"One Mind is glued together by an intoxicating outernational, ethnomusicology flavoured association with drums and tribalism"
Manchester-based imprint Youth is operated by Andy Lyster, one of the co-founders of the renowned club night and record label, Meandyou. Branching out alone over the past few years, he has become an expert researcher and collector of revered, confounding and explorative electronic music.
2019 has been a busy one for Lyster: the superlative ‘Sports’ compilation featured tracks from Peder Mannerfelt, lueke, FUMU, Turinn and Kassem Mosse, L. Lund’s asymmetrical, mechanical blended sonic serving ‘Lo Tech’ was often too intangible and grimy to classify and Hoshina Anniversary’s more linear and accessible synth-heavy grinding techno was a nice counterpoint to all that experimentalism.
In spite of success, there is still work to do and more hypnagogic proto-house, deviant harmonics and genre-splicing music to come. Youth welcome obscure New York duo Georgia to the label to reinforce the unconventional inclination of electronic music production that Lyster has set out to uncover.
Video and multimedia engineers by trade, Brian Close and Justin Tripp have been relentless in their attempt to conceive different worlds, sounds and contexts – and how those aspects are represented to listeners. Volumes of transcendental out-of-mind tracks have emanated from Chinatown NYC in recent years. Some of the strangest stuff includes nullifying North African spiced wind instruments, natures finest ambience as well fractured and frantic dismantled electronics lying next to soft acoustic Mohammad Reza Mortazavi style skits.
Trying to classify ‘One Mind’ in simple, lazy one-word genres would be remiss; the breadth of engineering skills and sonics on show are too numerous and the change in tempo, range of obscure instruments and playfulness will have you re-listening and re-listening in order to figure out how the hell did they do this? And why can’t I do something this complex when I produce?
The vivid ethnic and ritualistic world Georgia have created in ‘One Mind‘ continues a tradition of conforming/confounding/stimulating after releases for Ekster, Meakusma, Good Morning Tapes and Firecracker Recordings. ‘Smart Stance’ is a gurgling micro UK bass homage that incorporates a dreamy, chopped up and lo-fi vocal. Compare this against the break-neck speed jittering badness, gritty drums and screeching dislocated percussion in ‘Laca Ja’ and you’ll be unable to connect the dots.
Although there is no immediately obvious theme or linearity listening to the album as a whole, One Mind is glued together by an intoxicating outernational, ethnomusicology flavoured association with drums and tribalism. Similarly inclined but never quite as rhythmical or energised as Burnt Friedmann.
Witness the unconventional drum programming, kicks and shimmering tambourines on ‘Vision Zero’ creep hand-in-hand with an anagogic vocal sent to anaesthetise you. Or maybe the twisting calypso hand-drum and xylophone solos on ‘Anmonothe Lounge Track’ aimed to send you into another place and time.
Generally, the whole album is a bit mad. Mad because it’s a complex arrangement of textures, off-kilter twangs, synths and percussion as well as it’s dextrous polyrhythms that say “mix me if you dare”. Proper left of centre programming on ‘Easy Film Prolific Key’ is like some birth child of Gescom and recent, weirder Autechre or Rabih Beaini with its screaming harmonic keys. The contemplative coloured keys and chugging electro-charged fuzz on ‘Extra Track’ is one to note too with it’s syncopating rimshots.
‘One Mind’ is at times ultra-precise glitchy, sample-heavy, re-engineered, layered and uses vocal disembodiment to creep you out. The multitude of techniques applied are something to admire. Although the experimentation can at times jar it doesn’t wholly destroy the listening experience.
Never quite as solitary or otherworldly as Pye Corner Audio or early Demdike Stare, nor as mind-scrambling as recent Lee Gamble work, but nonetheless equally quixotic and kaleidoscopic in its ambitions and results. Innovation in engineering and production is producing some spectacular results and One Mind helps exacerbate a singular fearless bad-boy style in making music.
‘One Mind’ is out now on Youth. Order a copy from Bandcamp.
2. Window 6
3. Extra Tack
4. New Force
5. Baiala Ghalic
6. Window 5
7. City Floral
8. Easy Film Prolific Key
9. Laca Ja
10. Down Glaze
11. Smart Stance
12. Day To
13. Vision Zero
14. Anmonothe Lounge Track
15. NY MBL