YACHT - See Mystery Lights
"Welcome to the Machine" sang Pink Floyd. "Bertha, lovely Bertha, you are a lovely machine and anyone who works with you will know just what I mean" sang Guy Fletcher on the theme tune to 1980's childrens show Bertha. All part of a gradual conditioning process to make us (the general public) confortable with machines, robots and electronics in general. No, they aren't going to harvest our spinal fluid or insert micro-chips into our brains to do their evil bidding. Machines = friendly, okay?
Jona Bechtolt agrees that machines are good. When he isn't watching his Metal Mickey DVD boxset he likes nothing more than producing electronic music under the guise of YACHT. See Mystery Lights is his first album for the super-hip DFA label and it's a match made in robot heaven.
As a multi-media artist his live the shows are often accompanied by PowerPoint presentations. I checked the CD for any data files and was disappointed not to find any. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own to go along with the album. In fact, I insist upon it. Just don’t send them to me as I, like the late great Tony Hart, won’t be able to return any of them.
The album has some lovely analogue and digital interplay with the controlled vocals of Claire Evans, sometimes natural and sometimes heavily affected on tracks like ‘I’m In Love With A Ripper’. It’s a fairly restrained and minimal affair most of the time, which makes a pleasant change as so many artists often find it hard to know when to stop adding tracks after a heavy sequencer session. Click the box in the top right of this page and have a listen. Good isn't it? (Disclaimer - some pop-up software will prevent you from seeing our track preview service - Ed.)
There are some tremendous tracks here. ‘The Afterlife’ borrows its chorus from Desmond Decker's 'Israelites' (or if you are from the right generation – the Vitalite advert) with delicate bubbling synths and foot-tapping beats. My personal favourite is ‘Summer Song’ which is as comfortable for home listening as it is on the dancefloors of the trendy clubs that they only let you in if you are dating a footballer.
It’s a grower too; new sounds and favourite tracks emerge with each listen. With the backing of DFA it’s quite likely that YACHT will reach a wider audience now than they have in the previous six years of existence. So get out your audio interface cables and connect your brain up for some electronic delights. dōmo arigatō, Mr.Roboto.