YUNGMORPHEUS and Fumitake Tamura (aka Bun) present Mazal, their first collaborative album for Leaving Records. After meeting online through a mutual respect for each others’ work (YUNGMORPHEUS’ 44 Laws of Mentalizm and Fumitake’s Mudai releases with Dakim for Leaving,) the two linked up at a brief 2017 Low End Theory performance and then began trading files back and forth over the next two years. Mazal, its title taken from a Japanese word meaning “a mixture of things,” is the result, a cohesive yet varied album documenting stressful trials, psychedelic endeavors, and copious inhalations of marijuana. Veering from violent fantasies of societal upheaval to blunted musings on religion and politics, YUNGMORPHEUS’ lyrics uncannily inhabit the twisted, pitch black backdrops that Fumitake conjures. Hypnotic chants materialize as blunted hooks which weave through the abstract beats like sun rays in a thick fog of smoke.
Fumitake’s artfully experimental beats provide an exquisitely warped foundation for the project. Of his composition process, Fumitake writes “I wanted to make music that I haven’t made before. For example, I would subtract some sounds to make the song unbalanced or unstable, and then I would look for new sounds to re-balance the track in a different way. Also, because the rapping is dynamic, I wanted to keep the beats minimal. I tried to make a new kind of feeling by balancing those two elements.” YUNGMORPHEUS writes “There’s a lot of different sonic textures in there that I usually don’t find myself gravitating towards, but it felt fire to step outside of a lot of unnecessary comfort zones.” With a nimble flow and a simmering mistrust, YUNGMORPHEUS adapts to each new lawless atmosphere with trenchant lyrics full of cutting observations on American life. The album’s first half is steeped in a persistent, paranoiac dread in tracks like the spaced, densely packed “Blunted” and “Lastdays Ashtrays,” while the back half tackles more earthly matters on funkier cuts like “General Barca” and the jazzy, tranquil interlude “Stay Twistin’.”
Mazal stays grounded by the struggles relayed by YUNGMORPHEUS. He writes, “I feel like most of these joints are snapshots of moments from that time period; some joints get recorded during days where you feel real flexed up and others when you’re burdened by the nature of maneuvering a social situation that was inherently built to your detriment. My grandmother passed during the period of recording of this project and that shaped a lot of content unintentionally but naturally. Shit like identity politics … most especially in relation to being a Black person in Amerikkka … disillusionments, triumphs, you know, life ‘tings.”