Yorkie – Yorkiebox
Yorkie, genial (if maybe occasionally bemused) good vibe and midwife to the Teardrop, Pale Fountains & Bunnymen, and bass player in 90’s chart merchants Space has released a monumental 6 CD package (including the obligatory outtakes CD, and a CD especially for his EP work), chronicling his solo career to date. I was dreading a barrage of information but luckily the sleeve-notes are kept pleasingly sparse and simple. Those hunkering after that little bit more get a set of promotional stickers. So far, so good.
The first three CDs deal with Yorkie’s full releases, Let’s Evolve (1 & 2) and Pitch a Ladder to the Moon. Pitch a Ladder… (with help from one or two of his old Space cohorts) showcases his strengths as a writer of very catchy, very direct pop tunes. It’s the sort of pop song (both stylistically and spiritually) that used to be commonplace but now seems too simple or too unaffected by the Zeitgeist, which is a crying shame. (Why do bands nowadays feel as if they have to take some sort of Masonic exam in rock history? It’s beyond me). Anyway, if "unhip" songs like Supersonic Jetplane, Is Disneyland Our Homeland or My Promise don’t get you, nothing will.
Yorkie’s work really comes into its own when he’s composing instrumentals. This seems to allow him the space to sink into the background, letting his feel for texture and mood and his nose for timing (both of which are pretty hot), to take over. Let’s Evolve 1 & 2 is (in my humble opinion M’Luds), his finest work, and well worth tracking down on its own; especially if you don’t want to stump up for a 6 CD set. On these two LPs, Yorkie manages to balance a sonic mix of 60’s Sound Gallery-style fluff, Roxy’s seedier moments and the poppier end of Cluster’s oeuvre with considerable aplomb. If you like stuff like Oedipus Schmoedipus or the darker sides of For Your Pleasure then the splendid eight minute slightly-soiled trenchcoat shuffle of Porous Moments or the tense Druggs! is most definitely for you.
As if Let’s Evolve wasn’t enough to assuage your appetite for instrumentals, there’s also a great soundtracks CD on the set, boasting the score of Leaving Time (which comes on like a squat version of Low or The Garden) and some tremendous things like The Dancer or (for that matter), the entire score for Behind the Scenes of Total Hell.
A very enjoyable, occasionally revelatory box set. And whatever you do, get your mits on Let’s Evolve.
Words: Richard Foster
Yorkiebox is available now from http://www.universalshoesproductions.co.uk/