Youandewan - There Is No Right Time - 2x LP Vinyl

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There Is No Right Time
12" Vinyl


Ewan Smith’s style of house music often seems to belong to everywhere and nowhere at once. Smith—aka Youandewan—hails from Yorkshire but is based, like so many of his peers, in Berlin, and his productions mirror the way that the house and techno of the 21st century have long since pulled up stakes. It’s not that there are no longer any local signatures in dance music, but they don’t tend to stay in one place for long. Sounds dreamed up in one place soon slosh back and forth between cities and scenes like volatile ocean currents.<br/><br/> Since he began putting out records in 2009, Youandewan’s music has variously shown the influence of Chicago, Detroit, New York, Berlin, Bristol, and London, along with his native north of England. Moodymann’s fogged-up sample soul; Phuture’s wriggly 303s; the Burrell Brothers’ cool pads—you can hear all of those vintage elements darting through Smith’s tunes. He also draws on more contemporary sounds: Levon Vincent’s scuffed reductions, skipping grooves indebted to UK garage and Thomas Melchior, and the airy vocals that have decorated so much UK bass ever since “Hyph Mngo.” Sometimes it seems that he’s not simply absorbing these influences, but reverse-engineering them: Just compare N.Y. House’n Authority’s classic 1989 tune “Apt 3A” with Youandewan’s “Alright Son,” from 2014, which blurs the line between homage and cover version. At its best, though, his music gives the impression of an artist using a dog-eared archive as the springboard to more personal expressions.<br/><br/> There’s always been a melancholy cast to Smith’s music, and that’s especially true on his debut album. There Is No Right Time focuses the emotional content of his singles into a concentrated form. We’re told the bulk of the songs have their roots in a lonely winter a few years back, after a rough breakup and a move to Berlin, and you can believe it: It’s easy to imagine Smith sitting bundled up next to the space heater in his home studio, translating the rivulets of rain trickling down the windows into the brooding piano melody of “Time to Leave,” a despondent hip-hop instrumental that sounds like it’s been rescued from a water-damaged box of memories he regrets having opened.<br/><br/> Taking inspiration from artists like Four Tet and Leon Vynehall, Smith has stepped up his sound design—a rich mixture of synthesizers, scratchy samples, and physical instruments like electric guitar and a drum kit—and he explores a broader-than-usual range of tempos and rhythms. In addition to his habitual deep house, we hear sluggish boom-bap, snapping electro, and, on the standout “Be Good to Me Poly,” even rolling drums patterned after jungle’s signature groove. That range underscores the fact that this isn’t really a club album; as a collection of evocative, daydreamy mood pieces, it’s better suited to evenings in and weekends on the couch, to packing bowls and thumbing the morning paper.<br/><br/> It’s actually a more diverse LP than it seems at first, despite his foregrounding of forlorn melodies and wistful atmospheres. The album’s back half is particularly active. Sleek and energetic, “Earnest Kelly” mixes up Metro Area-style electronic disco with Japanese new age atmospheres. The quick-stepping “Left on Lucy” reshapes similar sounds, like those DX7 chimes and flutes, into the kind of optimistic anthem that sunrise beach raves were invented for. “Something Keeps Me Real Quiet” is a Smallville-styled romp through the insides of a snow globe that smartly offsets its twinkling keyboards with gruff, overdriven drums and bass. Even the closing “4D Anxiety,” despite its languid tempo and shuffling beat, sneaks in a playful boogie groove borrowed from Floating Points’ early singles.<br/><br/> There’s no shortage of highlights, really: The silvery accents on “Be Good to Me,” a tune that sounds a little like a jazz-funk Radiohead cover; the delicate synth and guitar counterpoint of the brisk, snapping “Waiting for L”; and especially the all-encompassing swirl and searching chord changes of “Our Odyssey.” They’re all evidence of Smith’s remarkable production talent and also, more importantly, his expressive sensibility.
A1Have The Guts
A2Be Good To Me, Poly
A3Waiting For L
B1Time To Leave (Can't Mix)
B210405 (Alice)
B3Our Odyssey
C1Something Keeps Me Real Quiet
C2Left On Lucy
D1Earnest Kelly
D24D Anxiety