YĪN YĪN’s new album, “Mount Matsu,” occupies the no man’s land between Khruangbin and Kraftwerk
I first came across the Dutch quartet, YĪN YĪN, after they released their debut album, The Rabbit That Hunts The Tiger. And while the band might be based in the Netherlands, their music lives on a tropical island somewhere between Western Europe and South-East Asia. Their sound is mostly instrumental music rooted in the 60s and 70s era of Asian funk and psychedelia. Off-kilter folk-styled psych funk and disco soul runs throughout YĪN YĪN’s sound which results in a sound that feels both nostalgic and fresh. The band describe their music as occupying the no man’s land between Khruangbin and Kraftwerk.
This month, the four-piece release their latest album entitled: Mount Matsu. The album was created in the band’s studio in Belgium over a period which felt like a long but satisfying ascent according to the band. From this ascent, the myth of Mount Matsu was born. The mountain itself is fictional, but in Japanese “matsu” means pine tree and is (among other things) a symbol for rebirth and hope for the future.
The new album marks a step back from the occasionally more Moroder-esque, rhythm-machine, and synth-heavy production style of their previous albums. Mount Matsu takes a step towards a more organic, 70s live-band aesthetic. This is captured in the analogue warmth of their valve amp guitar sounds, vintage synth lines, and acoustic percussion timbres. “It was a real adventure trying to capture the new ‘YĪN YĪN’ sound,” notes guitarist Bandt when talking about the latest album. That sense of discovery is keenly felt in the compelling music the band created on Mount Matsu.
Have a listen to one of the singles off the new album below, and head over to the YĪN YĪN Bandcamp page to get a copy of the album on vinyl.