Monday, August 25, 2014

Album Review: Various – Hyperdub 10.2 (2014)

Hyperdub 10.2 is the second release in the Hyperdub label’s series of 10th birthday celebration releases. We can expect two more in this series, and everythingsgonegreen cast a beady eye over 10.1 a little earlier in 2014.

Like 10.1, the second album is another sampler collection seeking to showcase a few of the label’s more prominent artists and acts, and label luminaries like Burial, Ikonika, DJ Rashad, Cooly G, and Kode9 feature once again.
But with just 14 tracks on offer this time around, compared to the extended double disc package we got on the first retrospective, 10.2 feels somewhat abbreviated and perhaps even a little lightweight. Not only in terms of the album’s length but also stylistically. Where 10.1 was quite edgy and very club-orientated, 10.2 reflects on some of the label’s more commercial R&B moments. As a result it falls a little short of my (admittedly very high) expectations.
I completely understand what label guru Steve Goodman is trying to achieve by offering a wider overview of the label’s output, but however else I see it, R&B just ain’t my bag, and a lot of this is just too sugar-coated for my own taste; I think there’s an over reliance on chopped up vocals, and/or additional vocal FX, and I definitely prefer my Hyperdub sounds with much more of a focus on the “bass” side of the spectrum.

Highlights are a bit thin on the ground with this one, the Burial track ‘Shell of Light’ is probably the best thing here, but if I’m being kind, the contributions of Morgan Zarate and Jessy Lanza – two tracks each – are not too bad either.

If I wasn’t such an anal collector of Hyperdub compilations I’d probably be tempted to discard 10.2 (but I won’t) …


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