Prior to the release of Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland’s supremely beguiling Black Is Beautiful LP for Hyperdub, we were introduced to The Narcissist II.
The free composition was credited to Blunt, one-half of the impish combo formerly known as Hype Williams. A half-hour set of drifty atmospherics and cracked baladeering, it offered another highly readable chapter in the duo’s strange, freewheeling history. A cryptic new track suggests a sequel may be on the way.
Hype Williams mysterious (and, we’d wager, non-existent) sensei Denna Glass sent an email over to The Quietus drawing their attention to a new track credited to Blunt. The accompanying blurb reads, simply, “from The Narcissist III”. Things, as ever, are opaque: the Soundcloud is credited to ‘cplnd’, which, unless she’s just a Soundcloud mule, suggests Copeland’s involvement as well as Blunt’s.
‘FLAXEN’ is somewhat less muggy than the material on The Narcissist II. Blunt’s music with Copeland is normally tarnished and groove-based; ‘FLAXEN’ is light, perfumed and rhythmically way off the grid. Over a lurching harp ostinato, Blunt layers choral voices and pizzicato strings, leaving acres of space for all the constitutive elements to breathe. We expect Blunt to be intoxicating, but ravishing? It suits him well.