There's a vast degree of solipsism to the work of Dean Blunt. Whether he's speaking in riddles during interviews or presenting an exhibition that places a VHS copy of All Dogs Go To Heaven alongside a man laying face down on the floor, this is an artist concerned only with the excavation of his own experiences, the audience a happy accident.
For followers of Blunt ‘Black Metal’ arrives weighted by ‘Trident 2’, a meticulous eight-minute spoken-word dissection of Hackney’s gang culture that offers listeners a greater insight into his world than ever before.
Despite said track’s omission from the album, this home-grown street spirit manifests as a manipulating force throughout a record that melts every sonic signifier of an unforgiving cityscape together, inviting us to listen from inside Blunt’s head.
Unlike the scratchy collages that have hindered previous records, ‘Black Metal’ transitions with hypnotic clarity considering its palette. Easy-listening country rock and lonely saxophone trails fall into 13-minute electro-jazz opus ‘Forever’. Squarepusher-cut brain rattle ‘Country’ blooms into the sad, scatter-gun grime territory of ‘Hush’.
As Blunt strings low cryptic one-liners together, we’re guided by awestruck voyeurism. From ‘cover art’ to core, it might seem the listener is last on his list, but this is just classic reverse psychology. The less Dean Blunt cares, the more we do.
Words: Kim Hillyard
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