Album: Return To The Ugly Side
Label: Domino Recording Co.
A slow and tragic atmospheric journey into the psychedelic landscapes of Trip hop that is enunciated, at times, by fierce and powerful beats: This is how it is best to describe Return To The Ugly Side, Malachai’s sophomore follow-up to their 2009 debut Ugly Side Of Love.
The duo, consisting of Gary Ealey and Scott Hendy, provide the listener with an orgiastic feast of mood, melody, and stunning hypnotic manipulation within a relatively short length of time (14 songs clicking in at just over 35 minutes).
True to the Trip hop genre, Malachai deliver a dark and disturbing album that is not meant to be glossed over lightly. There is a great diversity of sound present here, and it is highlighted by melancholic themes and haunting lyricism. Many tracks, such as “Rainbows” and “Distance”, systematically enslave the listener with poetic poignancy and intimate personal anguish throughout most of the duration time of Return To The Ugly Side.
Greatly influenced by Massive Attack, Portishead and even hints of N.E.R.D., Malachai create a distinct, personal piece heavily derived from acid-infused sampling. The duo, from Bristol, England (the birthplace of Trip hop), work hard to create a multi-layered narrative that incorporates many seamlessly intertwined musical genres ranging from hip hop and rock to jazz and club music.
A hectic ride through the shadows of life, returning to the ugly side was a journey well worth embarking upon.