Inga Copeland Inga CopelandInga Copeland
Here's another piece that makes the mystery surrounding Hype Williams even more impenetrable, yet - at the same time - more understandable. A paradox? Yes, but that's how they roll. The interesting thing is that they manage to confuse through a flood of ideas and details, never through opacity or by hiding essential information. They give so many things, in such a continuous way and with a sound so different from the ones we're used to, that it seems as if they were making us part of some surreal chase. But the truth is it's all much simpler than it seems. You only need to stop for a moment, breathe, and make logical decisions – for the true virtues of the London/Berlin duo to start surfacing. Starting with this solo 12” by the female half of the two, Inga Copeland, now more than ever the pop and ethereal part of the team.
I confess I made a mistake when playing the self-released vinyl for the first time: I played it at 45 RPM. It sounded good; nebulous and toxic, with the voice maybe a tad high-pitched. But that's not the way to listen to “Inga Copeland”: it's on 33 RPM. Her voice sounds crystal clear, like Kate Bush (but not as talented). The music is sharper, recovering the sound of eighties art-pop on labels like 4AD, only with a monster injection of bass - which goes for the blinding intro of “Damage”, a song that could perfectly be on the next album by Fever Ray. Similarly, its predecessor - “Trample” - is a gruesome and at the same time silky composition.
On the B-side - apart from a playful and whimsical dub-step miniature ( “U Gotta Respect Yourself Before I Can”) - is the true touchstone of the 12”. “Notitle”, is a stunning hypnagogic fantasy that sounds not unlike the first single by Laurel Halo. It shows Inga Copeland's talent as the creator of friendly songs with a lo-fi production and the ambient bath in which Hype Williams' music is drenched. Only here it sounds simpler, warmer, without the suggestion of so many confused interpretations, without the esotericism of Rory Gibb. Everything is a bit clearer now.