It’s Adult Swim time… as always. All of us in Surreal Resolution are thankful for the musical output they’ve brought us throughout the years, getting us into different artists of many genres. Whenever they release compilations like Ghostly Swim, Metal Swim, Fever Dreams, etc., content from outside artists like Roc Marciano, Father, Chris Devoe etc. and some music from their own series, I always get anticipated and/or curious with these.
On this one, I lean on the curious side as this compilation is a collaboration with the record label HyperDub.
HyperDub is a London-based electronic music label founded in 2004, but before that it was a web magazine at the start of 2000. Looking into their artist roster, most of them have crossed paths with the Adult Swim Singles Program, particularly Ikonika, The Bug (part of ZONAL with Justin Broadrick), DJ Spinn, DJ Taye and Fatima Al Qaidri (her contribution should be familiar for those awake at the crack of dawn), and I’ve been familiar with some of these artists or so from one odd track to another. So I decided to peep this compilation.
First, I like how diverse the sounds are in here, as the label is known for having different styles of electronic music from UK funk to Chicago footwork to ambient/industrial sounding pieces. The single released from here, “Old Tape” by Burial, has that distinct futuristic sound with some industrial work and vocal glitching/samples (‘If you were myyy love?’), and that captured a nice groove as the instrumental kicks in like something we would hear in the background of Blade Runner. “In Your Own Time” from Okzharp & Manthe Ribane oozes with some mesmerizing production and vocal work in a low-tempo setting.
Proc Fiscal’s “Devilish River” does have that glossy, wonky vibe that sounds very high-spirited in its own unique way, and we even get some hip-hop flavored work with DJ Taye on “Inferno” and some rapping/singing courtesy of Angel-Ho on “Chaos,” with the former intermixing some hip-hop and trance sounds and the latter having some ‘I’m that boss bitch’-type raps from Angel-Ho, and she delivers some good bars on that track. While DJ Haram and Orion Sun’s “Get It” is short on the rapping (it’s more ad-libbing), the beat has a distinct Middle Eastern sound with added flute.
Dean Blunt’s “Darcus” has a haunting presence as the chant of “Lucifer, Prince of Darkness” goes on in this dark, droning beat with the tempo increases all in one minute and 16 seconds. Kode9 aka the founder of Hyperdub has his own contribution to the album with “Cell 3,” and this track packs a punch with that footwork production. Following that is DJ Spinn with “Opioids,” and that one has a ’50s outer-space alien movie production sound before that all-mighty footwork sound kicks in with some horns thrown in there, too.
Other contributions have their highlights in the album like Scratcha DVA’s “Baka” starting with that jungle-infused sound before it goes into a warbled, distorted sound before that fades mid-way into the song, but I wish that part was more present in there. “Unruly” by Nazar has this scratching beat effect going for it, and the climax near the end increases my interest in the track. The final three tracks of the compilation come from Lee Gamble, Laurel Halo & Fatima Al Qadiri in that order, and they’re a great way to end off the album, especially Fatima’s contribution, “Filth.”
HyperSwim is another of these [as] compilation albums that pique my interest and manages to succeed with varied styles of electronic music displayed throughout, showcasing what these artists can do, and here’s to Hyperdub for bringing unique electronic music for 15 years. Here’s to 15 more.
FINAL VERDICT: Buy it. Get in the pool and go for a swim…..a HyperSwim.