Delicate, multi-layered esoterica from UK improv innovator

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Richard Youngs – Airs Of The Ear

After his collaboration with Simon Wickham-Smith yielded the semi-legendary Lake in the early ’90s, subsequent hook-ups with Acid Mothers Temple and Damon & Naomi have compounded Youngs’ reputation as one of the foremost toilers in the avant-garde underground. Recorded in his adopted Glasgow, his fifth solo outing employs a bag of tricks from 12-string acoustic through five-string banjo, ring modulator, square wave generator and theremin, sometimes within the same song (see 17-minute closer “Machaut’s Dream”). Youngs’ voice, fragile yet tough, is the perfect warp to the hypnotic weft of Eastern drones, circular riffs and raga-like meditations.