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An out of step, incidental artifact of peaceful sophistry, YS's "Brutal Flower" is a no airs and graces piece of cool, future-proof ambience and advanced breakbeat technologies. A modern ballad for brave young clubbers, local pubbers, slipstream warriors, and emotional doggers.

The distinctive aesthetic hallmarks of YS are all here: slabs of urban flavor from emotional interior; raw data straight from the interface. ‘Untethered’ and ‘Down’ are chopped-up cuts of searching R’n’B - jaded jams of lustful erasure. On the flipside, blunted desire lingers in ‘Fading Memory’. Both hopeful and mourning: this is the lay of the land in "Brutal Flowers" sharing that rare strain of underground synesthesia best located in dark undercurrents of early Mo Wax.

The orchestral ambience of ‘Autumn OST’ is a potent stupor of end credit cinematics. Coming up for air. It feels young in an ancient sort of way: pure as first snow. And from here in the album unfolds with the patience, tranquility and the expansive poise of a work that is for now and always. Pulsating gently to assured ending with ‘Be Together’ - a flickering skyline, swarming with warm memories. In between there’s flashes of heartbreak reminiscent of Beltran's 'Ten Days of Blue' and Blunt’s 'Stone Island' (‘Look Up’ feels like a sort of spiritual successor to ‘Wake up’), that being said, when push comes to shove it only it ever flirts with its own reality.

An aesthetic reflection of a creative process that is delicate and restless. Created in the edges, where long distances, fast cities and global melancholia are wrought large. Burning the midnight oil Berlin-Singapore style: from real to reel. A sentimental exercise of modern faith by old friends. With a nudge and a wink, 'Brutal Flower's is a (de)coded map of memories wavering with familiar intrigue. Patient listeners and the already initiated will be rewarded on re-visits - as playful & profound as you please, as deep as the heart.


Matt says: A real sugar-rush of modernism, intrigue and enthusiasm by Australia's Nipuna Jayasekera & Leon Wan. One of those LPs coursing with an alien, synthetic, but sincere emotion.


A1. Untethered
A2. FadingMemory
B1. Down
B2. Autumn'sOST
C1. Pilgrimage
C2. SomethingThat’sBeautiful
C3. LookUp
D1. ILuvU
D2. On A Train In 2035
D3. BeTogether

Joanna Newsom & The YS Street Band

The YS Street Band EP

    A new Joanna Newsom record already? Don't rub your eyes and ears just yet —it's 'just' an EP. But with all new arrangements and performances of two already-classic Joanna songs and the debut of a brand-new song, it's a solid short-play record at least — and another inspiring slice of Newsom at best! The EP was performed by Joanna's road-tested band: Kevin Barker, Neal Morgan, Dan Cantrell and Ryan Francesconi, with Joanna Newsom singing and playing her harp. Recorded and mixed in its entirety by Tim Green at The Plant Studios in Sausalito, California, it's an all-new, live and lively look into the world of one of today's fastest-growing young artists. Both formats feature "Colleen", "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie" and "Cosmia".

    Joanna Newsom


      Joanna's 2004 debut "Milk-Eyed Mender" established this classically-trained (I doubt you'd pluck around on one for fun!) harpist as an original jewel in the new acid-folk scene, but the name-checking pedigree on this follow-up is astonishing. Initially recorded by Steve Albini, strings directed by Van Dyke Parks and finally mixed by Jim 0'Rourke at Abbey Road, it also sees boyfriend Bill Callahan (of Smog) guesting on one song. I say 'song', but this is a vast, meandering five-track suite (and the album's 50 minutes plus) and whilst the vocals are less crazy, the musical ambition is mind-boggling. It's too early to tell how great it's going to be - this isn't 'pop music' - but this is definitely an album to lose yourself in, and an album that's come straight from the heart of its creator; raw, naked emotion but in the most lavish of settings. It's a mesmerising combination.

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