(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Super Warren MMIV (2004), 6/10
I Believe in You Your Magic Is Real (2007) , 7/10
See Mystery Light (2009), 6.5/10
Shangri-la (2011), 5.5/10

Yacht, originally the solo project of Oregon's electronic musician Jona Bechtolt, explored abstract futuristic digital beat-driven music on the album Super Warren MMIV (States Rights, 2004) and the EP Mega (2005).

Influenced by electroclash, he veered towards more accessible beatscapes and melodies on I Believe in You Your Magic Is Real (Marriage, 2007). The jovial Hawaiian-tinged folk shuffle So Post All Em coalesces a little bit at the time into a dadaistic ballet. A female vocalist increases the exotic overtones in the syncopated See A Penny (Pick It Up). Later on If Music Could Cure All That Ails You repeats the populist exploit of So Post All Em, and, sure enough, I Believe In You brings back the female vocalist and the exotic manner of See A Penny (Pick It Up).
We're Always Waiting seems to steal an old riff by the Four Tops to set in motion a demented Todd Rundgren-ian skit updated to the age of hip-hop. Yacht's dance credentials are fully established by the frenzied rapping and rolling disco funk lines of Platinum and especially by the propulsive techno locomotive of It's All The Same Price. Eventually he runs out of tricks. It's Coming To Get You still plows the jovial/demented mood, and Your Magic Is Real (a title possibly misplaced with I Believe In You, based on their lyrics) tries in vain to soar with a wordless pop melody. But the songs that work are enough to justify a special seat at the banquet of digital dance music.

Yacht became a duo with Claire Evans on See Mystery Light (DFA, 2009) that delivered his brainy dance jams in a warmer context. It is still impressive how he can build up a hypnotic pattern out of trivial events, as he does in Ring the Bell . However, Bechtolt might be even more creative as a postmodernist of revival art, like when he draws inspiration from the girl-groups of the Sixties and from synth-pop for The Afterlife, that eventually turns into a digital ballet. The nine-minute It's Boring/ You Can Live Anywhere You Want starts out like a boogieing hard-rock jam and then implodes in an alienated litany a` la Trio's Da Da Da. The most propulsive piece is Summer Song that actually layers up several different "methods" of creating the same fundamental rhythm. Meanwhile, the languid lullaby Psychic City (the single) and the fractured Michael Jackson-ian I'm in Love With a Ripper are more regular than anything he has ever delivered.

Shangri-la (2011) has too much filler and focuses too much on the lyrics, which are not exactly their forte (Claire Evans sings most of them) but adds live instrumentation to the mix, a trend towards warmer music. Utopia, Paradise Engineering and Holy Roller keep the party going.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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