Article by KevW
On his current EP 'El Yunque', Arizonan musician Youceff Kabal delivers a platter of ambient soundscapes (not the boring variety where nothing much actually happens) along with a modern form of dreampop that's fairly upbeat and easily absorbed, whilst also being so laid-back it might as well be sipping a cocktail in the pool on a lilo. You could put 'El Yunque' in the same bracket as jj in the way it absorbs more tropical influences. All six tracks are worth investigating, and all are available as a name-your-price download, but maybe shining that bit brightest is opener 'Two Halves'.
It's the most abrasive song here (although using the word "abrasive" is pushing it; this is chilled to perfection and still made for relaxing to in the sun), which perhaps makes it the most immediate too. Along with a repetitive, almost spidery guitar line, are shuffling beats, soft vocals and what sound as though they began life as jagged edges, only to be gradually eroded into the smoother forms they now occupy. Arizona must be a pretty hot place this time of year, and it sounds like the heat has gone to Youceff Kabal's head; 'Two Halves' feels as though you've just jumped into a pool for refreshment, and it's a great feeling.
Youceff Kabal's website
Buy the EP
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