Melbourne musician/producer Mikey Young started life as a founder member for high-energy garage punks Eddy Current Suppression Ring, whilst playing a part in producing the likes of Royal Headache, Deaf Wish and The Twerps. The Aussie polymath’s roots may have been laid in raucous rabblerousing, but his solo material takes an abrupt left turn in-comparison; Young’s latest record ‘You Feelin’ Me?’ is an instrumental voyage through perpetually shifting soundscapes, ones that border on free-form jazz, funk, glitchy weirdness and abstract ambience.
With ‘You Feelin’ Me?’s broad palette, Young flits from the woozy strums and underwater gurgles of his opening eponymous track, while gliding seamlessly to the robot jazz oddity of ‘This ↑’ and then to the 80’s sci- fi burbles on ‘Billions of Tears’. The Melbourne native creates a sound that’s both aloof and engaging; for example, ‘Life on the Perimeter’ sounds like Daft Punk and Kraftwerk embroiled in a jazz-funk-space battle, while the urgent bounce of ‘it’s Walkable’ invokes the jittering strut of jungle music, as played by retro cyborgs. ‘Back to the Centre’ conveys a light funk bounce and is brought to a close by a freewheeling Prince- esque solo. Then there’s ‘Spectrum View’s extra-terrestrial transmissions wrapped around deep melancholic undulations and ‘Parker’s stripped-down celestial crackle. Elsewhere when ‘You Feelin’ Me’ burrows deep into abstract textures, the record sounds like Young is tuning up and fiddling around with his box of tracks, rather than making cohesive music. Such is the pitfall of choosing sonic experimentation, not every song ticks the box. ‘Raga for Vacuum and Dishes’ is a wash of disparate noises that never really join up and the same can be said for LP closer ‘Freedom’13’ with it’s aimless guitar meanderings and repetitive fuzziness.
‘You Feelin’ Me?’ won’t be felt by everyone but then this kind of aural exploration into peculiar sonic landscapes isn’t meant to be. Only intrepid pioneers need apply to this deep exploration is Mikey Young’s creative consciousness.
Words and thoughts of Adam Williams