Available on: Triple You Tapes cassette
Sounding similar to The Avalanches Since I Left You, Mane Mane’s debut Mane 2 Mane reaches into a dreamy proto-soul context, varying its fidelity to achieve a certain voice.
‘Just Called 2’ stands out for its sparkling synth-laden summer lope, a punch drunk rhythm starting wonkily before gathering momentum into a confident stride, only to arrive at its destination abruptly. ‘Hidden Dap’ is another strong point, taking rolling delays to a quickly-rotating Rhodes melody, with expertly chopped, subtly tense drums breaks causing the pace to hover just before double-time all the way up to a quietly wailing pad-soaked finale. ‘Chilt Milk’ showcases possibly the best instrumentation of the album, filtering and reverb creating vague timbres from the voices, similar to steel pans, pipes and twinkling DX7 leads. Underneath the clear square wave pad shudders, many clouded harmonies shroud the beat that eventually enters.
One issue does dilute the full effect of this album, and that is Mane Mane’s desire to fill every track out to a maximum. Obvious jazz samples and familiar hip hop rhythms paired with glitchy effects and overtly electronic instrumentation means all material presented is similar in timbre and approach. Much of this content could be drastically stripped back to a more ‘demo’ quality, opening up the detail, making the drums more strident and highlighting some of the great results currently featured in the layers.
This said, Mane 2 Mane is still an album that will please many fans of Brainfeeder-esque contemporary hip hop, and is a commendable accomplishment for a debut. If you like your beats thick, full of movement and sunshine, get it. Oh, and a tape deck to play it on.