CD £12.99 HDBCD012
CD on Hyperdub (Hype Williams).
Vinyl LP £12.99 HDBLP012
LP on Hyperdub (Hype Williams).
Looks like it's my responsibility to come up with some insights into the current output from Dean Blunt And Inga Copeland a.k.a Hype Williams. Kinda curious as to why they're not using their proper name anymore. It'd be sad if it's a case of the Hype Williams lawyers finally coming into the equation. Guess you can only get so big using such a well known pseudonym - it'd be like me calling my new band Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gears...eventually the lads at the BBC will come for me. 'Black Is Beautiful' is Hype's debut full length for Hyperdub and sees the duo deviating from the claustrophobic themes of 'One Nation' and delivering what, to me, sounds like a more organic and pop friendly outing in keeping the hazy glow of their debut for Carnivals. Infact, the first three tunes are testament to the variety that has fueled their work over the past few years acting almost like an introduction or best-of.
Opener 'Venice Dreamway 01' is a live improv in keeping with their earliest forays into performance (that I know of) and features live drums for the first time in a while. 'Venice Dreamway 02' trades on Inga's amazing vocal and their occasional foray's into stoned out Sade soul-dub (as evident on Inga's solo 12” for Rush Hour) before hitting on an almost sci-fi soundtrack meets James Ferraro future-vision on 'Venice Dreamway 03' (an aesthetic that re-occurs a number of time throughout the album). From here on out it's fifteen typically scrapbook-esque jams that explore many of the key characteristics of the Hype Williams personality - with Dub-pop coming out as the dominant stylistic choice. I've always enjoyed the fact that a lot of the duo's music sounds slightly unfinished and on 'Black Is Beautiful' this comes to the fore with jamz left to their own devices, captured in their infancy, the vibe preserved for all time. I guess it's possible that this is a bunch of off-cuts or unused ideas, it certainly has that feel. I'd prefer it though if it was meant to be this way as I love pretty much everything about 'Black is Beautiful'. Gone are the mildly agro, spliffed out, paranoid vibes of 'One Nation' to be replaced by the more playful and optimistically bonged out sound of their earliest works. A total triumph.
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