Lean Left - Live at Cafe Oto
- Stewart Smith
- 18 December 2012
Sax-guitar unit dispense prickly and spry, wielding post-punk jitters
Pitting Terrie Hessels and Andy Moore – axe wielders for Dutch avant-punks The Ex – against free jazz heavyweights Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love, Lean Left are a rumble in a scrap heap, a joyride around Saturn’s rings. Guitar strings are scrubbed, mangled and rubbed into spiky abstractions, while Nilssen-Love hammers out furious polyrhythms and explodes time-signatures. Tenor saxophonist Vandermark strides in with commanding fanfares and lung-busting blats, his rich tone a sinewy contrast to the cheesewire spring and acid wash of the guitars. Unlike the dense skronk of sax-guitar units like Borbetomagus, Lean Left are prickly and spry, wielding post-punk jitters to Aylerised fire with a freewheeling bravado.