Their release communications are numbered in Roman numerals. They’re a faceless, androgynous, anonymous collective. So far so murky, and murkier still is the single. This is the first of two features that fit too well together (the next being Mieko Shimizu’s ‘Lazy Light’) not to tie up in reviews.
‘Last Word’ is nu-soul cinematic triphop that wades through its slush thickened soundscapes. Its intent to unravel in waterlogged shadows is clear from its very beginnings; wide swirls against reverb’d percussion, occasional wisps of metallic synth, if this wasn’t so steeped in Bristolian textures and stripped Unkle features we’d be calling it alt-futuristic.
In the minimalist dirge-drift of hazy progressions, we find hooks in the lazy rush vocals. Words come unhurried, they snake through the song, they’re the clear thing in all the warped sounds. There’s a tease of paranoia, a glimpse of hesitation, an illusion to something more ugly. Dark premonitions, end credits, bad dreams, ‘Last Word’ could match all the above.
On its own it’s a slow play of ambient electronica that wallows in bleak repetitions, as a film it plays up to its strengths as a soundtrack to abstract and ominous imagery. Graphics and illustrations of mannequins twist in chained up and shackled contortions. While beguiling and chic in its uniformed greys, presentation wins over the subject. Yes our ties to each other can shape us or break us, and yes they can free us or bind us, but over 4.5 minutes we might find ourselves wanting for more than the one worked-on metaphor.
For the film just as much as the song, it’s the way that it’s formed that’s most striking. They’re so slickly produced they breed intrigue, as for content… let’s see what comes next.
‘Last Word’ is out now, catch the video below. And find this track (as soon as it’s available), and others from reviewed/featured artists right here on Rats On Run Radio.