Release Date: Oct 29, 2013
Record label: Tough Love
This past weekend, YouTube hosted its first-ever music awards show as a self-congratulatory nod to the role it's played this past decade in facilitating the breakthroughs of our most famous pop stars and novelty-hit atrocities alike. But for music fans who came of age in the pre-internet era, the site has served a more practical, psychologically mollifying function: It’s helped verify the occurrence of events that, for decades, we thought we had simply hallucinated. For instance, thanks to YouTube, one can confirm that: a) Joan Rivers did indeed have a late-night talk show in the 80s; b) Suzanne Somers was its occasional fill-in host; and c) one night in 1987, U.K.
10 minutes into their debut album, Yvette ask a rhetorical question. “Can you feel it falling apart?” Noah Kardos-Fein’s unaccompanied vocal at the end of ‘Mirrored Walls’ is the only moment on ‘Process’, initially released in America last year, that doesn’t haemorrhage noise. Perversely titled, colossal opener ‘Pure Pleasure’ heralds a deeply unsettling 33-minute work of destruction.
Brooklyn-based abstract noise duo Yvette have been making a name for themselves on New York's underground scene for the past five years. Ever since their self-titled EP came out in 2010, they've gradually established themselves as one of the most progressive experimental outfits on the circuit. Founder member Noah Kardos-Fein shreds guitars, while recent addition to the fold Dale Eisinger provides (mostly) caustic beats.
The contemporary notion of consumerism entails that the end product is more important than the process itself of engineering something. Yet, there’s a life unto the creation of an object in itself — resourcefulness, scrappiness, and improvisation hold a value that celebrates humanity’s continued work amidst the growing prominence of machines. Eardrum-assailing Brooklyn duo YVETTE count among the rebellious faction interested as much in the process as the product.
At its core, Process, the new album from Brooklyn duo Yvette, is mood music. It’s just that the “mood” in question is one of looming dread. There has been a tendency to define the icy, angular aesthetic of the band as “industrial,” and indeed, the term is accurate if you consider the ways in which the variably pounding, cutting, and shrieking sounds which Yvette produces sound like they were made from sharp refuse lying around on a factory floor, and recorded in the same unheated, cavernous space.
As my grandfather used to say while sitting me on his knee and tossing Werther's Original after Werther's Original into my tiny virginal face until every last one of my teeth had crumbled into dusty residue, "you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, a person by the colour of their skin, or a popular beat combo by their dodgy band name" (though even Grandpappy himself was forced to admit that Dodgy had a dodgy name and they turned out to be well dodgy). Now an aged toothless Englishman, I cannot help but associate the name Yvette with professional pretender-that-ghosts-actually-bloody-exist Yvette 'Most Haunted' Fielding or else Yvette 'Not Mrs. Balls' Cooper, the Shadow Home Secretary who for some reason declined taking the surname of her husband Ed (ho ho ho, it means testicles, don't you know).
Yvette Process (God Mode) "Cuts Me in Half" opens with a blurting, red-alert alarm, the sound of someone cruelly bending a guitar to their will. Serrated cymbals (Rick Daniel) and manic screeches (Noah Kardos-Fein), Yvette stands as one of those New York duos that isn't afraid to get dirty every once in a while. The cold, foreboding world of post punk filters through the two-man wrecking crew, the sounds on Process summoned up from some macabre mechanical hell.