The Monthly Revue playlist of 2023; a choice selection of tracks from the last month on the blog. Curated by Dominic Valvona with Matt Oliver on the Rap Control once more, and music from reviews by our latest recruit Gillian Stone plus Brian ‘Bordello’ Shea, Graham Domain and a returning Andrew C. Kidd. Expect to hear the unexpected as we leave you with this 45 track selection before we go off on a May sabbatical (well half of May, be back around the 15th with a packed schedule of choice music).


Altın Gün ‘Ç​ı​t Ç​ı​t Çedene’
Ammar 808 Ft. Belhassen Mihoub ‘Yarima’
Les Abranis ‘Achethkhi’
Orti, Mayorga y Chiriboga ‘Mu​ñ​equita Blanca’
Tuzeint ‘Mujer Divina’
United Grind Ft. Gamechangers ‘Doin This All Night’
King Kashmere & Alecs DeLarge ‘Most Blunted’
Neon Kittens ‘Loving Your Neighbour’s Wife’
Opus Kink ‘1:18’
Gabrielle Ornate ‘Delirium’
H. Hawkline ‘Plastic Man’
Land Of OOO ‘Matthew’
African Head Charge ‘A Bad Attitude’
Swans ‘Paradise Is Mine’
The Oldest Voice In The World ‘Talysh Mountain Border’
La Faute ‘The Crown’
fhae ‘Love You’
Alice ‘Triste et tout seul’
foil ‘Don’t Look’
Ali Murray ‘Spirit Of Unknowing’
Khotin ‘Lovely’
MultiTraction Orchestra ‘Reactor One’
Tobias Meinhart ‘Luna Park’
Deca & Ol’ Burger Beats ‘Blight’
Prastense & Shortrock Ft. Uncommon Nasa ‘A Broken Letter’
Micall Parknsun ‘Back’
Your Old Droog ‘Pronouns’
Illinformed Ft. Eric The Red ‘Doctor’
Silver Moth ‘Sedna’
Escupemetralla ‘Several specimens of ruminant animals with large udders chewing grass in a Cambridge meadow’
Sweeney ‘High School Damage’
Ale Hop & Laura Robles ‘Son de los diablos’
Cornelius Corvidae ‘Silver Flower’
James Howard ‘The Reckoning’
Draag ‘Mitsuwa’
Mike Cale ‘Slow Club’
Suki Sou ‘Petrichor’
Issei Herr ‘Aria’
Carla Boregas ‘A Cidade doe Outros’
Simon McCorry ‘Halcyon Fire’
CIEL ‘Somebody’
Tomato Flower ‘Destroyer’
Cindy ‘Earthly Belonging’
Circe ‘Riot Of Sunlight’
Chloe Gallardo ‘Bloodline’


Gillian Stone’s Monthly Reviews

Alice ‘L’Oiseau Magnifique’
(Bongo Joe Records) Available Now

At 23 songs ranging from 0:26 to 3:59, Genevan intergenerational micro-choir Alice’s L’ Oiseau Magnifique (“The magnificent bird”), released via Bongo Joe Records, is like one continuous, minimal folk symphony with 23 short movements.

Mother and daughter Yvonne Harder and Lisa Harder, along with Sarah André, juxtapose crisp, resonant harmonies with accompaniment on a thrifted synth, creating a sound that could be equated to a more lo-fi, European Mountain Man. The album is like sonically experiencing a family living room concert, with half-finished knitting out on the table and the smell of chicken stock simmering in a musty, 200-year-old home.

Despite its minimalism, there are moments L’ Oiseau Magnifique that take the listener by surprise: the jangly percussion, synthetic bird sounds, and unorthodox hand-to-mouth vocals on “Nous marchons”, the Gregorian chant atmosphere on “Deux mille trains”, and the field recordings of car sounds on “La santé”. The album starts and ends with the inclusion of mistakes, with the false starts and happy laughter on the second track, “Triste et tout seul”, and the last track “Rires”. Instead of taking one out of the moment, these instead are filled with personality, warmth, and a sense of inclusion in Alice’s process. Their moments of imprecision throughout are profoundly charming and imbued with a fearless humanness that makes L’ Oiseau Magnifique utterly unique.

Altın Gün ‘Aşk’

Conceptually multifarious, Altın Gün’s Aşk (Glitterbeat Records) is a manifold of ancient, vintage, and current. With their “Anatolian folk-rock sound”, the Amsterdam-based sextet interprets traditional Turkish folk song through the lens of psychedelic 70’s acid disco folk. Yet despite this sonic and conceptual complexity along with profoundly adept musicianship, the ethos of the 10-song album can be boiled down to something very simple: fun.

Beginning with the formidable energy of “Badi Sabah Olmadan”, the urge to dance is established right off the top. This continues with “Su Sızıyor” with its “The Guns of Brixton” bassline held down by Jasper Verhulst, and the jangly “Leylim Ley”. “Dere Geliyor” features wicked percussion by Chris Bruining, warbly guitar by Thijs Elzinga, and Merve Daşdemir’s smooth vocals. “Çıt Çıt Çedene” is classically groovy, while “Rakıya Su Katamam” is a brief foray into headbanger territory. The intro and breakdown of “Canım Oy” could be something off Santana’s Abraxas, while Daniel Smienk’s drums on “Kalk Gidelim” are both wild and sexy. Erdinç Ecevit’s beautiful microtonal vocals then soar over the Wish You Were Here feel of “Güzelliğin On Para Etmez”. The album ends strong with the disco feel of “Doktor Civanım”, reminiscent of Blondie in their prime. Throughout the record, Ecevit incorporates the saz, or bağlama, a lute used in Turkish folk music, staying true to Altın Gün’s influential roots.

In a rare feat, every song on Aşk is fantastic, equating to a conceptually profound, joyfully executed, “all killer no filler” vibe.

H. Hawkline ‘Milk For Flowers’ 

Starting out a certain way, where you think you know what you’re getting into, then taking you by surprise, is the thematic journey of H. Hawkline’s Milk For Flowers (Heavenly). So is lyrical vulnerability.

The first two songs on the Cate Le Bon-produced record, “Milk for Flowers” and “Plastic Man”, begin with a deep nod to Carole King, Paul McCartney and the Brill Building. “Suppression Street” is where the lyrics begin to encase the listener into a heartfelt sense of melancholy tenderness: “Grief is an encounter and I speak it/It carries like a shadow on the carpet”. It then transitions into the Neil Young vibe of “Suppression Street”, with none other than the great John Parish on bongos. The album then slams into the indefinable, stunning “Denver”, and suddenly Milk For Flowers takes flight, as if everything was leading up to this moment.

It continues to soar through “Athens At Night” with its dance-y palate of 80s sequenced synths and electric keyboards, George Harrison guitar riffs, and “Blue Monday” drum fills. The album lands back into being piano driven for “Like I Do”, and stays there for the remainder of the album. And it is here where the lyrics begin to shine again; on “It’s A Living” (“Old women/Young children/Can teach you everything you need to know about living”) and “Mostly” (“I wanna die/I wanna die/I wanna die happy”). True ballad “Empty Room”, with its form made up of two distinct sections, then takes out the album.

Milk For Flowers begins steeped in traditional songwriting, takes you on a breathless journey, then brings you back into a place of safety, where feelings can be acknowledged and processed.

La Faute ‘Water Colours’

Watercolours, the second single from Toronto, Canada-based La Faute’s forthcoming debut album Blue Girl Nice Day, is like the sonic representation of a slightly wilted bouquet of pastel-hued flowers.

Whispered, velveteen vocals softly weave into an atmospheric palette of dark, atmospheric folk that explores the liminal space between beauty and discomfort.

Thematically traversing the “feeling of infatuation bordering on obsession”, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Peggy Messing speaks to the unpredictable and undivinable nature of watercolour paints as an allegory for “that desperate, slightly sickening feeling that love or obsession can bring”.

There is something sinister simmering under the surface of the track – a gentle violence that slowly rears its head from beneath wisps of gorgeous minimal lushness. Messing’s hushed vocals are a step away from cracking, like the quiet control of Watercolours could break at any moment. But it doesn’t, and the tension is stunning.

Joining the team earlier this year, Gillian Stone is a multi-instrumentalist and interdisciplinary artist originally from the Pacific Northwest and based in Toronto, Canada. Through her eponymous vocally-driven post-rock/drone folk solo project, she has released two singles, “Bridges” and “Shelf”, and her debut EP, Spirit Photographs. Stone holds a BFA in Jazz Studies from Vancouver Island University and an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto. Drawing from her eclectic taste, she has worked with Michael Peter Olsen (Zoon, The Hidden Cameras), Timothy Condon and Brad Davis (Fresh Snow, Picastro), The Fern Tips (Beams) Völur (Blood Ceremony), NEXUS (Steve Reich), and visual artist Althea Thauberger.

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