Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yaz (british Yazoo)

chunks probably hip already knowing his inclinations, i've been rocking for a while, this is mostly for convincing rick despite himself but at the same time for everyone down with openness for cool shit.

old as hell but just got onto Yaz's (Yazoo in the U.K.) 'Upstairs at Eric's' from the early 80's.

Vince Clarke was primary songwriter for the today still active and interesting Depeche Mode...

in the early days of the 80's, penning amongst others "Just Can't Get Enough" in which you'll possibly hear rhythmic/melodic similarities here, split off quick to do this with Allison Moyet due to differences in momentum, somewhat confusingly right when Depeche Mode were first gaining their notoriety. Seems to me, in an intriguing way, to perfectly balance the cold emptiness of early/still developing Electronic music (which in a lot of ways was the point of it for Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk, and the like despite it's white folk danceability) with more heart than what a lot of the post-funk disco hits inflected on the powerful melancholy that prior soul/r&b provided.

Overtly obvious Eurythmics comparisons aside because of the (maybe unfairly) slightly homogeneous post-party mostly late eighties popularity of Eurythmics, and because Yaz was there slightly earlier/about the same time, i felt immediately and have enjoyed repeatedly enough that they have more of a re-visit value than anything Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart came up with as a group, handful of well worn universally overplayed singles aside for the sake of fairness.

Kind of got the deserved limelight stolen slightly by time considering the Eurythimics didn't hit amazingly big until much later sharing the same catchiness and employing literally the exact same style. I'll admit I'm an Annie Lennox fan, and after the first couple of weeks of rotation, i still think Yaz has way more to offer both in context and playability.

Check it out. No real videos i could find, but their myspace page has a handful of songs that are all impressive and i feel still relevant despite age. Then again, what is modern when everything recent is an attempt at unabashed idolization of the old? regardless, this is the heat for anyone that likes to boogie on the dance floor or has any interest in the building blocks of electronic music with a soul that modern R&B didn't seem to fully grasp until 20 some odd years later, to come back around to wholeheartedly, instead of playing the old style by merely replacing physical instruments with cheesy synths, a la Lionel Richie's post-Commodores campily enjoyable sing alongs and fighting through empty over the top nineties arrangements.

I've got this icebox where my heart used to be, you son of a guns.

The tracks "Midnight" and "Only You" available on their Myspace page are particular standouts ,again from the first album 'Upstairs at Eric's', for me amongst many many fantastic tracks that emphasize the greatness.

Yaz's Myspace Link Here with plenty more goodness


Rickles said...

this is interesting. i didn't know about it. i think you confused me as much as i was educated. but that's the beauty of the chris.

dRchunkerton said...

obviously this is right up my alley.