House music elevates to new worlds and levels through the brilliant mind of Mr YT and this incredible compilation.
It’s incredible to learn of how musicians come to certain conclusions regarding their approach to music, their understanding of the process, and the perimeters they place on their outputs. Many traditional song writers look to contexts, people, feelings and situations as inspirations, with their lyrics very much a reflection of these core themes when writing songs and conceiving albums or EPs. We get an insight into their minds, the inputs defied by the interpretations and connections to the outputs, as we want to understand and get inside the minds of the musicians who wrote our most personal and beloved songs.
With dance music, often this notion can become a bit muddled. However, many artists use boundaries and stories when writing and composed electronic music. A reaction to place is important, or conceiving a track for a mood, room or environment is often important too. Creating something that is a reflection of the artists hometown or local scene is often the case, as many are immersed in it to be able to create something that connects to it. Dance music is also used as a tool for emotional gains, where soft synths and beats lock us in, make us happy or make us sad. For the most organic of writers, they want their music to tell a story, or give us the tools to be able to write our own. That, in this writers humble opinion, is one of dance music’s greatest strengths when done well. Mr Yt utilises this notion, of using themes and concepts to guide his creative process. When reading about his background as a writer of game music, it was interesting to learn that he struggled coming up with music that wasn’t related to a particular scene or moment. But by listening to the music of Basic Channel, Kerri Chandler, Ron Trent and Chez Damier, and the second generation of Detroit, he was inspired by the idea of using emotional tools cross referenced with themes, that fueled each of the Eps of which this LP is a collection of. Pairing themes and concept with emotion has delivered to us now one of the most intriguing, well crafted and blissed out compilations of 90s house and techno from anywhere, ever. So, lets take a dip shall we.
We start off with ‘Morning’, originally released on his 1997 release ‘Brand New Day’. The other tracks on the record include ‘Afternoon’, ‘Evening’ and ‘Night’, that are all also included on this collection. As mentioned before, YT utilised the idea of themes for each record, and this opener shows us just that. A series of beautiful pads that lightly breeze in the morning wind, chiming on the door as people begin their daily routines. The movement between each chord is transitioned so peacefully, giving that extra dose of sunlight to the proceedings. It very much places us in a moment in our lives, sitting outside with a coffee, looking around at the world waking up. Well, the scene is set, lets move onto the rest of our day. ‘Reve’ comes next, and oh boy does it take us places. The synths keep the momentum going, with a chiming bass line of sorts grooving underneath. The interplay here is something else, really beautiful. The drums kick in, light kicks and cymbals, with the voice of ‘Deeeeeep, deeeeep, ohhh’ joining in, and yeah, it’s deep. Then it all fades away for a split second, before it all comes straight back in, drums galore, kicks and hi hats shifting the energy into the next level. ‘Deep’ keeps pounding away, as cymbals move in and around the groove (this is a key feature of the record), with piano stabs moving around too. The only continual element remains the little bass line from the start, and the background synths. Everything else is just layered on top, as the tune shifts through so many scenes, perpetual movement through various backgrounds, environments and scenes. Its mesmerising, simply one of the most infectious and melodic house tracks out there. You can get as lost in it just listening at home as you could on the dance floor. Fucking glorious. Up next is ‘Souvenir’, which pairs really well with ‘Reve’. Downtempo dub esq techno feels come into play real hard here, as the synths swell in the background over a never ending key line, that moves its way right into the hearts. This one flickers like the city at night, little lights flickering everywhere as you ponder and wonder. The scene, the characters, the landscape, are all conjured here within this little melodic masterpiece.
To begin the B side, we have the stomper to end all stompers, ‘Afternoon’. This one originally builds on the opener of this collection, ‘Morning’, as we are pushed into the chaotic world of Friday afternoons. Everyone is going places, everything is happening, and you are caught in the middle of this unbelievable, unique godlike track. The drums start proceedings, as everything builds to the intro of this liquid, fluid synth line, that builds and shifts and morphs throughout the entirety of this track. Like water running down, it never follows a straight line, as it dips and dives under and over the groove, up high and down low on the dance floor. 2 and a half minutes in, a chord begins the process of the next phase, as the cymbals come back in, the energy growing, the swells growing, as the chords come in!! The two chords, a paradigm shift in the narrative. The drums kick up a notch, as the synth line gets dropped, the chords do their thing, but then, just then, it comes back. Fucking genius. Its a real eyes closed shut moment, as all the elements just build and build to this majestically layered scape of sound. Fuck me. Up next we have ‘Pacific Jazz’ , which has all the vibes we are after. Conjuring up sunny hazy days staring out into the pool, or the soft sands, dramatic cliffs next to crystal blue seas, the track just builds on this beautifully textured synth line, that then develops further with the use of cymbals and percussion. Other background synths chime in, adding continued depth to the track, as it moves into its next phase. It all just feels so natural, the shade from palm trees, the cool ocean breeze, the warm smiles of the ones you love and cherish. This encapsulates that context so beautifully, it is as if you are there enjoying it right now. Next we have ‘Evening’, the third house stomper on this record. ‘Brand New’ rings out on top of the kicks and the pads, that contain so much emotion its hard to quantify. The hi hats and cymbals come into play, as the vocal just keeps going, a true head nodder. Little lines come in the back, as the tune builds, but to what? Then it all falls away, and it all just jumps back in beautifully, damn. This just continues on for a few more minutes of sheer house brilliance, so I’ll let you give it a try and see what you think of it.
Towards the end now, comes ‘Nite’, the final of four tracks from the ‘Brand New Day’ release from 97. This one just bleeds nighttime, the shady street corners, the neon lights, the endless driving for unknown and infinite reasons. We feel a city mapped out, environments conjured up and fleshed out by YT, a world filled with characters, mystique and darkness. The synths feel alive, like people rushing and talking and getting to know each other, as the big swells behind act as the city’s life force, the pumping beating heart that keeps the action going. I feel perhaps this and ‘Morning’ conjure up such strong feelings relating to the names of the tracks – morning and nite are somehow both soft, but nite is always a little bit harder. Next we have ‘Ocean in Heaven’, which feels in a way like the name of the song. Once again we are greeted by a small and subtle drum line, with cymbals playing a key part in the evolving groove, as the synths and key lines just develop from there. The pads come in, and bit by bit they take centre stage. The blissed out grooves and feels are so warm, from the cymbals up to the highs, this is so gorgeous – maybe its hard to conjure up a image of an ocean in heaven, but this song does a damn good job of creating a blissed out world to lie in, and maybe just maybe see an ocean. To finish up, we have ‘Regard’, and what a final track this is. This track combines all the feels of the previous tunes; the fast and turned up kick, the light cymbals and hi hat work, and a lovely blend of the frantic deep house dance floor killers and the soft melodic textured workouts. This track never feels like its going too fast, but not too slow either, residing somewhere in the middle, where we enjoy it for its laid back feel but also for its pumped up notions too. The bass line coming in after the beat drops slightly is fantastic, and is an element not emphasised as much as on the rest of the record. YT here just lets his creation play out, unravelling from an idea and into a story. Just like the rest of the album, here we see a track full of life, colour, and meaning, words and images seem to jump from every angle as we are welcomed by a new element throwing itself into the mix. Its just so fucking damn good.
Mr YT writes a good story, that much is true. The imagery that comes alive through his work, is something which we can all buy into. The morning, afternoon, nite and evening, the regard, the Pacific Jazz, all working to give us something more than just nice chords and beats. This is deepness in its purest sense, working up from a theme and into a landscape filled with life. YT provides us with that context, and it is up to us to go and live it. Listen to this record as you go about your daily grind, meeting and talking to people, doing things. It sets itself into the city around you, as the morning light to the evening dusk, this record attaches itself to our hearts and minds. This simply is a masterpiece, I cannot say anything else about it. What more could one want from a house record? I don’t have an answer. Genius.
Check out his stuff on the web, but heres a link to perhaps our personal favourite here:
This compilation is still available on discogs and other websites, if you search around. all the love YT xx.