By Roshan Bhatia
The newest release from producer and singer Yves Tumor, “Safe In The Hands of Love” is his strongest project yet, one that takes inspiration from U.K. rave and industrial music, solidifying Yves Tumor as a heavy hitter in experimental music.
In terms of style, “Safe In The Hands of Love” is a noticeable sonic departure from Yves Tumor’s previous industrial and sound collage based releases. The most notable changes in style might best be attributed to this album being his debut release on English IDM powerhouse Warp Records, with Yves Tumor leaning into some of the harder U.K. rave sub genres. The formerly free-floating and often ambient compositions favored by Yves Tumor are now given structure and direction through the album’s greater emphasis on drum machine-based patterns and breakbeats.
Despite the change in direction, Yves Tumor hasn’t forgotten his industrial roots. In the past, Tumor has cited industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle as a heavy influence, one which clearly persists throughout the entire album. Tumor’s vocals share the same disinterest, exhaustion, and aggression heard in Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P-Orridge vocals, which contrast with the aggressive, bass-heavy synth sections and complex drum patterns. The similarities do not end with the vocals, as seen in Tumor’s favoring of distorted synthesizers, heavy use of reverb and delay, and sampling techniques.
However, there are some pretty opposing differences in the two artist’s approaches. Whereas Throbbing Gristle’s work often had a free improvisation quality to the sound and structure which resulted in longer compositions with extended drone-like sections, “Safe In The Hands of Love” feels much more concise and calculated, which is probably a product of Tumor’s newfound interest in U.K. dance music sounds. I would argue this is a change for the better, given that Tumor’s arrangements aren’t quite so minimal as Throbbing Gristle’s.
Ultimately, this album constitutes some of Yves Tumor’s best work, an oppressive and well-rounded project that leans more into noise and dissonance than ever before. “Safe In The Hands of Love” is a near perfect album, one that is produced and paced well, and breaks boundaries between genres time and time again.