Cut to the scene where The Tonemamas are seated in some neutral, non-denominational, religiously vague (and totally non-offensive to anyone) church. Their eyes are closed in reverent concentration as the sweet, angelic voices from some ethereal choir float around the high, ornamented ceilings. And then suddenly, a beat drops so surprisingly but perfectly that it feels orchestrated by God him/her/itself. This, Tonemillers, is the beginning of “Prayers to a Slab” by Chuuwee produced by Imaginary Other featuring Esquire Ali.
The title captures the essence of the track perfectly, “Prayers to a Slab”. The “prayers” are conveyed in a stunning production of sampled, harmonious vocals drenched in reverb. And then we get that “slab” – what are they referring to? A slab as our handy dictionary reminded us is a piece of concrete, something hard and thick. There has never been a more eloquent expression of “slab” than the commanding and full voice of the Chuuwee as he raps over the soft choral voices. With striking lines like, “You’ll fall if you stand behind nothing”, and “Dirty dancing in divine waters, with divine powers” we are locked in from the beginning. The prayers and slabs in this song offer a juxtaposition like no other and makes for a magical, if not spiritual, experience.
Best listened to while: while meditating in a darkened, cool room
Listen for this moment: 0:35 when Chuuwee enters the track and that juxtaposition slaps you right in the face (but a good slap, like an ‘enlightened’ slap)