YACHT: Shangri-La (DFA) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Jul 28, 2011 YACHT Bookmark and Share

Here’s YACHT, surfacing for another round on DFA, continuing roughly where they left off on 2009’s See Mystery Lights, with the kind of stripped-down, danceable fare that made their move to DFA appropriate, and a continued/expanding salvo of cheeky, pseudo-cultish conceptualism. This time the latter aspect is kicked up an extra notch via admonishing sci-fi style interstitial voiceovers (“we are capable of heaven and hell in equal measure”), and an overarching conceptual bent that asserts the future “is a blank slate upon which anything can be imposed.”

In fact, maybe we should just go with a longer quote from the group’s press release: “Paradise is kinetic potential, a latency within us that has been eaten alive by time. In line with the existing emphasis on self-empowerment in the YACHT philosophy, our idea of ‘Utopia’ is personal. We believe that the only real sustainable paradise is in our minds, and hence creative output can be a tangible piece of the Utopia within each individual.”

There you have it. Make sense? Perhaps the buzz will kick in when you let go and enjoy the raging bassline and four-on-the-floor beats driving “Utopia.” Right away the oft-mentioned Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads comparisons are validated, with a few more BPM for good measure, and each tune torn down to vamp level and built back up to full propulsion. “Holy Roller” takes more of a left-turn approach, with saxophone pick-ups later giving way to dubstep wobble bass and vocoder madness.

“Tripped & Fell in Love” gets out the Kraftwerk kold wave, a slinky dancefloor (that adjective’s redundant with YACHT) number with a monster chorus and great “on-the-ands” strut.

And ultimately we end up in “Shangri-la,” with its string section and repeated hook of “Shangri-la-la-la-la-la…” explicitly reminiscent of The Kinks tune of the same name. And just as with Ray Davies’ ironic pastoral paradise, one is left wonderingor wanderingabout the house that YACHT built. (www.teamyacht.com)

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