Hype Williams - What Happens When People Stop Being Polite, and Start Getting Reel - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Hype Williams - What Happens When People Stop Being Polite, and Start Getting Reel

by Alexandra Pett Rating:7.5 Release Date:2010-12-07

Where to start with Hype Williams? Perhaps that they're not the US video director of the same name, although if you Google the name that's all you'll get. Or that they may, or may not, be a London-Berlin twosome, the latest incarnation of an "18-year relay project" where the musical baton is passed without ceremony from one member of the collective to the next. Maybe that they work in 'sound collages' or that much of their half-speed sound is very possibly influenced by Houston producer DJ Screw who made famous a woozy, hallucinogenic hip hop sound, heavily influenced by a serious painkiller addiction. Other than this, there's really not that much else to say - the only solid part of Hype Williams that exists in tangible form is the music.

The latest album - What Happens When People Stop Being Polite, and Start Getting Reel - is short and sweet, made up of 10 tracks that come in at about 20 minutes long in total. The album is a patchwork of samples and sounds that sometimes really works and sometimes leaves you cold. 'Blue Dream' is one of the musical highlights, a synth structured piece of laid-back chillwave with a warm but slightly gravely bass. 'The Throning's stuttering beat sounds like it should go somewhere but never does, which doesn't really matter as the vocal refix from Sade's 'The Sweetest Taboo' overlays it perfectly. Tracks like 'Jesus to a Child' and 'Rescue Dawn 3' seem to steal their samples from arcade games with beeps and lasers matched with incompressible, drugged out vocals and vintage sounding synths in simple patterns.

There are a couple of messed-up spoken word samples - 'Jesus to a Child Reprise' and 'Untitled (Andrea Lopez)' - that are not so much tracks as experiments and in a way sum up the whole album. You can give this sort of output all kinds of labels - it's pop culture sludge cut with distant disco, random ramblings and ethnic elements - but it escapes being boxed because it's all of these and, as a whole, it's none. There are no complete, properly structured songs and if that's what you're expecting it gives you little. But the fact that you can't pin it down and it doesn't really make sense - even that some of it seems a bit pointless or not very good - doesn't really matter because Hype Williams' rebellious tinkering sometimes borders on brilliant. And above all it flies the flag for outsider spirit, which is something modern music needs like an omelette needs eggs.

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