DEAN BLUNT & INGA COPELAND: Black Is Beautiful (Hyperdub Records)

themilkman on Apr 4th 2012 01:26 am

Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland: Black Is Beautiful

Black Is Beautiful
Hyperdub Records 2012
15 Tracks. 39mins16secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD

Having so far operated mainly as Hype Williams, a slightly enigmatic outfit which as spurted three odd and oblique albums on Carnivals, De Stijl and Hippos In Tanks in less than two years, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland are now stepping out as themselves (if these are indeed their real identities) for their debut release on Hyperdub. But, apart for the name change, nothing has really changed for the pair. Black Is Beautiful is equally as convoluted, obsessive, schizophrenic and dreamy as its predecessors, and it is all the better for it.

Sounding like something half way between an amateurish mixtape and an odd lab experiment, Black Is Beautiful is pretty impossible to pigeonhole, its influences reaching far and wide, with no particular strand taking any precedence over any other at any point. Continue Reading »

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KING MIDAS SOUND: Without You (Hyperdub Records)

themilkman on Oct 24th 2011 01:16 am

King Midas Sound: Without You

Without You
Hyperdub Records 2011
15 Tracks. 63mins24secs

 Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD

Of Kevin Martin’s many projects, King Midas Sound, his collaboration with vocalists Roger Robinson and Kiki Hitomi, is probably both the most haunting and compelling. Following a couple of EPs released in 2008 and 2009, the trio’s excellent debut album, Waiting For You, was published at the end of that same year. Martin’s shady soundscapes and dense dub grooves provided a deeply unsettling soundtrack for Robinson’s soulful lyrics and highly recognisable falsetto and Hitomi’s bitter-sweet vocals, and it is Martin once again who is in charge of the sonic aspect of Without You, but in a very different capacity as he brings together a vast array of musicians, from Flying Lotus, Deep Chord or Kuedo to Kode9 & The Spaceape, Gang Gang Dance or Rob Lowe and invites them to re-imagine Waiting For You from the ground up.

Most of the artists involved seem to have opted for retaining the acutely disturbing moods of the original album, but it is pretty much where the similarities end. Continue Reading »

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KODE9 & THE SPACEAPE: Black Sun (Hyperdub Records)

themilkman on Apr 26th 2011 12:30 am

Kode 9 & The Spaceape: Black Sun

Black Sun
Hyperdub Records 2011
12 Tracks. 46mins33secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

In the five years or so that separate Kode9 and The Spaceape’s two albums, dubstep has grown from a fringe underground movement to just the latest bandwagon for the mainstream record industry to jump on. If the role played by Kode9 in this democratisation has been somewhat pivotal, from strings of EPs and a seminal debut recorded with the Spaceape to spreading the word via his regular DJ sets and channeling a host of talents, from Burial and Ikonika to Terror Danjah and King Midas Sound through the Hyperdub creative hub, his approach has remained totally uncompromising, something confirmed at length on his latest collaborative work with The Spaceape, Black Sun, which follows the pair’s 2009 EP of the same title.

The pair have cranked the pace up a few notches and sharpened the angles of their beats and grooves, but the essence of Memories Of The Future is still essentially driving this set. Continue Reading »

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KING MIDAS SOUND: Waiting For You (Hyperdub Records)

themilkman on Nov 3rd 2009 02:21 am

King Midas Sound: Waiting For You

Waiting For You
Hyperdub Records 2009
13 Tracks. 47mins02secs

Icon: arrow Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD

The newest alter ego of Kevin Martin, best known as The Bug, King Midas Sound, a collaboration with vocalist Roger Robinson, investigates a hazy, greasy dubstep which, while sharing a clear taste for gritty dub and rounded bass lines with The Bug, is in essence miles apart from its incendiary missiles. The pair have been working together for some time, with Robinson contributing to a number of Bug tracks over the years, but they are brought together by a very different motive here. Working on the close relationship between Martin’s deeply hypnotic atmospheric textures and Robinson’s smooth falsetto and measured delivery, King Midas Sound is a pretty tight and dense association, with a heavy narcotic-fuelled slant and sombre hues. Continue Reading »

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BURIAL: Untrue (Hyperdub Records)

themilkman on Nov 23rd 2007 12:23 am

Burial: Untrue

Hyperdub Records 2007
10 Tracks. 50mins28secs

Burial’s self-titled debut album, released last year on Kode9’s Hyperdub imprint, dropped like a bomb on the UK music scene, shattering its newest movement, dubstep to its very core and sending shockwaves through the entire dance scene. As beats cut through withered soundscapes like razor sharp swords, splintering rarefied atmospherics with subsonic bass, the urgency of Burial’s music pushed it well beyond dubstep.

Hailing from South London, Burial doesn’t play live or DJ, at least under this guise, and has managed to remain, in an age of information overload, totally anonymous. It is the music, and the music only, that matters. Continue Reading »

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