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Outsideleft Week in Music... It's Murkage Dave we're hearing from Murkage Dave, Mild Orange, Bob Mould, ORANGEPURPLEBEACH, The Delines, Adrian Sherwood, Ibibio Sound Machine, Mark Stewart, Kristine Leschper, Lewsberg, Spoon, Cy Dunne, Curse of Lono, Eiko Ishibashi, Deanna Petcoff, The Rumjacks, Night Collectors, Diasonics, Animal Collective and Binker & Moses

Outsideleft Week in Music... It's Murkage Dave

we're hearing from Murkage Dave, Mild Orange, Bob Mould, ORANGEPURPLEBEACH, The Delines, Adrian Sherwood, Ibibio Sound Machine, Mark Stewart, Kristine Leschper, Lewsberg, Spoon, Cy Dunne, Curse of Lono, Eiko Ishibashi, Deanna Petcoff, The Rumjacks, Night Collectors, Diasonics, Animal Collective and Binker & Moses

by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor
first published: February, 2022
There is a whole generation of grown ups in the UK who raved together and are now running families and sensible cars; working class, humble, feeling the years. Murkage Dave speaks for them.

RECORD OF THE WEEK

MURKAGE DAVE - Us Lot (NONE) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

UK Garage don, Murkage Dave has a unique, distinctive voice. Because of this, he slips between the cracks of genres and scenes. Like his mate, The Streets, his songs’ subject matters are often a bittersweet nostalgia for wilder days. There is a whole generation of grown ups in the UK who raved together and are now running families and sensible cars; working class, humble, feeling the years. Murkage Dave speaks for them. This might not be the catchiest of his tunes (take a listen to Car Bomb for a stone cold slept-on classic) but it adds to the story.


SINGLES

CY DUNNE - Don't Waste My Time (Lightning Studios) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

80's pumped up UK synth pop. Think of "M" and pop music, with Bowie in his Scary Monsters  phase. 80's pop meet 90's punk, the synths sounds alive and powerful, sub Georgio Morodor, Sparks, BUT in a good way. If I had to pick an inspiration i'd go for Sparks, or early punk Synth rockers Ultravox from here in the good ol' UK.

This drives hard and fast, steps and drive in spades, it's a tune that will play well on the radio, and in clubs, but it's more than that pounding popified drums and base, I like it, but then again I liked Pete Shelley "Homosapien"  when he split from the Mancland power pop punks of  "Buzzcocks", and headed of in to the synth mist at the start of the 80s. A funky "Tubeway Army"? not really, a pumped up "Blancmange" (UK Pop at it's best) perhaps. I loved it for the memories and the cheek in repackaging old wine in new bottles. 


ADRIAN SHERWOOD - Attack (remix) (Emergency Hearts) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Never heard the artist or the song. Love the spacey, other world feel of the track, the steady marching drums and bass, echoes of early rap tracks - more ancient than "old school". That said there's real power. From the early indistinct vocals, to the steady drums, and the jerky keys, dub dabs, reverb, splashes of horns, and piano stabs, sweeps of searchlights in the night. Love the whole feel, a sorta nether world in the ether, out there, but on your doorstep, around the corner, down the hill. Attack needs a couple of plays to get the groove, and sense of place, this is music in a post dance age, not chillout, but music that haunts, it's crosscut with darkness and sense of exploration of unfamiliar places. This is music for explorers, strangers in a new town, things almost familiar, but just different enough to keep you slightly alert, on edge. Attack is music you'd encounter as you get close to the edge, where ever your edge is.


LEWSBERG - Six Hills (Lewsberg) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

‘You’re driving without a licence, I’m driving uninsured’ which is just plain un-European. Deadpan, yet polite spoken chat that suggests passive aggression leads to bloody murder. Hints of Sonic Youth. Hints of Neu! And a charming feedback break (or two) that revels in its/their lack of definite notes or tuning. Dutch motorik which might upset some grandparents. Rotterdam to Dusseldorf, no borders and certain arrest by the Europolice who have them all under constant surveillance. Whereas, in the UK, you can do Birmingham to Glasgow without a licence and uninsured, whilst smoking crack and talking to your mum on the mobile, no problem. Talk about Brexit benefits.


ORANGEPURPLEBEACH - pylon shadow (his own) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

Former indie rock craftsman John Vanderslice may have finally had the crackup he seemed to always hint at and rechristened himself as something meaningless and put down his beautiful guitar and vintage tape machines. He shuttered his Tiny Telephone recording studio and apparently relocated to the Matrix where he ekes out brilliantly fucked electro-something music. Do check out his recent records Dollar Hits and The Cedars as preparatory texts to this engaging blip.


NIGHT COLLECTORS - One Thousand Years (Debacle Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Ancient Champion

The first single from their forthcoming LP. Night Collectors have a sort of onomatopoeic name, you know there's no good going to come from your association with the Night Collectors . Just enervation, danger, abandonment at the very dark end of the street.Clear vinyl 7" if that is meaningful to you.


KRISTINE LESCHPER - All That You Ever Wanted (Anti Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

A strange slice of a song from Kristine Leschper, dipped in passion. Ideas abound, reminds me of that computer sounds of Japanese music, discordant keys, phrasing, alien to western ears. It's only a short sample available, but there's enough to make me want to hear more of the song and the artist. not sure how good it is, or if I like it, but it's got enough to suggest her music will be one that's worth keeping ears open to, she's got ideas, and invention, and well just so different that it stands out from the crowd.


MARK STEWART - Cast No Shadow (Emergency Hearts) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite
by Toon Traveller

Wow Wow Wow. This has it all, driving drums, throbbing bass, and slow build. Voices dank, pained, and hints of dystopia, always a good theme. It sells to contented wanna bees (like me), images and illusions of down on the dark rain lashed, broken neon lit, streets. The sound of the shadows and what lurks within. But the "within" is what's within you, your fears, and psychosis.  This is sound for those places left behind. Echoing the anger, melded with desperation. Think those streets, doorways, puddled places, seen in photos of Anton Corbijn, black and white an all shades of grey. A real miserabilist photography that captured the degradation of post industrial Northern Britain in the early and mid 80s. All out of time. Cast no shadow, cast no shadow, cast no shadow, we all fear that (unless we're astride the equator on Equinox day). The repetition is the attraction, the relentless slow pounding, and sheer power - it is a magnificent piece of dark, dark, dark music. This music for our confused dangerous times, it's captures fear, and distils it into this music, it's music for the days ahead when many of our fellow UK citizens will routinely have to elect what they require more, food or heat. Record of the week *(and that's a first). Now off to play some 60s California pop as an antidote to get me through the rest of the day.  

CURSE OF LONO - Stepping out (Submarine Cat Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

At first I thought, latter day Leonard Cohen. I'm Your Man. A deep sonorous voice, almost spoken delivery, intensely personal lyrics, notes of optimism, simple guitar, underscored drums, a simple melody, a Hawaiian guitar slides in and out, relaxed vibe, easy on the ear, soft on the heart, a Leonard Cohen replacement, the bass line, rasping whisperer?  On reflection, late Bob Dylan, in the last few albums, BUT BUT, with a voice holding and leading a melody. This is just before bed, hot chocolate, relax and ease down with a sometimes jarring "English"  enunciation on odd words, incongruously out of place, like Dick van Dykes did it. Still with the soft shoe, late night, relaxed feel, lots will love this one and will be waiting for the full length, People In Cars, in April.   


IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE - Protection From Evil (Merge Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Tim London

It’s just the one note but it’s a jolly good note. When accompanied by ‘spiritual invisible protection from evil’ it becomes compulsory. Black and white and serious all over.


BINKER & MOSES - After the Machine Settles (Gearbox Records) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Great slab of jazz, sax flutters, like a wasp around your beer, an undercurrent of noise. The confused dissonant start, hints at a search for tunes, sax soars, crescendo, hints of power, industrial process, a perfect moment of balance. Drums and sax surge through. Clarity in the haze and smoke of confusion. Love the crisp precise drums, fills, and time changes, the sax leading the changes. This is a delightful drummer's Jazz driven piece, this is music that opens ears, and minds. A full-on pinpoint icey shower of life, and hopes of a day to come. This is a track that captures a city starting, striving, stretching, confusion, profusion of people, shouts, horns and traffic surges. Shrugging off and embracing entropy. Angry voices bounce off walls. A soundtrack for a recovering world, with all of it hopes and memories, played out in this mini soundscape. Makes me wish I could drum - I am completely devoid of musical talent though -hence the lovehearts of delight and if truth be told, envy.


DEANNA PETCOFF - Devastatingly Mediocre (Royal Mountain) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by John Robinson

Petcoff's bravely titled single (critics be lazy) is a wistful and dry take on the dating scene, but less about the identikit skater types that line up for her to ignore in the accompanying shaky cam video, and more about her own poor choices and an ingrained habit of settling for mediocre relationships rather than none. Small town boredom, an implicit fear of being alone, the tedium of endless getting to know you small talk, above all, the feeling of repeating the same patterns in dating and eventually making do: all this comes across in a likeable and catchy song. There's an album in April, To Hell with You, I Love You, which should be good.


EPs

THE RUMJACKS - Brass For Gold (Their Own) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

Love the passion, ummph, and sheer delight in the band. Sure they're informed by the Pogues (no bad thing), the same ramped up, bang a drum, bash a banjo, blast a flute, powered up folk music. Take it to the streets, take it to the pubs, neck the booze, and drink the Whisky down, take it to a festival near you. If you missed The Pogues first time around, or want to see what all the fuss is about. then this is as good as any band to see,  The songs are all about a good time, get in, get it down, and dance, punch the air, and yell your head off, dance 'til you drop, nothing original, nothing new, but when there's this much fun and sheer delight, who cares,can't wait to see these guys live. A wild one.


BOB MOULD - The Ocean (Granary/Merge) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

Tune in anytime Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar, 30 years of being Bob Mould) pulls out the twelve-string. It's not the easiest instrument to pull off singer-songwriter-style, but Bob's unique weary natural bemoaning/hollering nature meshes with it perfectly. Always has. These three tunes from a World Cafe broadcast demonstrate the continued efficacy of that pairing. 


LPs

MILD ORANGE - Looking For Space (Mild Orange) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

I believe any person - no matter the human, national or social attributes with which they are burdened - should be encouraged to explore the artistic avenue that opens for them. BUT, were we to impose limits, say, no "lawyer blues", I might be on board with restricting jangle chill pop creation  access to just New Zealanders. They have been pretty consistent in their delivery, from the first time the Clean made a shy girl smile to the dreamboat propellers Mild Orange. Set the delay pedals on the heart of the sun, muscular expansive romanticism packed tight into a picnic basket, cymbal clatter and notes going long as the surf. Poppy but not in a stupid way. What a beauty of a record. Non-Antipodeans: take notes.


ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - Time Skiffs (Domino) favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_borderfavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

Like every post Sung Tongs Animal Collective release, I want to love it and I don't. I also want to hate it and I don't. They are always positioned and the next big thing or on the next escalator or the next treadmill, and I find comfort in there being no next anything. There is only now and buttons are being pushed on devices by Animal Collective and they can still sing in that ketamine Beach Boys way when adequately coaxed. It's their happening and it doesn't freak me out. But it doesn't not, either. 


EIKO ISHIBASHI - Drive My Car - Original Soundtrack (NEWHERE/SPACE SHOWER) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

I know nothing about the musician nor the movie this record soundtracks, but I'm attracted to the conceit of having multiple songs titled the same that sound nothing alike. "Drive My Car" is a breathtaking tour of lush melancholy. Black out in the hot tub lovely. "Drive My Car (Cassette)" is the quietest tears hitting the afternoon cafe table. "Drive My Car (the important thing is to work)" is like a cocktail performance by Can. Similarly, four different tracks are dubbed variations on "We'll live through the long, long days and through the long nights," each offering their own aurorae upon which to night-meditate. Beautiful, just complicated enough to keep it from being "All Things Considered" bumper music. A lovely discovery.


THE DELINES - The Sea Drift (Decor) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Toon Traveller

We love this record, let's make no bones about it... There's Toon Traveler's full review here.


SPOON - Lucifer on the Sofa (Headz/Matador) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Alex V. Cook

Unspeakably fussy production values like a Jack White record except that it is enjoyable to listen to even if you don't have a Sweetwater Music bill equal to your rent. Or are female. It possesses a reasonable amount of swagger without embarrassing any young people who are still paying attention, and for the nerds, easily connectable to their past catalog for the nerds. Bonus: a little ZZ Top grade boogie in there. Spoon is from Texas, after all. The good part. It's a corker.


DIASONICS - Origin of Forms (Record Kicks) favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite_border
by Ancient Champion

Start chop chop chopping guitar hero. Or bip bip bopping organ hero. A bit of a Library record but really, this has it all.


Essential Info
Main Image: Murkage Dave, youtube screengrab.
← Week in Music Last Week

Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com
about Alex V. Cook »»

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