HYPE WILLIAMS 10/10 Self-released

04 10

On 27 July, an album titled 10/10 appeared on a Bandamp page called “jesus, take the wheel”. As with most things attached, however loosely, to the Hype Williams project, the LP is not without smoke and mirrors. Is Hype Williams still a collaboration between Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland? Or, as it has been claimed, has the line-up changed? If so, then who is Denna Frances Glass?

Her name surfaces regularly throughout Hype Williams lore. It was Glass who announced Blunt and Copeland’s depar- ture from Hype Williams back in 2013, and who reiterated that “the ting continues with other cats” for the release of 10/10. Early descriptions of Glass are outlandish – describing her as a founding member of Hype Williams alongside her husband, motivational speaker Father Ronnie Krayola – but recently she has been more reservedly credited as the outfit’s manager. She is only contactable via email.

The pursuit of logic here bears fruit: Denna Frances Glass is surely Dean Blunt – an artist who never wants our eyes to settle on him for long enough for us to feel that we really know him.

But regardless of who actually made this album, the music here is a marked lowpoint in Hype Williams’ discography. At their best, Hype Williams sound like composite retellings of recent cultural history. Surreal abstractions of urban decay. 10/10 lacks the weather or rust to achieve this pull. While on stronger moments like DIVA or REVELATIONS, there’s some absurd appeal in the tackiness, the album is often uncharacteristically emotionless, and recurrently dull. Ultimately, sleight of hand tactics are only so interesting. The game is only fun when the prize at the end is worth winning. 10/10 sees Hype Williams at their most opaque, and as such their most impenetrable.

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