Friday 30 November 2012

Review: Yusuf Azak – Go Native

Yusuf Azak – Go Native (Song, by Toad Records)
Whilst earlier releases (EPs and 2010’s debut LP, “Turn On The Long Wire”) were heavily tiered with vocal loops and reversed guitar, Yusuf Azak’s sound has recently mellowed and become more melodic, brighter and altogether more accessible, though the music he makes still presses to fill the aural space. It’s provocative of the ‘70s, with double tracking and lo-fi, yet lush, layers. 

His surreal, nonsensical and fantastical lyrics are interwoven with intricate finger pickings, beautifully heart wrenching piano (“Swim”) and the Mellotron on “Immunity or Rescue” adds a churchy tone. The inimitable vocals – an undeniable signature - are edgily multi-tracked and sound like they came straight from Twin Peaks’ Black Lodge; the dialogue for “The Man From Another Place” was spoken and recorded backwards then reversed!

Azak’s passion for strangeness, his acid-folk leanings and elaborate wall of sound conjure images of a gathering of Lindisfarne, ELO, Davey Graham and Devendra Banhart, caught in the bubble of a distant memory.

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