Monday, 7 October 2013


The fiftieth and final issue of YHO is about listening.  It is illustrated using examples of records which have become life-supports between and during YHO explorations.  These might include ones by Pinch, Pursuit Grooves, Photek, Cyrus, Sherwood, Shackleton and Smith & Mighty, but that’s not really the point.

So, yes, this is the end of YHO’s five-year plan.  It’s time now to tackle something new.  In the meantime, there are fifty issues here to explore.  Thanks to those who have supported this adventure, and greetings to those who may be new arrivals. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

yho49 - compound

The forty-ninth edition of YHO begins by being preoccupied by the remarkable 1983 recording Noir et Blanc by Zazou/Bikaye/CY1, which is sort of the sound of young Zaire meets Suicide at the grassroots of dub.  It then launches into an aural adventure that takes in many, many things, including:

·         Papa Wemba and Kanda Bongo Man
·         Barney Wilen and Caroline De Bendern
·         Don Cherry and Jacques Thollot
·         Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Brion Gysin
·         Elli Medeiros and Ramuntcho Matta
·         Samia Farah and Zap Mama
·         Aksak Maboul and The Honeymoon Killers
·         Catherine Jauniaux and Cold Storage
·         ZNR and Joseph Racaille

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

yho48 - plus for minus against

The forty-eighth edition of YHO is a lustrous tract on Luscious Jackson and then some.  It is also the final issue in a ten-part series on a very loose theme of 1990s pop.  There is an extended essay explaining why this series is so necessary, but it will stay hidden away.  It would not be wise to open that door.  And, anyway, there is so much more to explore, consider, and connect.

Monday, 8 July 2013

yho47 - out of this

The forty-seventh edition of YHO is an investigation into the music of Ultramarine, but these things are never straightforward are they?

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

yho46 - What's the word for ...

The forty-sixth issue of YHO is all about stopping to consider a particular sequence of Missy Elliott records and finding a lot to say about them.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

yho45 - corrosion

The forty-fifth edition of YHO is all about the Basic Channel organisation and its output.  Ten compact discs (a little perversely) have been selected from its catalogue and considered carefully.  This sound survey takes in releases on the Basic Channel, Chain Reaction, Burial Mix and Wackies labels.  In addition to the actual Basic Channel/Rhythm & Sound production partnership this overview also features titles by Vainqueur, Various Artists, Hallucinator, Vladislav Delay and Love Joys.  The strikingly beautiful covers were designed by Per-Christian Hille.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

yho44 - deliberately

The forty-fourth edition of YHO is very much about the Make Up and their untouchable gospel yeh-yeh dance sound/stance.  These may seem random ruminations, but were in fact particularly prompted by:
  • Ø  Ian F. Svenonius’ Supernatural Strategies
  • Ø  The Fallen Leaves’ If Only We’d Known
  • Ø  Chain and the Gang’s In Cool Blood
  • Ø  Ghetto Brothers’ Power Fuerza
These meditations on the Make Up feature Douglas Hart’s scholarly study of the pea coat and its aesthetic and social significance.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

yho43 - rebound

The forty-third edition of YHO is about reissues.  It starts at that point in the 1990s when compact discs were in the ascendancy and, as the decade developed, there emerged a number of labels which were making lost sounds available again that could claim to be changing lives, making us look at the history of popular culture in an entirely new way, rather than reassuring us with what we already know.  And they provided an all-round enriching aesthetic experience.  These reissue labels, helmed by enthusiasts determined to transcend niche interests, provided us with great music, sure, but also with their own collection of visionaries, scholars, characters acting as compilers, annotators and designers worthy of their own hagiography.  This is a celebration of four of these organisations, their activity, and certain specifically significant releases: Blood and Fire, Kent, Soul Jazz and On-U Sounds.  It is dedicated with special affection to Steve Barrow, Ady Croasdell, Stuart Baker and Adrian Sherwood, with a tip of the hat to Roger Eagle and Dave Godin. The cover was beautifully designed by Per-Christian Hille.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

yho42 - Chrome Extra

We’re 1990’s pop,” sang The Prats, aligning themselves with the future.  But what did The Prats imagine pop music would be like, ten years on, in 1990?  And how do we think pop music sounded in 1990? 
Chrome Extra, the forty-second edition of YHO, tackles the issue of 1990’s pop, with the help of a cassette tape unexpectedly rediscovered after 20-odd years in storage.  It is the snapshot of a moment, but what story has it got to share?  What secrets can it reveal?  What connections does it suggest?  What is missing from the tape?  The answers to these questions, and a whole lot more, will unfold when you read Chrome Extra
As a bonus, there is a lovingly put-together YouTube playlist available here which approximately recreates the cassette’s contents.   

Saturday, 5 January 2013