Music

Young Fathers: TAPE 1 and TAPE 2 (Reissue)

Photo: Ninja Tune

The reissue of Young Fathers' TAPE 1 and TAPE 2 shows the Scottish group's early promise.


Young Fathers

TAPE 1 and TAPE 2

Label: Ninja Tune
Release Date: 2017-06-16
Amazon
iTunes

The Scottish group Young Fathers is a uniquely 21st-century ensemble both with the identity of the creators behind the music as well as the styles the music moves through. The group is made up of Graham 'G' Hastings, who grew up in Edinburgh, Alloysious Massaquoi who is originally from Liberia by way of Ghana, and Kayus Bankole who was raised by his Nigerian parents in the US before moving to Scotland. In their later work, like on the recent album, White Men Are Black Men Too, the group's relationship to identity is foregrounded. But on their two early mixtapes, aptly titled TAPE 1 and TAPE 2 they communicate their identity more through sonic means, although some lyrics like "white boy beat, block boy rhythm" off "Rumbling" on Tape 1 make direct reference to the group's unique perspective.

The music contained on the recently reissued TAPE's is a confluence of dark-edged trip-hop, experimental indie production, and varying vocal styles that shift from reggae-ish melodies and phrasing to group shout-alongs from punk records. While their style is indeed unique, there is a deep similarity between the music contained here and the early records of TV on the Radio, particularly the Young Liars EP and Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. TVOR left this sound behind after Return to Cookie Mountain -- the expansive connective tissue between their early more lo-fi/experimental leaning works and the full-bodied funk workouts they still put out today. So, hearing a group explore similar sonic ground is refreshing, as it feels like an area of synthesis that is too under-explored. (Consider the deeply plundered area of Joy Division-style post-punk or the ramshackle post-Pavement and Guided by Voices sound-alikes and you'll probably agree too.)

But Young Fathers wouldn't have achieved the acclaim and success they have if they were simply retreading sounds proffered by a legendary group. The group feels particularly novel in their decentralized approach to both music making and the perspectives presented within the lyrics. The tapes are produced from the band themselves, so there isn't necessarily a distinction made between where one musician's input starts, and another's ends. By the same token, the vocals and lyrics throughout never feel out of step with each other despite pursuing different ends in themselves.

6
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.

Books

90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.

Music

Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

‘The Avengers’ Offer a Lesson for Our Time of COVID-19

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.

Music

Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.

Music

Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.

Books

First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?

Reviews

HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.

Music

Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Music

How Lasting Is the Legacy of the Live 8 Charity Concert?

A voyage to the bottom of a T-shirt drawer prompts a look back at a major event in the history of celebrity charity concerts, 2005's Live 8, Philadelphia.

Music

Jessie Ware Embraces Her Club Culture Roots on Rapturous 'What's Your Pleasure?'

British diva Jessie Ware cooks up a glittery collection of hedonistic disco tracks and delivers one of the year's best records with What's Your Pleasure.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.