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
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).
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
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.
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
I'm in Love With a Ripper are more regular than anything he has
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.
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