Richard Youngs; Varispeed EtudesGolden Lab
ROWF 064 LP
Long Playing Record
140-gram LP in heavyweight UV-coated sleeve. Limited edition of 300. Varispeed Etudes was conceived by revered, quixotic, Glasgow-based avant-garde populist Richard Youngs very much as an analog "record of two halves" in the spirit of David Bowie's Low (1977) and Heaven 17's Penthouse and Pavement (1981).
Side A showcases Youngs's bent for electronic experimentation and those inimitable, hauntingly reedy, standard English vocal tones that have placed him squarely alongside a peer group of the UK's vocalizing weirdos that includes Robert Wyatt, Ivor Cutler, and Charles Hayward. Side B strips away the vocals and replaces the electronics with a series of shorter, dissonant, slow-moving, acoustic clatterbang soundscapes.
The whole thing is "held together by the joy of varispeed pitch control -- major delight of reel-to-reel recording" and it's as rich, conceptually oblique, throwaway, but important as anything in Youngs's catalog.