Boomkat Product Review:
Breakthru NW soul and rap composer-producer Rainy Miller clears his cache of three gems in advance of his stunning work on Blackhaine’s keenly anticipated new EP - RIYL Space Afrika, Arthur Russell, Gigi Masin
A lowkey masterclass in finding strength in vulnerability, ‘A Choreographed Interruption’ forms a concerted effort at coming to terms with the past, serving a poetic and emotionally penetrating reflection on provenance, overcoming loss, and finding one’s place in the world. Under a titular reference to Keith Harrison’s art performance involving 30 bus conductors, held at Preston’s renowned brutalist bus station and presented as “A Choreographed Interruption”, which coincided with Rainy’s move back to the Lancastrian city in 2019; he most acutely bares his soul on three songs that deal with the flux of feels that come with moving back to a home city, particularly with processing encounters with estranged family, and visiting key sites of memory. But for all the emotional weight, Rainy admirably keeps his chin up, offsetting the melancholic lyrical introspection with a slow burning musical optimism that’s NW soul thru and thru.
’Yellowman’ opens with a sore song about an absent father, heightening the hurt with emosh autotune, yet set to ambient soul keys and pads with an ultimately healing resolve. The soul-grabbing centrepiece ‘Death at a TV Dinner’ then takes its cues from a voyeurist glance at an Ancoats flat window that gave an unexpected emotional reflux, which he turns into a blue eyed ambient soul zinger splitting the difference between Paddy McAloon and Space Afrika. Finally ‘Meridian, 1520’ nods to the titular room in Wim Wenders’ ‘Paris, Texas’ where the child is returned by its father to a long lost mother. It’s a song about letting go of the past - from family issues to extinguished romances - and rendered in cottony acoustic guitar and beautifully light touch string arrangements that keep the message on point - acceptant, upward and onward.