With this latest foray Mix n Blend have extended their all are welcome mind-set and incorporated the styling of blues artists Sannie Fox as well as that of Yaelle Trules who hails from a French island in the deep Indian Ocean named la Reunion into their unique brand of Afro-tronica. Both are immensely gifted female vocalists, who deliver incredibly sexy and decadent performances and thus fittingly each vocal gets enveloped by a sonic blanket of influences which warp time and form a collage of contrasting vintage and contemporary elements.
You can think of it as Hemingway meets a synthesizer.
On Rebel Gun Sannie Fox croons through a spectrum of Hendrix influenced psychedelica and a constantly evolving dub percussion- this is anchored with sensual string-like pads that contrast with the harsher electro bass that emerges surprisingly amidst the laid back, lushness of the accompanying instrumentation. This track has space. It’s a giant room that allows the instrumentation to play, to expand and contract freely and for the listener to roam around and grasp onto whatever whip of frequencies pass by. This allows Sannie’s vocal to shine through the track, and stretch itself through the mid-range. Her voice will twist your mind into a trance and you will only come back to reality once the electro bass suddenly stamps out a thick groove and Sannie’s vocal evolves from a decadent wail into a hurried pronounced chain of commands. When Sannie isn’t inhabiting the space, the Hendrix influence makes itself known in the form of deep guitar riffs laden with reverb and delay which anchor that psychedelic trance effect. The guitar is a constant presence in this track as it keeps a rhythmic pulse throughout as well as adding thick atmosphere however it shines, of course, in those generous riffs.
Mercy however is fully energetic from the get go. I felt a palpable sense of excitement for what is to come as early as the opening second streamed through my headphones. Yaelle Trules performance is the star of this track. Delivered in her native creole, and sent off into the thick, humid, dusty night of this songs instrumentation. It mingles with that signature electro bass, an island groove and magnificent brass horns. This song is dripping with imagery and atmosphere. It’s dark and sultry. Industrial and islandy. Dangerous and inviting. Above all – passionate – made palpable by Yaelles penetrating vocal. This song takes you places. It’s just so sexy.
This is what I want from Mix n Blend. Deep, atmospheric, contrasting songs that form elaborate images in your mind, that magically make you feel the song. I always stress how in any creative endeavour, the most important thing to nail is vibe, it’s immensely hard, and it cannot be taught but Mix n Blend have nailed it superbly with these tracks. It’s their best work no doubt.