PProducer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and DJ Coby Sey is someone whose work has been quietly an integral part of the UK’s underground sound for around five years. The Lewisham artist’s collaborations with other forward-thinking thinkers, including Tirzah, Mica Levi, Dean Blunt, Kelly Lee Owens and others, testify to the organic and expansive world in which he moved. Along with Levi and Brother May, Sey also runs Curl Recordings; the trio sometimes perform shows together solely via jamming and improvisation.
You can hear this exploratory approach on Conduct, Sey’s debut album, released in September. The record brings an often uncomfortable space to life, examining stories, politics and contestation alongside something more candid and interior (on standout tracks such as the raw and galvanizing Response, it offers: ” I’m the one that turns you on / In the mind and in the lower regions within”) Sey’s zigzagging spoken word and raw melodies sit somewhere at the confluence of a multitude of genres (jazz, dub, noise, experimental electronics, trip-hop; his sound has sometimes been called “post-grime”).
With music that embodies both hope and despair, often in the same breath, Sey told the coup de grace online magazine about her desire to do work that sits outside the binary of positive and negative: “I think there’s a wider range of emotions that can be explored through sound and music. It’s something he handles quite well: in Sey’s work, you sit with the weird, imperfect edges of feeling it all.