Boomkat Product Review:
Avant don Dean Blunt sweeps up 31 old and new joints spanning his earliest post-Hype Williams to under-the-radar offcuts and unreleased goodness from a scene-defining contemporary icon.
As good as a primer on one of most interesting artists to emerge in the past decade, ‘Roaches 2012-2019’ lays out a broad overview of Blunt’s highly personal conception of contemporary soul that highlights his wry, drawling observations on modern life and the various poles of his musical style - from new age ambient and lo-fi downbeats to psychedelic rock, noise and road realist sound art - in a perfectly sequenced mixtape mosaic that surely speaks to his influence over current waves of artists from Yves Tumor to Arca.
Pulling from drops you may have slept on (hands up over here) alongside never-before-heard gems, there are obvious highlights to note in the stark reminder of 2014’s ‘Trident’, written and issued in the wake of the Tottenham riots and providing some crucial background to the situation, while the breezy MIDI chamber suite of ‘Benidorm’ shares a proper synth soul with Actress, and it’s not hard to join the dots between his psych-soul turns such as the opening anthem ‘Felony’ and ‘Rozay 09 Type Beat’ with Yves Tumor - but for all the comparisons, the breadth, badness and variation of even his offcuts/oddities proves Blunt is just out on his own. It really is best consumed in one session to best let it seep in and get into his mindset. If you never knew where to start with him, start here on the fringes and work your way in.