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Fivers All of the Five Heart Record Reviews from May. In One Place

Fivers

All of the Five Heart Record Reviews from May. In One Place

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: June, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

Olof Dreijer and Mount. Sims "a heavenly steel drum rattle perfect for sweet dreams." - Tim London

The number of records worthy of 5 Hearts that we reviewed in May was 34. 

AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE - Bad Attitude ft. King Aylsoba  (On U Sound)
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by Toon Traveller

Bad Attitude opens with a great line "a bad attitude is like a flay tyre, you can't go anywhere until you change it", that's a truism. As for the song, there's a strummed guitar, an African acoustic pattern moving in and out of phase. A slow  build of an echo, phased overdubs. there's screams of anger, and the same repeated guitar, an incessant shouted incoherent dialogue, and then another truism "to make a difference on someone's life you don't have to be rich... You just have to care". So bloody true. So, simple in vocals and guitar and backing, with just a couple of lines. Revealing and universally true in our age. The whole thing is one of those songs you expect to hear blasting from a huge beat box, at a local street market but not maybe my local street market, on a spring Saturday morning, blowing last night's hangover, and comedown away whilst the 'message' worms, into your thoughts. Great!


AMNESIA SCANNER & FREEKA TET - Ride (PAN)
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by Tim London

It’s a single but it’s a film! Watch it! Watch it! Watch it!


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.


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.


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⇒


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. 


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.


ERLAND COOPER - Movement 7  (MercuryKX)
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by Ancient Champion

From the LP Folded Landscapes, Erland Cooper's composition describe the vulnerability and robustness of nature. It's terrifying (my cat, Daphne)


ESBEN & THE WITCH - Hold Sacred  (Nostromo Records)
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by Alan Rider

Esben & The Witch always had a visceral brutality and beauty to their sound, from their first excoriating single and video ‘Marching Song’ taken from their debut album Violet Cries, way back in 2010, through the Steve Albini produced animalistic attack of the excellent ‘No Dog’,  to 2018’s suffocatingly gothic ‘Nowhere’ album.  Previously bassist and singer Rachel Davies has stated “I was getting a little disenchanted with boring wet music.  I wanted something with some kind of punch to it”. Fusing Swans with Radiohead, then twisting it out of shape, you can feel Esben & The Witches pain ripping out of every note and word.

It's been a long gap since ‘Nowhere’ though and a lot has happened to the world since.  That’s reflected in the stark and stripped down sound on Hold Sacred, which has been brewing slowly since 2019.  There is far more space to the songs than before, used to create tension you could cut with a knife.  The rough edges may have been shorn off, but the pain is still as real and as beautiful.  Rachel's vocals are to the fore, but now feel more like a whispered confessional rather than a screaming awakening from a nightmare.  From the opening single The Well, through to the jazz tinged closing serenade ‘Petals of Ash’, via the pulsating bass heartbeat of the second single ‘True Mirror’, this could be a different band. There is the ever present risk in toning things down like this is that it might end up the very boring wet music they so despised. Fortunately for us, the punch is still there, but wrapped in a velvet glove that hides razor blades.


HACKEDEPICOTTO - Pretty Silver (David Harrow Remix)  (Mute)
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by Alan Rider

Hackedepicciotto are Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten / Crime & the City Solution) and Danielle de Picciotto (co-founder of Love Parade / Space Cowboys / Crime & the City Solution), which tells you that this is going to be good.  'Pretty Silver' is one of three remixes by David Harrow, one time member of the On-U Soundsystem collective and Psychic TV, of a track off each of their albums  Perseverantia (2016), Menetekel (2017) and The Current (2020), which are being reissued on vinyl and CD.  'Pretty Silver' is transformed into a bubbling cauldron of clubby bass atmospherics that I prefer to the original.  There is a new album on the way too from Hackedepicciotto (I know its a combination of both their surnames, but it's not the easiest of names to pronounce!), 'Keepsakes', which we promise to have a jolly good listen to when it gets here in the summer and report back on.


INNER SPACE QUARTET - Gold Horse  (Dime Records)
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by Lee Paul

Trippy. Dubby. Atmospheric. Gold Horse is Inner Space Quartet's fifth single in under a year. These guys actually don't have anything better to do than make records, and I am sincerely happy about that. Gold Horse has a blissed out interlopers by the souk at 4am feel. Everything is coming to life and no one got any sleep. The approaching dawn is daunting. Wear ravaged rainbows they say. With added esotericism from guest vocalists Isabelle Monier and Leila Khaloub, this is how you make a perfect record.


JOE ARMON-JONES & MAXWELL OWIN - Grief ft. Lex Amor  (Aquarii)
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by Toon Traveller

Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin's second single, Grief, is an unsettling, almost disturbing listen. Opens trippy, disconsolate, tired of life, rapped vocals, a stream of consciousness. There's a undercurrent of fear, regret, lurking in dark spaces around you, on the street, downstairs in your home, in the lover next to you, buried deep in your own heart. Grief is a most disturbing listen. Max Porter discombobulation set to music. Jordan Peele in a desert DJ booth. Spookiness is emphasised by ghostwritten keys, slightly off the beat percussion, and back in the mix, random electric piano. Light years away from standard pop timings, major, minor key compositional rules. A sax drifts, in then out, a door to the street opening, sounds, light, reality, fleetingly in, and in a whisper gone. Gloomcore shade and darkness return. There's a hauntology. The full length, Archetype is will be available on June 9th. 


JOSIENNE CLARKE - Onliness  (Corduroy Punk)
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by Jay Lewis

Jay Lewis marvels at Josienne Clarke's remarkable reappraisal of her own songbook. Read Jay Lewis' review here⇒


KNOWER - I'm The President  (Brainfeeder)
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by DJ Fuzzyfelt

KNOWER return after a 5 year break which allowed members Genevieve Artadi and Louis Cole to release a number of excellent solo albums on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records as well as numerous collaborations including with Thundercat (check out I (heart) Louis Cole by Mr Cat). Anyways Artardi and Cole have rejoined forces, along with 52 of their closest mates including strings, horns, flutes, a choir, and, of course, two Sousaphone players, to record literally in their house, and, in the case of the choir, on the driveway. Yet somehow it still sounds sounds quite minimal and very jolly in an oompah funk kind of way. There's even an acoustic piano solo. It's too clever by half, full of in jokes most of which I can't even pretend to understand but it's KNOWER and I love it because it makes me happy.


MAGIC IN THREES - Push The Rock ft. Amber Woodhouse  (G.E.D. Records)
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by Ancient Champion

One for clubs that are full of fun. infused with the joy you might have felt when first heard Grandmaster Flash, or the Breeders or anything where the bass was just so compelling it owned you. And. I can play this one on guitar.


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.


MANDY, INDIANA - Drag (Crashed)  (Firetalk Records)
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by Tim London

Angry electro, the best kind. At a stretch, sonically you can trace the connection from here back to those bits in 1987’s Pump Up The Volume by M-A-R-R-S when A.R. Kane’s feedback guitars added something primal to the scifi cutups. It’s a thin stretch and the subject matter couldn’t be further away, though, with the Mandy’s singer excoriating (in French) dumb ass men who perpetuate misogyny (that’s most of us, then) with righteous seething that, somehow, doesn’t interfere with the possibility that you might do the wavy handed Goth-mosh to this on a very small dancefloor, somewhere dark.


MARK DRESSER - Tines of Change  (Pyroclastic records)
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by Ancient Champion

Mark Dresser's sixth LP, Tines of Change is available now from Pyroclastic Records, one of the handful of exciting music recording labels on the planet right now. For the rest, you know, it is only business. Dresser is like the Lou Reed of the bass. Invested and experimenting with adjunct forms of an instrument to make the familiar at once more unfamiliar and beautiful. Simply one of the most exciting applications to and from music I've heard in a while.


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.


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!


MONIKA ROSCHER BIGBAND - Witchy Activities and the Maple Death  (Zenna Records/Membran)
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by Alan Rider

Munich's Monika Roscher Bigband mean business.  Forget all you thought you knew about what a Bigband was, this is on another level.  'Witchy Activities and the Maple Death' is simply an epic adrenelin rush of an album.  Innovative and grand, ground breaking and ambitious, once you start playing it you won't want to stop until it is done, then start all over again from the beginning.  Delve into the interview elsewhere on Outsideleft for the back story, but this is as huge as any Bigband gets. You get all of the singles released to date, including the epic '8 Prinzessinnen', but a highlight for me is the six part 'Witches Brew' which takes up a whole side of one of the LPs in the vinyl double set. “Avant-Pop-Math-Jazz-Experimental Prog” is how Monika Roscher’s eighteen strong Big Band describe themselves. That description alone gives you an idea of the breadth and depth on display here.  The MRB smash the mould of what a Bigband previously stood for, and make a glorious noise doing so.


OLOF DREIJER & MOUNT. SIMS - Hybrid Fruit  (Rabid Records)
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by Tim London

In an attempt to counter the kind of constant tinnitus that is brought on by bass addiction I tend to listen to BBC Radio 3’s Night Tracks as I try not to fall down the sleep hole too heavily at night. This would fit right in - a heavenly steel drum rattle perfect for sweet dreams. In fact, I’ll try it tonight. Let you know how I get on.

Update: It works!


PETER ONE - Cherie Vico  (Verve)
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by LamontPaul

Peter One's Cherie Vico is from the LP Come Back To Me, the legendary Ivorian's first record in 30 years, and it is an almightily great beautiful one. Maybe this is a surreptitious title track of sorts as Comeback to me is the refrain here. Supremely delightfully melodic - a perfectly understated restorative here in the garden in the shade of my line washing. Peter sings like a Bird-Angel. Nothing quite so lovely, or so perfect in this moment. I'll be playing this all summer.


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.


SOFT CELL - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret...And Other Stories Live - Live Album and film  (LiveHereNow)
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by Alan Rider

Alan Rider's 'Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret...And Other Stories Live' review is here⇒


SUICIDE - A Way Of Life  (Mute/BMG)
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by Alan Rider

Alan Rider says Suicide are possibly the bravest band ever. Read his full review to discover why right here⇒

 


SYLVIE COURVOISIER AND CORY SMYTHE - The Rite of Spring / Spectre d’un songe  (Pyroclastic records)
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by Ancient Champion

Remember when Stravinsky caused a riot? Full review of Sylvie Courvoisier and Cory Smythe's The Rite of Spring here⇒


TAIKO SAITO - Tears of a Cloud  (Trouble in the East)
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by Toon Traveller

Let's begin with Daichi the opening track on Taiko Saito's new solo LP, Tears of a Cloud. Wow! What a way to begin a record. This is an LP that many readers might overlook, there's no electricity, no bass line, nor a western melody. Improv rages sanguinely here. If  you don't listen that is a serious loss my friends, Tears of a Cloud has evocation, magic, and a breath holding spirituality. It tantalises, flits, flirtatiously pollinating ideas, images, and emotions. Firework imagination, bright burning, explosives, illuminating in flashes of dexterous brilliance. This is music that shouts - softly, and sews ideas vigorously into the fertile grounds of our minds. The fast flurries, pensive pauses, delicate diminutive playing, demonstrate a master of her instrument with the highest power. Taiko Saito is an award-winning mallet player-composer born in Sapporo. She studied with marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe and classical marimba and percussion at the Toho School of Music. In 1997 she began to improvise and to write music, and moved to Berlin to study vibraphone and composition with David Friedman at the Universität der Künste Berlin.This whole LP is a joyously extravagant concoction. Celebratory. Suddenly calming. This is music that is just, a composer, an instrument, ideas, and the exquisite skill to demonstrate those thoughts, and images, hopes and directions. This music lives and breathes, like life itself. As the music grows and fills the spaces between idle moments and thoughts, you're perhaps realising, just let this music fill small thin spaces with micro moments of escape, into the beauties of your own contented, contemplative places. This is a brilliant record, seek it out.


THE BLUE AEROPLANES - Culture Gun  (Last Night From Glasgow)
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by Jay Lewis

A Five Heart LP as anyone who has heard it will attest. Spitting angry. Why are the old dudes the spitting angry ones? Is any of this their fault? See Jay Lewis' full review here⇒


THE MURLOCS - Queen Pinky 2023-05-19 (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


TONY VALENTINO - Dirty Water Revisited 2023-05-08 (Big Stir)
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by Tim London

LOVERS, MUGGERS AND THIEVES... OH, VERY COOL PEOPLE - Tim London marvels in so many ways at Tony Valentino of the Standells' new solo LP, right here⇒


TV'S DANIEL - face Down In The Ditch Of Love 2023-05-17 (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)


VARIOUS ARTISTS - Cease & Resist - Sonic Subversion & Anarcho Punk In The UK 1979-86 2023-05-12 (Optimo Music)
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by Alan Rider

Cease and Resist is released May 12. Read Alan Rider's full review here⇒.
Read an interview with Chris Low, here⇒.
Order Cease and Resist through Bandcamp here⇒.


WHATITDO ARCHIVE GROUP - Palace Of A Thousand Sounds 2023-05-05 (Record Kicks)
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by LamontPaul

Wow! I've been waiting for this for a while. Then the band send over a Track by Track to accompany the release. Bit of a coup for OL. Read the Whatitdo Archive Group Track by Track, here⇒


Essential Information
Main image Olof Dreijer and Mount. Sims

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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