Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Young Magic-Breathing Statues

Carpark Records

Young Magic, a Brooklyn, New York-based act (by way of Australia (producer Isaac Emmanuel who, prior to 2010, first conceived of Young Magic as being some sort of solo project ) and Indonesia (vocalist Melati Malay) with the New York underground dance scene serving to split the difference!), are on their second feature full-length project (or is that soundtrack in this case given the hazy sound-scape vibe?) with the recently-released "Breathing Statues". As an endearing (if oddly cold and abrupt) female fronted psychedelic rock band dressed up in electronic garb (and made over with atmospheric post-shoegazer tricks of the trade) a group of Young Magic's potential could easily slide between studio-project and potential (full-fledged band on the run) live outing and no one would blink an eye, but how exactly does that work-out when it's just you, your stereo and nothing but silence serving as the starting point? Mostly, given the experimental nature of all of this (even as it's meant to be absorbed via familiar waves of (pick and choose) synth-lines and mystic percussion), it comes across as if it's more of a pattern of carefully-assembled electronic components then music as, well, real music but it still serves a point...whatever that might be. At it's best it's all sincere and relaxing, putting one in the proper mood to embrace computerized sounds, process them and then fall in line with the new standard of inorganic song-structures. And it's hard to argue against the process when it certainly pulses through your body making you move involuntarily. That's not to say it's (to take a page from R.E.M.) music meant for "Shiny Happy People". Not in the least as there's a dark underbelly to "Breathing Statues". Far from warm and fuzzy, Young Magic's "Breathing Statues" is often bleak! Of course I alone could embrace that as I've long-loved dark wave, post-rock and goth rock (the more bitter the better!), but it's the lack of real instrumentation that holds an album like this chained to the ground. Had "Breathing Statues" taken a moment to breath, relax it's constricting song-structures and embrace the full-possibilities at the disposal of indie bands these days then this one could have been great! Instead it's a so-so album that means well, but doesn't deliver on it's promise.... 

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