TRACK PREMIERE: ADRIAN YOUNGE PRESENTS JACK WATERSON “ALL HAIL THE EMPEROR”
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L.A. RECORD cover alum Adrian Younge (interviewed here) is a contempory master of the concept album, with a discography that concentrates decades of record collecting and musicianship into impeccably produced omni-genre projects. Now he’s followed his lush and lavish Voices of Gemma (reviewed here) with an even more overtly psychedelic album made with longtime collaborator Jack Waterson, the man behind Highland Park’s vintage-equipment Disneyland Future Music as well as founding member of pioneering paisley-punk band Green On Red.
Adrian Younge Presents Jack Waterson is expansive west coast studio-as-instrument psychedelia—think David Axelrod’s Songs of Innocence or the Millennium’s Begin, as well as those flash-of-light late-60s exploito albums where top-notch session musicians found their own kind of creative freedom at the crumbling edge of major label comprehension. (Waterson‘s cover even looks a little like a cross between Psychedelic Psoul and Leathercoated Minds—two classics of the micro-genre.) “All Hail The Emperor”—masterfully produced as usual for Younge—is an album closer awash in atmosphere and courtly intrigue, absorbing classical and eastern and European influences into its own endlessly shifting sound.
This is nothing like cheerful sunshine pop—Waterson’s “All hail the emperor / the emperor is dead” is just the tip of the turblence and discord churning in the depths of this song—but like its conceptual predecessors, it’s less a song than an invitation into a strange and different world. (As Waterson says: “‘All Hail The Emperor’ is a lyrically vicious song completely immersed in the beautiful musical world of Adrian Younge.”) Says Younge: “Psychedelic concept albums of the past have influenced me greatly. All Hail The Emperor is an ode to the mysticism of yesterday’s quest to create the most captivating world with sound.”