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TWO TAKES EP by Yazmin Lacey & Congi
It’s a rainy day as I sit at my desk, overlooking a desolate Mancunian condominium to the sound of Congi’s chimes that pitter patter back and forth across the soundscape of my headphones. Perfectly in tune with the weather, as though on purpose.
It’s a mid-December Sunday and the logfire is missing but the warmth of the combined sounds of these two staple Nottingham legends is embracing me like a woolen shawl, the likes of which people don’t wear any more.
It’s a strange kind of warmth really, the kind that feels reassuring because of its acknowledgment of the bitter cold. The lyrics: pitiful and introspective. The kind that recognizes the common ground that we all walk on: namely, the inner world that we inhabit by ourselves and that no one else can ever really know, first hand.
We all have it, some of us enjoy it. It’s a feeling of being the protagonist in one’s own drama. Isn’t that what makes films and novels so irresistible, they reflect the almost-solipsistic feeling of being alone in the world and yet fundamentally reliant on it. The same can be said for music, music like the kind you can hear on Two Takes, the latest collaboration from East Midlands treasures Yazmin Lacey and Congi.
I’ve been following Congi for a while now. This veteran duo are experts in creating profound, desolate and open soundscapes the sort that you want to get lost in forever. Incidentally, they’ve provided a unique and perfectly-matched space for Yazmin’s vocals that, in my opinion, absolutely thrive against the backdrop of a sparse lo-fi hip-hop beats as opposed to the instrumental jazz for which she is famous.
I mean, hot-diggity-damn. That last track ‘Dust’ is absolutely stunning. I can see why they left the best till last. I was already enjoying the EP but….
This is mesmerizing, tantalizing and hypnotizing all in one. A very, very late addition to my Track of the Year contender race for sure.
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ST ALBAN by Marvin’s Revenge
What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by recalling the sacrifices without which we wouldn’t be able to celebrate this season of tinselly consumerism and logfire hibernation. Yes, yes. We all know about the big JC and his pious act of self-immolation that made us feel a little bit less guilty about the time we shoplifted a Creme Egg from Tesco but who spares a thought for the other homeboys who died for the squad?
I’ll tell you who: Marvin’s Revenge and the clue is in the name, they’re coming through a great vengeance and a fuuuuuurious anger!
Seriously, the relentless raw power in this track lends the strength and vigour that is needed to get the message across. St. Alban’s is a story of unforgivable injustice committed in the name of religious intolerance and fear of the threatening power of compassion.
The madness of the mob got the better of the man who stood up for what he felt and knew was right as the power of his purpose transcended any carnal suffering in this material plane.
Is there a message to be learnt from this story which is almost two millennia old? What is it that Marvin’s Revenge is trying to warn us about by resurrecting this story that, let’s face it, most of us aren’t aware of or have forgotten?
The dolorous delivery of these desperate lyrics of devotion and dedication to a cause, to an all-encompassing belief in an ideal is so intense and full of despair that one can’t help but be curious of why the topic was chosen and so heart-felt. I refuse to put it down as a simple evangelical proselytizing from the band.
What first comes to mind is modern society’s utter absence of any such meaning, purpose and understanding of where we stand in the universe since the quiet retreat of Christianity from the Western world. Do we need to fill this void? Maybe I’m reading into it too much.
Probably. Who knows, eh? What I do know is that those drums are fucking killer! Forceful, inflamed, fervent, in your face. This is what we fucking love at I’m Not From London. We can’t wait to hear this at the next available not-socially-distanced-for-shit gig up in Notts, ASAP please!
Reviews by Liam MacGregor-Hastie