Preview: mysterious Hype Williams performer Dean Blunt to play selected UK dates
- Claire Sawers
- 18 November 2013
The secretive experimental hip hop/electronica musician is playing shows in Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow
Dean Blunt isn’t an easy one to decipher. In fact, he’d probably prefer you didn’t even try. Just listen to the music, or come to a gig, seems the message put over by his deft interview-dodging – or in the rare case when he does do them – the cryptic/ foreign language/ random-firings-of-the-brain answers he seeps out.
But against a backdrop of attention-hungry bands (you may know the type; talent-bereft, expert at creating Twitter storms-in-teacups?), there’s something satisfying about Blunt’s abstruse stance. He gets away with it simply by being good. As one half of Hype Williams, with dubby/deadpan musical partner, Inga Copeland, they delivered some of the most organ-shakingly visceral live shows around – pulling frenzied strobes, male bodybuilders, tremorous sub-bass and slow-jam Sade samples out the bag, and keeping their crowds hooked.
Just as HW liked to slither out of a constrictive style the moment they felt they’d been trapped down a musical pigeonhole, Blunt’s solo work continues to surprise and shapeshift; his recent albums The Redeemer and Stone Island blurred delicate harps and Saint-Saens-style symphonies with voicemail samples and tear-salty break-up lyrics. It’s his endless gearshifts in tempo, genre-welding and explorations of performance boundaries that keep him interesting, and deserving of the hype. And if the (self-designed) mystery shrouding him is entertaining to follow, consider it a bonus extra, and an antidotal one at that.
The Arches, Glasgow, Sun 1 Dec.