Yuri Online and mh are meticulous on their collaborative tape, with aggressive production and rasps that stick to the skin like burning membranes.
Unusual is the thoughtful feeling that runs through the experience of “YuriMh”. The early moments of the tape – a collab between moderately prolific producer mh and francophonic rapper Yuri Online – are marked by beats that deliver withering assaults followed by careful retreats. Tidally similar is Yuri’s delivery; melodic then broken, rapid then strained, in French and then in English. “Bout That” and, especially, “Vampire Bund” are pressurised highlights from this first leg. The aesthetic fabric the pair work with is familiar and well tested – it’s the arrangement of such a diversity of parts that makes this work so gripping and so pensive. “Barbie” becomes a perfect example when Yuri slips into an itchy higher register, and “Grid” is engrossingly flexible even through mh’s wall of compressed trap percussion.
All of the beats on “YuriMh” are designed to facilitate melody and cover a range of genres, from growling dark trap to more ambient cuts. The title gives it away – this album is less focused on any particular movement, instead offering a holistic look at how these creators combine. Generally this is an explosive reaction, but there are softened, even quiet, moments that suggest a greater depth of possibilities, such as the misty planes of “Doppelganger”.
Vocally, Yuri is hard to escape. Their words, delivered with emphasised consonants and characteristic rasp, bind to the moment and cling on afterwards. Even to a non-speaker Yuri’s intense and occasionally belligerent flows have serious staying power. On “Sablier” fountains of sound swirl around this central conduit, with sparse breaks into English acting as a taunt to the unknowing. Harrowing cries of “I can’t feel nothing” and “know me” mix with native French on “Part of Me” to fairly stunning effect and stage-ready calls of “okay, okay” help to ground bouncy club tune “Pretty”. This project presents a world where the existence of binaries doesn’t imply fracture, whether that be in language, tone, or emotion. The artists build and build yet overcrowding is rare. In the wider scene it’s an excellent time for contrast in music as creators find new ways to accommodate difference, and “YuriMh” rewards listeners who chose to do the same.
Listen to “YuriMh” here.
Follow Yuri Online on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Music
Follow mh on Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud
– Jamie (⅓ @108MICS)