If there’s one thing to expect from a new Young Fathers album, it’s expertly crafted sensory overload. The three Scotsmen Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and G. Hastings have also succeeded in doing this on album number four: Produced entirely on their own, HEAVY HEAVY embraces the chaos instead of wanting to tame it.
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Hip hop, a genre often attributed to the trio, is only in small doses, more likely a new Scottish Afrofuturism: In “Rice” or the galloping “Drum” at full speed, polyrhythmic thunderstorms inspired by Afrobeats are unleashed, flanked by gospel-like ones chants. Sounds like the once great TV On The Radio let off steam in the padded cell. A common construction principle: almost every song ends up being something different than when it started. The pieces take on ballast as they progress, condense towards the end, until they wallow in bombast.
The single “I Saw” ends in hymn-like glory. Album closer “Be Your Lady” then adopts the principle of chaos completely, at some point you are faced with a symphonic wall of voices that suggest 33 band members. Or are seven records being played at the same time? The trio sometimes wants a little bit too much, applies a tad too thick. But that’s how it invents exciting new sounds along the way.
Author: Michael Prenner
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