This hazy and ambient collection of instrumentals is A Lo-Fi Cinematic Landscape, thought up by Berlin creative The Underground Youth aka Craig Dyer. The release was intended to accompany a short story, awash with damming and fateful melancholy, that was never fully conceived.
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- A Lo-Fi Cinematic Landscape by The Underground Youth
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Brand new swirl from premiums swirlers the Underground Youth, who produce lovely, crisp psychedelia the way a combination of your washing machine, tumble dryer and ironing board would if they were cosmic heads. TGU have traipsed through a few good stylistic shifts at this point, and this record feels weirdly epic and reverent, opening on a distorted synth drone that combines with vocals as booming and godly as they come. You may have already heard a comparison or two made between their vocalist and that guy from that band that I believe maybe were called Joy Division -- here’s one more.
This record’s droning, desolate vibe often recalls the best of atmospheric black metal before nodding in the direction of fuzzy psych, with tunes like “Escapism” built on little more than a foggy backdrop and the odd guitar note, ready-toned for hopelessness. All in all it becomes reminiscent of the tearjerking black metal/post-rock project ColdWorld, creating a landscape upon which nothing ever grows.
In a way, I’d rather just have the soundscapes: when the booming baritone vocals creep in on “Scarlet Room”, I feel like someone’s just announced themselves in an empty setting. It’s largely a gorgeous instrumental set-piece that wonderfully revolutionises the Underground Youth -- its blemishes come from trying to impose the band back onto it all.
8/10 The Doc Customer review, 6th November 2016
If you've heard any of their more recent releases, you'll already have a pretty good idea what kind of vibe this evokes. If you haven't, think Manchester. Think 1980. Think towers blocks, dole queues, a granite sky pissing with rain. Post-punk. Tons and tons of reverb, Ian Curtis singing one last song. Shit, this is so doomy and the synths so morose that it wasn't until the vocals kicked in a couple of minutes into the opening track that I realised I was playing it at the wrong speed, and once I'd adjusted it it didn't actually sound right. Speaking of the vocals, Craig Dyer's transformation from Jason Spaceman to Ian Curtis is complete, and the resemblance between his desolate baritone and that of the legendary Joy Division frontman is now absolutely uncanny.
If you were going to be picky you could say that this is a little throwaway, and in some ways you'd be right; some of these tracks seem a little half-formed - ideas for songs that never came to fruition -and some are so short they're over almost before they've begun, but he's got the 80s doompop sound absolutely nailed and there's something so beguilling about it, despite the unrelenting misery, that I just can't leave it alone. Good stuff.
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