[2 November 2007]
Richard Youngs’ vast discography, frequent collaborations, and restless experimentation cannot disguise his continued devotion to the pursuit of electro-hymnal magic. He frequently creates hypnotic minimalist pieces falling on various points of a continuum somewhere between Terry Riley and Garden of the Elks. Autumn Response was recorded in Glasgow in 2006, and much of the album’s intrigue comes as a result of the splitting of his voice into two channels. This occurs during the opening song, “I Need the Light”, and the resulting interplay mirrors sections of Roy Harper’s nearly forgotten “Lord’s Prayer” (from his Lifemask record, a sprawling testament following his near-death experience). While Autumn Response is much barer, and does not feature Jimmy Page helping out on guitar, at times the similarity in cadence and emphasis between Youngs’ and Harper’s voices is uncanny. Once again, Richard Youngs’ vibrant reinvention of folk music casts a naturalist spell that will enchant long-time fans and should lure some new ones.