Electronic Sound 54 – Factory Records

Issue 54 of the inestimable Electronic Sound is out now, and its major focus is on the enduring legacy of Anthony Wilson’s Factory Records.

As Mute’s artist-led focus has continued since becoming a fully independent enterprise again, the borders between the Factory back catalogue and Mute have become fuzzy; New Order now call Mute home, and A Certain Ratio‘s entire back catalogue is now looked after by Daniel Miller‘s imprint. The latest issue features interviews with ACR and Stephen Morris of New Order / Joy Division, while the accompanying double 7-inch single issued with the bundle (now sold out) features the single version of ACR’s ‘Knife Slits Water’, presented alongside tracks from Factory stalwarts The Durutti Column and Section 25, as well as the oft-overlooked Minny Pops, in a gatefold sleeve that nods reverentially in the direction of the original Factory Sampler EP.

This month I contributed a short introductory feature on Alice Hubble, the alias of Alice Hubley from Arthur & Martha. You can read a short interview with Hubley over at my Further. blog as part of a series of micro-features called 3 Questions. I also reviewed albums by Pere Ubu, Tenderlonius, sometime Jaki Liebezeit collaborator Burnt Friedman, a fine Erland Apseneth album on Hubro and a various artists record fusing the natural sounds of Michigan with intelligent sound responses.

I also reviewed the excellent new Yeasayer album, Erotic Reruns. My interview with Anand Wilder from the band can be found here.

Buy Electronic Sound here.

(c) Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence for Electronic Sound

Yeasayer (Clash feature, 2019)

Yeasayer‘s fifth album, Erotic Reruns, was released today via their own Yeasayer Records. The LP saw the trio of Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton and Anand Wilder returning to the live compositional style of their earliest releases, taking their inspiration from 70s MOR, personal relationships and the prevailing US political environment.

To coincide with the release, I spoke to the band’s Anand Wilder for Clash about the genesis of the album, leaving the comfort blanket of record labels behind and the necessary tensions within this enduring New York group.

Read the Clash interview here.

Buy Erotic Reruns from Yeasayer’s website.

(c) 2019 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence for Clash.

Documentary Evidence 2016 Top 10 Albums: 8. Yeasayer ‘Amen & Goodbye’

“At its best when it stops trying to be overly clever and instead rushes shamelessly into the slick pop that has run throughout Yeasayer’s career.” – Electronic Sound

Album number four from Yeasayer had a title that suggested some sort of full stop, but whose music suggested the trio were finding new ways of writing music and exciting experimental angles to exploit. In spite of that foray into slightly odder areas, opening track ‘I Am Chemistry’ and the stand-out ‘Silly Me’ are among this Brooklyn band’s finest moments.

I found myself listening to this album a lot over the summer, and kicked myself for not responding to an opportunity to interview Chris Keating from the band for a second time.

I reviewed this for Electronic Sound. Back issues are available from http://www.electronicsound.co.uk

(c) 2016 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Yeasayer – Chris Keating (Clash interview, 2012)

This past week I’ve been listening to Amen & Goodbye, the fourth Yeasayer album due for release by Mute on April 1st, which I’ve reviewed for Electronic Sound.

Way back in 2012, I had the great privilege of getting to interview the band’s Chris Keating (above right) ahead of a second intimate show at Islington’s The Lexington to promote the upcoming release of their third album, Fragrant World.
My Clash interview can be found here. I still think of it as one of my favourites.

(c) 2016 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence  

Tegan And Sara – Closer (Yeasayer Remix) (Sire single, 2013)

Tegan And Sara 'Closer (Remixes)' download artwork

Closer (Remixes) single | Sire | 2013

Yeasayer remixed ‘Closer’ by Calgary’s identical twins Tegan and Sara Quin. The result is a frantic, jerking sprawl of electro beats and buzzing synths that seem to be operating on the very edge of control while retaining a hypnotic, human quality. Tegan and Sara offer a delicate, warm and sensual delivery, full of yearning, desire, Eighties New Wave vocal reminiscences and sweet harmonies. Yeasayer’s approach to reconstructing and redeveloping the track’s music offsets that longing with a more desperate, needful edge, like a horny malfunctioning robot with its circuits focussed on one singular deviant goal.

First posted 2013; re-posted 2014.

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Gotye – Eyes Wide Open (Yeasayer Remix) (Universal single, 2012)

Gotye 'Eyes Wide Open' download artwork

Eyes Wide Open (Remixes) single | Universal | 2012

Yeasayer remixed Dutch-Australian Gotye’s ‘Eyes Wide Open’ single in 2012. Their version is a slow, sensual mix that sounds like it should have been recorded many, many moons ago for one of those late-night radio request shows where people dedicate songs to people they love / want to hook up with / need a soundtrack for sex with, though backward sounds, metallic snares and big synths provide a modern twist. It’s a side to Yeasayer not heard on their own material, but it lacks that ingredient that makes their own music so utterly confounding.

First published 2012; re-posted 2014

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

Simian Mobile Disco & Chris Keating – Audacity Of Huge (Wichita, 2009)

Simian Mobile Disco 'Temporary Pleasure' album artwork

Temporary Pleasure album | Wichita | 2009

Get past the processed vocal that sounds a little like an Adam Buxton pisstake of a Basement Jaxx track and you’ll find Yeasayer‘s Chris Keating namechecking everything from Bill Murray to Peter Tosh, to minidiscs to robot vacuum cleaners. Keating here sounds like a Nineties Bret Easton Ellis’s Patrick Bateman in hyper-privileged savvy metrosexual overdrive (sorbet, high fashion, exclusive social set), only tinged with anguish with the question ‘I’ve got it all / You know it’s true / So why don’t I have you?‘ Simian Mobile Disco sculpt a bleeping, jerky techno pop backdrop to Keating’s tortured soul-pop performance.

Thanks to M for telling me about this one. I’m re-posting this short review since I’m currently writing about the new Simian Mobile Disco album (Whorl) for Electronic Sound.

First published 2012; re-edited 2014

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence