Hype Williams – London 2012

Deeply compelling, shadowy new album out of nowhere from endlessly enigmatic duo.


Words by: Ruth Saxelby

Hype Williams – aka Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland – live in the unexpected moment. Out of the blue, here is a brand new album – 20 minutes and 20 seconds long – titled ‘London 2012’, a surprise follow-up to this summer’s ‘Black Is Beautiful’ on Hyperdub. It features Friday’s shock-drop new song Galice and arrived in my inbox this evening with the attached Tumblr-found image of a playfully confrontational woman at a wrestling match. While it’s mixtape in form – one long, meandering journey through a shadowy, siren-laced landcape – they assert, via occasional spokesperson Denna Francis Glass (who may or may not, it has been pondered before, be Inga Copeland), that it’s an album: “20 mins is an album to me.” It’s Copeland that leads vocally, in her grainy, strangely sensual rasp. A plaintive harmonica solo about three quarters of the way through is cut off by a cocking of a gun, and the subsequent sound of rain blunts underlying human wimpers and moans. It’s a deeply compelling listen, and a sharp reminder of Hype Williams’ sensitive and essential grasp on the purgatory of life.

Update: If you were lucky enough to be at the Hype Williams gig in London on Saturday, this is the CD they were selling.