The essence of the group consisting of Sara Taylor and Ryan William George is similar to Star Wars (bear with me here) in that the band dwell within a universe of the “used future.” Youth Code inhabit a world of a hand-me-downs from our parents’ heyday. The relics of the past still hang around in various states of disrepair. The old guard stubbornly cling to their posts and grip tight to their power, while the new generation struggles to find their place in the universe. This has been done before, but that’s part of the appeal. The original energy is still there, primitive drum machines and all.
It’s not new, but did they do it as well as Youth Code, who sonically and aesthetically showcase a curious nostalgic fascination with their artifacts?
We all hate labels and categorizing, but industrial music was and still is very potent—a part of a viable, real human reaction to our modern existence. Youth Code have the “it” that has been missing from the genre for a long time: the dirty, angry, sequenced side of things that’s been lost. It’s all right here, across the four tracks of the recently repressed A Place to Stand on Dais Records
Long ago, industrial music went way too far into the realm of cartoon bad-guys, gas masks, big goofy boots, and neon-green dreadlocks. Those who refused to remain stagnant have passed the torch on to Youth Code, who have birthed more creative music with less equipment, coaxing raw, organic emotion and energy out of cold, primitive synths.
The analog hardware on A Place to Stand sounds battered and dying, but the variety of sounds the two are able to conjure are vast and with actual feeling—a reaction to the bright future we were promised that is spotted with rust and fueled by fear, doubt, and betrayal.
The cyber-goth dress code is out, along with the “rules” of industrial music. All that’s left are well-crafted songs; nothing else matters.
Side B of A Place to Stand collects four remixes of earlier Youth Code tracks, from artists as diverse as Corrections House’s Sanford Parker, Sub Pop-signed avant-rap crew Clipping. industrial / EBM mainstays God Module, and the dark and minimal techno mastermind that is Silent Servant.
A1) Consuming Guilt
A2) To Burn Your World
A3) For I Am Cursed
A4) A Litany
B1) No Animal Escapes (Sanford Parker Smoke and Dark Heart Remix)
B2) Wear the Wounds (Clipping Remix)
B3) Sick Skinned (God Module Pandemic Remix)
B4) Let the Sky Burn (Silent Servant Remix)