You might not have heard of Vegyn, but there’s a good chance you’ll have heard his music - the producer first came to the attention of many by producing large chunks of Frank Ocean’s 2016 video album Endless, and he’s subsequently shown up in the credits for Travis Scott’s Astroworld. Now, after sporadically dropping releases on his own PLZ Make It Ruins label since 2014, the one born Joe Thornalley now delivers his debut LP proper, entitled Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds.
While Thornalley may be based in London, influences from hip-hop/hip-hop-adjacent scenes across the pond come through strong on this record. There’s J Dilla in there - one of Thornalley’s favourites - but also a fair bit of Brainfeeder both past and present. While tracks like ‘Blue Verb’ balance chill vibes with energetic sonic invention in a manner reminiscent of LA scene stalwarts like Daedalus and Nosaj Thing, the hyperactivity of ‘Cowboy Allstar’ and ‘That Ain’t No Dang Cat!’ nod to the sound of recent Brainfeeder signee Iglooghost.
The addition of JPEGMAFIA on ‘Nauseous / Devilish’ is a good fit for Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds. Though Thornalley’s music may not be as abrasive as Peggy’s, the two artists share a penchant for rupturing their tracks and frequently pulling the proverbial rug from out under the listener. They do exactly this on ‘Nauseous / Devilish’, a cut which begins with one of those prettily blown-out beats JPEGMAFIA put all over Veteran and ends up a free-form sound collage.
Vegyn continues to make a name for himself as an innovative postmodern beatmaker on debut full-length Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds.