Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hype Williams - Kelly Price W8 Gain Volume II EP

01. Rise Up
02. Boss Man
03. Farthing Wood Dub
04. Badmind

If you'd told us back in 2009 that Hype Williams would one day be releasing an EP on Hyperdub, we'd have raised our eyebrows, but a year or so later it actually makes sense - Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland's predilection for sickly-psychedelic synths, rugged beats and a sense of occluded urban dread making them a simpatico if still bold addition to Kode9's stable. Have they altered their sound for the bass-heads? Nah, course not, and nor do they need to - for all its lo-fi patina, Hype's music has always been heavy-as-f*ck on the subs. That said, opener 'Rise Up' is a pretty mellow affair, as anyone who heard the version on that uber-limited white label issue earlier this year will already know; in a similar vein to their Sade rip 'The Throning', it's an almost Balearic haze of sighing strings, crisp claps, smacked-out boogie-funk-bass and Copeland's distant, pining vocals. 'Boss Man' is a cheerier but witchier number, synths strafing haughtily across unquantised drum hits; 'Farthing Wood Dub' is as cute and enchanting as its namesake, but still delightfully unstable, like John Barry's Midnight Cowboy soundtrack reimagined by a cracked-out Clams Casino. But it's the closing 'Badmind' that's the masterstoke - sampled American voices delivering stentorian lectures about death, auto-eroticism and, er, Ezra Pound against a shaky gamelan and sub-bass backdrop somewhere between Ryuichi Sakamoto and sino-grime; the lack of context for their ruminations, coupled with droop and sway of the synths, is quite overwhelming in its effect Yep, this EP is just mind-melting, low-end-savvy audio surrealism as only Hype Williams know how; a big, big one...www.boomkat.com

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