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Being a reviewing machine, I don’t often have trouble figuring out what to say about a record. Much of the time it’s actually difficult to stop talking about things, but on this record here Dean Blunt seems to have headed in a pretty new direction, easing off on the dubby weirdness and screwed up glitch hop elements that make his Hype Williams such a tour de force of stoned avant-soul dub drift.
This time round the sound is sparser, with lots of clean and clinical synths that twinkle and glide gently in a way that reminds me of the recent album from Rothko’s Mark Beazley and early ‘80s film soundtracks by Tangerine Dream and Michael Perilstein’s ‘Deadly Spawn’ score, there’s even moments which head into super blissed Eno-esque ambient territory! He sings on occasion, but the vocals take a back seat over the course of the album. There’s even a fingerpicked folky song with female vocals (Inga maybe?) called ‘Imperial Gold’.
It’s always been hard to pin this guy down, and this latest CD has if anything left me even more confused. Perhaps that’s the intention. So this time round it’s a mix of synthy ambient and even slightly neoclassical minimal vibes with much more clarity than his previous efforts and only the faintest hint of the woozy dub-soul I was expecting. Nicely done!
9/10 Jack Kennedy Customer review, 9th July 2014
Dean Blunt and his creative partner - Inga Copeland have often joked with the press for their own amusement whilst keeping themselves in hidden in their own mystery. Their past output as ‘Hype Williams’ seemed like they were fiddling with a palette of sounds rather than embracing them. ‘The Redeemer’ feels like a flirtation with sincerity instead of hiding behind a mask, working with realistic sentiments rather than his usual opaque pop culture references. The distinct warmth of this record is also striking when considering the contrasting icy detachment of his earlier work.
A special part of the record is that it has a real naturalistic vibe; it feels like there is a definite focus yet a sense of fun and ambition that looms over it. Such as psych jam ‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’ which is a purely groove driven piece, with a sweet guitar line guiding the track which transitions into ‘Imperial Gold’, a collaborative acoustic song.
From the strings led opener ‘I Run New York’, to the affecting ballads that follow, and even in its sparse instrumental pieces, there is a lot more clarity then previous Blunt releases. With each track seeming more honest and suiting the melancholic approach that haunts the record. Dean Blunt showing that whilst the nature of the tracks may differ, it still retains an unbeatable flow, and scurries away from being contrived. ‘The Redeemer’ is the epitome of an artist maturing over time; his sound is broader and wiser yet never complacent, operating always with a fierce independence.
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- The Redeemer by Dean Blunt
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