Mikey Young: Your Move Vol. 1 12"

Mikey Young: Your Move Vol. 1 12"


Tags: · 10s · melodic · post-punk · synth-punk
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"We love MIKEY YOUNG. We love his bands (TOTAL CONTROL, EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING, OOGA BOOGAS, etc.). We love his production. We love his sense of humor. We love his fashion choices… you probably get the idea. We had the idea for a synth-driven solo series in May of 2016. Mikey had already done so much for us—mixing, mastering, being an all-around homie, and we knew we wanted Mikey to be a part of the series. Actually we wanted Mikey to kick it off. The series became Your Move, the Synthtastic Solo Series For Humans 8+ and Mikey’s debut became the first volume. Here are the rules—the music must be synth-driven, but is not limited to synths, and the artwork is chess-inspired. Why chess? Well, we wanted to have an interactive portion of the series—each artist (white pieces) selects a move and we, the label, (black pieces) respond. With each volume, a new move is made. Chess as a conceptual centerpiece was pragmatic—chess matches take a long time to finish, so this ensures longevity. Also, chess rules! As anyone who knows him can attest, Mikey’s incredibly modest. When we first got the files from him, he wrote “see if you like any of this stuff. I can’t tell if it’s good, boring, weird, predictable, lazy…” It was perfect - everything we wanted it to be and more. The five files he sent us became Your Move Vol. 1. On these songs, Mikey combines his compositional prowess with precision and enthusiasm. They are joyous, exciting, and hopeful, testaments to the human capacity to create something indestructibly beautiful.

Our take: Solo debut from Australian Mikey Young, who you may know as the guitarist of Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, the Ooga Boogas, and others I’m sure. While Young’s work with bands spans a pretty wide breadth, this solo project seems to extend the line of thought begun on Total Control tracks like “Liberal Party” and “The Hunter.” However, since none of these tracks have vocals, the overall vibe is quite different. I really like how it’s tough to pin a genre tag on Your Move Vol 1… though there’s a steady pulse, the beat isn’t insistent enough to call it dance music, and though the instrumentation is largely similar the lack of vocals keeps it from being classified alongside new wave and minimal synth music like the early Human League. Instead, the closest thing that I can think of vibe-wise is non-heavy Krautrock like Neu!, Kraftwerk circa Autobahn, or maybe Harmonia. The layering of sounds is quite dense (mostly synth and drum machine, though I do hear a little bit of bass and I think even a heavily treated guitar at one point), but that steady pulse holds it all together as you listen to the different sounds swoop in and out of the mix. This is the kind of album I can have on in the background while I’m reading, or it can hold my sole attention if I’m listening to it while I’m working out. It’s really a beautiful little record, and if you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned I think this is well worth your time.