7inch Sunday: Yola Fatoush

7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.

Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.

Aside from a brief press release, a few photos and a website harder to navigate than the Bermuda triangle, not much is known of Yola Fatoush. Comprised of Ruth Angel Edwards and Kit Mason, the duo has successfully steered clear of any and all social media, Bandcamp and other promotional aids. While we all enjoy a bit of mystery every now and then, Yola Fatoush’s lackadaisical approach to sharing their material is bewildering. There is a quality act behind this self-made wall, and their debut single is the public nudge needed.

Prior to actually hearing Yola Fatoush’s debut, it is the album artwork that fills in the initial blank. And after looking at the record’s humorously lo-fi and surreal cover, it’s easy to assume the group will follow suit. Surprisingly, they don’t quite play into the image of a man on his knees sporting both a track suit and what appears to be a frisbee. Instead, Yola Fatoush’s approach is far more serious, but in a good, non-frisbee-hugging way.

Part breakbeat dancehall, part ambient, the duo presents themselves as a world band that got locked in the Moog factory. Eastern-influenced synth is shoved against unconventional rhythms, and the resulting sound is like no other. Initially, the group’s strategy appears to be lining up multiple melodies against multiple rhythms, determining which ones works best and then committing to them. While both tracks on the A-side launch with this polyrhythm gone AWOL, Yola Fatoush rewards those who stick around by wrapping up the tracks with simplified, cleaner presentations.

While songs may have flourished more without the collage sample platter of musical thoughts, there is something to take from every track. “I Hate Him,” for example, proves how well the group can juggle concepts and successfully funnel them into a cohesive, digestible work, and the duet on “The Premises” has chemistry as strong as that of fellow electro artist The Knife. However, after the listening day is done and the record stops spinning, I was left with mixed emotions, and – said best by Mick Jagger – I doubt I am the only one.

Check back next week for a look at Melody’s Echo Chamber’s Endless Shore.

We're looking for writers and editors to join the team. Interested? Apply today!