Review: Naturally, there's been plenty of hype surrounding this new Hyperdub 10", which features Burial indulging his often-discussed ambient influences. It's a typically creepy and ghostly affair, with the lack of beats - if not rhythmic elements - only serving to amplify the shadowy producer's impeccable sound design and brilliant use of manipulated field recordings. A-side "Subtemple" is particularly paranoid in tone, featuring as it does chilling melody loops, curious vocal samples, looped vinyl crackle and all manner of layered background noise. Flipside "Beachfires" is, if anything, even more dystopian, with Burial basing the action around the kind of pulsing chords that gust back and forth like an autumnal breeze.
Review: Burial's first multiple-track release since "Rival Dealer" three years ago: "Young Death" takes the lead with weave of deep, scratchy and evocative human textures while soulful vocal shards yearn and flutter over soft faraway beats. "Nightmarket" takes an even more introspective meander through the shadowy unknown with fractured arpeggios, distant whispers and thick graininess that envelops almost overwhelmingly. As forward, unusual and unique as ever, Burial remains in a league of his own. Limited.
Review: It's been a little while since Kyle Hall dropped his album The Boat Party, but now the Detroit powerhouse is back on Hyperdub to indulge the freakier end of his studio output inline with his previous Kaychunk 12" for Kode 9's outpost. "Girl U So Strong" is a stirring beast of a track, starting in scattered fragments of bass patterns, vocal snippets and woodblock hits, gradually forming into a starlit stepper of the highest calibre. "Take Me Away" comes on like a Detroit take on the Purple phenomenon, all sticky synth lines and Mega Drive melodies but roughed up with ample grittiness.
Review: Take a look at the artists to grace the A-side of Decadubs 4 and you'll find a collection of names that have released some of this year's most talked about albums: Lee Gamble, Inga Copeland, The Bug and Fatima Al Qadiri. The B-side, however, hosts Hyperdub regulars like Ikonika and DVA, and the boss Kode9 of course, to more intriguing names like footworker DJ Earl and Jeremy Greenspoon & Borys who have previously released music on Dan Snaith's Jiaolong label. Dean Blunt also appears with a jazzy ambient cut, while Cooly G does the same with the sombre, vocal-driven "Mind".
Review: Hyperdub kick off the vinyl side to their ten-year celebrations with this weighty four-tracker from some of the leading lights from the label's story. Mala is in a strident mood with "Expected, Level 10" carrying through that extra touch of melody from the Mala In Cuba LP. DVA cuts loose with the leftfield scattershot groove of "Technical Difficulties", reveling in tonal experimentation and jagged rhythmic flair to a stunning end. Still locked into the sci-fi trap tangent that characterised Severant, Kuedo turns out the haunting "Mtzpn" and Helix pops up for a remix of Kode9's "Xingfu Lu" that strips down to bare essentials with a little starlit soul rubbed into the framework.
Review: Kode9's Hyperdub releases are always eagerly awaited and this one is no exception. The South African producer now based in London presents a series of sublime steppers featuring the gorgeous vocals of Manthe Ribane. "Dear Ribane" starts things off smoothly with its minimal arrangement but the 2-step garage influence on "Sizzr" gets on the more energetic vibe. "Fede" gets more of a house groove happening alongside some serious low end bass. "Glonet" ends things on a darker tip, but that rolling groove that he has a sense for gets stuck in again at justthe right spot.
Review: Woof! Hyperdub bring together two of the most recognisable and enigmatic artists of recent times on this 10", as Zomby and Burial square down ahead of the former's new album for the label. Zomby's Ultra LP is undoubtedly one of this year's most anticipated albums and "Sweetz" suggests it may be a very moody affair indeed. Whilst rooted in UK dance, Zomby and Burial do look elsewhere for inspiration too. Just under seven minutes long, "Sweetz" veers through various sub-heavy soundscapes with intermittent rhythmic patters and a distinctive looped vocal sample whose pitch changes with dramatic effect.
Shanzhai (For Shanzhai Biennial) (feat Helen Feng)
Review: Multidisciplinary artist Fatima Al Qadiri aligns with Hyperdub to release Asiatisch, a keenly anticipated debut album that's described as a "simulated road trip through an imagined China". First coming to prominence on the UNO label in 2011, Al Qadiri has subsequently provoked critical acclaim for the 2012 Desert Strike EP for Fade To Mind that played on her time spent living in Kuwait as a child, while her work under the Ayshay moniker for Tri Angle explored vocals in a unique manner. Asiatisch expands on the political themes of Desert Strike in a new and unexpected way, and acts as a homage to the style of grime known as "sinogrime". Asian motifs and melodies are prominent throughout whilst conceptually Al Qadiri runs through "the fantasies of east Asia as refracted through pulpy Western pop culture". If that wasn't enough to sell you on the concept, opening track "Shanzhai" is a "nonsensical Mandarin" language cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U".
Review: It has been almost two years since the Fatima Al Qadiri's debut LP dropped on Hyperdub, and we're as excited now for her follow-up as when we'd heard the first one. This is because Qadiri provides us with everything to satisfy our need states; through an awry and granular sound, the artist is able to transmit a whole spectrum of moods and feelings. This makes Brute an album for anyone, and it can be enjoyed both by the party-goers and the moody corner-dwellers. The intro is a detached sort of skit that distances itself form any sort of shape, but so we're dropped in a post-futuristic world of pseudo grime, broken, detuned techno and tropical electronica. To be honest, there would be no other place for it than the mighty Hyperdub. Big release.
Review: Seven years have passed since Burial first stopped us dead in our tracks with this universally acclaimed second album.. Sounding so different, so removed and far away from anything else, it changed the game entirely - and created a whole school of imitators in its wake. Now repressed by Hyperdub, this is a rare opportunity to grab it on fresh wax. Even if you have this on other formats in your collection, the dusty weight and chasmic crackles sound so much better on vinyl.
Review: Frequent Jeremy Greenspan and Morgan Geist collaborator Jessy Lanza was hailed as a future star on the release of her 2013 debut album, Pull My Hair Back. That album projected her as some kind of New York freestyle chanteuse dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, backed by an all-electronic band fascinated with the potential of future R&B and left-of-centre synth-pop. This belated follow-up, which was once again produced in cahoots with Jeremy Greenspan, is even better. Colourful, vibrant and attractive, the ten songs are truthful to their '80s NYC inspirations, but smartly avoid the pitfalls of such blatant retro-futurism. In other words, it's a superb collection of future R&B and pop gems.
Review: Zomby returns to Hyperdub with his first album in three years, trailed in high profile fashion by that Burial collaboration "Sweetz." That particular tune is one of Ultra's headline attractions, alongside eyebrow-raising collaborations with Darkstar, Banshee and Rezzett. What really impresses, though, is the skewed, left-of-centre nature of the mask-wearing producer's heavy, post-grime rhythms, sparse but sparkling synth work, and the breathlessly cut-up R&B vocals dotted throughout the set. Interestingly, there are subtle nods towards new wave synth-pop, ghetto-tech, spacey ambient and alien IDM, making Ultra Zomby's most intriguing and consistently on-point album to date.