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Prolific experimental songwriter Richard Youngs is back once again this week, and this time he’s done a double album, with some compositions extended to marathon length. One such example is opener ‘Insomniac Takeover’ - an entire side of maddening feedback, hand drums and grindingly repetitive vocals, giving the feverish interminability of the title a semblance of physical shape.
Things change dramatically as we head to the second side (or “region”) with the introduction of a synthesizer which provides buzzy, hesitant drone melodies alongside some subtle bell chimes and soft celestial drones. He’ll lull you into a meditative state and then wake you up with a touch of spluttery weirdness, and when it all falls together towards the end it’s truly uplifting and perhaps fades out a little too soon, as if to say that the journey was the important part rather than the destination, before muddling our minds further with a shrill miniature of cut-up feedback and voice drones ‘Celeste’.
My favourite cut occurs on side 3, where Youngs is joined by Neil “Astral Social Club” Campbell for a feverish tropical soundscape full of breathy flute and chirping, fly-buzzing synth along to a slow, patient drum pulse. It’s dizzying and disorientating but meditative with it. Finally closer ‘My Love Holds The Galaxy In her Heart’ fills its side-long groove with puttering loops of tinkling percussion, queasily grinding industrial ambience, and a treated electric guitar wailing scruffily over the top all cloaked in harsh distortion and booming reverb. Sometimes a difficult listen but always an intriguing one, Youngs serves the longer form of the 2LP well by easing off on the vocals and concentrating more on lengthy, spaced out freeform meditations.
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- Regions of the Old School by Richard Youngs
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