We're absolutely delighted to be stocking this luxury re-issue of one of our favourite albums of the 1990s. Insides were a duo of Kirsty Yates and Julian Tardo who were part of the original 'post-rock' group of bands which also included Moonshake, Disco Inferno and Bark Psychosis. Euphoria is a stellar, leftfield electronic album that is both danceable and ambient. There's shades of Bjork in Yates's delivery but otherwise it's pretty much on its own as a standout British record that deserves a full reassessment.
Vinyl LP £27.99 BNSD 033LP
LP + insert on Beacon Sound. Licensed from 4AD and remastered by Julian Tardo from HD audio files transferred from the original tapes. Edition of 2000 copies with gold foil numbering.
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- Euphoria by Insides
Oh this album. So important to us long running Norman Records types that we tried our best to get permission to re-issue it ourselves before we heard Beacon Sound had done the decent thing. This is one of *the* key 90s records. I barely want to attach it to a genre as it sits so perfectly between electronica and guitar based music.
Insides were part of the original batch of post rock bands as captured in Simon Reynolds 1994 Melody Maker article alongside other luminaries such as Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis and Moonshake and Euphoria was their one key album (there was a so so follow up Sweet Tip and some good EPs by their earlier incarnation as Earwig). The album blends skittering beats with beautiful guitar chords and cut up shards of electronica. On top of their looping, cascading songs is Kirsty Yates distinct vocals. The nearest comparison is Bjork with her slightly stilted delivery but Yates is more emotional than Bjork and yes ...sexual. These are intimate, sensual songs and to this male forty something reviewer it is one of the most essential records which dissects relationships and sexuality from a female point of view. She's not afraid to throw shocking or surprising images in there. For example the utterly exquisite 'Darling Effect' opens with the following line. "I hate lovers, I hate the way they go into the bathroom in shifts after they've fucked". Yet Yates fits perfectly with Julian Tardo's score which blends the most beautiful aspects of the Durutti Column and 90s/00s electronica as glacial guitars twirl and spin over intricately programmed beats.
There's no bad song, no let up in the razor sharp quality. "There is no perfect record" someone nearly said. Well to me Euphoria is as close as you can get to a perfect record and you need to buy it post haste.
10/10 William Alberque 15th April 2019
One of the best records I've ever heard.
Insides emerged out of the noisier Earwig, who started off sounding like a drum-machine-guitar-female-fronted Wedding Present (on the hilarious "Blind, Stupid, and Desperate"), verging over into Bark Psychosis territory (the monumental "Out of My Hands, Over My Head"), and ended up absorbing more and more Tangerine Dream into their sound ("Every Day Shines") before metamorphosing into Insides.
Insides dispensed with the guitars entirely, following more of the Autocreation/Mark van Hoen direction for their debut album, whose languorous, lulling sexiness (lyrics by the brilliant Kirsty Yates) masks brilliant turns of phrase, alternately seductive ("Distractions") and withering ("Walking in Straight Lines"), sometimes in the same song. I fell in love on first listen, and it's only with time that I realized often the songs lyrics were not at all what I thought.
The only downside with the re-release is, as far as I can see, it does not include the bonus 7" that came with the Guernica edition, which contains the brilliant "Turning Absentmindedly," nor does it their single finest song, "Tikky," from Volume Ten. I love me some "Clear Skin (Second Style)," but Tikky - wow. Sadly, the long-awaited follow up (Sweet Tip) was a huge letdown, dipping too far into jazzy fusion for my taste.
I'd also note for the complete-ists among you, you really should check out her guest vocal duties on the album by Outcast called Out of Tune, which builds a dream team of Beaumont Hannant, Richard Brown, and Yates on "Always Thinking, "Life and Breath," "Nothing's Changed," and "Choice." Four of the greatest songs of the time, sitting nicely next to an album like Mezzanine.
I'll leave you with "Bent Double," where you go from thinking she's seducing you to an entirely different realization, all over the course of one full minute:
And you may warm your cold hands
On my stomach and breathe warm air
Down my neck
Only my best friends
Rub my back
And hold my head
And stroke my hair out of my face
When I'm feeling sick
Because I can't hold my drink
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