The Yves Malone 3x cassette box on Field Hymns has been one of 2014’s highlights. A few days ago the mighty Malone dropped two hours of new tunes on his soundcloud that, once again, make me long for him and these movies he’s ‘soundtracked’ to be real. Of course it’s all a ruse (it’s 2014 afterall – everything is bullshit etc), but it’s one that comes with a massive helping of neurotically catchy synth tunes.
Last Angeles sees everyone’s favorite West Coast megalopolis descend into destruction and chaos. Throughout the 32+ minutes, the album (can I even call it an album? Whatever…) gets progressively darker and more strange before descending into a slo-mo decapitation. Malone has an inexplicable skill at crafting these cinematic aural moments where everything that exists (not)-on-screen is vivid and bright.
On the horror-inspired end of the spectrum (with a real hint of UFO sorcery, especially about 10 minutes in) is Ruan. Malone builds tension through swirling minor key sequences and ephemera until, out of nowhere, comes a happy ending? The last two minutes are a real surprise but that just adds to the appeal.
If Ruan is steeped in horror motifs then Aced is a noirish Cold War-era spy game. Dense, acid-fueled bass grooves create a platform for dosed melodies swimming in a grey sea of nostalgia. When Aced slows down to a crawl, explores near-minimalist territories, and drops pretense (ha ha just kidding about the last part), it’s intimate to the point of claustrophobia. Escape is no longer an option and the only thing left to do is hide and wait for the credits to roll (where an unexpected crunch and wail of electric guitar is there to greet all who stayed).
Finally, Sundown In Daily City goes into straight for the throat and embraces every cheeseball trope from the other three soundtracks. Soaring leads that want everyone to know, want everyone to believe there’s a better tomorrow out there come from all angles. This just makes me want to watch that movie RAD for the first time in 25 years (goddamn I loved that when I was a kid. Not enough BMX movies these days). This is where Yves Malone becomes immortal.
With the straight-up ’80s synth revival still gaining steam (Perturbator y’all), someone get Yves Malone signed up for something. This dude is the (not at all) real deal.