Regions Of The Old School
The old school could bring to mind a childhood sweetheart, or it could bring to mind someone blocking the lunch queue. Richard Youngs’ “Regions Of The Old School” manages to evoke a considerable testimony to sweet things and the obstructionistic tension between the sugar.
Take the opener “Insomniac Takeover”, it sounds like “another sourpuss night”, and it becomes a misomner in disguise of inaugural listen, to have something so brightly buzzing on your eardrum enact something of a riff in rolicking fashion with crest-y bass. Indeed, this is a record of opposites, of attachments and sudden disconnections. But across 71 minutes, the message rouses as a separate entity from tired records, like old documents you saved previous to leaving an academic environment. It doesn’t become overly pompous and stuffy, either.
Nonetheless, 71 minutes is over an hour, and hours are weighing up as more cherishable things now. What makes Richard Youngs’ LP stand out? Well, it’s something of an oddity. The pace of the album vacillates across a broad tempo range, compounded by loose beats and spritzy, cloying instruments. Guest vocals by Madeleine Hynes bring out a certain rigidity in the convalescence between the mid section, and the whole of the sequence. The mixes are bright, at times abrasive, at points clearly focused on channeling as much debris from the timbre as they can muster.
Like an opera of worldwide figures, too, the tonal range of Youngs’ armoury is as diverse as it is beguiling. “Another Zonal Air” hectors the quivering, falsetto-like hum of softer kosmische muzak towards a more electronically bursting sound. “Bursting” is a fair adjective to describe a lot of the LP’s contents. At 3:30 into the track, ne-nor ne-nor-esque siren harmonies beckon in a settling gradient replete with glitchy synth modulation. Yes, it’s meandering music, but part of the charm is from the fact it outstays its welcome. And with four hefty tracks well over 10 minutes each on this opus, you get positive meandering drilled into your cranium with gusto.