Caryatid / Ladies Night – Cravism X Maya Diegel (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If the music that Cravism X Maya Diegel makes isn’t the perfect representation of the cutting edge of creativity in the world today, then I don’t know what is. And I’m not even necessarily talking about the music that they make, although its blends of gentle hip-hop groove and neo-jazz/soul moves are very much music for the here-and-now.

A collaboration between a Parisian singer and a Singaporean producer who met at a gig in Cornwall, who recorded the music for this release remotely from the safety of their respective homes as the lockdown hit, offering a brace of songs that explores what it actually means to be a woman and how that gender is perceived by those around here. Sounds pretty poignant, perfectly timed, and thoroughly contemporary to me.

Taken together, the two songs are a sort of call and response, Caryatid raising all sorts of questions about the female experience and Ladies Night offering some of the answers to those questions…or perhaps raising just more questions! And if that isn’t obvious from the lyrics, the double package video which links the songs together underlines the point perfectly.

And this wonderful juxtaposition, a jazz juxtaposition no less, is built around all manner of soulful sonics and avant-garde artfulness, a relaxed and understated ebb and flow of urban-infused music which has become their trademark sound.

Not just cool music but music with a brilliant lyrical agenda too. Come for the groove, stay for the debate… that’s how smart this duo is.

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