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Adrian Younge Presents Something About April II

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Adrian Younge Presents: Something About April
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Audio CD, January 22, 2016
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the four years since the release of Adrian Younge's ''Something About April,'' he has been coined America's black genius: the evocation of analog vestige in a digital era. His majestic music has garnered him reverence, likened to Ennio Morricone's best work and the Beatles' tenacity to create new sounds. Fortuitously, ''Something About April'' has made an indelible impression on modern vinyl heads and producers alike, being sampled by DJ Premier, Jay-Z, Common, 50 Cent and more. The ''Something About April'' brand is an axiom to the modern ''Breakbeat''; and Linear Labs is happy to announce its successor: ''Something About April II.'' Recorded with Younge's collection of rare instruments, ''Something About April II'' advances his musical paradigm with enterprising concepts and grander compositions--it synthesizes the boundaries between dark American soul and classic European cinema. With effervescent conviction, Younge executes with an array of entrancing vocalists: Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) and Bilal perform duets on ''Step Beyond'' and ''La Ballade,'' reminiscent of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin; Raphael Saadiq blends ''Black Jazz'' vocals with psychedelic soul on ''Magic Music''; Israeli star, Karolina, delivers haunting chants over concertos like ''Hear My Love'' and ''Winter Is Here''; Loren Oden croons as if the apparent ghost of Donnie Hathaway created one last love song, ''Sandrine.'' Younge is the experimental spirit of the modernist vanguard, looking at the past to create the future. What this album extrapolates, from vinyl culture, will become further magnified by its sampling down the line. ''Something About April II'' will replace the former as a holy grail for producers and collectors alike.

Review

For most of his career as an artist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and band leader, Adrian Younge has devoted himself to a particular brand of soul, heavily indebted to the blaxploitation sounds of the early '70s, starting with his soundtrack to 2009's ''Black Dynamite'' a theatrically-released spoof of the genre. While the movie was a sendup of the tropes of all things superfly and jive, the soundtrack was an earnest homage, full of wah-wah's, the vibes and echoes of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, James Brown, and 24-Carat Black. His next effort, 2011's ''Something About April'' (presented by his band, Venice Dawn) was also a soundtrack. Though it was full of psychedelic, trippy funk, doo-wop, and rhapsodic horns, it also called in the talents of the Funk Brothers' guitarist Dennis Coffey and Italian cinematic funkateers Calibro 35, and incorporated lessons learned from studying Ennio Morricone, resulting in a project that was more tender and nuanced. ''Something About April II'' represents a return to this love for Younge, who masterminded two audio stories of Shaolin soul fronted by Ghostface Killah (''Twelve Reasons to Die'' and its sequel), as well as projects with Souls of Mischief and the Delfonics in recent years. Where ''Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics'' showcased what Younge was capable of as a producer when aided by strong songwriters, ''April II'' highlights his accomplishment on his own terms. For all of his leanings on history and reverence for the musical past, Younge has always been a child of hip-hop. The first ''April'' record was crafted by someone clearly in love with breakbeats and seemed to aspire to become new sources for crate diggers. (Tellingly, that album was used as source material twice on Jay Z's ''Magna Carta Holy Grail'' ''Picasso Baby'' and ''Heaven'' and Younge's compositions provided the samples for DJ Premier's and Royce da 5'9'''s ''PRhyme'' album.) But on ''Something About April II'', Younge emerges as someone more interested in creating new classics than new samples. As always, the music here leans heavily on a roughly five-year slice of Black soul from '68-'73 with Younge helming a Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes piano, vibraphone, and the Selene, a one-of-one hi-tech lo-fi Mellotron keyboard of his own creation. But the songs here are more fully formed than anything he's done on his own. ....In short, he's gotten better at everything he does. 8.0 --Pitchfork, January 21, 2016

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Sitting' By The Radio
  2. Winter Is Here
  3. Sandrine
  4. Step beyond
  5. Sea Motet
  6. Memories of War
  7. Psalms
  8. Magic Music
  9. Ready To Love
  10. La Ballade
  11. April Sonata
  12. Hands Of God
  13. Hear My Love


Product details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Linear Labs
  • ASIN: B0189ZCUOG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,578 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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