Yang — The Failure of Words
(Bandcamp YMI702CD, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-05-06
When I reviewed Yang’s second album, Machines, back in 2009, it had been a long five years since the band’s 2004 debut, A Complex Nature, and that even included a band breakup and regrouping. I recall closing that review with a hope that the next album would come sooner. Well, it didn’t; it’s taken a whole eight years to bring out the third album with the exact same members, but I have to say this one was certainly worth the wait. The band, led by guitarist and chief composer Frederic L’Epée still drives a powerful and aggressive guitar-driven instrumental rock sound that is at once complex, driving, and groove laden, while still presenting an enigmatic and interesting experience to the listener. This is angular and somewhat twisted, but never flows too close to the metal or math styles, sticking somewhat closer to the crimsoid path, with some hints of jazz, classical and even folk elements lying just under the surface. Second guitarist Laurent James shares the spotlight with L’Epée, while bassist Nico Gomez and drummer Velodia Brice provide the forward driving groove and tasteful accents and underpinnings that keep these tracks muscular and nimble. Nine tracks are presented here, and there’s enough variety in the approach of each to make this an interesting road regardless of how fast one drives. A few standouts like “9/8 Variations,” “Six Four Five,” and the jazzy “Slow Flow (Flux Point)” will likely be high points for the first few spins, but eventually all of these will get hopelessly stuck in the listener’s head and carry you through the silence until you can hit the replay button. Throughout, The Failure of Words presents a solid step forward for this exceptionally talented instrumental unit.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more