Yune Pinku's album cover for Bluff

Yunè Pinku – Bluff

The whole Y2K revival thing has been going on for a while now and whilst there’s a lot that really needs to remain back in the early noughties never to resurface again. I’m talking about low-slung jeans that demand child-like hips, belly chains, gold jewellery and thongs worn proudly suggesting you’d given yourself a wedgie. The UK garage scene (and the lesser-known ‘niche’ scene) was always due for a comeback, it was uniquely British and there’s never been anything quite like it since. Yunè Pinku’s debut EP effortlessly blends the best of this era’s garage-inspired beats with nineties dance to create an icy, detached, end of the night – comedown vibe.

There’s no doubt that this release is heavily inspired by UK rave culture but it’s not a pastiche, none of the four tracks obviously imitate something, instead, they take inspiration whilst moving in a new direction. This means that the songs avoid falling into the trap of nostalgia, Bluff doesn’t try to convince listeners that things were better then than now, it takes fragments and revives lost genres, breathing new life into them.

Affection‘ is the official single release from the EP and this is a wise choice, it’s definitely the strongest song on the EP and the best representation of Yunè Pinku’s potential. It’s a dark (but not too dark), catchy track that even enters into Aphex Twin circa Syro territory a little. According to Yunè , the track “is a kind of an ode to London night life“. For her, it “really sums up my feeling of the good times I had as a teenager in London, but also with the slight paranoia of the danger that exists in the night world.

It is this sense of paranoia that creeps through the song and separates it from being a warming, feel-good dance track to something that embodies a grittier realness that accompanies rave culture; Waiting for tubes amongst graffiti-stained walls, worrying about a friend who left the party with a random group, aggressive bouncers or police determined to pick a fight, nosebleeds and sickness.

The video for ‘Affection’ is VERY 2001 and contains the kind of animation that was popular in the early noughties featured in videos such as Shanks and BigfootSweet like Chocolate‘ or the Spice GirlsViva Forever.‘ Yunè awkwardly sings the lyrics looking bored and a little self-conscious on an animated screen. The vibe really conjures a small afterparty at a rave.

DC Rot’ is the first song on the EP and feels like the perfect track to accompany you getting ready for a night out. ‘Laylo’ follows this and takes it down a notch with slightly more melancholy-sounding vocals. ‘Bluff‘ is the final track and probably the most garage-sounding in terms of backing beats. The EP amasses a total of 13 minutes 54 seconds running time and it’s incredibly pleasing that the release isn’t padded out with any songs that might have taken it from all killer to some filler, just for the sake of making it appear longer.

Nothing is wasted here, Bluff is curated to include four tracks that meld perfectly into a really strong debut EP that doesn’t get boring and that you won’t need to skip through. Unlike some popular artists who are making attempts to tap into the Y2K aesthetic accompanied with shopping mall style, neither here nor there pop music coughs, ahem Doja Cat. Yunè Pinku has the talent and the tunes behind her to make this more than a  commercially-incentivized, vanity project.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.