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Adrian Younge: The Electronique Void [Digipak]

Track List

>Black Noise (Interlude)
>Night, The
>Fly Away
>Concept of Love, The
>Voltage Controlled Orgasms
>Black Noise
>Suicidal Love

Album Notes

Here's where Adrian Younge peels out of the retro psych-soul cul-de-sac, imagined or real. The Electronique Void, issued digitally a few days prior to the premier of the Cheo Hodari Coker-created Marvel series Luke Cage -- for which Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad provided the score -- continues the musician's fascination with analog gear while turning toward electronics. Wendy Carlos, Dick Hyman, and Raymond Scott are the electronic music pioneers cited in the promotional literature, and plenty of other likenesses can be drawn, whether they're to other early nodes like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop or those who have grown from them -- Kraftwerk, early Human League, Stereolab, Ekoplekz, the Ghost Box massive, and so forth. Younge could be accused of dabbling, but he displays total mastery of his machines, whether he's coaxing sinister rhythms or playful melodies out of them. The drums often hit with as much force as his hip-hop productions, and a lot of the keyboard work carries a creeping menace similar to that of his Venice Dawn material. Presented as a sort of tongue-in-cheek guide to navigating romantic relationships, the set of ten, mostly brief tracks is narrated in affable fashion by longtime Younge associate Jack Waterson, who sounds more like a pre-tenured high school science teacher than, say, Rick Holmes. Younge himself occasionally sings through a vocoder, his amorous but unintelligible musings are thankfully transcribed in the liners. One can imagine this accompanying a film screened in a musty audio-visual room with flickering shots of a young couple flirting on a party line, frolicking in leaves, and hanging at a drive-in or bowling alley. It's stimulating and informative enough on its own, and too accomplished and substantive to be disregarded as a dilettantish novelty. ~ Andy Kellman


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