Regions of the Old School


2013 release. The first-ever solo double LP by Richard Youngs. After the mind-erasing and shamanic Amaranthine released in January 2012, MIE is ecstatic to be working with Richard again on a true magnum opus of the Youngsian experimental catalog. Regions of the Old School is an epic and proudly sprawling collection of instrumentals and songs. In a conceptual nod to the long out-of-print Festival, released in 1994 by Table Of The Elements, it features five extended tracks scored for a diverse array of instruments with guest vocals by Madeleine Hynes and additional synthesizer by Neil Campbell. Regions of the Old School plunges you into the deep with the incredibly claustrophobic and tense "Insomniac Takeover." Youngs declaims three words over and over while gongs and hand drums skitter over synths and long arcs of guitar feedback. The intense opener is a merciless ode to its namesake. The following track's opening chimes and undulating synths are sublime in their contrast to their predecessor, instead forming a gorgeous tune on a Moog Source with deep and sustained bass throughout. "Celeste" sees Madeleine Hynes on manipulated vocals alongside high-end frequencies contrasted with subdued percussion and gongs. This beautiful little paen brings the record to its epic focal point, "The Thoughtlife." The track slowly reveals a mesmerizing piece with incredible juxtaposition of styles. Gongs, shakuhachi flute, and Neil Campbell's synthesizer weave in and out in perfect symbiosis and the arrival of a long drawn-out and stuttering sub-bass kick solidifies the zen-like quality of the track. "My Love Holds the Galaxy in Her Heart" is a perfect end to this incredible record, a tender and sweet song over metronomic percussion and glockenspiel at the other side of the musical spectrum to the first track. This sprawling yet flowing piece comes to a climax as Youngs' vocals give out suddenly to an extended caustic feedback-riddled guitar solo before falling silent. Regions of the Old School is available in a run of 500 2LPs with stunning gatefold artwork by Madeline Hynes.