XL Recordings have always been happy to champion electronica in its various guises. Already the home to ‘Jungle’, ‘The XX’ and of course ‘The Prodigy’ it seems quite fitting that William Doyle (aka East India Youth) should ply his trade via a source that has successfully brought this genre to the attention of the masses over many, many years.
Album number two, ‘Culture of Volume’, seems to indicate that the record company still have a canny ear for this particular brand of music. The follow-up to 2013’s Mercury Prize-nominated debut ‘Total Strife Forever’, this new material has a more approachable feel to it than its predecessor, the sound is more defined and there is a real air of nostalgia to proceedings. Certainly Doyle seems to have spent the last year of song writing waist deep in the back catalogues of the Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode as the new material has an overwhelming feel of the early 90’s electronic music scene.
Importantly though the LP is not like-for-like copy of the preceding artists work. Doyle has infused current instrumentation into likeable, melodic tunes ensuring no copycat label can be attached to this release. While both ‘Beaming White’ and ‘Turn Away’ could genuinely have been plucked from 1990, such are their characteristics; they have been given that slight tweak to ensure they sound undated. Clever production mixed with a little re-invention has resulted in an excellent sophomore release.
‘Carousel’ is the LP’s moment of genuine beauty. It’s a stunning six and a half minute love song that is as far from the artist’s previous material you could possibly get. Its stunning synths and Doyle’s uncomplicated vocals all lend towards a track that stands out on this album. On an LP of high tempo beats and feel-good pop tunes it would normally have felt out of place. However, it has the opposite effect; offering a moment of quiet reflection and the opportunity to appreciate that you’re listening to a very cleverly crafted LP.
‘Culture of Volume’ is a dazzling album of mixed genres, addictive melodies and sun-kissed music that caters for all tastes. An LP built on bedrock consisting of electronic beats and laptops has never sounded more alive.
You can see ‘East India Youth’ at one of these venues…