YL Hooi is the project of Valya Ying-Li Hooi, inhabiting a subtle and mysterious realm of furtive, dubbed-out song, sparse electronic percussion, and distant winds. Active in the Melbourne underground scene since 2017, Hooi is a member of Kallista Kult and has recorded and performed with artists including Jonnine Standish (HTRK),
Her debut album Untitled (first released on cassette by Altered States Tapes in 2019 and reissued on LP by Efficient Space in 2021) was widely praised. Moving seamlessly from angelic song to gritty tape gunk, Hooi’s work opens onto a multitude of genres and directions while retaining a distinctly personal stamp through her obsessively zoned-out dub production tactics. ‘These are songs that seem to emerge in plumes of smoke, magician’s tricks conjured from the ether’
Both live and in the studio, Hooi’s work is produced in close collaboration with Tarquin Manek (known for his eponymous solo work on Blackest Ever Black). In the live setting, the pair use voice, trumpet, bass clarinet, guitar, bass, drum machines and synths to reimagine the carefully produced studio material anew for each performance, keenly aware of improvisational possibilities and the vicissitudes of audience, venue, and acoustic space. Touching on the fringes of many genres and traditions – post-punk, minimal synth, dub, krautrock – Hooi’s protean music is haunted and seductive, her voice trailing off into an echoed infinity anchored to body-shaking foundations.