Tuesday 23 July 2013

Yonderboi - Passive Control

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

With the opening lines "I want to believe in the nobility of the human spirit, I want to believe the horrors we witness and the misery we feel is temporary...", 'Passive Control' continues to reel off a speech about the human state and the strength of positive thought and actions, it's almost as though Yonderboi is trying to pass on a powerful message to heal humanity. Then the song ends with "...but you've caught me at a bad moment, and I can't." Not only does this prove to us that we're not in for an album's worth of pseudo-hippy nonsense, it also shows that the Hungarian producer has a sense of humour. Plus there's the irony that 'Passive Control' is a load of fun and probably will help to soothe your soul.

The eleven songs here are a varied bunch that give you a mini voyage through sound, both organic and digital but, unlike some albums that loosely fit the "electronica" bracket, not a moment is wasted, no tracks are overlong and none are filler. It's the ideas here that make this album work so well, and Yonderboi doesn't seem to have a formula to work to. After the spoken word opener we dive straight into an acoustic guitar which is gradually adorned with percussion and bass until 'I Am CGI' resembles something not unlike the work of Four Tet, so we know he can do folktronica. With songs like 'Roast Pigeon' he combines the acoustic and electronic even more, forming a dark and hypnotic version of modern electro-pop, and that guitar crops up again on 'Hunting On The Wall', another foreboding song that's lightened by a softer vocal and touches of '90s trance.

Potential single material isn't hard to find. We've already featured the excellent 'Come On Progeny', add to that the throbbing and moody 'She Complains' which hangs over you like a dark cloud, but is fabulously additive thanks to the strong female vocal and also touches upon trip-hop with those big beats. 'Brighter Than Anything' has the same potential, being a substantial track that's instantly gratifying but brings in an edginess. Aside from these we've given the exotic and inspiring 'Mono De Oreo', the cosmic soul of 'Synchronicity' and ambient big beat on 'Inexhaustible Well'. Round that off with another unusual spoken word track with maudlin strings called 'After The Snap' and you have a diverse, varied and never dull electronica album that deserves all the praise it's had already and all that it is yet to reap.

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