The Slowest Lift with Noel Meek + Richard Youngs
Todmorden/Huddersfield wunderkinder of drone/noise/folk dreamscapes Sophie Cooper (also of Tor Invocation Band + Leopard Leg + heaps more) and Julian Bradley (also of Vibracathedral Orchestra) get together to forge a ghostly tapestry of earthen whirring, phantasmal resonances, sheets of textured skree and touching, hazy vocals, which stir the waters of the soul and evoke strange landscapes in the mind. In 2016 Supernormal Festival commissioned Sophie Cooper to create a new duo work for performance and her first choice for collaborator was Julian Bradley. The commission was successful and Bradley / Cooper choose to continue the duo beyond this live performance, and are now a permanent collaboration under the name “The Slowest Lift”. The Slowest Lift LP was released on VHF records in December 2017.
Richard Youngs is classically trained in piano and guitar, but musically he grew up in the shadow cast by punk rock. Adopting guerrilla recording techniques, the independent D.I.Y. ethic is at his core.
He is a solo artist who also works with a diverse range of artists. He has collaborated with Scottish filmmaker Luke Fowler, Arts Foundation of New Zealand Award laureate winner Alastair Galbraith, Portuguese organist David Maranha, and Japanese guitarist Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple) among others. He also plays as a duo with Damon Krukowski (Galaxy 500; Magic Hour; Damon and Naomi).
Youngs has recorded modern pop albums (‘Beyond the Valley of Ultrahits’ and 'Belief') and a score for the BBC SSO (‘Past Fragments of Distant Confrontation’). He was commissioned to write music for the art film ‘The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott’, and his music has appeared in the 2013 feature film ‘Drinking Buddies’. He is the drum machinist of the Flexibles, singer of AMOR.
He attempts not to repeat himself, every leap of faith is an expression of Richard Youngs' essential Youngs-ness.
Noel Meek is an improvising electronic musician from Wellington, New Zealand. His solo work has been described as “sheer joy . . . unexpectedly bottled in analogue gizmo rituals.” (The Wire Top Ten Outer Limits 2016), “chaotically playful noise music,” (The Quietus) and “pretty whacked,” by Byron Coley. He has performed and recorded with the likes of Sun Araw, Lasse Marhaug, Richard Youngs, Neil Campbell, Bruce Russell, Alexander Tucker and Tetuzi Akiyama.
A trained ethnomusicologist, Meek contributes regularly to The Wire and other underground publications, focussing on experimental music from far-flung parts of the world. Through his label, End of the Alphabet Records, he promotes underground music from New Zealand and other unusual parts of the world through tapes, lathes and musicians’ publications.