ORGAN: Lyon’s rather experimental noise makers Tombouctou, Ben Reed’s Canterbury flavours, London based quartet Qwalia and last weekend’s Other Rock Show…

A couple of albums today, a couple of things that have come our way, an excellent noise from Lyon, a couple of things picked out from the many that land here (and yes, we do listen to everything that lands, we are very picky about these things…

TombouctouTricky Floors (Cheap Satanism Records) – – From Lyon, France and sounding rather like a band from Lyon should. Not sure where Unusual Mabel came from? She kind of upset the apple cart with that extreme metal tantrum in the middle of it all, really didn’t need that, most of the time Tombouctou sound like Siouxsie and the Banshees picking over the bones of a slightly disorientated Blonde Redhead and messing with the notions that are flowing in such a healthy way through the best bits of French experimental avant rock at the moment. Their second album so it would seem, her yelping and her yowling attracts rather than distracts, she, Cocrelle, controls things in a rather frantic yet always reasonable kind of way, never overbearing, always there but never too much. There’s three of them, Cocrelle on voice, Melloul on drums and A.C on guitar, they have things right, their challenge is flavoured with just the right amount of detail to go with the musical punch. Find it on Bandcamp   


Ben ReedBandaged (Esoteric/Cherry Red Records) – Respected multi-instrumentalist Ben Reed has a rather fine new album, a delightfully mellow album, an easy on the ear album, an album that’s alive with clever detail. Very (very) much a Canterbury flavoured thing, a flowing thing, a very relaxed very English thing, a cup of tea on a sunny day kind of an album. The fact that there are Contributions came from Jimmy Hastings (Caravan, Hatfield & The North) will tell you rather a lot. Leisurely, dreamy, mellow, relaxed, at times unpredictable, an album tinged with an undeniable British melancholy, rich with melody and harmonic vocabulary, with elements of jazz folk and that politely relaxed prog rock things that bands like Caravan did/do. One very much for fans of that very mellow Canterbury sound, it is an acquired taste, must admit I prefer my prog with a bit more bite, this is all a little too polite for me. The album is out in May


Ben Reed also plays in a band called Qwalia who in turn have a rather jazzy fusion flavoured album called Sound and Reason out this week. The London based quartet have a delcious groove, it kind of helps that the sun is out today and the music is far more inspired alnd flowing than that rather boring album title would have you think. “sophisticated funk, avant- pop”, it kind of sounds like music for musicians if you know what I mean, here it is waiting for you on Bandcamp


Meanwhile, did you catch this week;s Other Rock Show? Marina Organ presents an hour of music that uses unconventional structures and ‘other’ time signatures – gathered from the worldwide undergrounds of math rock, avant prog, weird electronica and strange pop. This week’s show previews new and forthcoming releases from M-Opus, Ultraphauna and a.P.A.t.T, plus music from Tom Moody and the All New Greatest Hits Band, Mr Sterile Assembly, and June of 44 and,,,

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