Monday, 26 March 2012
Review: Yum Yum - The Remixes
It's been remarkably warm and sunny this past weekend, and even though none of the trees have leaves yet I'm in a distinctly summery mood. And when I'm in a summery mood, there's only style of music worth hearing - early '90s progressive house! There was something about the early '90s dance scene - perhaps the copious amounts of drugs involved - that encouraged everyone to go nuts on themes of tribalism, spirituality, nature and the great outdoors, and this translated to loads of tracks with widescreen summery vibes and samples of whale song/chanting/ethnic flutes. I, quite frankly, love all that shit, despite not being in any other way a hippy. Okay, I listen to a lot of psy-trance. And I like to go for long walks outdoors. But I'm not a fucking hippy, okay?
Now, having said all of this, Yum Yum are a terrible example because they don't really have any ethnic samples or hippy vibes at all, at least not on this compilation of their remixes made between 1995-1997 (such a smooth journalistic technique, I know). I'd like to think their name refers to some tribe of Amazonian natives or something, but all Google can tell me is that Yum Yum is the name for a variety of cheap-ass foodstuffs or South-East Asian brothel-slang for a blowjob, neither of which are very friends-of-the-earth. I guess hippies go on backpack tours and might find themselves in a Thai brothel...
Despite a general lack of hippy rainforest vibes, this compilation still contains a fair amount of summery vibes. Some of that might just be down to me associating '90s acid lines, pads and stutter-edited vocals with summer simply because I always play this kind of stuff in summer, but there's just enough of a semantic thread running through the track titles to me to cling perilously to my bullshit proposition. Sacred Cycles, Tribal, Majick, Thundergod, The Vision... there's unarguably some sort of possible theme of spirituality here. You can almost feel the warm glow of the healing crystals.
Okay, okay. To an outside observer, this might sound like a fairly average collection of somewhat dated mid-'90s progressive house, filled with stereotypical synths and arrangements. And that outside observer might well be correct. But this is pretty much my pet style. It's the style I have the most love for and the least critical distance from, being pretty much the soundtrack of every beautiful sunny day of the last six or seven years of my life. And I reckon that, even setting aside my terrible biases, the remix of Sacred Cycles and also of Keoki's Majick are still excellent examples of hypnotic, trancey-edged progressive house. Most of the other tracks would be good filler or build-up pieces if you were playing a retro-themed prog set, but frankly there's a very small number of DJs in the world who'd be inclined to do that.
I can't really recommend this album unless you're really into the sound Sasha and Digweed were smashing around 1995-1997, but if you ask me, you should be really into that style because it was brilliant. I, frankly, have a shelf full of this stuff. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to burn some incense.
Genre: Progressive house
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 7/10