Vegyn Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds PLZ Make It Ruins
Vegyn was always going to need a precise and uncompromising scalpel to fashion a cohesive album from his wealth of beats. After all, June’s mixtape Text While Driving If You Want to Meet God! was as long-winded as its name suggested, a messy 71-track sprawl that, for all its flashes of unvarnished brilliance, looked and felt like a bit of a data dump, with an alphabetised track listing and wildly inconsistent mastering.
Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds is an altogether more refined affair, underpinned by a quickly-established sonic palette that encompasses woozy synths, scratchy percussion and field recordings. The latter are both mundane and evocative – think telephone dial tones, hospital ventilators, snatches of conversation. This eye for curation carries into his discerning selection of collaborators, and his ability to shapeshift around them brings the most out of himself in the process.
The thrillingly off-kilter JPEGMAFIA hook-up Nauseous/Devilish is the standout, while the deployment of Retro X’s quiet menace on You Owe Me is a left-field triumph. Elsewhere, the blissed-out I Don’t Owe You NYthing, featuring Jeshi on vocals, is criminally short, coming in shy of two minutes. Sure, Vegyn’s debut LP still feels scattershot, as if he hasn’t quite learned how to harness his creative energy, but Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds shines with real promise.