Toychestra and Fred Frith

The six young women who make up Toychestra must really know how to have fun. Spinning their sounds from toys and toy instruments (such as the Pink Zoo Train, Genie Diary and Accordion People), Toychestra create an intricate spider’s web out of creepy-crawly melodies and trotting rhythms that closely resemble the eerie childishness of the Residents. What Leave Behind (subtitled Concerto for Electric Guitar and Toy Orchestra) is a five-movement EP composed by Dan Plonsey that perfectly utilises the talents of Toychestra (who mostly perform pre-existing pieces) and veteran avant-rock guitarist Fred Frith. What Leave Behind is successful on many levels — it’s fun and intriguing, not overly artsy or alienating and entirely relevant. It’s also a bonus to see Frith is still on top of his game — while most famous for founding prog-jazz legends Henry Cow in the ’70s, Frith has kept it real for over 30 years now, and tacks Toychestra onto a list of collaborators that reads like a who’s who of outsider personalities (John Zorn, Brain Eno, Bill Laswell, Robert Wyatt, Negativland). This is seriously provocative kiddie music.