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Young Gods - Super Ready/Fragmente

  by Paul Raven

published: 6 / 5 / 2007

Young Gods - Super Ready/Fragmente
Label: Play It Again Sam
Format: CD


Confident and self-assured first album in seven years from seminal old-school industrial Swiss group the Young Gods, which still finds them on the cutting edge in its innovation and originality

The Young Gods formed in Switzerland over two decades ago, when most people using samplers in their music were slicing out pop-culture sound bites or one-bar loops of James Brown tracks. Right from the start, they took a different approach, treating their samplers as instruments with completely new possibilities instead of as glorified dictaphones or turntables. Now, twenty years down the line, they're still doing it - and still making bands labelled as cutting edge seem stale and unoriginal. 'Super Ready / Fragmente' is less the sound of a band coming back all guns blazing, and more the sound of a band confidently reasserting that they were on to something all along. Outside of old-school industrial fandom, the Young Gods are probably a new name to most people. Like a lot of true innovators, they never made it huge in their own right, but left an indelible mark of influence on bands that came after them. 'Super Ready / Fragmente', their latest album, isn't going to catapult them into the superstardom they always deserved. No chance – it's way too good an album to do that. 'Industrial' is a loose term to start with, and only goes so far toward explaining what The Young Gods get up to. In that they are a band who use electronic instruments to make music that has roots in rock and metal, they can be classified as industrial. But they reverse the traditional formula – instead of layering real guitars over synthetic percussion, they layer sampled guitars over live drumming. And the guitars aren't just lazily stolen whole riffs, either – they take tiny snippets and chunks of sound, mapping them across their keyboards, and playing them in a way a guitarist never could. The end result is utterly unique – a distinctly brittle yet rich melange of chords and single notes; distorted, effected and shattered into a thousand pieces, before being reassembled into a collage that reflects the tones of the last thirty or forty years. The songs themselves draw on a wide range of styles and influences. While the sound of rock in its many guises is never far away from the forefront, their structures draw on the baroque forms of classical music, the sound-scaping of ambient electronica, and the psychedelic bliss of the late 60's. From the rat-a-tat drums and droning guitar of opening track 'I'm The Drug', through the spaced-out lament of 'Stay With Us' and into the driving yet understated anthems 'About Time' and 'Super Ready / Fragmente', every note, hit and word is placed with the care and precision of visionary craftsmen. Over it all, Franz Treichler's spooky and resonant Euro-accented voice delivers lyrics with layers of imagery and meaning that make most rock acts sound like primary-school poets – and he does so in three different languages. The Young Gods are not just musicians. They are artists – complex, powerful and self-assured, still miles ahead of the pack after two decades of upheaval on the musical landscape. 'Super Ready / Fragmente' is the portfolio of a group who carved their own niche and filled it completely long ago; a true original in a landscape of clones. As such, they'll be largely ignored by the herd this time, just as before – but that makes a selfish part of me quite happy. Some things are too bloody special to share with just anyone.

Track Listing:-
1 I'm the Drug
2 Freeze
3 C'est Quoi C'est Ça
4 El Magnifico
5 Stay with Us
6 About Time
7 Machine Arriere
8 The Color Code
9 Super Ready / Fragmenté
10 Secret
11 Everywhere
12 Un Point C'est Tout

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Interview (2007)
Young Gods - Interview
Seminal Swiss act the Young Gods recently released their first album in seven years, 'Super Ready/Fragmente'. At a show in London, Paul Raven speaks to front man Franz Treichler about the group's recent return to their industrial roots and the violence that has inspired the new albun

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