Friday, February 24, 2012

Yppah delivers the goods

Pandora Radio is a truly remarkable thing. A customizable radio station where you simply plug in a genre or artist and you get a selection of material tailored to your likes at that moment. This approach has led me to find several cool sounds I wouldn't have normally discovered. Such is the case with YPPAH. Falling into the electronic genre doesn't quite do this artist justice but if one must classify it, then electronic it is.

Now comes Yppah's latest record, "81". The overall sound is part MOBY at his height, part early m83, and part shoegazer all wrapped up into one. The opening track, "Blue Schwinn", glides along a drum beat with angelic female vocals recalling THE COCTEAU TWINS. From there singer Antonia Belle lends her voice to the pop techno of "D. Song", which finally morphs into a club banger. The middle section of the record recalls DJ SHADOW'S masterpiece "Endtroducing..." with it's combination of hip hop beats and synthesizer washes. "Never Mess With Sunday" is the standout track on the record, with a plucky acoustic guitar leading into a drum beat frenzy. The groove on this song alone will stick with you for weeks. "Happy To See You" echoes vintage SLOWDIVE in it's ethereal bliss. "Three Portraits" is what I imagine CHAPTERHOUSE would sound like if updated for the 21st century.

This is the hidden beauty of the album. It moves in so many directions. What could have easily been another one note, electronic repetition for over an hour discovers new and fascinating ways to explore sonic landscapes. Each time I listen I find a new sound or combination of instruments that shake me in new ways. This will easily be one of my albums of the year.

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