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Adrian Younge – Memories of War {2016}

Something About April II is the sequel to Adrian Younge’s first part from 2011 (both on Linear Labs). He’s done his 1960s/70s Funk and Psychedelic homework and translates the (for him) best moments of the era into his handmade contemporary music with a retro feel. I like that it sounds analogue and feels not like a rip-off and rather like a homage. And for me personally a bonus, it’s nice to hear Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) on the album. Younge’s has been successful after the release of his first album, he’s been sampled by DJ Premier and Jay-Z and made an album with the Ghostface Killah in 2015. Nice to know that Psychedelic music can sound fresh and contemporary. A good album, my favorite track is still on the first album, though. I guess Adrian Younge could find a lot of great inspiration on Pie in the sky (not that he would actually look 😉 – or he already knows the most stuff anyway. What is bugging me a little is that it is perfectly done in terms of songwriting, production and performing but doesn’t really sound surprising or adds something uniquely creative and distinctive, but that’s probably complaining on the highest level.

“In the four years since the release of Something About April, Adrian Younge has been coined America’s black genius: the evocation of analog vestige in a digital era. His majestic music has garnered him reverence, likened to Ennio Morricone’s best work and the Beatles’ tenacity to create new sounds. Making an indelible impression on modern vinyl heads and producers alike (having been sampled by DJ Premier, Jay-Z, Common, 50 Cent) the Something About April brand is an axiom to the modern “Breakbeat,” and Linear Labs is happy to announce its successor: Something About April II.

Recorded with a collection of rare instruments, Something About April II advances Younge’s musical paradigm with enterprising concepts, and grander compositions, synthesizing the boundaries between dark American soul, and classic European cinema. This latest release features an array of entrancing vocalists: Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) and Bilal, perform duets on “Step Beyond” and “La Ballade,” reminiscent of duets from Serge Gainsborg & Jane Birkin; Raphael Saadiq blends “Black Jazz” vocals with psychedelic soul on “Magic Music,” while Israeli star, Karolina, delivers haunting chants over concertos like “Hear my love” and “Winter is Here.” Long time Adrian Younge collaborator Loren Oden croons as if the apparent ghost of Donnie Hathaway created one last love song with “Sandrine” and “Sittin’ by the Radio.”

Younge is the experimental spirit of the modernist vanguard, looking into the past to create the future. What this album extrapolates from vinyl culture, will become further magnified by its sampling down the line. Something About April II will replace the former as a holy grail for producers and collectors alike…”


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