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Outsideleft Week in Music gets all mid-century modern We're hearing from...Gaby Moreno, The Lovely Eggs, Momus, Lite, Malice Machine, Black Nail Cabaret, Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band, Walt Disco, CMAT, Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, Broadcast, Kirlean Camera, Cortege, UK Subs & The Dead Boys, Chance The Rapper and DJ Premier, Atmosphere, Ghostly Kisses and Jake Xerxes Fussell

Outsideleft Week in Music gets all mid-century modern

We're hearing from...Gaby Moreno, The Lovely Eggs, Momus, Lite, Malice Machine, Black Nail Cabaret, Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band, Walt Disco, CMAT, Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds, Broadcast, Kirlean Camera, Cortege, UK Subs & The Dead Boys, Chance The Rapper and DJ Premier, Atmosphere, Ghostly Kisses and Jake Xerxes Fussell

by OL House Writer,
first published: May, 2024

approximate reading time: minutes

Gaby Moreno's Alma Florecida - If anything gets you getting out the mid-century tiki torches and teak polish this week this is surely the one, right?

intro.

I'd been thinking about tiki torches, lava lamps and Martin Denny records. Then I heard Gaby Moreno's recording with La Lom as a backing band. What a perfect combo that is. Thanks to all of the reviewers for all of the reviewers, I think we should be saying... DJ Fuzzyfelt (3), Ancient Champion (3), Ogglypoogly (3), Toon Traveller (4), John Robinson (1) and Alan Rider (5)

singles.

GABY MORENO - Alma Florecida ft La Lom (Cosmica Artists)
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by Ancient Champion

If anything gets you getting out the mid-century tiki torches and teak polish this week this is surely the one, right? The wholly incredible, grammy winning, Guatemalen-Los Angelean - if that's a thing, Gaby Moreno and La Lom, with their first new music since 2022, and what music! Wow! It's a little authentically trad. You know Gaby previously worked with Van Dyke Parks on her 2019 album, ¡Spangled! To say you could play Alma Florecida all day long would be an understatement. It is simply blissful. 

GHOSTLY KISSES - On and Off (YouTube)
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by Toon Traveller

Spacey opening and one of those flower delicate voices, that's almost about to cry sad lost tears. Thing is balancing the voice with the music is always a challenge, too far back in the mix and it sounds like a whine, to far forward and the voice's intrinsic weaknesses emerge and attention wanders. Sure the 80s Japan, and 80s synth pop is attractive, but interest wanders as the song progresses, sad because I sense musical talent, well arranged and played melodies, and it's clearly voice sympathetically. But there's little passion or desire, just sense of an impressionist masterpiece well copied, but lifeless.

CMAT - Aw, Shoot (CMATBaby)
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by Ogglypoogly

There’s a new CMAT song? It’s a cinematic feeling country pop number tinged with melancholy. Lyrical storytelling delivered in what's by now surely an unmistakable vocal style, well  you can all be “ Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise” that I’m going to urge you to hear it soon and often. (And why yes, yes I have watched Fight Club recently)

CHANCE THE RAPPER, DJ PREMIER - Together (Chace)
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by Ancient Champion

"If you keep the house in the family, you can keep the family in the house." C'mon, I love Chance the Rapper. We've got to stick together. I'm driving round weeping. Emotions all messed up. The Common 6th Sense/Mob Deep sample evokes memories of being homeless in Echo Park nad being rescued by my friend Terri. That was our listenin'. 

CORTEGE - The Relentless Sun (Self-Released)
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by Toon Traveller

Tubular bells, chimes and reggae drum opening. A melodica, beloved of reggae master Augustus Pablo. Well hints, interrupted, rock's crashing power chords, drums, dub's hinted echoes, "Zipp" It's closed out, shut down, over, finito, ended. 3 minutes long, really? It's a sliver of time, a flash of brightness, "puhhff", and it's gone. Wonder. mystery, mystique. Magic, sprinkled in it's wake. Enigmatic. entrancing, and wildly evocative of open spaces, hearts and places.  Soul engaged, explored and inspired. 

JAKE XERXES FUSSELL - Leaving Here, Don't Know Where I'm Going (Fat Possum)
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by Toon Traveller

Xerxes has a wonderful world weary voice, lost, abandoned, drifting, and the travelogue blues, Salt Lake City, Alabama. He's sorta tired, sorta lost in the soul of his heart. A captivating voice, suffering, ache. "Alabama water tastes like cherry wine" — people say their water is wonderful the world over. Xerxes is tired in life, there's no indication if it's love, crime, chasing a dream. Arrangements match a washed out, sun bleached life, there's that sense of straight line roads in border scrub. Bordered up places, closed down towns, abandoned hopes, tired played out dreams, he's got the whole them all.

MALICE MACHINE - Living on Video. (Streaming and download platforms)
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by Alan Rider

Apparently, this is gloomy faced 'Aggro Punks' Malice Machine's remake of 1982 Canadian Synth Pop act Trans-X's song 'Living on Video'. As I have no real idea who Trans-X are (or were), that doesn't mean a lot to me.  What I can say is that the premise of the song; that too many people, spend too much time, streaming too much inane video content that no one needs, in order to validate their shallow existence by pretending that being a 'Tik Tok/Instagram Sensation' or similar has meaning for longer than the few seconds it lasts, is sound.  The irony that this is a Youtube video in itself isn't lost on me though!  The rest of the album this is taken off covers similar ground, blaming everyone else (society, world leaders, all the usual suspects) for the dreadful mess the world is now in.  There is another irony there, in that you and I must accept at least part of the blame for allowing this to happen and reaping the benefits, one of those being to be able to spend time making  records and videos complaining about it, whilst being made up like CoCo The Clown for some reason.  Despite all the finger wagging going on here, its a surprisingly jolly ditty, though, with a singalong chorus to boot. 

WALT DISCO - Come Undone (Lucky Number)
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by Toon Traveller

Wow, this is out there, wherever there is. Weird, in the weirdest weird way. Disco vocals samples from the 70s. Lead voice, falsetto, jerky, deep and haunting — think Cher, meets Heather Small from M People. Magical piano stabs, wacky out there time changes, can you dance to it, I can't. Can you fist pump hhhhmmm not really. This is just so wacky, weird post pop magic. I am flummoxed, nicely. All considered, this is measured, coordinated, and delightfully constructed.

ep's.

UK SUBS & THE DEAD BOYS - Carnaby Street (Cleopatra Records)
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by Alan Rider

An EP of punk cover versions of Kinks, Beatles, and Rolling Stones songs? They are decent enough covers, of the type a tribute band might knock out down your local pub, but after the travesty that was the 'Punk Floyd' album of punk covers of Pink Floyd songs, the same question remains.  Why? In God's Name, Why??!!

BLACK NAIL CABARET - Teach Me How to Techno (Dependent)
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by Alan Rider

Hungarian electro-pop noir duo Black Nail Cabaret scored a five heart score from me for their recent album 'Chrysanthemum' and have now released a new EP of remixes of one of the tracks off that, ‘Teach Me How To Techno’. This is the modern version of the extended 12" of yesteryear, and a way of extending the life of an album beyond the usual 'blink-and-you-miss-it' release timescales we now operate under. It doesn't add a lot to the album though, to be honest, and comes with a slightly dubious video featuring various nubile female fans/friends writing around on the floor in short skirts and fishnets (plus a couple of way more covered up blokes, to add a bit of balance I guess).  Its not my favourite track off the album either, so is a bit of a miss for me, I'm afraid. 

long plays.

THE LOVELY EGGS - EGGSISTENTIALISM (Egg Records)
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by Ogglypoogly

Go forth and listen. Ogglypoogly say so... over  here→

MICHAEL HEAD AND THE RED ELASTIC BAND - Loophole (Modern Sky Records)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

Second album in two years from Michael Head, and, as with the last one Dear Scott, is again produced by Bill Ryder-Jones. It's not a bad album, usual Love/Arthur Lee influenced songs, the odd curveball but simply nothing stands out. It's much of a muchness. Dear Scott's first half a dozen tracks were similarly run of the mill but then something turned and the second half of the album was stunning, wheras this record is just run of the mill. It sounds lovely though, Ryder-Jones string arrangements do lift things a bit but its all a bit so so.

LITE - Strata (Live) (Bandcamp)
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by Alan Rider

Now entering their 21st year; seven albums, and six EPs later, this is a live version of their 'Strata' album. Japanese quartet LITE don't actually sound especially Japanese, or use their Japanese roots to good effect in the way Teke::Teke do.  This is a Jazz/Math Rock fusion that is clever and accomplished, and a bit scary in the level of technical skill being showed off to the likes of myself, unfamiliar with odd time signatures, twiddly chord progressions, and minor keys.  Although Teke:Teke are wonderful, and Lite are more of a safe lounge music version of that, they have a certain charm.  I should imagine live they are accomplished, if a bit dull, as evidenced by the polite applause you hear at the end of each track.  No stage diving or off the wall craziness for them!  Not my cup of tea especially, but they have my respect.

BROADCAST - Spell Blanket - Collected Demos 2006-2009 (Warp Records)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

As anything that Broadcast ever released? DJ Fuzzyfelt thinks so. Fuller review right here→

MOMUS - Yikes! (Darla Records)
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by John Robinson

John Robinson thinks Momus is just too good on his new LP, Yikes! There's a review right here→

ATMOSPHERE - Strictly Leakage (re-issue) (Rhymesayers Entertainment)
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by Ogglypoogly

You’d be forgiven for thinking Strictly Leakage would sound and feel dated, but no. Ogglypoogly tells you why right here→

KID CONGO & THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS - That Delicious Vice (In The Red)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

The Kid and his ensemble return with their first new album in 8 years,DJ Fuzzyfelt has your review, right here→

so, have you got anything else.

KIRLEAN CAMERA - Götter, geht weg! (Dependent)
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by Alan Rider

"Gods, go away, as you are not worth being here, if this is what you created, if this is what you do best. The pitiful caricatures that have been pointed out to us as 'gods' are not even worthy of our hatred. Not least because we know much more evolved entities than that rubbish called – precisely – 'gods'. In the fury of time-that-doesn't-exist, our spiritual laziness creates god and the gods"  Kirlian Camera say. Make of that what you will, but this is a great track.

essential info
Main image Gaby Moreno
Previously in the Week in Music: Black Dog Live, here→

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