Richard Youngs and Alex Neilson – Partick Rain Dance

Richard Youngs and Alex Neilson – Partick Rain Dance

Partick Rain Dance is the third collaboration between Richard Youngs and drummer Alex Neilson, following on from 2004’s Beating Stars and Ourselves. Youngs and Neilson also worked together as the rhythm section for Jandek’s recent visit to Glasgow, issued as Glasgow Sunday. Partick Rain Dance starts off with nearly ten minutes of freeform noise that makes the sweet folk melody that emerges five minutes into “Music of the Last Sun” all the more poignant. Then the track morphs into a magical echo-laden trance of drums and fluttering tones, like one of the Dead’s freeform beatless acid interludes. After that there’s a wordless almost acappella lament called “Noatak Beacon”, followed by fifteen minutes of electrified gongs and feedback on “Mountain” and three minutes of spliced psychedelia on “Big Aero Planet”. Youngs’ music achieves its poignancy from the fusion of various methods of production of sublime vastness, such as drones (see Advent and Festival), free form psych freakouts (see Ilk’s Ceaucescu) and repetitive, intense balladry (see Sapphie), all mixed with a lofi, DIY aesthetic and humility that is charmingly at odds with the epic sound forms. Less than a masterpiece but always interesting, Partick Rain Dance, the newest addition to a vast and ever expanding Youngs discography is something of a blend of the various techniques and styles that Youngs has made his trademark, especially in his collaborations. I prefer to take my Youngs straight, but the energy and invention here remains undeniable.

Originally published in The Wire, 2007.

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