Q///Q “Vanguard Youth” C40 (Strategic Tape Reserve)

Webster’s defines “vanguard” as “the forefront of an action or movement.” (Next to “hackneyed writer” it dispenses with words altogether and features only a picture of me with a lampshade on my head.) I think we’ve established that German Army, of which Q///Q is an offshoot brand, is at the vanguard of social resistance and change via sound art, and it’s also pretty clear that the youth are going to have to step in and take up the mantle and continue the fight as time passes. Youth with enough energy to throw each other, Superman-like, through the air. Vanguard Youth we could call them.

Q///Q did.

Yeah, we like a little rhapsody with our waxation, and Vanguard Youth delivers it within its fragile now-wave synth tunes, numbers teetering on the edge of a knife: to one side, trouble, to the other, rapture. It’s an operation that seems untenable – too much potential for disaster. But that’s the beauty of Q///Q – it balances the hazy computer pulse of a good GeAr tune, whacking itself against a shorting node, with the blissful and melancholy ambience of a good Peter Kris track, enveloping a node with its humidity until it shorts. Either way you’re effing up a perfectly good computer.

And while it’s not a traditional call to arms in the same way as the most circuit-fried GeAr releases can be, it at least sustains the unease beneath the surface. Its consistent presence is a constant reminder to go forth and do that thing, right that wrong. It’s not on the front line, but it’s nourishment for the vanguard youth behind the scenes. Real change is gonna come, you mark my words.