• Jamie Staples

Tay Iwar & Le Mav - 'GOLD'

Tay Iwar and Le Mav join forces on their new collaborative EP 'Gold'. Swirling with Afrobeat drums and West-African Guitars, the tracklist explores a multitude of diverse soundscapes and lyrical themes.

The pair are no strangers to collaboration, having worked together on Tay Iwar's 2019 album 'Gemini' (Strangers and Fools) this project sees both at the top of their artist game. Tay's voice in perfect harmony with the sleek and rich production of Le Mav.

Both artists have been working on their sound individually from a young age and it's extremely clear to see, their previous works boast this exploration, but is with this new project that their styles, vision and sound seem so clear. It's fair to say that the project slows down the pace of contemporary Afro-Fusion beats, but there has definitely been a surge of R&B coming from West Africa - blending lush percussive sounds with guitars, soulful lyrics and summertime flows.

'Gold' stands at 19 minutes, with the longest track standing at just 3:21, 'Heat'. What's really interesting about this however is how the project encapsulates space within the tracks. Le Mav's percussion is what drives the songs, mixed with Iwar's silky vocals and harmonies there's no overloading of flows.

Take 'Shoreditch Swing', a track that starts off with wurly electric rhodes and a simple hi-hat rhythm and builds into an incredible wall of sonics. Lyrically the track contemplates a sense of heartbreak at a train station, the feeling of really wanting someone to stay. The song then fades down into a blended bass and percussive outro, the reverbed lyrics still playing in your head.

The project boasts some phenomenally intricate outro's and intro's to each track. The songs blend perfectly, showing just how much thought the pair put into the tracklisting itself - the stand out track 'Ricochet' plays with a call and response sound, its depth helmed by layers and a mixture of soundscapes and vocal harmonies, it's here where the duo's power is in full force.

The lyrical themes explore such takes on heartbreak and ambition in life at times boasting success at other points contemplating the meaning and value of it. If one thing is clear the sound of 'Gold' is not only ambitious and textured, its never been heard before. The unique drum patterns and harmonious vocals stand out heavily within each track. An incredible project to listen to.

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