Clash Magazine Article

Executive Timber

Electro-acoustic wizard Yellotone AKA Simon Harding, returns with his follow up to 2004's Tar File Junction, which appeared on the delicate AI Records.

Where Harding previously straddled perfectly both a laptop glitch with a warm string, albeit instrumentally, his new LP "Executive Timber" sees bold in-roads into the vocal arena
"I had to be encouraged to sing a little by some of my friends," confesses Harding, "but I knew this was what I wanted to do so I just had to go with it." It became easier once I realised that it was just like learning any other instrument in the sense you have to learn certain things then find a style that suits."

This style is a deep and often pervasive and akin to Joy Divisions Ian Curtis whilst Yellotone's once light percussion and bass sections have also seen their depths plummet to a more dirty garage sound. His repertoire has become less clipped and a lot more loud perhaps an obvious progression for such a consummate musician working alone.

After breaking to the world on Ai Records, a slicker than slick electronica stable, with the "Geen Mayo" single, this new album will be released a little closer to home. Describing his time on Ai as: "Like a salty salute: fun frustrating and pretty educational", Harding is now ready to take things into his own hands.

"Kissmymintcondition is a website that I started a few years back t put bits and pieces on that some of my friends and I did. Most of the people involved are either doing other things now or have a myspace page, which wasn't around at the time. Can you remember that far back ? Now I just plan to use it as a name to release records myself with links to their stuff. I used it once before a s a release name for the Live At The Potters Wheel Cd I made in 2003."

"Viva Last Music is a label set up by my friend James as a means of releasing the digital versions of the stuff I do. Even though I'd like to do it all myself it's impossible. I'd never be able to get round to making any tunes. So he's helping getting things going, which is invaluable as he has excellent ? promotional skills having done the Wheels Instead Of Hooves nights and things with Warp and Dedbeat. And I, in turn become his first release on his new label, which I know is something he's wanted to do for a while."

Although "Executive Timber is a step away from his previously tight productions and sunshine instrumental tracks, it's still forged from a fairly diverse 10 instruments, all played by the musician himself.

So where does the intriguing title come from ? "The title Executive Timber cines from a phrase in the William Burroughs book Interzone," explains Harding." I think the section "Word". My trouble began when they decide I am Executive Timber" - Burroughs has long been a favourite author of mine and I just liked the title mainly. I like phrases whose meaning you can take a few different ways and where good words that wouldn't normally be with each other find themselves next to each other at the dinner table."

words by Matthew Bennett
March 2007 Clash magazine