Live Music + Gig Reviews

Yīn Yīn @ Hope & Ruin, Brighton

5 March 2022

Dutch retronauts bring NuYorican frisson and vernacular disco of sensual and euphoric second album The Age Of Aquarius to a hyped up crowd


YĪN YĪN (Photo: PR)

Cork and lucite platformed heels swivelling on the spot buried in deep piled olive green and brown shag carpeting. Flammable polyester slip dresses in gaudy prints swishing together gradually, building up layers of static, seemingly ready to ignite at any moment. Overpowering wafts of musky cologne and cigarette smoke obscuring your vision as a melee of lithe and bronzed bodies wrapped themselves in furious dervishes, ribbons of sweat pouring down their bronzed skin. Neon lit palm trees braying in the coolness of a midnight wind and powder coated mirrors smeared and steaming up from carnal anticipations. The intoxicating visual images that Yīn Yīn managed to conjure up with their contemporary take on mythical disco were in turn sensual and euphoric, and occasionally verged on the downright pornographic.

Full to capacity, the upstairs room of The Hope & Ruin did its best impression of Studio 54, albeit without all the cocaine, quaaludes and cantering stallions, on Saturday night as the Maastricht retronauts brought a bit of NuYorican frisson to a cold and hyped up March crowd. Whereas on record, they have dipped into punchy oriental and Mongolian infused elements, tonight it was almost vernacular disco on offer. They may have been half an hour late to hit the stage for this, their first gig in Brighton, but they weren’t gonna let the woes of the world get them, or us down in the dumps. No, they came to get us out of our heads and onto the dance floor and they succeeded admirably.

Most of the songs appeared to be played in the same ferocious key and became indistinguishable in the thrill of the moment, alternating between ecstatically polished never ending waves of insular sound and thumping quaalude fuelled collective madness. Their atmospheric second album The Age Of Aquarius had only come out the day before but the dramatic heavy breathing and handclaps that punctuated tracks like fan favourite oldie One Inch Punch had thankfully not been vanquished on more recent numbers like Chong Wang and Shēnzou V. which felt timeless and loose. The bass drum jackhammered itself into your ribcage and the ubiquitously shaking cowbell took pride of place atop the suggestively dynamic percussive surges.

Final track Dis Ko Dis Ko from their now iconic debut album The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers took that pulsing libidinous beat from Donna Summer & Giorgio Moroder’s I Feel Love and ran with it, carrying you all the way to that bohemian night spot of your wildest dreams, filled with sleazy hustlers, downtown scenesters and pansexual diplomats. Its transportive sound and hedonistic lyrical chanting of “forty eight hours at the Dis Ko” made you, in that moment, wish the night could last for that duration at the very least.

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Yīn Yīn @ Hope & Ruin, Brighton