Mano Le Tough - In My Arms

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  • One of Mano Le Tough's favored tricks is to use the bassline to introduce or anchor a new melodic passage. He'll keep a track locked into an entrancing, monotonic groove buoyed by a one-note bass pattern, and suddenly the bass will unspool into a heart-tugging riff. It feels a bit like being dragged from the heavens back onto the dusty earth, and that's also how I often feel when listening to this three-tracker of gorgeous, dreamy emo house: I'm floating in space, far away from my problems, then something concrete—a melody or vocal—digs into my heart and pulls back into the confused, messy realm of human desire. On the title track a wavering male voice emerges out of bell-ringing bliss to croon "I'm sorry I didn't wait around to say goodbye, I guess I didn't want to wait around to see you cry." The voice is slightly meandering, almost stumbling, as if the words are uncertain, and hard to get out. When this sentiment, simultaneously gentle and cowardly, gets latched onto a warm disco house beat, it turns into raver break-up music, perfect for Morrissey fans on MDMA. The other two tunes here form a neat trifecta with "In My Arms," each a welcome variant on mixing the melancholic with the psychedelic. This kind of aesthetic interplay gives additional urgency to the record's more spaced-out sections, which become additionally cathartic, ecstatically overcoming the gravity of conflicted emotion, even if for just one blissed-out, weightless instant, when filtered pads surge forth and synth notes seem to echo into infinity. On "Those Lights are Lives," trance tones spiral over a haunting Rhodes chord progression, and I feel like I'm barreling into the unknown future in a first-class cabin.
  • Tracklist
      A1 In My Arms A2 Dropping Bombs B Those Lights Are Lives