Album: Yello, Touch (Polydor)

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The Independent Culture

Yello's music long since became an everyday component of modern culture – particularly "Oh Yeah", whose yawning title-phrase and bomp-bomp, chicka-chicka hook have proven applicable to many movie situations – but while their pioneering work with samplers and sequencers remains admired by their peers, the Swiss duo's albums rarely secure UK releases these days.

Part of the reason can be gleaned by checking the "moods" sections of their allmusic. com album listings, which feature terms such as witty, quirky, campy, playful, snide and clinical, characteristics not highly valued in lumpen modern pop; but it's also due to their reliance on many of the same strategies (and sounds) they were using two decades ago. "The Expert" is typical, its opening passage of mouth percussion leading into an elastic-funk groove impeccably stitched together from tiny musical phrases. Elsewhere, atmospheric synth pads and sophisticated ambiences are attended by flugelhorn, crisp rhythm guitar and slick beats sculpted for cinematic evocation, but leaning dangerously close to bathtub jazz. There's also a new version of their three-decade-old debut single, "Bostich", a sort of 007 makeover giving it a hard-body physique. It's still good, but it's no longer new.

Download this The Expert; Bostich (Reflected); Out of Dawn; Tangier Blue