Manu Delago’s second album for Tru Thoughts explores his talents with the hang. Now in case you think I’ve written that wrong, the ‘hang’ is a musical instrument that looks like a UFO. It has percussive qualities but also melodic ones, so it’s not too far removed from a steel drum – and when used as inventively as it is here, it adds a distinctive colour to the music. Delago has made a proper album here, by which I mean he takes the listener on an hour of high and low, fast and slow, energetic or chilled. The guests help in this approach, with vocalists Pete Josef and Isa Kurz both excellent, the latter on ‘Mesmer mesmerising’, which is a great song, while Douglas Dare brings an edge to the thought provoking ‘Abrupt’. ‘Spaceful’ demonstrates a tougher, steely side to the production, with rolling drums and lean piano, while ‘Chimp Rave’ is a brilliant depiction of the mayhem that would ensue when apes are let loose on the percussion. On the chilled side, ‘Freeze’ shows just how soothing the sound of a hang can be. An album that looks beyond the norm, creating sounds, textures and rhythms that are consistently original and curiously soulful.
Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5

Manu Delago – A Step feat. Pete Josef (Official Video)