Artist: O Yuki Conjugate
Album: OYC25

Released: 3 November 2009
Label: Soleilmoon

To mark the 25th anniversary of their first concert, O Yuki Conjugate got together for a live studio jam session - a recording of which has been documented on their release OYC25. Throughout this ensemble's fluctuating history OYC has produced music that nods to the outlying works of Jon Hassell, Brian Eno and Harold Budd as well as Cabaret Voltaire, A Certain Ratio and The Durrutti Column. With an evolving line-up of players, their output can seem like the product of several different artists. OYC25 allows us to discover their most recent strain of musical language. Each song is an intimate affair and demonstrates this group's particular genius in melding sonic illusionism with a palpable sense of force. Slow burning grooves pull the mood into darker territory while further in the revved-up rhythmic tension evokes a gut level response. Paring away excessive elements the listener comes in contact with soft flute tones hovering amidst digital detritus while low bass guitar notes pop and hop beneath in a dub-influenced step. Imaginatively processed guitar lines and electronic beats disintegrate into atmospheric desolation as OYC simplify musical forms into symbols. Dense with detail and intrigue we feel the allure of mystery and delight in hearing this music emerge from out of the unknown. It is striking how much the players in O Yuki Conjugate have in common when it comes to the dark sounds that inhabit their dreams. In this live setting the group seems in their comfort zone, relaxed; with each section depending more on satisfying whole-band jams than on out-front soloing. For all its throwaway brilliance, OYC25 is an eloquent reflection on the past 25 years.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   19 February 2010

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