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YUS: Talisman

Yus Talisman album review YUS– Talisman

Release Date: June 23
Rating: 4/5
Spec Recs: “Nowadays,” “Movenpick,” “Now”
In One Word: Ascending

Talisman, the new LP from Brussels-born, Arizona-based musician YUS, showcases the vision and drive that he holds for himself in the electronic pop community. Comprised solely of Youceff Yunque Kabal, who also started the label Manneken Records, the production studio the album is being released through, Talisman shows his intention to produce a work purely his own, with an independent approach to the obstacles that face individuals producing an album in the current market. The sound of his album ranges from Moby to Animal Collective, with a couple dance tracks, and many tracks that hold a more neo-psychedelic trance quality to them.

Opening track, “Superbeats,” works well as an intro into the album, with its intriguing, minimal sound and small steel drum segments, it flows well into the next track, “Nowadays.” This song, having been previously released to wide acclaim including exposure on Mary Anne Hobbe’s XFM show Music:Response, immediately grants the listener a more straightforward electronic pop track, reminiscent of the sound of The XX. The upbeat sound, combined with a strong knowledge of when to switch from the well-structured lyrics to infectious melody flowing throughout the track, make for a formidable single. Next is “20 Million,” which is sure to garner quite a bit of attention, due to its experimental style and mellow flow that produces a strong Animal Collective vibe, as well as the apt music video that accompanies it. This mellow atmosphere continues through “Time Alone,” the piano-laden “Vees and Exes” which feels like one of the more smooth and hypnotic Moby tracks, and “The Way” featuring more Animal Collective inspired experimentation, until the album reaches “Ends Meet.” This track, heavily distorted and modified, sounds as if the song is being manually rewound, or deliberately played at too slow of a speed, and continues in this fashion until it fades into the background.

“Zzz” reintroduces the steel drums featured in the beginning of the album, as well as the elevated dance sound of the early tracks, flowing into “Movenpick,” which features arguably the danciest and most radio-friendly pop sound on the whole album. The final track on the album, “Now, works perfectly as the finisher due to the unique sound created through the strong and frequent electronic effects, multiple vocals, and simple beat, as well as a deep sound of foreboding that eventually ascends to a level of ambience in the track.

As a whole, the album has a definite, recognizable feel of something originating in the Arizona climate in its levels of minimalism, muted audio levels, and simplicity in some areas. In a climate where too much exertion can prove dangerous, or even fatal, it stands to reason that the music being produced would succumb to the same restrictions. Many songs, regardless of how complex they may actually have been in creation, present a beautiful and relaxing simplicity to the listener, showing that it didn’t simply survive the harsh climate, it thrived in it.

YUS will be performing with MAS YSA and EMA on Saturday, June 28 at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix.  Doors open at 7:30 PM and show starts at 8:30 PM. Tickets, $6-$14, are available online through Ticketfly. The Spec is also giving away a pair of tickets to the event, enter to win here before June 27.


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