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Richard Youngs: The Naive Shaman
Richard Youngs: The Naive Shaman
Artist Richard Youngs
Album The Naive Shaman
Label Jagjaguwar Records
Released 9/6/2005
Purchase www.amazon.com
Richard Youngs has been making music for over two decades. The Naive Shaman, released in dual format (cd and lp), is a deeply personal work. Created on a computer at home, it is a high density digital song cycle driven by heavy, heavy electric bass guitar.

The opening "Life On A Beam" combines a modal vocal line with throbbing sonics and non-linear percussion. Elsewhere a plaintive voice threads itself through frosted atmospherics and we hear Richard's first recorded kazoo work since 1992's New Angloid Sound. At the core of the album is "Sonar In My Soul", a bass loop on to which are collaged strangulated guitar, singing and more singing. The track climaxes in a hollered plea for "unity". The second half of the set contrasts "Once It Was Autumn", a succintly crafted dub chant, with the epic "Summer's Edge II", whose sprawling 16+ minutes anchor a floating vocal melody and free-flowing drums with fuzzed bass octaves.

At a time when he has increased his commitment to live performance, Richard has--paradoxically--produced an album that explores recording technology as an instrument, a work where song is modulated by sound. By critics and true music fans everywhere, Youngs has been deemed the king of the progressive minimalists. He has now released seven full-length records in addition to multiple collaborations with other artists such as Makoto Kawabata (of Acid Mothers Temple fame), Simon Wickham-Smith and Neil Campbell.

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