Minor Conflict’s ‘Office Block’ presents us with a fresh take on the humdrum and the mundane, breathing life into a well-known modern fable.
A disjointed siren call warbles over two low-pitched notes that sound like some far away car alarm at 3am. There’s something ethereal in the vocals but it’s further down than outer space and located somewhere deep beneath the ocean, found in those dark corners that mankind has yet to explore, balancing between whalesong and a call to prayer. It fades out, sputtering away before the song switches gears, mimicking how a city seems to suddenly wake up after appearing as a ghost town in the small hours of the night.
Minor Conflict appear to relish creating a mild discomfort, both in the discordant harp that gently pinches at the back of the brain, and in the dry monotonous delivery of the lyrics. Everything reflects the repetitive nature of city living, serving reflections of our own claustrophobia and need to come up for air from beneath concrete and glass. While listening, it’s hard to not envision the scene from ‘Fight Club’, where a sleepless Edward Norton tells us that ‘everything is a copy of a copy of a copy’. Even when ‘Office Block’ breaks down into an almost dream-sequence with the harp glittering downwards, the lyrics repeat, the whalesong repeats, and we still find ourselves going around in circles.
It’s a visceral piece of storytelling, crafted by the Bristol three-piece during writing sessions at The Cube Microplex, and recorded at Rumbaba studios in London. Toby Burroughs of Pozi helped in curating the piece, which is a match made in heaven for Minor Conflict as they too emanate the words used to describe Pozi as being ‘absolutely gripping, unique, minimal and powerful’.
‘Office Block’ captures the senses as it harkens back to commutes and dead-end jobs, to big grey towers and endless parking lots, to how the unearthly glow of the nighttime city lights fizzle out our view of stars in the night sky.
‘Office Block’ is released as part of Slow Dance ’21, a compilation which champions the London Label’s top picks from the last 12 months. Keep your eyes peeled for more music very soon.
Minor Conflict play We Are So Young 12 at The Social, London on Thursday 27th January. It’s free entry. See you there!