Boomkat Product Review:
Bunkered UK rap pathos from Bristol-via-London’s Manonmars, drawled syrupy over chopped & screwed clanky-plumbing production by Young Echo’s O$VMV$M
Manonmars’ second album after 2018’s eponymous debut, ‘In Colour’ pulls us more directly into his basement mindset than his uncompromisingly more obtuse introduction. Its 16 tracks land at a more clearly, soulfully raw juncture of modern blues recalling Mica Levi at her most blunted, as much as the quietly penetrative poetry of Wayne Phoenix, or red-eyed observations of Tricky or Carl Crack, but with an unpredictable metric looseness and tension between urgency/loucheness that’s all Manonmars’ own.
The pacing is immaculately smoked out in a grounded sense that’s likely to see him switch from hoods-up reportage, to sit up from the metaphoric sofa in the corner with some profound flow, before slunking back into the shadows of O$VMV$M’s grubbily absorbing backdrops. The voices of Bristol’s Jabu, and new names Birthmark and Axel Holey, also pipe up form the murk on the dusted highlight ‘Hollow’ and cold killer road rap drawl of ‘Armour’, and there’s a beautifully haunting turn by Paulina Korobkiewicz, reciting writings by Polish painter/colour artist Wojciech Fangor on the funereal procession ‘Walk’. Yet, the wavey-jaded and shapeshifting presence of Manonmars is patently the focus and perfectly supported by set design/sound staging that keep us properly locked in his head.
Dead strong stuff.