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Rob Young

Rob Young

Rob Young was born in Bristol in 1968. He has worked as a music writer and editor since 1993, when he joined the staff of The Wire. He was editor of the title between 2000-04 and continues as a co-owner, contributor and editorial member. He regularly presents The Wire's 'Adventures in Modern Music' show on Resonance 104.4 FM, and edited the collections of Wire articles Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring of Modern Music (Continuum 2002) and The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music (Verso, 2009). Rob also wrote the first two in Black Dog Publishing's Labels Unlimited series of illustrated record company biographies: Warp (2005) and Rough Trade (2006). His latest book is a 650-page history of folk music and the British imagination, from the late 19th century to the present, Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music (Faber and Faber 2010). Rob lives in Stoke Newington, north London, with his family, including two children, and has contributed to publications including Uncut, Sight & Sound, The Guardian, Frieze and Art Review.

Rob's blog

40 articles

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List of articles in the library by artist

ABC, Cabaret Voltaire, Clock, Heaven 17, The Human League: Martin Lilleker: Beats Working For A Living – Sheffield Popular Music 1973-1984 (Juma)

Book Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, July 2005

PRACTICALLY EVERY city in Britain has a roster of musical hod carriers with appalling names. This exhaustive history of Sheffield's music scene is crammed with ...

Laurie Anderson: Epiphanies: Laurie Anderson

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, May 2000

Laurie Anderson tells Rob Young how a great white whale lured her towards her latest revelations ...

Aphex Twin, Si Begg, Squarepusher, Cristian Vogel: Richard James, Tom Jenkinson et al: A Taste Of Wonderland, Ministry Of Sound, London

Live Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, September 1997

AH, A DUMBSHOW — now that's entertainment. In the middle of the floor in the largest of the Ministry Of Sound's three shapeless spaces, the ...

Meg Baird: Seasons On Earth

Review by Rob Young, Word, The, October 2011

Those in search of rapturous folk meditations with all the urgency of the '60s revivalists... tune in to Meg Baird. ...

The Beatles, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor: David Browne: Fire And Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story Of 1970 (Da Capo)

Book Review by Rob Young, Word, The, June 2011

AROUND 15 MAY 1970, Neil Young glanced at Time magazine's coverage of the killing of four students at Kent State, grabbed a guitar and within ...

Boards Of Canada: Protect and Survive

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, October 2005

In a rare face to face interview at their Scottish retreat, Boards Of Canada break their self-imposed isolation to scotch the myths that have coalesced ...

Bon Iver: Bon Iver (4AD)

Review by Rob Young, Word, The, July 2011

After the world's greatest break-up album, Bon Iver has pulled himself out of the quagmire of regret — with invigorating results. ...

David Bowie: David Bowie

Review by Rob Young, Uncut, February 2010

The Dame's debut: an enduringly curious dispatch from "Gnome-man's land", expanded and remastered. ...

The Edgar Broughton Band: The Harvest Years 1969-1973

Review and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, February 2011

Out, hippies, out! Four CD set captures the righteous, blues-rocking anger of Warwickshire's counterculture warriors. ...

Can: Truth at 33 rpm

Book Excerpt by Rob Young, 'All Gates Open: The Story of Can' (Faber), May 2018

ONE OF THE many resonances of Can's name is the canister housing reels of celluloid film, a precious container protecting that most flammable and crumply ...

Can: Ulrich Adelt: Krautrock: German Music In The Seventies (University of Michigan Press)

Book Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, April 2017

AS ULRICH ADELT points out in his introduction to this sweeping survey of German music, there have been relatively few books on krautrock, even fewer ...

Shirley & Dolly Collins: The Harvest Years

Review and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, September 2008

Remastered recordings dust off the crowning glories of English folk's Indian summer. ...

Sandy Denny, The Strawbs: Sandy Denny & The Strawbs: All Our Own Work

Review and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, August 2010

Early recordings of English folk's finest voice, definitively remastered. ...

Fairport Convention: What They Did On Their Holidays: Fairport Convention at Farley House, Summer 1969

Book Excerpt by Rob Young, 'Electric Eden' (Faber), August 2010

NOTE: This is an excerpt from Rob Young's superb new folk opus Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music, published in August 2010 by Faber & ...

Fairport Convention: Come all ye rolling minstrels

Retrospective and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, September 2007

They were a bunch of uptight Londoners who wanted to be the Byrds. But after a tragic road crash, Fairport Convention holed up in the ...

Bill Fay: Apocalypse When?

Profile and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2010

The return of a remarkable English visionary. ...

Bill Fay: Tomorrow Never Knows

Retrospective and Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, March 2005

AFTER MAKING TWO OF THE FINEST BUT OVERLOOKED APOCALYPTIC SINGER-SONGWRITER ALBUMS OF THE EARLY 70S — WITH JAZZ ARRANGER MIKE GIBBS AND FREE GUITARIST RAY ...

First Aid Kit: The Lion's Roar

Review by Rob Young, Word, The, February 2012

Gorgeous close-harmony singing and undiluted Americana —from the wide-open prairies of Stockholm ...

Fleet Foxes: Pack Mentality: Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Bella Union)

Review by Rob Young, Word, The, May 2011

Fleet Foxes return, warmer and more bracing, with a set of vivid utopian folk songs for an age of modern austerity ...

Davey Graham: Davy Graham: A Scholar And A Gentleman

Review by Rob Young, Uncut, January 2010

Perfectly tuned survey of the dad of DADGAD's musical wanderings. ...

Jonny Greenwood, Radiohead: Jonny Greenwood: "What do I do? I just generally worry about things…"

Report and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2011

THE CAR PULLS into the courtyard of a small complex E of offices in the middle of a housing estate on the fringes of Didcot, ...

Grooverider: Locked Groove

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, September 1998

As one of the few drum 'n' bass starfighters still standing, is it too late for the lone Grooverider to save Jungle from burning out? ...

PJ Harvey, John Parish: PJ Harvey & John Parish: A Woman A Man Walked By

Review by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2009

Grunge! Banjo! Dub! Swearing! Old friends play at musical double-dare, says Rob Young. ...

Mark Hollis, Talk Talk: Return from Eden: Mark Hollis

Profile and Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, January 1998

As the prime mover behind Talk Talk, Mark Hollis threw off the shackles of a pop existence to create the bleakest, yet most lyrical orchestral ...

The Incredible String Band: Reissues

Review by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2010

Scottish psych-folkies seek (and find) enlightenment. Praise be, says Rob Young. ...

Konono No. 1: Konono No 1: Congotronics

Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, March 2005

IN AFRICA, corrupt and irresponsible governance has led some of the continent's most prominent modern musicians to cast themselves as surrogate leader figures — think ...

LCD Soundsystem: Liquid ecstasy: LCD Soundsystem: LCD Soundsystem (DFA/EMI) *****

Review and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, February 2005

New York's disco infiltrators put the "cross" in crossover ...

Jamie Lidell: Boy in a Bubble

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, July 2005

Digital avant funk sound boffin and flamboyant vocalist by turns, Jamie Lidell's live appearances are spectacular feats of improvised technology and showmanship. On the release ...

John Martyn: Ain't No Saint

Review and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, October 2008

Outtakes and unreleased live recordings shine new light on the angels and demons at war in a 40-year career. ...

John Martyn: Felling Gravity's Pull

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, June 1998

After rising to prominence with the late 60s electric folk renaissance, John Martyn uprooted songform and subjected it to a serious sonic makeover on a ...

Mickey Newbury: American Trilogy (Saint Cecilia Knows/Mountain Retreat)

Review by Rob Young, Word, The, May 2011

Mickey Newbury's songs were made famous by other people. In his own hands they reveal a strange and magical thumbprint. ...

Pentangle: The Time Has Come

Review and Interview by Rob Young, Uncut, February 2007

4CD Connoisseur Collection Of Rare Mercurial Magic From British Folk/Blues/Jazz Supergroup. ...

Portishead: Tangled Up In Blue

Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, December 1998

After three albums and a world tour which nearly put paid to them, the members of Portishead are resting up. In Bristol, Geoff Barrow and ...

Dean Roberts: Lost City Rambler

Profile and Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, April 2004

"I LIKE TO get songs to find their place in the air and sort of float there," says Dean Roberts, who began his career in ...

Six Organs of Admittance: Six Organs Of Admittance: Shelter From The Ash

Review by Rob Young, Uncut, December 2007

OVERUSED PHRASES such as "freak folk" or "acid folk" tend to play up the potential gonzo overtones of America's current underground scene. ...

Sun Ra: Cosmic Relief: Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra: The Magic Sun

Film/DVD/TV Review by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2005

Important documentary artefact of late-'60s avant-garde jazz ...

Traffic: John Barleycorn Must Die (Deluxe Edition)

Review by Rob Young, Uncut, April 2011

Winwood and pals' pastoral funk apogee, remastered. ...

Scott Walker: Bish Bosch

Press Release by Rob Young, 4AD Records, September 2012

Bish (n. sl.), bitchBosch, Hieronymous (c. 1450–1516), Dutch painterBish bosh (sl.), job done, sorted* ...

John Zorn: Barbican, London

Live Review by Rob Young, Wire, The, March 2000

ZORN'S BACK: that part of his anatomy, clad in a casual red pullover above yellow-flecked combat slacks, is, in fact, what is presented to the ...

List of genre pieces

wire200.net/minehost: Brainwashed.com

Profile and Interview by Rob Young, Wire, The, October 2000

Webmaster Jon Whitney controls Brainwashed.com, a central hub for music's outsider tendency, hosting sites for World Serpent, Tortoise, Kid606 and more.  ...

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