Following in the footsteps of And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank, The Redkneck Manifesto, God is an Astronaut and joining the plethora of great instrumental music coming from this island are Yonen.
Yonen are 4 piece instrumental math rock band from Dublin. ‘Tokyo’ is their first official single but they’re no strangers to the live scene having already supported heavyweights such as Toe, TTNG, Overhead the Albatross, and Poly-Math to name but a few.
‘Tokyo’ is being released on the eve of a six date UK Tour this February with one man band/loop pedal purveyor Steve Strong.
The track itself is a 6:55 odyssey, journeying through the streets of Tokyo and seeing the city through the imagination of minds that have never been there. The motif stays fairly similar throughout but is treated to a dizzying array of changes in dynamics and effects, reminiscent of some of Three Trapped Tigers recent efforts, but a lot more jazzy.
Guitarist Cian Finlay told us a little bit about the writing process:
Our songs take place in hyperbolic and fantastical settings. Though Tokyo is a non fictional city, the song is merely capturing the inscape of the word “Tokyo” as an abstract – i.e. what images your mind conjures when you hear the word “Tokyo”.
(PS we’ve never been there so it’s all a lie. Shhhh!)
We see Tokyo as bustling with activity, strobing with vibrant colours, and hinting at a quirky cultural undercurrent. The protagonist (the listener) traverses the city throughout the track, beginning in the suburbs and making their way through to the center. The bustling busy ride patterns increase in activity on the journey in. The vibrant colourful synth tone gradually increases in sustain until exploding into an entirely new palette of colour (harmony).
Then the protagonist is introduced to the cultural quirks through the 8 bit production atop the cheeky melody. As our songs are experimental, it helps to have a well defined narrative of environment during the writing process to keep our piece coherent and consistent. Or, we could just get a singer.
Fun fact: In the first main melody, every mini phrase comprises of 4 notes. (…except for the 5th group…)
Fun fact: the synth tone is actually a bass running through a Zoom B3 Multi Effects Unit. Nice tone Bro.
Fun fact: The two guitarist mixed and produced the song together, and somehow are still friends.
There seems to be some big plans ahead for the single. Alongside the supporting tour of the UK, there will be both a full length animated music video and an interactive game released by the animation/programming team of Ross Ryder and Joey Breslin. These have been designed within the video game engine ‘Unity’ and also feature as the center-piece in the bands live show. The few sneak peeks they’ve given us of the project look very promising.
No Irish dates have been announced yet, but expect to see Yonen on the summer festival circuit later this year.