Kelly Price W8 Gain Vol. II EP Kelly Price W8 Gain Vol. II EP


Hype Williams Hype WilliamsKelly Price W8 Gain Vol. II EP

8 / 10

Hype Williams  Kelly Price W8 Gain Vol. II EP HYPERDUB (HDB052, 12” + digital)

We’ve had a year of uncertainty, in the case of Hype Williams, mostly down to their initial secrecy (through not revealing their identities and releasing on tiny labels, plus of course their vague and amorphous sound), which has now turned into the conviction that behind all of it is something very serious. After seeing their efficient live show (though that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in electronic music) and hearing how, on “One Nation”, the nitrogen sounds of “Untitled” are solidified and their heavy and narcotic psychedelica opens up to let us see a bit more clearly what’s inside, now is the time to confirm the importance of the elusive duo with this first 12” on Hyperdub, which will help them escape from the very small circle it’s obvious they’ve outgrown.

Why Hyperdub? Because on Hyperdub there’s room for more than just dubstep, especially if that means tiny canvasses of breaks and Asian cadence like “Boss Man”, which sound like Yellow Magic Orchestra on a transistor radio with monaural sound, a low-resolution feeling, lots of nostalgia, and primitive synth-pop. There’s also a moment of calm and ambient (the recovery of “Rise Up”, previously only available on a 7” limited to 50 copies that sold out before its release) and the two decisive tracks on the B-side. Here’s where the home-made psychedelica and the unclear tapestry of Hype Williams’ influences (from private pressings to AOR, from nineties electronic dub in the vein of The Sabres Of Paradise to the synth-pop elegance of Sylvian-Sakamoto and a druggy interpretation of old trip-hop) stand out with two good tracks like “Farthing Wood Dub”, with its hazy beats and cinematic cadence, and the dreamy “Badmind”, on which an unidentifiable piece of spoken word (possibly taken from some educational record, a documentary on a VHS tape or from an academic speech - towards the end, Ezra Pound’s poetry is mentioned) with another vaguely Asian and out-of-tune melody. Granted, it’s drugged-out music, but the shit they smoke is really good.

Javier Blánquez


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