Hello dub techno, my old friend, I’ve come to write about you again… Yagya is one of my favorite dub techno producers in the on-going revival of the genre today. The Icelandic producer is running on a hot streak right now, especially since dub techno mainstay DeepChord recently reworked a critically acclaimed album of Yagya’s,¬†Will I Dream During The Process?,¬†and let me just say it sounds gorgeous – it came out on a limited CD (which I accidentally bought two copies of) and there’s only 200 copies. There may, or may not, still be copies left and I only say that because Discogs sellers are already charging exorbitant prices for their sealed copies. Last time I checked there were four copies, all being charged for over $75 US, and all but one are gone now – click this if you want to to see what I’m talking about.
Now, on to the topic at hand!¬†Sleepygirls shows elements of the continuing experimentation that Yagya performed on The Inescapable Decay of My Heart.¬†The Inescapable Decay of My Heart¬†had Yagya bring on multiple Icelandic vocalists to supplement a majority of his well-produced dub techno instrumentals. If you’re unfamiliar with the dub techno world, it’s almost unheard of to do this. Prior to the release of this, some were exclaiming how they had mixed feelings on the vocalists’ presence on his tracks – he was breaking dub techno norms. Whether this complaining had anything to do with it I’m not sure, but Yagya included a bonus CD of the instrumentals of all the tracks – everyone was happy.
On Sleepygirls, it shows a return to form reminiscent of his material on Rigning (another critically acclaimed album of his) but he has, again, added vocals to the album but they’ve been majorly dialed back. There’s also elements of jazz on here as well. As usual, the production Yagya has done sounds spotless and all of the elements intermesh expertly.
Yagya said “I wanted to create an album that’s atmospheric, repetitive, and easy to listen to over and over again, something that works well in the background (e.g. when concentrating on work), as well as up close in a big sound system…” All good dub techno artists should strive for and achieve this goal in some fashion – that’s what makes dub techno attractive. The ability for it to be played in a nightclub or as background music; its sheer versatility.
With all that said, it’s going to be extremely painful for me to drop some fat stacks on this. Before shipping, at the current exchange rates, it comes out to almost $40. I think it’s painful now, but I also think of the ravaging prices that are charged on the secondary market for Yagya’s physical material. A few years ago I got in to a bidding war on an original CD copy of Rigning¬†(which was only two years old at that point) and it eclipsed the $75 mark – I’ve seen copies sell for well over $100 (by the way, I lost the auction). Original copies of Rhythm of Snow and Will I Dream During The Process?¬†fetch a pretty penny, too. I’ll have to work up the courage REALLY soon to buy this because I don’t feel like getting bent over on eBay or Discogs.¬†Check out a preview of¬†Sleepygirls¬†on¬†Delsin¬†by going through the Buy Now link and see what you think of it. Cheers!
On May 5th 2014, Icelandic producer Yagya will release his fifth album, Sleepygirls, across three slabs of vinyl and one mixed CD on Dutch label Delsin. It's a deep, spacious and dubbed out affair that stays locked at a pleasingly sedentary tempo throughout.
Since 2002 the definitive member of the Thule Musik collective has been crafting lush electronic albums under his Yagya alias and always manages to find pure bliss and beauty and his simple, nature inspired soundscapes. He deals exclusively in full lengths and to date they have come on labels like Sending Orbs, Force Inc. and Subwax Bcn.
"I wanted to create an album that's atmospheric, repetitive, and easy to listen to over and over again," says the man himself. "Something that works well in the background (e.g. when concentrating on work), as well as up close in a big sound system. I also wanted to learn how to make my music sound better than before, since I'm a huge sound-nerd, so that was a part of the goal for me personally."
The album is a fine fusion of tropes from Yagya's earlier albums, features jazz instrumentalists that improvise beautiful melodies over monotonic, almost drone-like, techno beats and also uses live recordings of Japanese vocals, saxophone and guitar to counter the repetitiveness of the rhythms.
Right from the rolling bliss of the opener, you're suspended in a womb like pillow of sound that is soft, warm and serenely beautiful. As tracks roll on, the pace stays the same but themes vary from upright and summery to more elongated and insular. This is natural, organic dub that is a delight and a pleasure to listen to.
The vinyl versions of each track have been specially mixed with random LFOs, sonic quirks and unique fingerprints making them the subtly different to the CD version, but overall this is a brain soothing and mind melting album that can soundtrack lazy days, long summer afternoons and warm winter evenings in equal style.
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive