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This time around, experimental everyman Richard Youngs goes for one of his more traditional approaches -- 'Red Alphabet In The Snow' concentrates on acoustic arrangements based around guitars and banjo, while supplementing it with a lot of instruments that help build instrumental folk soundscapes. It's split into two long-form songs that clock at seventeen minutes a piece. 

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  • / Ltd 180g vinyl LP on Preserved Sound. Edition of 250 hand-stamped / numbered copies

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Red Alphabet in the Snow by Richard Youngs
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8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 22 October 2014

Prolific experimentalist Richard Youngs is on particularly accessible form this week with yet another new LP, this time for Preserved Sound. There's a flyer for their current releases tucked in the sleeve that describes it as "for fans of Richard Youngs". Very droll. The LP itself has two side-long tracks, 'Red Alphabet in the Snow I' and perhaps unsurprisingly 'Red Alphabet in the Snow II'.

The music here was recorded in Krakow, Poland and Youngs's home in Glasgow over last winter, and are largely instrumental pieces with a focus on acoustic twinkling and an intimidating array of instruments - he's playing acoustic guitar, banjo, cifteli, classical guitars, electric bass guitar, electric lead guitars, electric violin, epinette des vosges, shakers, sitar, swanee whistle, tambourine, triangle, 12-string guitar, ukulele, voice. Youngs constructs swells of twinkle all looped and layered in a mysterious and hypnotic jumble, swarming around in concordant chaos, with occasional longer tones from vocals and electric guitar and strange electronic tones. What's an epinette des vosges?

Side A seems to have the more relaxing sounds while side B dives into something a bit more feverish and gloopy, more Astral Social Club and less Aritomo, although both sides have things in common with both the psychedelic sound-layering of the former and the unsteady organic weirdpop experiments of the latter, married with a slight Canterbury folk sensibility. It's a really nice LP actually, more relaxing than I was anticipating.


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