4/03 0 comments
Fellow mysterious auteurs and former allies as Hype Williams and on amazing tapes, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland are both firmly going down the solo path judging by recent developments. First, Copeland announced a forthcoming solo album, including one song with Actress, and put out two ethereal, foggy, lonesome and slight tracks (which may or may not be from said record) via her new YouTube channel:
And now Blunt has possibly signed to Rough Trade according to Dummy, and will possibly make a record that’s possibly called Black Metal. He too has a new tune on the go; a more progressive, in-your-face packed with the usual odd sounds and changes of tempo:
All of which suggests the promised new Hype Williams album now seems unlikely, sadly.
25/12 0 comments
[PREVIOUS: NUMBERS 30-21]
Continuing the Christmas countdown of SOIWT’s favourite 30 tunes of 2013, here are numbers 20 to 11. The top ten will be revealed tomorrow.
20. Bipolar Sunshine – Fire
A slow-building, dazzling-inventive potion of chants, gospel-like choir sections, spoken word, Ryan Gosling extracts and guitar strums, Fire announced the arrival of Manchester-based Adio Marchant’s act. More singles, a Lil Wayne cover and growing popularity followed, but nothing compared to that first song.
19. Nils Frahm – Says
Says seems to be a song about love. An incredible album track from Spaces, it sees the Berlin-hailing Frahm grow a compelling melody; at times the early pitch suddenly spirals to crisis-like levels, while at other points all is idyllic as a spring meadow. By the eight-minute mark, a full, glorious rapture takes hold.
18. August Alsina – I Luv This Shit (Feat. Trinidad James)
In a sense, this is just another hip-hop song: nice verse, sweet chorus, regular use of ‘nigger’… What separates it out is the sheer smoothness, particular via Alsina’s honey-like drawl, and the rare sense of honesty: for once the bold declarations aren’t just self-gratifying big-ups, but also, well, statements of truth.
17. Chvrches – The Mother We Share
An electro-pop thrill-ride of crashing synths, big beats, echoey samples and Lauren Mayberry’s siren-like voice. No song this year had me more quickly out of my seat, and no song had me more animatedly finger-jabbing along to its chorus. For an even bigger, clubbier version, try Moon Boots’ remix.
16. Dean Blunt – Papi
Dean Blunt’s year consisted of a few low-effort concerts, an apparent split with co-conspirator Inga Copeland and isolated releases via Soundcloud. But one of those, a woozy, two-minute slow jam called Papi, still grabbed attention. The languorous feel, NYE countdown and piano tinkles make for a typically unique lilt.
15. Burial – Rival Dealer
Burial’s Rival Dealer EP showcased a previously unseen range, and is arguably his best work yet. On the ten-minute title track, a typically fuzzy beginning gives way to rarefied acid trance; full techno oblivion follows, before a synthy female voice glumly sails us home. In a rare public utterance, Burial described the EP as “anti-bullying tunes that could help someone to believe in themselves, to not be afraid and not give up; an angel’s spell to protect them.”
14. Jungle – Lucky I Got What I Want
The best track you won’t find on the Jackie Brown soundtrack, LIGWIW combines a deep-fried soul vibe, a deeper-still bass beat and some very-’70s finger clicks. It’s as smooth and assured as second singles come, demonstrating just why the London duo immediately vaulted onto the BBC’s Sound of 2014 longlist.
13. Real Lies – World Peace
In an unlikely twist, the year’s best indie anthem also offers Balearic influences and (credit to Dummy for this spot) a football stadium-style chantiness. Curiosity: World Peace’s main synth hook hails from Jean-Luc Ponty’s 1983 instrumental song Computer Incantations For World Peace - hence the name.
12. Arthur Beatrice – Grand Union
Grand Union was really meant to be an in-between song: released to tide Arthur Beatrice fans while they waited for an early-2014 full-lengther, it even unusually featured Orlando Leopard on lead vocals, as opposed to Ella Girardot. But, a genuine grower, the track boasts allies beguiling lyrics with a hooping main hook and perfect pop sensibility, while Leopard’s subdued voice fits the sober lyrics perfectly.
11. Future Brown – Wanna Party (Feat. TinK)
Featuring the most inspired use of church sounds since DJ Shadow’s Organ Donor, this swaggering tune sees Chicago-based TinK drunkenly MCing while Future Brown – aka Brooklyn power trio Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri and Lit City Trax’s J-Cush – sound bells and loops in the backgrounds. Wanna Party feels dank, seedy, sexual: the last, destructive moments of a night-out; some sort of post-hip-hop paean to hedonism.
NUMBERS 10-1 TO FOLLOW TOMORROW…
12/12 0 comments
In the second half of Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, the journalist unintentionally stays in Varanasi indefinitely. Gradually, he becomes a typical resident of the Indian city: wearing a dhoti, consulting holy men, chatting to monkeys, even swimming in the famously dirty Ganges. Things that seemed to him strange and mystical at first become mundane, regular. That gradual, near-imperceptible adoption of exotica mirrors my consumption of the music of Dean Blunt: nowadays, I just expect his songs to be idiosyncratic and off-script, am not the least bit surprised when they are. The new one on his Soundcloud, by his cohort Joanne Robertson, fits this bill perfectly. Even the name’s up in the air: it was initially called Can I Get Down but now seems to be plainly, simply called X.
24/08 0 comments
Fresh from his apparent split with Inga Copeland, enigmatic maestro Dean Blunt has uploaded a new track to the pair’s Soundcloud account. King James is a drowsy lament with a Wild West feel. It only meanders along, but that’s perfect for a rainy morning of coffee and chores. The tune hails from a new ten-track, Stone Island, supposedly recorded in a Moscow hotel room.
14/08 0 comments
A simple announcement on the Soundcloud page of Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland revealed last Saturday that the duo were “no longer affiliated”, and that the next Hype Williams (another Blunt moniker) record is on the horizon. Earlier tonight, U Left This At Mine, a “last tune made together”, was uploaded, along with the info that this Hype album is to be called A Bullet In Yr Eye Throwing Money 2 The Sky and will come out in 2014. The new song, functioning as something of an epitaph, is typically good: a distant, ghostly minimal pop record tinged with sadness, its lyrics telling of seemingly irreconcilable differences.
[21 August 2013 - no longer online, of course!]
As for the split, well. So much to do with this maverick pair, along with fellow conspirator Joanne Robertson, is mystery and pseudonym that it’s hard to know how sad to be. That said, they made sensational music together, so there’s a definitely sense of loss. More booty from Hype Williams is definitely a good consolation, though…
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