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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

(Tom Newman) - Variations on a Rhythm of Mike Oldfield - David Bedford – This is a four track EP, and is basically a Tom Newman album. It's confusing, I know. This is some of that stuff you know Oldfield and Co. did for laughs (when perhaps beer and worse entered the...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues