Exposé Online banner

Byron Au Yong — Yiju
(Present Sounds PS 1201, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-03-27

Yiju Cover artIn Issue #39 I reviewed Dennis Rea's Views from Chicheng Precipice, which came out on Moonjune back in 2010. That album presented a Westerner's take on avant-garde music with influences from the Far East. In some ways, Yiju is the flip side of that coin: a Chinese-American's take on Western avant-garde, using mostly acoustic instruments, including several from Chinese tradition. There's more of a feeling of an academic tradition here than Rea's jazz background. Asian percussion backs most of the tracks, and several feature vocals, sometimes with words (in English and Chinese), sometimes not. Several of the tracks feature a variety of gong and other cymbal sounds, female voices interweaving with lullaby-like melodies (one track is titled "Lullaby"), and scraping noises from a string bass. But the mood is basically meditative, so the result is not abrasive. Overall, it's interesting enough, as long as you're not put off by the lack of structure, but at 23 minutes, Yiju seems more like a sketchbook for ideas that will someday result in a fully realized statement than a statement on its own.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Byron Au Yong

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jeff Tarlton - Astral Years – I would bet money that Jeff Tarlton sleeps with a book of Kirouac's poems in his arms and Morrisons Van and Jim on his turntable (c'mon folks, it is so hip to have vinyl). Tarlton is an...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues