For many years, Houston-bred DJ/producer Yppah, known to friends and family as Joe Corrales, was a turntablist who went by the name DJ Giant. Last year, after adopting the Yppah moniker, he signed to the electronic music heavy hitter Ninja Tune (home to Coldcut, Kid Koala, Wagon Christ, Amon Tobin, Mr. Scruff and The Herbaliser, among others), who just released his debut album, You Are Beautiful At All Times.
The album's opener, "Ending with You," grabs you with its rapid-fire drum succession, layered thick with reverbed guitar, synthetic horns, low-end dubby bass lines and vibrantly twinkling electronic circuitry. In fact, the bulk of the material relies heavily on the looped propulsive, accented beats and thick walls of arid guitar distortion rubbed with cotton, evident on tracks like "What's the Matter?" and "I Hit the Breaks." "Almost in That Category" never keeps itself in one place (perhaps the reason for its title), building from a hum into a crunchy digital beat and bending swirl and changing into an introspective indie rock break toward the end, before drowning itself out with a melancholy piano bit. "Longtime" seals up the 33-minute-long letter with lulling, looping calm.
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Yppah's work is as atmospheric, celestial and sublime as Boards of Canada, and has as much mood, heart and soul as DJ Shadow. Not to take things so literally, but You Are Beautiful At All Times, though brief, is beautiful at all times.