Review: 700 Bliss is the experimental club project of Philadelphia-based DJ Haram and Moor Mother. This is their first full-length release for Hyperdub, where they incorporate noise rap, club music and hip hop with punk and jazz. Featuring guests such as Lafawndah on "Totally Spies", Orion Sun on "Nightflame", and Muqata'a on "Candace Parker". There is also Alli Logout appearing on "Capitol", M Tellez lending their talents to "More Victories" and Ase Manual contributing production on "Lead Level 15". Nothing To Declare is loud, playful, fun and quite possibly one of the best rap albums of 2022.
Review: It always feels few and far between a solo Kode9 release if we take into account the last drop under his name - and his name only - was the Xingfu Lu / Kan 12" before his 2015 long player, Nothing. Some collaborative LPs, remixes EPs and other left of field projects later, Kode9 opens Hyperdub's account for 2021 with a synth focused and sample heavy run through two juke joints of footwork inspirations of the Hyperdub bosses current sound and direction. Fresh off appearing in Lawrence Lek's most recent album as a ruthless label boss, Kode9 proves he's the goods for real with "The Jackpot" - harder and more ghoulish rave trip here, with "Rona City Blues" cut up by a fluctuating tremolo effect on its synth that's laced out by a sweet sequence of undeniable footwork drums.
Review: Keeping the UK vibes strong this December period is Burial's "Chemz", an epic 12-minute number taking in huge inspirations from R&B and two-step while remaining strong in a post-rave and dubstep aesthetic. With honeysuckle lyrics setting the tone of a love song, detuning and warping techniques play a key part in the track's originality while skimming the surface of Burial's muffled noise floors, foggy atmospheres and deep crackle and pop. Both euphoric, hopeful and melancholic it sees Burial deliver another futuristic number of newskool R&B that meets rave, jungle and dub.
Review: Following the artist's All The Time album (2020), her third on Hyperdub since 2013's breakout Pull My Hair Back, Hyperdub compiles a 'mixtape' of remixes from seven artists Lanza herself would love to rework her latest work. Two UK Hyperdub artists make the cut in Proc Fiskal's deconstructed breakdown of "Lick In Heaven" next to the finger clacks and stepping rhythms of Loraine James' version of "Face". Japan's Foodman arrives with a new age exotica remake of "Alexander" alongside the sweet '90s R&B references and themes of Kate NV's mix to "Baby Love". For the dancefloor, DJ Swisha delivers this EP its hit track with a set of well swung, banging hi hats in "All The Time" while something unique, futuristic and high definition comes from Invisible Cloaks. Rough and ready breakbeats from Martyn Bootyspoon too!
Review: AIDOL is the soundtrack to a work by London-based Chinese-Malay visual artist and musician Lawrence Lek. The film, featuring Hyperdub founder Kode9 as an 'unforgiving label boss,' plays on futuristic, neon pop and megacity themes of EDM superstardom alongside visions of China's global ascent, artificial intelligence and technology. Said to be a continuation of Lek's 'sinofuturist' universe, everything from Akira inspirations and Aldous Huxley references ("Welcome To SoMA") to the sonority of The Knife's music (in "Call Of Beauty (ESports Reprise))" can be felt here, with the added touch of the main character's voice, Diva, created with a vocaloid vocal synthesizer. With spoken word collaborations from Sophie Guo, Xiaoyi Nie, Xiaoran Wu and Joni Zhu adding to Lek's story of a 'fading superstar' who hires an AI songwriter for a comeback performance, tracks also feature Seth Scott who's worked with Lek in the past, of note 2017's Geomancer. More than a ghost in the machine. 5 stars.
Review: More next level dubs from The Bug allows Hyperdub to present In Blue, a new collaborative project between Kevin Richard Martin and producer-vocalist Dis Fig, aka Felicia Chen. With the album described by the pair as 'Tunnel Sound' its seven tracks conjure up a foggy vision of what's been expressed as narco-dancehall, zoned-out soul and dread drenched in low end frequencies and melancholic meltdowns. Not too distant from Martin's work in King Midas Sound, Chen gives this project a fresh personality through her experimental and stylistic charm of 'hushed confessionals' and 'bittersweet vocals' sung with 'seduction' and 'delicate delivery'. Mixed entirely during lockdown somewhere in Brussels, its deeply impactful tones boom with an unrivalled supersonic, with slow tempos shining through in "In 2 U" alongside more functional techno semantics in "Forever" - bringing to mind albums like Eno's Small Craft On A Milk Sea and KMS' legendary Waiting For You. Five stars.
Review: Drawing from UK drill, dancehall and grime inspirations on her first release for Hyperdub since a 2017 LP (Distractions), Hollow sees Ikonika move back toward bass heavy beat making over the recent techno sequences heard on a recent Don't Be Afraid release. With the synths across this EP hit with a gated-effect and tremolo motion in tracks like "Terminus" and "Hollow", find more percussive effects and gestures in "Body Servants". Beats are low slung and trippy in "A-Void" with two-steppy drums, snap happy snares and urban melodies in "Blood Tinge", with dancehall elements coming through strongest on opening number "Kick Counts".
Review: It's always a very exciting experience to see a new album with the Hyperdub tag land in the store. This latest outing sees them welcome the wonderful Jessy Lanza for a full length album project by the name of 'All The Time', introducing us to her fantastically unique vocal ability and sense of electronic glamour. The design across the album is pretty damned beautiful, from the floating flutey bridges of 'Alexander' to bubbling soundscapes of 'Baby Love' and everything in-between. It's a long play project for certain, with our highlights being the 80's inspired moogy grooves of 'Lick In Heaven', alongside the warped synthesizer pushes and catchy vocal inflections of 'Ice Creamy'.
Review: Over the years we have seen the wonderful team at Hyperdub succeed time and time again when it comes to exploring the weird and wonderful realms of electronic music. This latest compilation is another triumph as Silvia Kastel, Jessy Lanza, Lawrence Lek, 700 Bliss, DJ Tre, Lorraine James and more gather for a celebration of the label's unquestionable creativity. Every track holds something truly unique, stuffed full of stunning atmospheric design and delicious harmonic structure, with our highlights from the off being Klein's being the dystopian sounding dissonance within the score behind 'Arese', alongside the return of Lady Lykez, who is joined by Logan OLM, Dizzle Kid, Jammz and Scratcha DVA on a potent creation entitled 'Jackie Chan'.
Review: Whenever we are lucky enough to be gifted with a brand new Hyperdub project, we jump for joy, then calm down, dim the lights and get stuck in start to finish. This latest project from Nazar is a masterful display in sound design and we feel is most certainly one to take in on a long play. From the more contemporary structures of 'Immortal' and 'Intercept' to the stunning soundscaping of 'Mother' and 'Retaliation', this one covers an incredible amount of ground across just ten tracks. It's an incredible body of work, with our favourite track being 'Why', which showcases and incredible level of percussive creation.
Review: As we approach the end of the decade, an era, we can look back on what we now understand to have truey shaped musical evolutions. That was done without saying at the end of the 2000s thanks to Burial and the tectonic influence his debut album and Untrue LP had on popular culture. In this 2011-19 time period it's been Keysound, Nonplus and Text that have since shared the music of Burial outside of his known home, with Hyperdub collecting this selection of the artist's music as part of the label's 15th anniversary run of releases. Hazily so, this compilation shines a light on the trail blazed by Burial with productions like "Street Halo", "Come Down To Us" and "NightMarket", to Burials two most recent cuts "Claustro" and "State Forest".
Review: As ever with a Hyperdub drop, we know to expect the unexpected as we are gifted this top draw showcasing of compositional mastery from Doon Kanda, on his brand new album 'Labyrinth. The project is astonishingly good, focussing not one specific area of electronic music, but instead infusing everything into almost every track, from the spooky piano chops and lofi drums of 'Mino' to the Scott Storch style synthesizer patterns and epic OST vibes of 'Enigma'. This is definitely one for the long players, with our stand out track coming in the form of the twisted string work of 'Dio'. Incredible scenes.
Review: With 19 Hyperdub artists on show here, this intrigue of a collaboration to help Hyperdub commemorate its 15th year of operation sees the label connect with late night television network Adult Swim. The likes of Burial, Ikonika, Fatima Al Qadiri and Kode9 all sign in with tracks specifically made for the compilation, with stand out numbers coming from Skratch DVA via the toxic and percussive "Baka" alongside the white noise crackles and subtle dub and industrial techno grooves of Nazar's "Unruly". Other oddball highlights include Mana's "Climbing The Walls" and the slow march of Doona Kanda's "Perfume". Late night TV has never sounded so good.
Review: Google the term conceptronica and you'll find an article by Simon Reynolds on the rise of club music that's maybe more suited to museums. If it's Lee Gamble now showing at Museum Le Conceptronique, Exhaust would be showing something of an example of the club sphere and scene being turned out at the moment. Twisting spirals of deconstructing rhythms fly around the room, forming new shapes and bends, colours are sliced into bold, matte and metallic shapes. Exhaust, in all its hyperfluorescent form, pitches deconstructed club music into a new realm of idealistic harmony, dissonance and contortion. Take this as the second record in a triptych released at the start of 2019 by Hyperdub.
Review: As a label, there are few within the UK that can boast such an incredible catalogue as Kode9's Hyperdub imprint, a project that pride themselves in defying the rules and wrapping themselves in the unexpected. They here bring in DJ Spinn for a top notch selection, kicking off with super bouncy drum crunches and vocal slices of 'Knock A Patch Out'. Next, DJ Manny joins the party with his contributions to the west coast inspired synths of 'Sky Way', before we dip into the stunning harmonic structures and deep, luscious synth pads of 'Make Her Hot'. We finish up with the angelic pad textures and autotuned vocal musings of 'U Ain't Really Bout Dat Life' to wrap this one up in style.
London Ting//Dark As Fuck (feat Le3 BLACK) - (4:42) 144 BPM
So Scared - (4:26) 87 BPM
Hand Drops - (3:19) 125 BPM
Sensual (feat Feeo) - (5:44) 120 BPM
For You & I - (5:33) 160 BPM
My Future (feat Le3 BLACK) - (3:37) 125 BPM
Scraping My Feet - (4:26) 135 BPM
Sick 9 - (2:47) 60 BPM
Vowel//Consonant - (6:07) 160 BPM
Words Ears Mouth - (3:19) 137 BPM
Review: As ever with Hyperdub, we were ready for the unexpected when we dived into this latest album project from Loraine James, who supplies us with some extremely forward thinking ideas across 11 original compositions. We kick off with the shimmering glitchy tones of 'Glitch Bitch', leading into the distorted frequencies of 'London Ting', the gunshot breaks of 'So Scared' and squelching tones of 'Hand Drops'. Next, 'Blissful' lands with soulful vocal features, alongside the skippy 8bit rolls of the title track 'For You & I', the housey drumwork of 'My Future', the unusual blips of 'Scraping My Feet' and unpredictable drum slices of 'Sick 9'. We then finish up with more vibrant glitch therapy in 'Vowel' before 'Words Ears Mouth' ties everything up nicely.
Review: There is no doubting at this point that Proc Fiskal is one of the most creative producers working in and around the 140 bracket at this moment in time, constantly evolving his style and exploring new, super colourful areas of sound. We kick off with the dramatic blend of demonic melodies and icey instrumentation within the luscious soundscape of 'Satan', followed closely the high energy eskimo pads of 'Smith's Deli' and breaks heavy garage chords of 'Pico'. Next up, the Asian inspired plucky instrumentation of '2 Moros' arrives on the scene, chased up the glitchy reverses and percussive pips of '4 Minutes', featuring additional work from Delahunt. Finally, the sweeping snowy melodies of 'Prop O Deed' rounds this one up in style!
Review: Whenever anything in our inbox bares the Hyperdub emblem, we are immediately filled with excitement at the prospect of diving into something most likely weird and wonderful. We kick off this latest EP project from DJ Haram with a slice of the unexpected in the tabla-heavy tunnups of 'No Idol', followed by the eastern inspired string swings of 'Interlude', the percussive mastery and incredible suspense of 'Gemini Rising' along with the creative gunshot rhythms of 'Body Count'. This is then followed by the long awaited title track 'Grace' which is stooped in futuristic energies and melodies, with the instrumental version of 'Candle Light' providing the finishing touches. We are then given an untitled remix of 'No Idol', followed by the 700 Bliss overhaul of 'Candle Light', rounding off a rousing body of work.
Review: All we can say for this one is wow. There are few producers within the UK that are able to drum up as much hype and anticipation regarding their forthcoming releases as Burial, a true gem. As a team up with the legendary Hyperdub, this was always going to be special, as we take a peek at the first track 'Claustro' to kick us off. This one sounds like a perfect cross between nostalgia and progress, with jittery UKG drum switch ups and spooky layered vocals running wild. Next we land on the stunning soundscapes of 'State Forest', an incredible array of spacey synthesizers and sub tones, providing an excellent accompaniment to the title track.
Review: Hyperdub have to be one of the best labels in the world for discovering cool new sounds and themes, and it appears they have done so again here as they unveil a weighty four track offering from Lady Lykez. This EP is packed with energy, kicking off with the pulsating vocal rhythms and scattering carnival drum rolls of 'Muhammed Ali', which as a remix features the legendary Lioness. We take a afrobeats style spin next as the murky swings of 'Lyke U' wade into play, followed by the vibrant tribal percussive leads of 'Drmatic'. The EP then finishes up in funky fashion as the bouncy drumwork and skippy flows of 'Buzz Lightyear' see us over the finishing line.
Review: Well what a collection we have in front of us here as Hyperdub top dog and all around electronic music machine Kode9 presents his 'Diggin In The Carts Remixes' project, packed full of experimental flavour and unusual design. From the off 'Mister Diviner (The Mahjong Touhaiden)' holds a collection of ascending Japanese melodies in harmonious fusion over trap-style drums, with the military snare rolls of trance-like synth stabs of 'Bad Data (Dezaemo)' following suit. Next, the glitchy yet regal arrangements of 'Temple (Actraiser)' march into play before finishing up in gamer heaven as the subtle 8 bit tones of 'An-Un (Ominous Clouds) (Xak II)' see us out with some serious finesse.
Review: By now we all know that when we see a new Hyperdub release hit the shelves, the best thing to do is expect the unexpected as the legendary imprint continue their voyage through unexplored arenas of sound. This latest album from Mana holds the torch with great strength, from the intense, arp-like melodics of 'Myopia For The Future' and the stunning soundscape work of 'Leverage For Survival' to the twisted vocal processing of 'Soaking In Water' and 'Talking / Choking' featuring Yendry. For us the unpredictable harmonic structures of 'Instinction' and incredible musicality of the title track 'Seven Steps Behind' also deserve a serious mention.
Review: The legendary Hyperdub return in style here as they bring forward Lee Gamble, who presents us with an awesome collection of 7 originals. In typical hyperdub style, this one pushes all the boundaries wherever they lay, from the glitchy soundscaping of 'Chant', to the softened arpeggio structures of 'Cry' and the experimental synth movements of 'BMW Shuanghuan X5'. Overall this project shows a real sense of character and a level of confidence to explore that which is unexplored in sound. Other standouts from this one have to include the juke-like drum arrangements of 'Moscow' and the incredible harmonic layers of 'Many Gods, Many Angels'.
Review: With the legendary status of Kode 9's Hyperdub imprint already embedded into the fabric of British dance music, we expected nothing short of a banger when this new EP from Nazar hit our shelves. We weren't to be disappointed as we kicked off with the epic orchestral harmonies of 'South Border' and the twisted electronic abandon of 'Warning Shots'. Following we land amongst the kuduro style snare loops and rave synths of 'Airstrike', alongside Shannen SP, before we then touch on title track 'Enclave', which is a ticking time bomb of unpredictable electronic flavour. We finish up with the super sidechained rhythmics of 'Konvoy' and the luscious soundscaping of 'Ceasefire', combining shimmering lead synths into beautiful harmonies.
Review: Closer Apart is the debut album by UK/South African duo Okzharp and Manthe Ribane. While vocalist/artist/dancer Ribane still resides in South Africa, Okzharp now lives in London where operates as a DJ/producer. He cut his teeth in the band LV, one of the first acts to sign to Hyperdub. Recorded between Paris and Vienna while on tour during intermittent moments such as flights, airports and hotel rooms when the duo could collaborate. They started work on it in the studio of filmmaker Chris Saunders, who is now working on the visuals and stage show for the duo's new album. Ribane and Okzharp's previous collaborations include the two Hyperdub EPs Dumela 113 and Tell Your Vision.
Review: With a name like Joe Powers, this young Laudonian was bound to be a public figure in some way - but he instead chose the equally terrific alias of Proc Fiskal. He is back on Hyperdub after making his debut last year with The Highland Mob EP. The Insula LP uses field recordings of his friends talking, drunk folk and general Scottish life to represent current life circumstances - much like social media or even a time capsule, as the 18 year old has stated. From the gloomy collage of opener "Restart", the jagged beat experiment of "2L", the oriental grime of "Dopamine" and the bleepy urban blues of "Hoax Nos Trinit" it's all in all a rather curious listen indeed.
Review: For the youngest member of the infamous Teklife crew, DJ Taye has come up in the ranks rather fast. Being a champion of the ever-revered footwork style, out of Chicago, he fits in perfectly with the Hyperdub sound - a label which was certainly on the radars of legends like DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn, the producer's two main idols. Still Trippin is the man's third studio LP, and it's fair to say that it might well be his most complete piece of work to date. With sixteen tunes to get stuck into, you got everything that the best of the bass sound has to offer in here, from psyched-out grime to rap-led two-step...all flavoured by an inimitable Midwest flex. This is dance gear for the head-nodders and corner-dwellers - some absolutely BAD-ass material.