Movement in a Storm
James Yuill offers a quiet yet urgent sound, sort of like getting a tweet telling you the flood waters are rising and you have 24 hours to evacuate. He’s on the high ground and safe, and in his basement there’s a drum machine covered with a warm vacuum-tube bass hum. On the main floor are Yuill’s vocals; they don’t SOUND modified, but they feel like something has been shifted, putting his voice just on the precipice of the Uncanny Valley. Up in the attic, a flock of loose notes batt against the window pane, hoping for release, catharsis, or just the feeling that they are alive. With interior décor by the Pet Shop Boys and lawn care by a bunch of glow-stick-waving kids, this house music is prime property located in the heart of a modern electronica gated community.
“First in Line” could chart — it’s soft and pleasant with that edge of urgency electronica lives on. “Foreign Show” takes a more folk/acoustic path with its unplugged church organ lurking behind the apse, and Yuill seems more disconnected vocally. We head back to the dancefloor by “Ray Gun,” but the journey with Mr. Yuill took us into some very unusual soundscapes while never losing the concept of keeping time and melody in place. Yuill might be obscure, but once you discover him, it’s like having a private, hip retreat where you can relax or invite friends.
Moshi Moshi Records: www.moshimoshimusic.com