records)
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by Toon Traveller

Alan Lomax. Thee man for preserving Folk tradition, in the Ozarks, Mississippi delta, and High Plains of the USA's Mid-West, rocked up in Dublin, thank God he did. The New Demesne: Field Recordings by Alan Lomax, Ireland 1951 is a 66 track record of a week in Dublin. Music, singing, raw, basic in its simplicity, intimacy, and intensity. This is [stay with me on this] the precursor of punk ethos, music stripped to it's essentials, voice, and experiences, no production, direct cut. Words and emotions, time straddling,  passed down, adapted, reconstructed.The first two songs, versions? remixes? covers?, who cares, it's a delicious happy sound, an early sunrise in your heart. In reality there's collection of songs here, and they have a raw. visceral  magic.

TEMPERS - Guidance (Youtube)
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by Alan Rider

An absolutely storming re-working of 2019's 'Guidance' by Tempers. This is simply wonderful.

an outro

The main image, Tomeka Reid. See Tomeka Reid at Outsideleft, here→ 
Previous Week in Music 'Barry Has The Last Word' is here→

OL House Writer

outsideleft articles not really assigned to or edited by a specific contributor


about OL House Writer »»

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