Yard: Celestial Acid
Further Records

Following upon his 2007 Deciduous Flood Plains release on Concrete Plastic and 2008's Detrit on Binary Dilemma, Chris H. Jones aka Yard returns with another set of future-techno, this time eight action-packed tracks produced between 2005-2010 and issued in an edition of 100 copies (cassette and album) on Further Records. That the release is available in such a criminally meager amount shouldn't be construed as any reflection on the quality of the material the Seattle-based artist is serving up, as all of the release's eight pieces are meticulously constructed, rich in detail, and artfully sequenced.

If there's one word that describes the opening cut “Warmup,” it's surreptitious. Making full use of the nine-minute running time, Jones arranges the track so that elements sneak in one by one, so subtly that one almost doesn't notice it develop from a jacking jam into a full-blown acid-house stomper. A steam-driven stepper coated in grit and grime, “Detrit Revisited” offers another take on Jones's “Detrit” original, which first appeared when Binary Dilemma issued it on twelve-inch in late 2008. As they do elsewhere, synthesizers, claps, and drum machines get funky in “Overflow,” while the dreamy “Burrow” pushes syncopation to its seeming limit.

On the B side, glimmering keys flutter alongside a rolling, bass-thumping pulse in “Vocadef,” a co-production with Defpoint, and the galaxial “Twisted Space” works in samples of a 2006 jam by Adam Johnson and Jones that went down in Chicago. In overlaying beats and claps with vaporous starbursts and meteor showers, Jones also explores the more atmospheric side of his music during “Lowering Huum.” He's no doubt fully cognizant of the expansive and transporting qualities of his music, as evidenced by the rhetorical question included on the release: “Why not travel through time and space at the flick of a switch?” Certainly the closing “Whatif,” given the dramatic depths of its ambient sweep, lives up to the question's implicit promise.

October 2011