Yppah - You Are Beautiful At All Times
Review by Jack Foley
THE Ninja Tune label appears to have unearthed another major talent in the form of Yppah (pronounced ‘yippah’) a native of Texas who specialises in sublime instrumentals.
Born Joe Corrales, Yppah spent his early teen years playing guitar and bass in rock bands, before becoming a scratch DJ who mixed hip hop and house in club sets, produced weird mash-ups (such as OutKast versus Ted Nugent) and eventually settled as a turntablist with The Truth.
His aim with debut solo album You Are Beautiful At All Times is to combine all these influences and experiences into a collective whole. And he has done so with considerable aplomb.
The album is an enriching experience in every sense – one that blends the sublime beauty of tracks like Again With Subtitles with moments of upbeat rock/hip hop hybrids (such as Ending With You).
There are moments that hint at 80s nostaglia, such as the Tangerine Dream-inspired What’s The Matter?, as well as those that aspire to the giddy heights of Bonobo (We Aim) and its deft blend of soul and chillout.
Several tracks unfold into epic soundscapes, complete with rousing beat compilations, while others remain content to simply drift over you like a cool breeze on a hot day. Certainly, most transport you to a blissful state of consciousness that’s both immensely soothing and totally inspiring. That they’re touched with an element of the melancholy only makes them more captivating and enthralling.
To achieve the sounds on the album, Corrales has done things like mix guitars shoved through massive delays with keyboards and loops sampled from real drums, so as to create intricate, multi-layered soundscapes of richness and beauty.
Take the majestic beauty of In Two, The Weakly as a prime example of the artist at his most serenely beautiful – a track that takes some computer-style whizzes and sets them against an ambient backdrop, before changing tempo completely for a genuinely thrilling finale.
Almost In That Category is another fine example of Yppah’s wizardry, beginning with a simple lick of the acoustic guitar and then dropping in all manner of instrumentation that contributes to an utterly beguiling whole. It’s another track that draws favourable comparisons with the DJ styles of both Bonobo and early DJ Shadow, while impressing in its own right thanks to Yppah’s sense of invention.
Of the 12 tracks assembled as part of this collection, all impress on a massive scale. So while the name may not be one that rolls off the tongue, Yppah’s debut offering is one that deserves to rate as one of the debut releases of the year.
Like it’s name suggests, it is a thing of rare beauty.