June 9, 2015

Yello - You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess, 1983

It was difficult to pick just one Yello record, but Gotta Say Yes seemed like a good place to start since it's the last LP to feature Yello co-founder Carlos Perón (above, right; forthcoming Dark Entries reissue of his EP here). Composer and audio engineer Boris Blank (above, left), famous for building an original sample library of over 100,000 named and categorized sounds, had recently acquired a Fairlight CMI, which he masterfully exploited in the production of a very distinct brand of slick 'n sleazy sonic embroidery. This is not trigger-happy kitsch pop--the songs are carefully structured and musical (sorry), stretching the limits of electro towards tribal, drum and bass, and techno. The songs are narrated by millionaire industrialist, poker player, golfer and Dada performance artist Dieter Meier (above, center, of course), though Yello went on to collaborate with a handful of vocalists, including Billy Mackenzie and Shirley Bassey. Perpetually surprising, throbbing, and creepily funny, Gotta Say Yes is one of my favorite dance records to listen to in headphones. 

There's an amazing video below of one of their only live performances ever (theirs wasn't an easy sound to reproduce live, to put it lightly) at the Roxy in '83, immediately after the release of Gotta Say Yes, here. The video below is a nutso extended version of the title track, not included on the album.

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