Yello – Point – Dolby Atmos
Yello, made up of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank, is back with the IAA community favorite album, Point. The album was recently nominated for IAA’s 2022 Listeners Choice Award.
By Ben Jacklin
It’s impossible to review Yello without pulling out the same old facts to provide context.
Yello may best be known for the 1980s track “Oh Yeah” which has been used in TV and film hundreds of times, most notably in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The group was a collaboration between a billionaire playboy, Dieter Meier and a truck driver Boris Blank, and the two are now in their 60s and 70s. Point proves that they are still going strong, and still happy to push the envelope. These guys can still dazzle a crowd, even if they are of an age where they can draw a pension in their native Switzerland.
It is also virtually impossible to mention Yello without describing them as being a part of the Dadaism movement, a whimsical European art and culture genre that incorporates lots of fun, whimsy, and experimentation.
On Point, the duo have shown both their will to evolve, and the stubbornness to stay virtually exactly the same. We mean that in the nicest way possible.
While every song on the album sounds exactly like it could have been written back in the 80s, a period many people would consider Yello’s heyday. On the other hand, the production techniques breathe new life into the signature sound, with immersive audio in the form of a Dolby Atmos mix that rattles the speakers and fills the room.
Even after all of those years working together, the duo speak about one another, and their music, with a real zest.
“When Boris is immersed in his music, he is like a child in a heap of sand,” says Mier, “I have developed a dozen tricks on how I can then enter the studio without scaring him to death.”
Point’s mainstay is in the same wheelhouse as a lot of Yello’s back catalogue, with dadaist lyrics and husky, scatty vocals, but as we’ve come to expect from the Swiss electronic duo, there are constant twists and turns, and leftfield instrumentation to keep us on our toes.
The nonsensical and playful “Wava Daba” is a dada classic, along with the whimsical “Arthur Spark” with a heavy dance groove and abstract lyrics.
Yello’s own press release describes “Big Boy’s Blues” as mutant blues with Meier in Leonard Cohen mood. There’s even a hint of crooning in the vocals.
The rest of the album sees a guest appearance from British-Asian avant-garde singer Fifi Rong, and even a trombone solo in “Rush for Joe.”
The Atmos mix adds a further element to the unique Yello sound, with the deepest of deep vocals, a healthy dose of crazy, and 80s grooves that attack from all angles.
This is the sort of album that you could put on at a party, and get some strange looks to start with, but within five minutes everyone’s toes would be tapping to the infectious and catchy dada sound.
An album that will satisfy lovers of 80s music, and lovers of contemporary experimental electronica with the same level of thrill and excitement.
About the Author
Ben is a writer and musician from the UK with a background in music technology. He writes about engineering and production, musicianship and music equipment for a number of publications including his own site, subreel.com