Label: De Stijl Records Release date: 06/12/10 Link: MySpace Buy: Amazon Hype Williams is named after a hip-hop/R&B director from the United States. The fact that they’re named after some trashy figure in that field of music says quite a lot about their music – they embrace popular American hip-hop to some extent, but mix it up with the experimental aspects of ‘chopped and screwed’ (as pioneered by DJ Screw). This sort of vaguely ironic appreciation of those types of music is what links Hype Williams to the witch house/drag/haunted house/rapegaze/(any other stupid name you can think of). However, Hype Williams are based in Europe, which contrasts the mostly North American artists in the aforementioned scene. As well as this, they also have a bit more going for them than any of those artists (much like Salem do) due to their balance of ‘being consciously shit sounding’ and ‘being actually creative’ being almost spot on, giving them credibility. And going back to their name... they’re getting pretty hyped up too. Their music is hazy and dubby and shows obvious links to UK electronic music of the past five years; particularly the atmosphere of dubstep. But they don’t fit into any of its subgenres at all. Hype Williams’ music is far too idiosyncratic to be pigeonholed. I mean, the first track has a low, rumbling voice talking about Pokémon! Simply put, if you hear this band’s music, you know it’s them. The third track ‘Blue Dream’ sounds almost like Cabaret Voltaire or something with its thick, high pitched, funky, yet industrial sounding synths. The following track also has a sort of electrofunk vibe; like if Dam-Funk was a little more influenced by strong suppressant drugs. And it continues in a similarly unpredictable manner... To describe every track is to ruin the surprises. One of Hype Williams’ strong points is that they know how to surprise you in many ways – A track on a different release samples Drake! But that isn’t to say it actually all sounds extremely varied; it’s quite the opposite. They have this real druggy sense of repetition that extends through all of their releases. Everything sounds chopped and screwed – like it’s been soaked underwater and slowed down five-fold. I suppose this element kind of loses its value after a while, regardless of how interesting it seems initially... When I say they’re full of surprises, it’s the little things that count. To me, Hype Williams appeal to a certain group of in-the-know people. Not just with its major aspects, but again, it’s those little things – The Pokémon sample, the Drake sample – that would get people really interested in Hype Williams. You have to ‘get’ pop culture, so it would really help if you were under thirty-years-old I suppose (sorry guys). They haven’t quite blown me away with this one, but they have a hell of a lot of potential. This is their second ‘album’ (they’re churning out records prolifically) so far, but it doesn’t feel like an album in the same way their debut ‘Untitled’ LP did. I suppose this is a mini-album in all fairness if you take into consideration its length of 23 minutes. If you’re a fan already; go for it. If not, check out their ‘Untitled’ album, which is a bit less ‘disposable’ sounding. Photobucket