When I heard that the guitarist from Slaves was teaming up with a Mercury prize-nominated songwriter and producer, I was excited, but confused by the duo’s chosen name.
Upon hearing the full release, however, it makes perfect sense. LARRY PINK THE HUMAN is humanity in music, and it is perfectly captured in the contents of this mixtape. M1XTAPE fuses 80s-tinged pop, with garage guitar and production; moulding itself into a beautifully DIY and personal record that is disarming in nature and filled with ambient texture.
Three of the seven songs on the mixtape have already been released, these being ‘ELEVEN11_GTR_SONG’, a pumped-up hit that mixes a post-punk revival guitar line with synthesised drums, providing an air of Car Seat Headrest. ‘NO WRONG NO RIGHT’, which begins with massive kicks and snares and tells a story of growth and change: that there isn’t a wrong or right way to get through this life. And ‘BISOUSxxx’, a mostly acoustic song which incorporates a subtle ambient techno line that carries a chorus that speaks of not forgetting about your trauma but learning to live with it.
The unreleased tracks on the collection continue with the thematic consistency of bettering oneself mentally; “I’m not bulletproof”, belts out Laurie Vincent in ‘SURFACING’ – a recognition that you are going to get hurt at some point.
‘DO DON’T WILL WON’T’ holds an admission that you don’t really have any influence on what happens in life. Whilst this sounds depressing, the guitar riff that lilts throughout provides a more optimistic spin on things. ‘BREATHE’ is a mental monologue that speaks of seeming normal but being down inside. The final track on the EP, ‘FEELS LIKE HOME’, incorporates ambient techno, classical strings, and distorted guitars to create the most sonically diverse track on the mixtape: perhaps as a nod to it being a collection of everything spoken about and listened to throughout this release. The finale a triumphant ending that is doused in optimism , a reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Given that Laurie and Jolyon have both experienced the highest highs, as well as the profound lows detailed within the record, it’s a testament to the pair.