Yang — Machines
(Vocation Records VOC1527, 2009, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01
Some five or six years ago, French instrumental quartet Yang released their outstanding debut A Complex Nature on Cuneiform, then promptly disbanded, before playing even a single concert. Now they have regrouped and are back with this most welcome, if somewhat belated, follow-up. Bandleader and guitarist / multi-instrumentalist Frederic L’Epée (formerly of Philharmonie, and Shylock before that) and drummer Velodia Brice from the original lineup of Yang are joined by two newer members: guitarist Laurent James and bassist Nico Gomez. Even though L’Epée remains the band’s primary composer, with the new membership their sound has taken on a far more muscular and aggressive flavor, as well as incorporating some diverse trajectories, folk and ethnic elements, and a heaviness that occasionally approaches metal, all the while retaining their Crimsoid influences and technical multi-guitar approach. There are plenty of jazzy moments as well, but they typically give way to a rockier essence in short order, along the way revealing something interesting, melodically engaging and structurally complex, while presenting it in a way that’s completely listenable. All taken, the ten cuts on Machines mark a welcome return for Yang. Hopefully we won’t have to wait so long for the next installment.
Related artist(s): Yang
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more
Simon Steensland - The Simon Lonesome Combat Ensemble – Cutting-edge, unpretentious and imaginative are three adjectives that describe this offering by Swedish multi-instrumentalist and composer Simon Steensland. Mixing elements of rock, neo-classical,... (1994) » Read more