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Every new Richard Youngs LP is in some way an event – his modus is so restless and yet his muse remains so distinctively personal that it’s always a thrill to see where he’s gonna dive in next. Amaranthine puts his vocals way up front for a series of four ecstatic bardic/future folk classics that ride in on wave after staggering wave of free form percussion, clanging household objects, shakuhachi and fuzz guitar. The vocals fall into the classic post-Summer Wanderer style of endlessly repeating, lilting phrases, here with a cracked use of F/X that smears them even further. At points he overdubs two vocals on soaring alternative trajectories, each rising like the mirror image of the last while shakers and liberated drum orchestras push the whole deal to new ritualistic peaks. Indeed, at points it almost feels like the closest Richard has come to cutting a devotional free jazz album, with almost AACM style rhythms and at points the kind of furiously beautiful combination of breathwork, vocalese and liberated percussion that lit up private press classic like Frank Lowe and Rashied Ali’s Duo Exchange. In many ways this feels like the ultimate ‘free folk’ album of Richard’s career, fully realising his vision of beautiful, hymnal Church Of England hypnotics over collapsing arrangements of percussion, fuzz, drone and breath. And those vocals! Simply put, a classic Richard Youngs LP that pretty much delivers on everything that made you fall in love with his music in the first place. Edition of 500 copies, highly recommended! (Volcanic Tongue)
> pitchfork review