Last year we wrote about Orquestra’s Final Expedition, the star-gazing effort from the Dublin producer who runs the Meles Meles label. The latest release from this outfit is Mangetout’s “If It Wer” EP. Described as ambient and melancholy, it’s an emotional journey that takes you from the Irish countryside to the big city lights of New York, reflecting the producer’s own journey from south Dublin to Brooklyn. Wistfully plucked guitar strings, disembodied choirs and perfectly pitched percussion, it’s a joyous piece of work. Opening with the glorious “Stardust”, the EP is woven through with a sense of possibility and wonder. There’s a magical quality as a double bass dances alongside glistening ephemera like the ghost of Mingus, while an other-worldly sax glides along up above. It’s like the soundtrack to your first night in that city of dreams, expertly capturing a sense of wide-eyed wonder and all the possibility that lies in store. The title track is a little bit more wistful, like the next day’s hangover when reality sets in and you don’t have a place to stay yet, but you’re still keen to give it a go. Simple strums, echoey percussion, the crackle of outside life, it’s downbeat yet hopeful, tired but excited.
Stream: Mangetout – If It Wer EP (Meles Meles)
“U n I” has a riff that’s strained with all the emotion of something you’d find on an OC soundtrack from 2005, but that emotion is chequered with throbbing bass and shadowy percussion, lest you forget what year it is. The shuffling anguish of “Ode” is underpinned by an unchanging drone and a shaky synth, reacting with and responding to a delicate strum and a repeated wistful vocal sample. The brief yet haunting “Zefe” leads the way to the striking “Borderline Goodbye”. Building from a slow, folksy slice of ambience its simple phrasing grows and develops a set of hip-hop legs, an almost literal transportation from a bucolic landscape to an urban space – the transition has been a success. Questionable spelling aside, this is a sumptuous release from a new talent finding his feet both physically and through his music.
Mangetout – If It Wer EP is out now on Meles Meles. Download here.