Richard Youngs NO FANS COMPENDIUM 7CD Box Set
Richard Youngs NO FANS COMPENDIUM 7CD Box Set
NO FANS COMPENDIUM is a deluxe limited edition 7 CD set of Richard Youngs’ recordings for his long-running private NO FANS label. 5 CDs are Richard’s personal selection from his NO FANS releases, all of which were issued in tiny editions (20 – 50) and only available for sale at Richard’s rare shows or at Glasgow’s now defunct Volcanic Tongue shop. In addition, Richard has included two full discs of material previously unavailable in any form. Each disc is housed in an individual card folio with artwork re-purposed from the original releases.
NO FANS COMPENDIUM is a deluxe limited edition 7 CD set of Richard Youngs’ recordings for his long-running private NO FANS label. 5 CDs are Richard’s personal selection from his NO FANS releases, all of which were issued in tiny editions (20 – 50) and only available for sale at Richard’s rare shows or at Glasgow’s now defunct Volcanic Tongue shop. In addition, Richard has included two full discs of material previously unavailable in any form - a recording from 1989 pre-dating his earliest widely-known work, and a new recording from late 2014. Unbeatable as a survey of Richard’s career, everything here is of equal quality to his over-the-counter releases. In keeping with his penchant for unpredictable stylistic mashups and reinventions, there are folky laments, achingly beautiful “songs,” tape collage, rude prog noise, minimalist experiments, multi-tracked vocals, etc. Each disc is housed in an individual card folio with artwork re-purposed from the original releases.
Disc 1 - 20th Century Jams
As the title suggest, Pre-2000 recordings by Richard, some dating back to the 1980's! "19 Used Postage Stamps" is a live recording, with furiously strummed guitar and Richard's keening, untrained voice. "Inner Sky" is a long electric drone/voice composition, similar to some of his work with Simon Wickham-Smith and Brian Lavelle. "May Verses" has Richard multitracking his voice, with each word piling up in ever-changing combinations. "Live in My Head" is a shuddering piece of "what's that sound" electronics ala Youngs/Wickham-Smith, complete with a ripping monophonic synth interlude.
Disc 2 - 21st Century Jams
"Live in Glasgow" is another audience-mystifying tour-de-force, with Richard wordlessly vocalizing over what sounds like acoustic guitar accompaniment of 100% string squeak and scrape - not a riff in sight. "Easter 2001" is a drifting haze of ring-modulated belltone. "This Life Gives Force" has a more conventional vocal melody than much of the other material on this set, presaging the hypnotic minimalist "folk" of his recent albums. "Sun Lay Lay" is more human-scale musique concrete, with bizarre stereo panning, manipulated voice, and Richard playing the maracas.
Disc 3 - Multi-Tracked Shakuhachi/Live in Salford
Multi-Tracked Shakukachi is exactly what it sounds like - three compositions where the simple breathy sound of this most traditional of Japanese instruments is turned into a hailstorm of overtone. On Live in Salford, Richard blasts away on slide-whistle (!), creating chirping and overtone-saturated pitches that bring to mind gone-loco Steve Lacy playing a birdcall. There's a fabulous acapella version of "Another Day Of Gravity" at the end that has some of Richard's most animated "trad" singing.
Disc 4 - Somerled/No Home Like Place
Somerled starts with a bonkers "noise" organ jam that at least partially recalls the epic prog-style organ on Ilk's "Canticle" (vhf#87), seguing into the beautiful "Mixolydian Sea Tone," with vocal loops overlaying a drone that would have fit in perfectly on Eno's "Music for Airports" (!). “No Home Like Place” is more systems-type music, reminiscent of Terry Riley, Fripp/Eno, etc, but with an edgier, less formal atmosphere. Just beautiful.
Disc 5 - Three Handed Star/Garden of Stones
Three Handed Star is a long composition for accordion, voice, guitar, bass, and other instruments, starting as almost British-trad, shanty-ish conventional song and evolving into various wondrous permutations, punctuated by Richard’s occasional interjections of “Hey!”. One of the nuttiest, most appealing things in the whole R!!! catalog.
Garden of Stones surveys several different styles, from the polygot instrumental strategies of "1," the delicate folk stylings of "2," etc. Most of this is subdued and beautiful.
Disc 6 – Harpenden!
Remarkable excerpts from a private recording made by Richard in 1989 and gifted to Neil Campbell in an edition of 1. Roughly contemporaneous with his all-time classics "LAKE" and "Advent," this is remarkably fully-formed, with the instantly recognizable vocal and nylon string guitar of those early records delivered in deliriously minimalist settings. The crashing of "To The Hill" is the same technique as on LAKE's "Chord" – which was merely one of the best minimal gusts of all time. "The Dead Fly" is a lengthy mostly-wordless vocal + echo piece, presaging later work in this area, where echo was replaced by multitracked voice.
Disc 7 – Thought Plane
Previously unreleased 62 minute recording from 2014, an elegant long-form ambient accretion of gentle tones and wordless voice against a subdued and hypnotic sequencer pulse that eventually accelerates after more than 40 minutes into something more thorny. Not an exaggeration to say that this piece represents much of the wisdom hard-won via the type of in-depth experiment conducted elsewhere in the NO FANS catalog.