Richard Youngs

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Prepared Guitar, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Prepared Guitar

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    Richard Youngs is a British musician who operating as a solo artist as well as in cooperation with an international network of independent artists, and who may point to a highly varied as well as successful output. Childhood in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire emigrated to Glasgow, since the early 1990s. The list of his numerous publications begins with the album Advent, from 1990. While his main instrument is the guitar, he is also known for making use of a wide range of other instruments:including the shakuhachi, accordion, theremin, dulcimer, a home-made synthesizer (common on early recordings) and even a motorway bridge. He also released an album which was entirely a cappella. In a review of his CD Festival, from 1996, the journal Melody Maker characterized him as the

    “grand-meister of contemporary British improv, spiritual son of Eddie Prevost and Maddy Prior; gentle manipulator of English hymn-notics and religious incantations; protege, challenger and radicaliser of folk, blues, rock, minimalism and improvisation; translator for the sea and the rain and the sky; ambassador to war and peace, to love and anguish.”

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    His music ranges from pure experimental, instrumental, minimal, and avant-garde through to folk-inspired songwriting and progressive rock, to electronics. In his more experimental projects with Simon Wickham-Smith and Brian Lavelle, the cacophonous roar is closer in style to '90s noise underground artists such as the Dead C, Sun City Girls, and White Winged Moth. Early works were characterized by a somewhat minimalist lo-fi production quality, with Youngs working mostly on a reel-to-reel 4-track machine or recording directly to minidisc. However, he has been using professional standard computer-based recording systems for over a decade.



    For many years, live performances were very occasional and almost always in Glasgow; he has stated publicly that he finds live performance "incredibly nerve-racking: stomach cramps, tension headaches...". However, in recent years, he has performed more regularly (including a tour of New Zealand in 2010 and a UK tour in support of Damon and Naomi in 2011) and many of his recent shows have been predominantly vocal - he told The Wire (issue 284) "I went to a laptop concert and decided I was going to sing".



    His music has been noted for its diversity, with Dusted saying that he had been "defying strict genre classifications since the early nineties, swapping labels, styles, partners, motifs, and recording techniques as the desire has struck him". He has been recording for most of his life, telling Foxy Digitalis that "I've made music as long as I can remember - ever since I was a child - and recorded the stuff as long as I've had the technology - I began with a cheap cassette player. So, it's strange to think what it'd be like not to make or record music. It seems unnatural!".

    http://youtu.be/QDR4-VJxMx4" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">

    A keen collaborator, he has released albums with Matthew Bower, Brian Lavelle, Neil Campbell, Stephen Todd, Makoto Kawabata, Alex Neilson, Andrew Paine (under their given names and under the group names Ilk and Urban Parable), Telstar Ponies, and his longest standing partner, Simon Wickham-Smith. He has performed live with Heather Leigh Murray, Vibracathedral Orchestra and also with Matthew Bower's groups Sunroof! and Skullflower. He was also a member of the collective A Band.

    http://youtu.be/8vCVqPJ3HrY" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">

    Youngs has also gained attention from his live performances for the notoriously reclusive American avant-folk/blues singer-songwriter Jandek. Youngs can be heard on the Glasgow Sunday, Newcastle Sunday and Glasgow Monday albums, which were recorded at Jandek's first 3 (known) live performances. He also appears on Glasgow Friday and Camber Sands Sunday.

    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/vhfrecords/sets/richard-youngs-simon-wickham[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    He has recorded for over a dozen independent record labels, with VHF releasing much of his collaborative work and Jagjaguwar issuing many of his solo albums, their first being a reissue of Sapphie. Other labels have included Dekorder, Fourth Dimension, Freek, Fusetron, Majora, Table of the Elements, Volcanic Tongue and his own labels, beginning with Jabberwok in the 1980s, and then the self-deprecatingly named No Fans Records.

    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/miemusic/sets/richard-youngs-regions-of-the[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    Richard founded No Fans Records 1990 and he releases only his own solo and collaborative work through the imprint with some items released in very small numbers. A number of No Fans releases have been reissued in larger editions by other labels.

    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/miguel-copon/sets/richard-youngs[/SOUNDCLOUD]

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

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