July 24, 2022

When you see the name Cuneiform Records, you just know that you are going to be engaging with an album that challenges and delights in equal measures as complex and experimental could be the strap line for the label. I recognized the name and a hunt through my collection threw up the band’s first album in A Complex Nature from 2004. I’ve since missed out on the two albums which followed with Machines and The Failure Of Words from 2010 and 2017 respectively which means that Yang is not the most prolific act you will come across but they most certainly do offer a great deal of quality. This, of course, means that Designed For Disaster is the French band’s fourth album and if there is one thing that French bands do perfectly then it is atmosphere with the new album treading the narrow line between progressive rock, art rock and jazz sublimely and with intricate precision.

Yang – photo: Peggy Wavelet

The band was founded by Frédéric L’Épée and he remains the guiding force playing guitars and synths alongside Laurent James on guitars, Nico Gomez on bass and Volodia Brice on drums with all musicians providing backing vocals to give a harmonious melodic sound to the proceedings.

The album is mostly instrumental but there are some vocal effects and several tracks feature the wonderful and moving voice of Ayse Cansu Tanrikulu. Try to imagine a merger of the music worlds featuring the progressive music of Robert Fripp and the sheer beautiful jazz offered up by the genius that is Philip Catherine and you will get a flavour of the music offered up by Yang for your delight. The songs are all extended, experimental pieces which are simply gorgeous and all played by musicians with outstanding flair and delicacy making this an album best enjoyed as a guilty pleasure. For optimal effect then you should only when you are not going to be disturbed as this is an album to fully immerse yourself in and to go with the flow as the band takes you on a journey of pure delight.

Just remember though that this is a piece of experimental progressive jazz so not for all tastes but if it is your thing then you are going to be in musical heaven when you play this.

Designed For Disaster

  1. Descendance (5:25)
  2. Collision Course (7:20)
  3. Disentropy (6:07)
  4. Words (4:28)
  5. Interlude – Golem (1:37)
  6. Flower You (4:28)
  7. Unisson (5:16)
  8. Interlude – Echo (1:31)
  9. Migrations (10:37)
  10. La Voie du Mensonge (6:17)
  11. Interlude – Décombres (2:12)
  12. Despite Origins (5:58)