Release Date: Jul 19, 2011
Record label: Secretly Canadian
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
On his countless CD-Rs, 12-inches, and cassettes, as well as collaborations with the likes of Matthew Bower of Skullflower, Neil Campbell of Vibracathedral Orchestra, and the telepathic Simon Wickham-Smith, Richard Youngs has helped to provide what The Wire described as “the map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during much of the 80’s and 90’s. ” He can do achingly beautiful mantras of loss, as on Sapphie; chromium space odes to Jack Kirby, as on his mid-2000s Jagjaguwar releases; windy electroacoustic improvisations; obscurefaux-airs; and, most recently, Residents-style weirdo-pop on his last Jagjaguwar album, Beyond the Valley of the Ultrahits. He played bass with Jandek at the legendary recluse’s first-ever live performances, on the confident and sensitive Glasgows Sunday and Monday, and on Newcastle Sunday.
The spate of albums Richard Youngs has made for Jagjaguwar-- nine in the past 11 years-- have covered a range of sounds and ideas. But there's something single-minded, even monastic about the way he's made each one. Typically, he focuses devoutly on a single approach, sticking with the same instrumentation, tempos, and tones from track to track. Even records that could be considered outliers-- take last year's pop-oriented Beyond the Valley of the Ultrahits-- have a core personality that make adjacent songs like fraternal twins.
He might have been born in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, but [a]Richard Youngs[/a]’ music imagines an England after a global warming catastrophe has turned the south of our country into a fly-blown dust bowl.The music of [b]‘Amplifying Host’[/b] blends baked American blues with the ghosts of this island’s folk tradition to wonderful effect, especially on [b]‘Tessellations’[/b], which is like coming across a bedraggled family cooking beans around a campfire in the tinder-dry ruins of what was once a chocolate-box timber-framed cottage. [b]‘A Hole In The Earth’[/b] is a mournful despairing for water: subterranean Home Counties blues, if you will.Luke TurnerOrder a copy of Richard Youngs’ ‘Amplifying Host’ from Amazon .
If a press release were looking for possible carrots to dangle, they would do well to match the enticing tag-team employed by Jagjaguwar to introduce Richard Young’s Amplifying Host. This new record, we are told, could possible settle somewhere close to Ry Cooder’s dusty Paris, Texas score, instantly conjuring welcome images of a record with half-open eyes cast out across a sparse American wilderness whose only purpose is to play host to those who want to forget how to think, how to talk and how to feel, as they gladly let the space swallow them whole. Secondly, it mentions that Young is joined here on drums by erstwhile Galaxie 500 man Damon Krukowski.