Rainy Miller X Space Afrika

A Grisaille Wedding

Fixed Abode • 2024

Right from the opening track, »Summon the Spirit/Demon«, it’s clear that »A Grisaille Wedding« is set in a very British kind of dingy niche. A burial-esque wash of sound, flickering and about to die out, over which Rainy Miller’s pathetic vocals pour into the empty space. Then the track-diptych gives way to plump piano dabs, which voice actors decorate with oddly weak-chested, but still lively R&B parts. Rainy Miller and Space Afrika have rented the hall for this wedding, which is held in all the dull shades of the supposed colour grey, and instrumentalise transience for their purposes. Alongside all sorts of collaborators who take on vocal parts or make the atmosphere even more oppressive, they also use trip-hop as an idiom for expressing their emotional poverty born of resignation. »Maybe It’s Time To Lay Down The Arms« sums it up perfectly, and not only in the title: Mica Levi’s dramatic instrumentation meets delayed snares that could have come straight from a Portishead track. And yet, it doesn’t matter whether Iceboy Violet spits out energetic rap parts with a depressive timbre or Coby Sey croons over strings, there is always a spark of hope on this extraordinarily coherent album. It must be the pathos, unfiltered and greater than any irony, that you desperately cling to.