Since emerging from the ether several years back the duo formerly known as Hype Williams has continually blurred the line between woozy samples and their own vocal/instrumental contributions to create narcotic pop music with an air of unease. Much like Broadcast’s 2009 team-up with The Focus Group the 15 songs of Black is Beautiful melt into each other like a series of vignettes rather than the typical collection of tunes yet maintain a guided feeling of dream logic throughout.
From the furious free jazz drums of opener “Venice Dreamway” (the only track with a title) to the stuttering footwork of “12” an added emphasis on rhythm propels the album out of the seasick synth netherzone. Copeland’s fragile vocals have been pushed further to the forefront as well whether cooing the hook to Blunt’s glassy-eyed raps or being used to gorgeous effect on an uncredited cover of the 1979 deep soul cut “Baby” by Donnie and Joe Emerson. It’s still far from easy listening yet this is the most welcoming invitation into the pair’s mysterious soundworld so far.