REVIEW Mano Le Tough ‘Kind Of’ [Maeve]

Mano Le Tough’s new single is unmistakably Mano but with a twist of new. It’s dark, it’s stripped, it’s vibey and it’s hard to get out of your head. The title track Kind Of has minimal vocals and a strong beat whereas Snakes On The Brain is full of vocals and has more pronounced subsequent melodies but both have Mano Le Tough’s pension for organized chaos. Popping up in sets and livestreams from the man himself as well as other heavy hitters before and after its release both tracks are destined to have many more plays on and off the airwaves.

A strong beat, almost like a heartbeat is the backbone of this track, breathing life into it from beginning to end; maintaining its shape with its propelling gusts of music. As if sound is tearing its way out of somewhere we hear a slight pitch down of tones, static, a snippet of percussion followed by a what? Who knows, because then its gone and we’re not even sure we heard it. But we did and it continues. Unsure of what comes next we hang on to every irregular sound, keyless tone and wordless voice until a shimmering twinkle emerges, rounding out the edges of the title track Kind Of for us. A few octaves higher a multi-tonal passage emerges – one whose contrapuntal melody has many voices, which, while staying true to their own line, end up meshing together to create a truly unique chordal one. With such a powerful beat it seems unimaginable that it disappears and it does so anti-climatically that we almost miss it until its reintroduced and we remember what we were craving. Spirits high and minds at ease, we dance to the remainder.

The second track Snakes On The Brain begins with rattling, shaking, humming, ticking. This vibrato is felt everywhere. It’s vibrations unfold over top of us, underneath the intermittent, fluid vocals, and in between the subtly soft stabs. Inescapable, it circles us; envelopes us until we’re just as caught up as the staticky sub-bass or the siren-like drone that can’t choose a direction; as the time-confused claps and the relentlessly pulsing synth line. But like every journey we find our way even though eyes are lies, lies are eyes and snakes are on the brain.

Mano Le Tough’s Kind Of single was released on Maeve on May 16th, 2020.

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