Reviews

Scott Young
Post Peace

(OOH-sounds)

7/10

The latest from Florence-based experimental lug observatory OOH-sounds, Post Peace is the adrenalizing three track release from Hong Kong sound artist Scott Young. I feel like my favourite track here should be the pleasantly repetitive, sofa-sinking lo-fi attitude of opening Joe Beedles collaboration ‘Tuck’, due to a widely accessible tonal palette. But I can’t help noticing the difference in depth between this track and the trial-and-terror persona of ‘Playing God’ and ‘Post Peace’. That doesn’t make ‘Tuck’ any less enjoyable, but perhaps its congenial accessibility sparsely contrasts with what I believe this album is really trying to do. 

‘Playing God’ and ‘Post Peace’ carve out a narrative that challenges our association between what we know and what we haven’t yet learned, dovetailing ritualism with mysticism. Upon closer inspection it plays into the hands of Steve Goodman’s (aka Hyperdub boss Kode9) sonic theorisation of “zero virus”, a pre-modernist western demon that has the capacity to expand our understanding of photonic activity. Writing his own zero script, Scott Young’s sound design complements the ever-evolving turmoil of data and space: ‘Playing God’ is rhythmically droney, entangled in complex symbiosis of a mysteriously cloaked architecture that is attentively defiant towards a decisive cadence; ‘Post Peace’ is spongy yet static, somehow familiar but too distorted to reveal the source material it’s riffing off.

At first Post Peace may make you feel like a tourist lost in a data desert. Eventually it offers solace within new horizons, but still nurtures a sorrowful characterisation of society in denial about our comfort with peace. This record appeals to audio introverts and fans of shifting perspectives, and I admire its organic and synthetic axis. Oddly it feels somewhat incomplete, as though there are audio traces lost in a peace vacuum waiting to be found – perhaps, at some point, they will land.

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