Release Date: Nov 27, 2012
Record label: Hippos in Tanks
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
Achieving the kind of purposeful anonymity previously reserved for underground misfits like Jandek, Dean Blunt is steadily ascending the ranks of the lo-fi ladder. The Narcissist II, Blunt’s early ’12 online mixtape, has been re-mastered and remixed for a limited vinyl run and is similarly sheathed in the same enigmatic dreariness and experimental whimsy as any of his other baffling musical identities. The results, luckily, are appallingly beautiful, disturbing, sentimental and ramshackle, like the streetside tones of a keyboard busker.
Hype Williams’ music roams, meanders, drifts. The group’s members, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland, bury their stories so deep that listening is like a mindfuck in slow motion. It’s a seductive, intoxicating blend of warped R&B, narcotic dub, broken drone, and comatose hip-hop, but their music signifies nothing/everything so confusingly that it unhinges itself from stylistic barriers, swims down your throat, and infects your body like a virus.
The Narcissist II is the latest reminder that Dean Blunt thinks about pop music very, very differently than you do. It is the first album for Dean Blunt as a solo artist after several releases with his recording partner Inga Copeland (first as Hype Williams and then as Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland), though Copeland makes appearances here. A remixed and remastered version of a free, 30-minute "mixtape" Blunt dropped in February, The Narcissist II is is the least substantial release in a discography that avoids substance by design.
The magic key turned out to be brain damage. "I got knocked the fuck out many a time. Blame boxing, that's why shit sounds the way it does." Dean Blunt was telling The Guardian about an adolescence merrily spent getting TKO'd for money in the East End underworld and acquiring tape machines. He missed out its strangest detail, which he'd shared with The Wire a few months before: nights spent in a crew of boys, all of them dressed like DMX, with "bald heads and just sideburns." Then he called Berlin "the biggest coffee shop in the world" and began to forecast the apocalypse.