The Youngsters The Army Of 1-0 Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

The Youngsters follow the citrusy genius of their 2001 debut 'Lemonorange' with a...

Jack Smith 2002

"This is a personal vision of our techno universe," declares Gil le Gamin, one half of the Gaelic duo The Youngsters. Along with fellow Montpellier-based composer Olivier Mateu the twosome have crafted the long awaited follow-up to their 2001 debut, Lemonorange.

Their introductory opus was primarily built on chunky, deep piano-driven grooves and slightly more abrasive acidic offerings that took its inspiration from Detroit's techno scene.The sophomore set is a slightly more grown-up and all round musical affair that at times meanders from jazz licks through ambient auras, but is ultimately built on a foundation of '80s electronica.

In fact, if you'd caught their recent guest mix on the Breezeblock you'll know exactly where they're at. Ironically, "Place, Race & Face" - the first single lifted from The Army Of 1-0 and bearing a remix by Agoria - is quite different from the rest of the album. The single is characteristic of the in-vogue hooligan house that blends anarchic vocals with old school synths (think Audio Bullys, Graffiti et al).

The remainder of the record is almost entirely vocal-free, electing to paint soundscapes crafted from dreamy orchestration ("The Pink Sox") and chilled neo-techno ("Café De La Poste"). Thankfully, the glitchy and gorgeouslatterthat appeared on F-Comm's Megasoft Office compilation last year has been included.

"Laptop Weekend" takes its lead from Paul Hardcastle's 2002ethereal ambient workout "Forest Echoes" yet ups the funk factor and turns in a moonlit, sax laden shuffle. Yet, the quirky, almost speak-and-spell vocoder on "Confidential Music" owes much to Trio'ssimplistic "Da Da Da", and the aptly named drum 'n' bass soundclash, "Opening Theme",is reminiscent ofFatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now" minus the vocal.

For the strangely titled The Army Of 1-0 I came expecting to hear a blend of new wave French techno from the Daft Punk school of innovation, yet came away feeling that the album didn't hang together as well as their inspired 2001 debut. Unfortunately for every up there was a down, for each hit there was a miss, for every 1 there was a 0.

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