There is something of the flexibility and phrasing of Terence Trent D’Arby in Biyo’s vocal. And that flexibility in portamento and styling is complimented by stacking up his voice to a degree of delicious lushness that’s quite unusual. The choice of harmonies feels similar to choices that Beyonce’s arrangers might employ.
Vocals are used in stacks to help drive rhythm and add huge swathes of padded warmth to proceedings. It’s truly used as an instrument in all senses. It’s impressive. The ululating depth of Biyo’s vibrato adds movement within the stacks, making it a kinetic set of performances rather than simply ‘here is a pile of harmonies’.
Incredibly hypnotic, Numb scoots by in 3 very short minutes that will have you wondering if you blinked and missed it. The mix itself is enormous, huge slabs of sound that have been compressed so that everything feels louder than everything else, and there’s a wonderful sense of swirling excess about the whole thing, which adds an almost psychedelic flavour to the listening experience.
Subby slabs of bass nail down the bottom end, while the snikkity-kliks of electronic percussion rain down on the chorus to elevate it with brightness – enough to blast any amount of cobwebs away. A washy guitar part floats in the background…
This is distinctly accomplished, and I imagine the vocal sessions alone must have taken a long time to write and organise. Impressive, and over far too soon.