Yusuf Azak – Turn on the Long Wire

Toad Records

This is a beautiful if occasionally gnomic LP: though I’ve found that despite all my initial bafflement as to what was going on, I just can’t stop playing it. It has a definite feel of late urban sixties folk or the more warped underground psychedelia from the period:  sunny Goodge Streets, SF Sorrows, etcetera, (mainly through the fuggy atmosphere it creates) and the strings sometimes have a feel of the arrangements on Nick Drake’s LPs - that’s until they get warped out of any recognizable shape via a lot of sampling & tweaking.  Your Story sets the scene very well: the track is built on a heady - not to say increasingly dizzy - loop of vocals which can leave you a bit disorientated. The dizziness can be heard ad infinitum in shape-shifting efforts like Time to Kill and Rosalie.
The closest we get to hearing song structures in their normal, workaday sense are on The Key Underground, a pleasant plod with the odd kooky moment and Eastern Sun, which is a beautiful pastoral work out too: very meditative and measured in its presence.  Once these are out of the way, it’s back to the shifting nuances of sampled strings and vocals: Thin Air starts to resemble a stoned ELO take on some Beatles outtakes and Stepping Stone sounds like segments of Nick Drake chopped up & reassembled by Deliah Derbyshire, doubtless in some bizarre electronic ritual dedicated to Lord Reith.
The last track is a gem. Christabel Blues is a folksy, drowsy strum that possesses enough light & shade to leave you energized and ready for more of this strange muse.
You can hear two numbers here and I suggest you find the time to do so: http://soundcloud.com/songbytoad