Lean Left - Live at Cafe Oto (4 stars)

Sax-guitar unit dispense prickly and spry, wielding post-punk jitters

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Lean Left - Live at Cafe Oto

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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.

Lean Left live Cafe OTO, London, 19.09.2012

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