There's probably two ways one would be in the know about Dennis Young. Either as founding member of Liquid Liquid or by his solo privately released synthesizer cassettes from the 1980's under the name, Dennis Andrew. This album lands somewhere in the middle, or rather, way outside either of those. Dennis's synthesizers and rhythmic sensibilities are what draw the thread through the work.
Over 56 minutes of unreleased archival recordings presented across two continuous 28+ minute sides. Guitar, synth, and voice are the palette. Recorded in Dennis Young's home studio in Edison, New Jersey on New Year's Eve 12/31/1982. The music is Free Improv -and radical in both senses- a deep dark space for the brave to explore. It's a hard one to connect to a lot of other music, but emotionally it fits with some real out early psychedelic stuff. Private music heads should be way into it.
The album begins with the unceasing gentle strumming of odd chords on a questionably tuned acoustic guitar. This tender intro lulls the listener to attention. The unrelenting rhythm is the only thing alluding to the trajectory of the musical expanse as this light touch evaporates into a cloud of confusion and bummer trip ecstatic space primitivism. Once focus has been established, a childlike voice appears, improvising lyrics with the previous year being the abstract subject matter. An outburst of frantic maligned strums and the guitar rings out. Silence for a moment. Rhythmic guitar creeps back in, now accompanied by voice and sparse synth obscured by heavy analog tape echoes. You can hear the room. At this point "Jandek-In-Space" is the best descriptor and with the same unsettling mystery one experiences from a Corwood Industries release. After another short rest, the guitar is abandoned in exchange for full on abstract electronic rhythm and dubbed out vocal transmission and salutation. Madness set in. From here on out, Side A is a slowly unfolding barrage of somewhat nuanced chaos.
Side B fades in, acoustic guitar returned, maniacally strummed, almost drowned out by seasick phase shifted drone and mechanical sounding noise and bubbly delay repeats. After a while this feverish cacophony dismantles to reveal only the mid-range sideways insect drone and some beginners mind keyboard improv. Microphone feedback fills the audio spectrum from time to time. Halfway through this side, it seems like all the machines have awoken and make brief appearances at the whim of the performer. The strangeness is unrelenting. The apex of the bum trip lasts for the duration. At some point the thick unsettling drone is left to oscillate on its own until filter sweeps and unpredictable yet somewhat more intelligible notes with electric guitar feedback tones take over like a keyboard rendition of something on Sonic Youth's SYR series. After all this, it politely fades out and lets the listener off easy -nearly an hour later.
If you are unafraid, this is a rewarding journey, truly unlike any other. The mind's eye provides a very colorful image of the artist alone in his studio at a creative peak of his career. Experimental -to say the very least.
released March 31, 2017
all rights reserved