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5 Hearts for August! all the five heart record reviews we listened to in August

5 Hearts for August!

all the five heart record reviews we listened to in August

by OL House Writer,
first published: September, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

"...at Outsideleft we have gotten pretty good at spotting truly independent talent whenever it rears its head, and Soft Riot certainly fall into that category fair and square."

Of all the records we reviewed in August there are only 20 Five Heart reviews in the world... 

ABC - The Lexicon of Love - 40th Anniversary Edition (Mercury Record Ltd.)
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by Jay Lewis

In a world of strange arrangements, Jay revisits his favourite 80s pop album.  Link here.


ARC DE SOLEIL - Last A While (Epidemic)
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by Ancient Champion

The primitive soul inflected Last A While is from the an EP alongside the songs Ghost of Fatalia and Loop Drive, all great all around to restore your belief that melody can still matter. Oh man listen to the guitar. Listen to the echo-ey vague vocal. Here comes summer somewhere.


CREATION REBEL - Hostile Environment (On-U Sound)
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by Alan Rider

I'm undoubtedly unqualified to pass any sort of informed judgement on any reggae release, but Creation Rebel, along with Steel Pulse, were amongst the few reggae bands that I was genuinely familiar with in the context of the mash up that was the average music/gig experience back in the early 80s.  They supported The Clash (the sole occasion I saw them perform), and their 'Starship Africa' album was a staple on the turntable of many a party I went to at the time.  So it is great to see them back with a new, Adrian Sherwood produced album and as tight as ever., right from the opening 'Swiftly (The Right One)'  to the closing 'Off The Spectrum'. Although I probably prefer the heavier dub tones of Horace Andy these days, the sharp political tone to the album (taking its title from one time UK Prime Minister Theresa May's policy of creating a hostile environment for people seeking refuge and asylum, a poisonous rhetoric still touted by Sunak today) shows that they have lost none of their edge over the years. Hostile Environment is released in October on On-U Sound


DIAMANDA GALáS - Broken Gargoyles (Intravenal Sound Operations )
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by Alarcon

I wasn't going to review this LP (looming deadlines, exhaustion, general malaise), but I'm so glad I gave it a spin. I'm not even sure how to describe Broken Gargoyles other than... atmospheric? Earlier this week, NASA released a recording of the sound of a black hole (listen here) and it sounds a lot like Diamanda's latest. It's haunting, demonic, and I'm pretty sure if you listen to the entirety of the album's two tracks, you die seven days later. It gets my vote as the OL's recording of the week.
Side note: Since the album doesn't have a traditional music video, watch Diamanda's spoken word record release promo.


GABRIELS - Angels and Queens (Atlas Artists)
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by Jay Lewis

Jay claims this is the debut album of the year. Already. 

Link here


IAN WILLIAMS - The Light At The End Of The World (Slaughterback)
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by Alan Rider

Those of you in the know may recognise Ian Williams from his previous  1980s incarnation as Beautiful Pea Green Boat, and this is every bit as glorious.  This is superior driving music, full of bubbly sequencers, tribal beats, soaring synths and an ethereally ethnic vocal melody  It has been described as "a Tangerine [Dream] Vangelis", which gives you a pretty good idea of what this is like.  Or you could just click on the Youtube link and find out for yourself.  Ian Williams is a master at creating analogue soundscapes and this is a brilliant example of that.


INFINITE RIVER - Space Mirror (Birdman Records)
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by Alan Rider

Wow.  This is a novelty.  A label that actually sends in hard copy vinyl all the way from the States with a printed press release.  Hats off to Birdman Records and the band for doing that.  Space Mirror is a rare example of an album title that fits the music perfectly.  Its hard to pin down the sound Infinite River make on this.  It's an instrumental, mantra like swirl, constantly evolving, and reminiscent in a way of one of my favourite bands, SQÜRL.  That's a very good comparison to make by the way. Each track flows into another like an (ahem) infinite river.  I played this late last night.  I wasn't stoned but it had the same effect, so save yourself money on drugs and invest in a copy!


JOHN CAME - Ink Tank (Mute)
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by Alan Rider

John Came is actually a pseudonym for two electronic musicians called Simon Leonard and David Baker, and Ink Tank is allegedly made using an odd experimental electronic instrument invented in 1932 called a Rhythmicon, co-designed by the inventor of the Theremin.  Whatever, this is a great piece of electronic music reminiscent of Kraftwerk and Jarre and has that intangible quality than only electronics of this era seem to manage.   Although a composer associate of its inventor felt "the Rhythmicon was wonderful in every respect, except that it did not work", I beg to differ.  This is quality electronics. There is a 'lost' album from 1995 (though I am always more than a little sceptical of that much over used term) which this is taken from on the way too, which will be well worth a listen.


JONATHAN RICHMAN AND THE MODERN LOVERS - Roadrunner (Berkeley)
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by Ancient Champion

The best right. Where music begins for so many kids. Who aren't kids no more. Ancients now.


JONI MITCHELL - Help Me (Demo) (Rhino Records)
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by Jay Lewis

From the forthcoming Archives Vol. 3 The Asylum Years (1972-1975), here's an early demo of the song that would become Joni's biggest-selling single.  And, even at this stage, her voice and her delivery are perfect and passionate, knowing that feeling that someone has got under your skin again, and that weird rollercoaster of emotion that's going to follow. You know how that feels, and so, brilliantly, does Joni. 


NONAME - balloons ft. Jay Electronica and Eryn Allen Kayne (AWOL)
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by Ancient Champion

Anything Noname ever plays me is exhilarating. Lyrically complex, life-affirmations detailed with an amusing laissez-faire alacrity over the jazziest jazzy hip hop. Like a Physiocrat philosopher, let no authority get in Noname's way. Life, well Noname's life work means there's often been a long time to wait between music releases, and a constant possibility that her work outside music might mean more than music. Why aren't more musicians operating on an actual humanscale? So at last here we are, winding up summer in 23 and at last something to absorb my time. Noname matters. balloons featuring Jay Electronica and Eryn Allen Kayne, is from the new lp Sundial, which is out today. Look I know I am the lazy old fat white audience member that disappoints Noname and let's face it, most everyband the most. What's the use of fans whose thoughts are irrelevant, can barely dance and may be dead soon? My relationship with Noname is all about me.


SOFT RIOT - No (Possession/Wave Tension)
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by Alan Rider

Here at Outsideleft we have gotten pretty good at spotting truly independent talent whenever it rears its head, and Soft Riot certainly fall into that category fair and square. Out 11 August in all formats.  Vinyl edition includes a limited edition zine. Alan's LP review is here


SUGAR LAKES - Meteorites (Own Maybe)
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by Tim Sparks

I found Sugar Lakes through their producer Adam Fiasco, so Im checking out their single Meteorites written Damian Caruthers and I have to say this is awesome, from the opening acoustic chords and the vocal of Faye Moss...well....this girl has some talent , she absolutely nails this one.

The whole track, backing vocals, instrumentation, arrangement,  I can't fault it at all, Adams done a superb job here, Im sure this collaboration will go far.

Theres not too many song these days that I wish were a bit longer, but this could handle another few minutes no problem.


SUN JUNE - Get Enough (Run For Cover)
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by Ancient Champion

Once I get past the opening line, which is hard, which it seems like a bit of an obsession, here's a lovely and vibrantly gloomy piece of a certain ilk. You know the ilk.  Swoopy moody indie pop. Swoopy moody indie pop is not easy to make well. Just enough dragging of heels here, to be absolutely massive. I didn't want it to end. Great.


TEX CRICK - Easy Keepers (Mac's Record Label)
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by Ancient Champion

Tex Crick, what's not to love. He doesn't seem to have a phone or a car but does have a wide angle perspective. Based in Tokyo, made it there from his native Australia, joined Mac DeMarco's record label to make mellifluous melodies that push right up to the boundary of schmaltz without ever even going there. This is way cool. If I could do this I wouldn't have to sit here writing about it for pennies. Do listen.


THE BAND - I Shall Be Released (UMG)
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by Jay Lewis

Big week for the reaper, Jay catches his breath right here


THE LILAC TIME - Dance Till All The Stars Come Down (Poetica)
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by Jay Lewis

That bloke for Alum Rock makes his best album


THE MOUNTAIN HOWL - Sway (mountain howl)
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by Ancient Champion

Very mellow. Sway as a title might be overstating it.


TIGER SKY - Walking on Raindrops (Independant)
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by Tim Sparks

Tiger Sky came across my radar just recently, this 5 piece have been making some noise and this track Walking on Raindrops tells you why. A Rock Ballad with great vocal performance from Adam Brucass, this starts with a lone Piano but the ambience builds into a Rock Anthem. The mix is typically awesome from the Adam Fiasco stable, some very cool backing vocals and harmonies thrown in there as well. Before long the guitars come along to take it to a higher level, match by yet bigger vocals, all in all a pretty monster track. It will be on my playlist for a while. 


ÅRABROT - HORRORS OF THE PAST - Horrors of the Past (Pelagic Records)
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by Tim London

A vocal style somewhere between Tom Verlaine and Gary Numan on a song about running over a cat, sung by an obvious snowflake who has mistaken the death of someone’s Fluffy with something more existential, like, where the fuck does he think the cat’s food came from? Go visit a cat food factory if you want something to sing about, Kjetil! Fantastic!


Essential Information
Main Image Soft Riot


"...at Outsideleft we have gotten pretty good at spotting truly independent talent whenever it rears its head, and Soft Riot certainly fall into that category fair and square."
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