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YL Hooi - Untitled LP

YL Hooi - Untitled LP

Efficient Space

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A masterful contribution to the ambient pop cannon. This impressively seamless and cohesive assemblage of tunes has become an obsessive listen over the past year.

‘Untitled' was initially released in 2019 through Altered States Tapes and has now been given a very deserved vinyl treatment thanks to Efficient Space.

The exploration of evocative moods is achieved with an unbelievable amount of restraint and economy and serves as a fluid soundtrack especially suited to contemplative and solitary listening.

Floating atmospheric swells and passages utilising synthesizers, chiming minimal guitars and disembodied vocals rich in echo are anchored by a lead horn section on the track 'When Yr Up There'. Add melodic dubwise basslines, occasional percussive rhythms and firmly grounded field recordings of dog barks and bird calls among other natural phenomenon.

The cover of Love Joys' 'Stranger' is stripped bare and deconstructed, retaining the spirit of the original yet having a unique interpretation that doesn't attempt plain imitation. Some lyrics are included on the back cover, inviting a glimpse into the deep echo chamber without giving too much away to well, strangers.

Comparisons are a shabby affair sometimes, but I found myself wanting to listen to the languid drawl of HTRK's 'Psychic 9-5 Club', Nico & The Faction's live album 'Fata Morgana' and The Flying Lizards' 'Fourth Wall' in quick succession upon hearing 'Untitled'. Production chops are assisted by Tarquin Manek and the synergy between the two is to be commended as it is one of the best releases of both 2019 and 2021 (so far).
- Toto