CD Airs of the Ear (CD 1002589),
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Airs of the Ear

  • 1. Life on the Stream
    2. Oh My Stars
    3. Fire Horse Rising
    4. Halifax Amore
    5. Machaut's Dream
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 59

  • Credits

    Personnel: Richard Youngs (acoustic 12-string guitar, electric guitar, organ, electric bass, ring modulator, Theremin).
    Recording information: Glasgow, Scotland (2002).
    Airs of the Ear could have been an annoyingly precious or boring album if Richard Youngs didn't manage to get it just right. The vocals are breathy and mournful; the fingerpicked guitar lines provide a minimal, repetitive framework for the songs; the sound effects tend to be discordant and spacy (as you might expect from someone who uses ring modulation, square wave, and theremin); and the album contains only five songs, including one that lasts over 17 minutes. But the psychedelic folk tunes are suitably pretty, the repetition seems deliberately trancelike instead of self-indulgently aimless, and Youngs knows how to overdub guitars and work with effects to cultivate the desired mood. Granted, there is still a chance that you may feel sleepy by the time "Machaut's Dream" finishes. But if you're a fan of Youngs' previous work or are interested in intimate, folk-inspired experimental rock, then you may find this album captivating. ~ Todd Kristel

  • Critic Reviews
    Uncut (6/03, p.128) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Youngs' voice, fragile yet tough, is the perfect warp to the hypnotic weft of Eastern drones, circular riffs and raga-like meditations..."
    The Wire (4/03, p.66) - "...Youngs remains one of the great English vocalists and, like Robert Wyatt, he has convincingly established his own voice without playing down or overemphasizing its natural characteristics..."
    Mojo (Publisher) (5/03, p.98) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Youngs uses electric guitar, bass and the electronic sounds of a Theremin, ring modulator and square wave generator to add some otherworldly psychedelic layers....The results are singularly beautiful..."
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