Various Artists, Hyperdub 10.2

Anupa Mistry

By Anupa Mistry

on 07.22.14 in Reviews

Dubstep, funky, grime, UKG, jungle; at Hyperdub, the fast-mutating rhythms of the British underground are rigorously preserved, to sometimes weird and often incredible effect. Hyperdub 10.2 is the second in a four-part series commemorating 10 years of the experimental and essential British dance music label’s existence, and where the first volume was club-centric and dude-heavy, this 14-track release focuses on shimmering R&B reductions (plus a Ghostface Killah cameo) and summery, groove-laden house and grime tunes from some of the best female producers working today.

Shimmering R&B reductions and summery, groove-laden house and grime

Jessy Lanza, recently longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, contributes the pulsing “5785021,” which is followed by the futuristic wheeze of Cooly G‘s “Obsessed,” equally a Mariah Carey and Timbaland redux. Ikonika’s “I Know (That U Are The 1)” inverts the producer-singer male/female paradigm entirely: She gets American boogienaut Dam-Funk gasping, Prince-sexy, over rubbery basslines and atomized synths.

On vocals, Inga Copeland broods with and without former partner Dean Blunt on the opening and closing tracks, and Swedish singer Fatima’s powerful soul vocals pop over U.K. funky on DVA’s minimal rework, “Just Vybe (Soule Power remix).” South African-Canadian Zaki Ibrahim proves she is increasingly at her best on the dancefloor, chanting in chiaroscuro over DVA’s liquid garage “Solid,” and SBTRKT collaborator Roses Gabor goes new wave romantic/The-Dream with Morgan Zarate on “Pusher Taker.” All told, the compilation reinforces one of Hyderdub’s secret strengths: Its embrace of women and resistance to the whitewashing of dance music is what will continue to keep the label influential.