Hippos in Tanks

Dean Blunt – ‘Walls of Jericho Pt.2’

28 November 2013

It feels like there’s a continual subtext to Dean Blunt‘s releases. Especially when dropping such a short and sharp video as this one, featuring said performer in a Stetson staring out over a body of water, while his typically breathy talk-singing relays, “you’ve got a problem, when it comes to honesty”, with added guitar inserts. That’s over the original orchestral sample of ‘Walls of Jericho’ from this year’s The Redeemer album, released on Hyperdub in May.

But whoever it is that’s going to “come running back” to him, as his Brixton 28s exhibition at [ space ] in East London confirmed, Blunt’s not here to give us any answers. **

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Copeland – ‘Fit’

28 August 2013

Strange things have been happening to Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland (surprise), even since before their typically weirdly-worded ‘split’ via their soundcloud a couple of weeks ago. That profile is credited to “cplnd” and had been hiterto used by both the Hype Williams off-shoots of the original London-sprung duo.

But now, following a surprise drop from a Russian hotel room by Blunt, we have a YouTube for Copeland, reduced to a mononym and muffling her idiosyncratic vocals under a mire of woozy synth lines and clacking beats. Hopefully there’s more to come but we won’t know until it happens.

See the Hippos in Tanks website if you want to try and figure it out. **

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Dean Blunt Euro tour

17 July 2013

Dean Blunt puts out music far more frequently than he plays live, which is why his upcoming Autumn European tour features one date for September and October before dropping into an uncharacteristically full(ish) schedule for the following month in November.

After years of anonymity, jealously guarding his face from fans with Hype Williams, the London-based artist has been showing a lot more of it with the promo shots around The Redeemer, his debut out in May of this year, and the recent ‘Felony / Stalker’ 7-inch. That came accompanied by a video featuring Blunt and a dog standing around, near some cars, on a cliff-top that looked suspiciously like Australia, where he performed with Inga Copeland of Hype Williams earlier this year. He also played at CTM Festival in January and, by all accounts, it was worth it. See the tour dates and video below. **




Wed 11 LONDON, 100 CLUB







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Dean Blunt – ‘Road 2 Redemption’.

Dean Blunt - 'Road 2 Redemption'.
22 April 2013

In the lead up to Dean Blunt‘s highly anticipated, and we daresay brilliantly promoted, second album, The Redeemer, out on Hippos in Tanks, May 1, the musician, artist and self-made myth, has dropped a new track, not to appear on the forthcoming track listing but enough to get the romantic vibe, his press has been alluding to.

With the upcoming album to include track titles like ‘Seven Seals of Affirmation’, ‘Walls of Jericho’ and ‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’ there’s no mistaking the spirito-mystical bent of Blunt’s recent direction, in line with a growing post-science current towards a sort of neo-transcendentalism that new media artists like Theodore Darst and groups like The Eternal Internet Brotherhood echo. As they say, “where Science fails, God prevails”. See The Redeemer track listing below. **


1. I Run New York
2. The Pedigree
3. Demon
4. Flaxen
5. V
6. The Redeemer
7. Seven Seals Of Affirmation
8. Walls Of Jericho
9. Make It Official
10. Need 2 Let U Go
11. Dread
12. Y3
13. Papi
14. Mmix
15. All Dogs Go To Heaven
16. Imperial Gold
17. Predator
18. Brutal
19. Pa

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Dean Blunt – ‘X-tasy’.

Dean Blunt. X-tasy.
6 March 2013

Dean Blunt just loves to push those buttons. If he isn’t destroying ear drums with a high frequency pitch change at the German debut of The Narcissist -a play-slash-live music performance presented at this year’s CTM Festival -then he’s releasing ‘X-tasy’ as an obtuse comment on racial profiling in modern media accompanied by a wikipedia link to the Spike Lee-coined ‘Magical Negro’ trope. Incidentally, it’s that very signal, turning from barely perceptible bass through to skull-crushing treble over four monotonous minutes, that Blunt played in Berlin already and it’s apparently a harbinger to his upcoming album The Redeemer, out on Hippos in Tanks and World Music Group, May 1.

The implications of such a ‘track’ are plentiful. Perhaps pointing most explicitly to the contemporary obsession with RnB culture, by mainstream pop and the underground alike, as some kind of exploitative mechanism. Especially, when accompanied by a video of a ripped African-American, D’Angelo miming his highly-explicit ‘Untitled (How Does It Feel)’ in super-slow motion.

Make of it what you will and listen through actual speakers.**

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Inga Copeland EP due March 4.

Inga Copeland.
27 February 2013

After hearing Inga Copeland‘s brilliantly moody ‘BMW’ last year, suddenly the prospect of Hype Williams potentially disbanding became easier to bear. That, along with the great work on her cohort Dean Blunt‘s ‘The Narcissist’ and the unfairly short teaser of an upcoming EP produced by Holland’s Martyn (aka Martijn Deykers) and London’s DVA, means things aren’t just looking up but are potentially even better than before.

That’s why the aformentioned 12″ with Deykers and DVA, Don’t Look Back, That’s Not Where You’re Going is another welcome addition to the post-Hype Williams empire. Available for pre-order on Boomkat the record is out through Hippos in Tanks and Blunt/Copeland-run World Music Group, on March 4. It features Martyn and DVA sinking deeper from their combined dubstep and DnB past into a dub-infused haze, while Copeland carries on with the fractured universal hip hop of Hype Williams along a uniquely smoky vocal.**

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Physical Therapy – ‘Do It Alone’

Physical Therapy. Do It Alone.
22 February 2013

It’s been some time since New Jersey producer Physical Therapy (aka Daniel Fisher) released his deliciously elevated Safety Net EP on Hippos In Tanks in June last year. But that hasn’t stopped him from dropping an animated video for his trackDo It Alone’ to remind us.

Reflecting the synthetic-though-verdant feel of a track that mixes a penchant for mid-90s sounding breaks and towering vocal samples before being knotted and fed through a fluctuating audio channel, the slightly strange revisiting of early millennial graphics is the perfect accompaniment to a most eccentric oeuvre.**

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Dean Blunt exhibiting @ [ space ]

Dean Blunt. BRIXTON 28s.
20 February 2013
The name Dean Blunt, has been popping up everywhere since splicing from his original Hype Williams project with Inga Copeland. There’s been a play in Switzerland, an exhibition in LA and a performance with James Ferraro in West Hollywood. Then there’s the acclaimed mixtape-cum-solo debut The Narcissist II, officially released on Hippos in Tanks in November last year and his recent Berlin premiere of The Narcissist live at CTM Festival.

Now, the ever-elusive musician and artist returns from rumoured relocations to Berlin and Portugal to his old stomping ground in London at [ space ] gallery in Hackney. Running for a brief three days, the BRIXTON 28s exhibition starts at 7pm Friday, March 22 and runs till Sunday, March 24. It comes with a limited edition print at the gallery and the following blurb:
“wat da f**k u chattin bout fam?? one ah pennys crew was called da one ah penny crew so fall back wid ur wrong info…ur right when u say there were only 28 ov da orignal 28s azwad squidley fudge husler pb killerman archer millitant dego jim jim meastro cox cyco bandit dandy gummie boomie swifty balmore omar jiffy ribz keith headley bullet scotty demus da twinz micheal brodrick bully…dis is da original 28s….then came da younger 28s beaver quincey loverboy shortman flowers nolan gutsy kboy ninja half-e jahbi jacob peanut yardie.“**
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Dean Blunt’s ‘Narcissist II’ reviewed.

Dean Blunt. Princely Pastiche.
11 December 2012

Dean Blunt is one half ever-evolving art and music project Hype Williams. Working across media, the east-London native has been creating sounds and works informed by and in opposition to the post-modern sensibility since his debut with other half Inga Copeland in 2009. Since then, the duo have released a handful of EPs and albums, developing a substantial cult following around their own self-created and spectral non-image.

Dean Blunt. Image courtesy of Hippos in Tanks.
Dean Blunt. Image courtesy of Hippos in Tanks.

Continue reading Dean Blunt’s ‘Narcissist II’ reviewed.

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Nguzunguzu’s ‘Warm Pulse’ reviewed

5 July 2012

It seems as though the way the human brain works these days is that you cram it with as much information as possible and then see what happens. It’s a formula that applies everywhere, from the 140-character news stream that is Twitter to the tsunami of remixes and mash ups flooding YouTube. Then there are bands like LA-via-Chicago (and then some) duo Daniel Penida and Asma Maroof of Nguzunguzu. They’ve had references bleeding out of their ears since moving to California, putting on parties and improvising straight to cassette roughly around 2010. But, while they come from a background where sampling is a right and DJ isn’t a dirty word, there’s also something peculiar happening to Nguzunguzu’s sound. That is, they’ve found one.

Applying their unique production aesthetic to those distinctive elements of post dubstep, junk, zouk, Chicago house and whatever ‘world club’ micro-genre you can fling at it, Nguzunguzu have created their own ultra-unique compound in umpteenth release, Warm Pulse. Out on that vanguard of everything weird and progressive in underworld electronica, Hippos in Tanks (June 3), it proves that just because you can locate an influence through Google or Shazam, it doesn’t mean it’s not coming through in way that is totally unique.

It was easy to pick the distinct kuduro influence of ‘El Bebe Ambiente’ from Nguzunguzu’s free to download self-titled EP or the unmistakable piano chord of Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ in their Kenzo Showtunes mixtape. Now, though, these sounds have mutated into a record that sinks the Philip Glass ivories under the vacillating groove of a piercing signal in ‘Smoke Alarm’, while that infamous synth-line of the X-Files theme is pitched and pulled into virtual indiscernability in ‘Drop Cage’.

It’s fitting that Nguzunguzu should have inaugurated the stable for Night Slugs US sister-label Fade to Mind for last year’s Timesup EP. Because, in not only establishing the global culture of the two stables (Night Slugs is based in the UK), they also lead their herd of experimental internationalists as much concerned with visual aesthetics, as sonic peculiarities. As the increasingly layered textures of ‘Warm Pulse’ flicker and fluctuate into a sound that is at once immersing and organic, so too does their album imagery approach a new level of graphic detail. There was the ethereal glow of 2010 EP Mirage, then the 3D geometry of Timesup and now the its a hyperreal diorama of simulated organic and man made matter that cloaks Warm Pulse. You can see Nguzunguzu’s artwork develop from eclectic fragments into cohesive compositions reminiscent of Leilah Weinraub or Fatima Al Qadiri –both, incidentally, share an association with the band in one way or another. In the same way their sound evolves from a twisted and contorted rendition of music nerd disc jockey’s online playlist to a track listing that pulverizes baby talk samples, police sirens and gabba beats to make a sound completely their own.

Nguzunguzu’s Warm Pulse EP is out on Hippos in Tanks June 3rd, 2012.

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