Yugen Disciple – Ancestor Node on YOUTH
Yugen Disciple’s debut album is “another standout release from YOUTH and a solid debut album” writes Jordan Adshead.
Andrew Lyster’s YOUTH label, based out of Manchester, has been consistently putting out some of the strongest electronic music of the last few years. Really, there isn’t a bum note in the entire catalogue. Its flawless curation has without question established the label as a bag-on-sight institution for enthusiasts of boundary pushing electronica.
This latest release, Ancestor Node, is the full length debut from the enigmatic Yugen Disciple. Thematically, the album is tight.
Track titles such as SHA-256, Pattern Recognition, and Tactical Vest lead the imagination, resonating neatly with the music’s cold and polished machine syntheses. The disc itself looks a bit like an abstract topography of some part of Earth seen from space. It’s subtle science fiction, suggestive but lacking any pretentious grand narratives. The sounds contained within transpose the listener into near-futures composed of silicone and carbon fibre, of automation, cryptography, and nocturnal horizons punctuated with blinking aviation lights.
The genome of 90’s-era Warp is spliced through tracks like Video Drawing and Pleux, at times recalling the likes of B12 and pre-schizoid Autechre. While it has its fair share of depth-charge bass and hard, mechanical rhythms its dubbed out ambient bent also suits lower volume listening. And, for the DJ’s, would doubtless blend nicely with records from the likes of Uon, Huerco S, and mu tate. Close your eyes and you’re adrift on cascades of ventilator hiss, biomechanoid chords, and distant sonar pulses. Everything is set out with a really mature sense of economy and nothing ever feels too dense or too sparse.
As a total experience everything is well considered and gels nicely, just as a proper album should. Some of the most thematically cohesive album experiences (I think of Der Zyklus’ Biometry as another example) successfully evoke a certain atmosphere, taking you somewhere on the strength of allusion without trying too hard. All in all, it’s another standout release from YOUTH and a solid debut album from Yugen Disciple. Don’t sleep.