Younger Brother – A Flock Of Bleeps

English / Polish version

Younger Brother: A Flock Of Bleeps
    TWISTED RECORDS
    Younger Brother
    A Flock Of Bleeps
    2003

      1. Weird On A Monday Night
      2. The Receptive
      3. Evil And Harm
      4. Crumblenaut
      5. Scanner
      6. Even Dwarves Start Small
      7. Magic Monkey Juice
      8. The Finger
      9. Safety Zone
      10. Bedtime Story

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To be honest I am a petty one and even though we all know who hides behind Younger Brother I would like to remind you that it is: Simon Posford (a man with hundred incarnations, known for projects such as: Hallucinogen, Celtic Cross, or Shpongle) and Benji Vaughan ( Prometheus). These two beautifully-sounding names are the best advertisement of this album and ensure high and unforgettable flights. I won’t even hesitate to say pathetically that all of Simon’s productions wear the mark of genius, and what they’ve created with Benji brings a new quality into the music.

The initial part of WEIRD ON A MONDAY NIGHT always reminded me of the opening to the world of chrysalis sleepy eye. The opening is accompanied by a mysterious mood, which is built up by calling shivers on the back vocal/groan with floating sounds in the background. They are bringing to mind the Tibetan trumpets, which in the tradition are symbolically awakening the monasteries from sleep, as well as announcing the arrival of the gods – it is difficult to find a better (though probably strongly fetched by me) metaphor. The vocal begins to intertwine with acid melody, which builds tension in imminent beat. Personally, I can not stand still while listening to this track, although there are few more calm moments, such as the one preparing to release the distorted and very psychedelic sample from ‘Alice in Wonderland’:

‘You may have noticed, that I’m not all there myself.’
’But-but-but-but, but-but-but … Butter!’
’It was very, very, very rude indeed.’
’I am? I am, I forgot all about jam!’
’Yes, sure you want, it’s nice to see.’
’Mustard? Mustard, do not let’s be silly!’
’But I do not want to go among mad people!’

THE RECEPTIVE is opened by a charming vocal of Michele Adamson accompanied by the sound of guitars:

’Vas-pas là ce soir
n’y vas pas mon coeur
la bête que tu as cru morte est revenue
ses yeux affixes ton ame
ton corps dit lâche moi femme
trop tard mon pote pour toi elle ammène la fin.’

It is deftly woven collage of tones which sounds at least cosmically. A man who warms up with a nice timbre of voice is juggling abstract words, and then again Michele Adamson seduces with her vocal. It is impossible to describe the richness of the sounds that pet your ears during this track, and although I find them ‘cosmic’ and a request that singer directs to her lover is dramatic, I will venture a statement that the atmosphere of the track is rather idyllic, especially compared to the next one.

EVIL AND HARM opens a roar of a mule and shrieks of birds; after that enters a filtered and ominous-sounding sample from the movie ‘The Heart Of The World – The Elder Brothers Warning’ (‘I assure you, that with the help of God, I will let war on you in every place and in every way that I can. And I will subject you to the yoke and obedience of the church. And I will take you peasants and women and your children and I will make them slaves. And I will do you all the evils and harms which I can’). This track is much more aggressive and dark than the previous one, and sounds disturbingly (and even when a guitar accompanies happily somehow I can not really trust her and I know that it is only a momentary repose for blowing my mind).

CRUMBLENAUT opens with ‘wet’ sounds, and its dark atmosphere is similar to the previous track. Especially when a filtered vocal of Michele appears, I’ve got shivers on my back. Some vocal effects go from the beautiful, sensuous singing to something that recalls the old Indian lament. Although the bass line is one-sided, the track is not boring – our attention is called by more and more surprising sound creations, which can not be compared to anything we have heard so far.

The opening themes of THE SCANNER imply that: ‘oh, it will be something!’. The sounds are crystal and cut, they sound very ‘industrial’, it seemes it is made by perfectly synchronized factory machines. In addition to a distorted sample (‘By now your name and particulars have been fed into every laptop, desktop, mainframe and supermarket scanner that collectively make up the global information conspiracy, otherwise known as The Beast’) appear some funny filtered male vocals which are completely abstract.

EVEN DWARVES START SMALL begins with my (and probably many of you) favourite sample: ‘Oh, when I arrived in England I was thrown in jail for about 4 hours, right off the bat. Why? Did not have a lot of cash, did not look respectable, you know. Things like that. It’s, you know it’s like that, man, I, I, I, I’ve been in jail, you know, in a lot of coutries, you know because they don ‘t like the way I hang out, they do not like my lifestyle, you know, I smoke a little shit … and I just hang out, man … I do not like to work too often, unless it’s for something groovy …’, which perfectly reflects the atmosphere of the track. Because it is just groovy! A clear and firm bass line like a snare drum, plus lots of contrasting wicked vocals give the recipe for the path at which it is impossible to sit still.

The climate of MAGIC MONKEY JUICE explains to us the guy I’ve called The Daddy (‘When the children have gone away on holiday and the staff have gone home … I’ve got the place to myself … I’d rather enjoy turning up some loud rock music and … re-living the old days … go on a three day binge or something like that …’), who with sentiment in his voice commemorates the good old days. After the entry into the next track (‘Oh goody, let’s pump ourselves full of magic monkey juice and take a trip to space land!’) I can not get rid of the association with Kazik’s ‘Gdy nie ma dzieci’. And we have a clear situation – when children are out of home you can take off your tie, remove the mask of a decent father and citizen, and drown the frustrations with the magic monkey juice. This track was created for the dance of madness, and the wailing of an old Indian very effectively encourages to move off all the limbs, prostheses, the head and torso.

THE FINGER is my favourite! Not only because of the stimulating, consistent from the first sounds atmosphere or my favourite sample: ‘It is like a finger that points to the moon. Do not look at the finger or you’ll miss all he heavenly glory’, which I could safely make my motto. Listening to this path, I feel just like the sounds were dancing around me, literally enlacing my body and senses. The plurality of the sounds is shocking, and their teamwork is a masterpiece. In particular every sound, every sample is exactly where it should be.

SAFETY ZONE is a completely different story. Slowly percolating through the speakers dubby beat intersects with even more lazy statement of guy who is stoned to the bones: ‘I do not advice a haircut, man. All the hairdressers are in the employment of the government. Hairs are your aerials. They pick up signals from the cosmos and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight. What absolute twaddle.’ I love these short stories told by the samples at presented album. Returning to the track, I always have the impression that the release slows down just to prepare us to a completely pure parts of BEDTIME STORY, which come after the sample: ‘You are now entering the safety zone.’ The beat disappears and a drowsy sound of the guitar appears. ‘Would you like to ski Antarctica? … But you’re snowed under with work?’, ‘Do you dream of a vacation at the bottom of the ocean?’, ‘Have you always wanted to climb the mountains of Mars? … but now you’re over the hill?’. The last path is a perfect lullaby, which stimulates the brain to produce a wonderful dream for a vacation on the bottom of the ocean.

A FLOCK OF BLEEPS is a journey into the depths of ourselves, an unforgettable flight over our own consciousness. It is outstanding, timeless, universal. I am sure that in 10 or even 30 years it will be admired no less than now. That is just the way it goes with masterpieces.
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10 / 10
Beata Brzoza