Vegyn, AKA Joe Thornalley is by no means the new kid on the block. You probably know him as the producer of Frank Ocean’s legendary albums “Endless” and “Blonde”. However, this isn’t about that. Record of the week this week is Vegyn’s debut album “Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds”, an incredible piece showing his stand-alone work is set to be as iconic as his collaborations. The album is hard to define to one genre, it has chasms of hip hop, jazz and electronic sounds with an esoteric dream-like edge. What stands out about this is the contrast within the tracks, making the personality of this album multiply the further you listen.
We start with a dreamy futuristic vibe, the track “Blue Verb” is wintery with echoing vocals. These continue into “Nauseous/Devilfish”, in the breaks between verses from JPEGMAFIA. “That Ain’t No Dang Cat!” is a crescendo of hecticness, mellowed out only slightly by the glitchy but slow and melodic “Aspenz”. “Cowboy ALLSTAR” is the track on this album for me, it’s complex, melodic and spicy all at the same time. “Thoughts Of Offing One” again feels more emotional, whereas “Debold” has a broken beat, with abstract breaks and an atmospheric tone. “Fake Life” is beautifully constructed, and really fits into the genre of modern classical music, this contrasts entirely with “I Don't Owe U NYthing”, a more off-kilter hip hop track from the London talent Jeshi. “Fire Like Tyndall” crackles and opens into a slow jam, with trap-like rhythms and distorted vocal recordings. “Unknown, Forever Unknown” again points to modern classical music, the delicate melody is just beautiful, “Retro OTW” is equally as calm and classical, enriched by the beautiful monotone voice singing. “When I Strike” is a mashup of everything mentioned previously; it’s broken beat, melancholic, futuristic and glitchy. “You Owe Me” is another favourite of mine, simultaneously hectic and dramatic and calm. “It’s Nice To Be Alive” lives up to its title, the positive chords shine through. The album finishes with “Blue Verb Reprise”, a fuller version of its opening counterpart with a calming outro. The entire album is brilliant. The intensity changes, the style is eclectic, the tone sweeps melancholic and joyful, yet within all this Vegyn maintains a consistency of the utmost skill.
2 slabs of vinyl, including insert and stickers. Ltd edition. TIP!