Brighton collective MOK launch The House VP at Café Plenty
The energy is palpable when we enter Café Plenty. For many, expectations for a packed out venue at 9pm on a Tuesday night would spell a cult movie screening; an exclusive gig; maybe even a workshop of some sort. Instead, at least 80 people have crammed into Café Plenty to see something completely different: the launch of debut VP The House from little-known (but big-impact) Brighton music collective MOK.
Pioneers of a multi-faceted sound that parallels the likes of Die Antwoord and Childish Gambino, MOK have been rising up Brighton’s underground circuit for some time, with appearances at Together the People, the Alternative Escape and Shakedown. Tonight, they brought their passionate storytelling and intoxicating blend of hip-hop, trap and alt-pop to a new stage, with their debut record being released in video format. Singer Gracey tells BN1, “We’ve never done an EP before, so we wanted to make sure when we put something out it was done in a different form. The House VP is a total 360 view of what we’re about. We’re just a big group of friends who want to put together music in the best way.”
And that’s exactly what they do. Comprising six parts to its 19:08 minutes, The House encapsulates the very essence of MOK with its evolving visuals and sincere performances. Created with Bezzann Productions and the support of friends and family (we spot a member or two from Brighton-based indie quintet Half Crown in the audience) in keeping with their DIY ethic, The House is a complete assault on the senses from opener Smash to its closing track, Mass.
Aptly named, The House offers a visual journey through soundscapes (and a bassline that pulsates relentlessly through our entire being) that reflect the band’s experiences of everyday life in Brighton, through friendship, excess, mental health. The VP effortlessly contrasts the claustrophobic with the free, the euphoric with the cataclysmic, with its stark realities proving remarkably relatable to the suburban Brightonian (we’ve all house-shared, after all). Of course, it helps that the music is pretty good too.
In all, The House VP showcases the creativity of MOK, and the vision of music and cinematography shared by its members: Gracey, Lee, Joe, James, Jack and Dex. It demonstrates how far the group are willing to push themselves creatively; a trait we’ve no doubt will see them rewarded.