Recorded during the first few periods of lockdown and originally released as a cassette midway through 2021, O Yuki Conjugate’s A Tension of Opposites Vol. 1 & 2 is now to be released as a limited edition, double-disc gatefold LP via World of Echo on 1st April. The enforced conditions of its creation represented a new way of working for O Yuki Conjugate founders, Andrew Hulme and Roger Horberry, a pioneering duo who have worked as close collaborators on multiple projects for almost four decades now. As such, their writing is for the first time divided in two and recognised as distinct, Horberry contributing the shorter eleven tracks that make up Vol. 1 (subtitle: At Variance), and Andrew Hulme the longer four that constitute Vol. 2 (Into the Pleasure Garden). It’s fascinating to hear their approaches separated.
At Variance is defined by its mostly short-form approach, characterised by an airless ambience that recalls the late 20th Century modern minimalism of Thomas Koner, Markus Popp and the Mille Plateux universe, while in other parts, an element of the grander aspects of Eno circa Discreet Music, though retaining a characteristically gritty feel. Into the Pleasure Garden provides a notable contrast, forgoing the lightness of the preceding eleven tracks and embracing what might be understood as some of the more ‘classic’ elements of the OYC sound: their storm cloud-forming, heavy weather, post-industrial, fourth-world dystopia. Together and apart, OYC celebrate their 40th birthday this year, but remarkably, even under challenging circumstances, their music still retains an almost mystical power.
Future releases in the series are planned for later in the year and will continue with this approach, charting the outer reaches of the individual members musical inclinations. In the meantime, it might be worth giving some thought to start considering this pair an institution of sorts, or at least their own cottage industry.