The second installation of Hyperdub’s four compilations of 2014 to celebrate 10 years of existence is focused entirely on R&B … and that should tell you everything you need to know about it, really; the label isn’t known for this genre and they know it. The vocalists are rarely able to scrap together a discernible melody in the same way the label was barely able to scrap together a full disc’s worth (Hyperdub 10.1 spanned two full discs and sells for only a buck more); they throw in a Burial song (“Shell of Light” from Untrue) and a DJ Rashad song (“Only One” from Double Cup) for name recognition because no one’s going to recognize any of the other names. These tracks stand out amongst the rest, not because they’re the only two that use sampled vocals, but rather because they’re just of a higher quality. (And they’re not even the best songs off their respective albums!)
Elsewhere, Kode9’s “Lies, Lies” has a nice drum programming, but Inga Copeland disappears underneath it and I guess Phloston Paradigm’s “Never Defeated” has a nice climax, but that’s all there is too it. Cooly G’s “Obsessed” sounds like a discount version of SBTRKT’s “Wildfire” – but the perverted thing is it has more melody than most of the other songs. Meanwhile, despite the fact that the venerable Ghostface Killah gets overpowered by the beat and despite Eska’s oversinging of the Super Serious lyrics (“ALL the children / The LI-ttle children”; “the power of in-su-la-tion!”); Morgan Zarate taking what sounds like a Marvin Gaye sample and thrusting it into the present on “Sticks & Stones” is the brightest idea this compilation has. The best song here is Jessy Lanza’s “5785021” (people who love FKA twigs’ LP1 ought to love this one), but it was already available on Lanza’s debut, Pull My Hair Back. Lanza’s other offering, “You and Me,” which appears nowhere else, is basically the exact same song.