A Favorite Discovery of 2012: Yppah

Besides Big Big Train, one of my favorite discoveries of the past year has been Joe Corrales Jr.’s project, Yppah. Their latest album is Eighty One, released on the Ninja Tune label.

Corrales is similar to Matt Stevens (another Progarchy favorite) in that he likes to lay down a bed of rhythm using delays and samples while playing beautiful guitar filigrees on top of it. His style is much simpler than Stevens’, however, as he stresses the groove above all else. The bottom line for me is that his music makes me feel happy when I listen to it. (Which makes sense if you read the band’s name backwards!) Snatches of wordless chants swim in and out of the mix, Anomie Belle adds her siren vocals to several of the songs, Eno-esque audio effects burble along, and the percussion percolates with a world music feel. All of this creates an overall atmosphere of relaxed bliss. This is music for a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Yppah’s bandcamp site states,

Drawing on a cultural heritage that took in My Bloody Valentine alongside hip hop and heavily influenced by various forms of electronic music, psychedelic soul and rock, his music often mixes guitars shoved through massive reverbs/delays, keyboards/synthesizers, live drums, and other techniques.

Can hip-hop influenced music find a place in the prog music universe? Listen to “Happy To See You” below and decide for yourself. Beginning with a nice little guitar riff, the swelling synth background soon takes over and we are soaring through the clouds pictured on the album cover. There’s a brief detour to listen to a children’s chorus sweetly chanting us along our journey before the guitar comes back, turbocharged this time, to shoot us into the stratosphere.

If you’re interested in more, watch the in-studio performance below. A word of warning: Anomie Belle does some rapping in the second song, “Film Burn”, but it’s quickly followed by some beautiful violin work (she’s a classically trained violinist). And hey, if Rush can rap in “Roll The Bones”, then I guess it’s OK, right?

3 thoughts on “A Favorite Discovery of 2012: Yppah

  1. Tad – this is very ‘trip hop’ to me with a large dose of Morcheeba (especially Film Burn) and a sprinkling of Massive Attack amongst others. I am a great fan of this type of music (in fact I’m loving it man!) and this is a must buy for me. Thanks for introducing this. Does it have a place of Prog?…well I know one thing, all good music has a place in PROGarchy.

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    1. Ian, I’m glad you like it as well – I salute you for your excellent taste! I found Yppah through an old college buddy who sent me a link to an internet radio show he liked – Yppah was the featured artist, and once I heard it, I was hooked.

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  2. Pingback: Best of 2012 « Progarchy: A Celebration of Music

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