Hyperdub/Adult Swim – Stimulus Swim Compilation Review 

Adult Swim and Hyperdub fuse intentions once again after last year’s successful Hyperswim compilation, which coincided with the label’s 15th anniversary. This time around, it runs parallel to two other Adult Swim-affiliated mixtapes, all aimed at raising funds for artists during the pandemic. Stimulus Swim features many Hyperdub artists that weren’t on last year’s record.
Given that the compilation isn’t really going for thematic or sonic cohesion, we’re restricted in any urges to extrapolate thematically or to venture too far beyond a discussion of the compilation’s content. And it is of course difficult to say too much about the content without spoiling it. Fortunately, Stimulus Swim doesn’t need much to be said about it, beyond an announcement of its worth and something to convince would-be listeners/buyers. Here goes:
1. Silvia Kastel“Ormai” – A warm and sparse introduction, both in percussion and melody, helped along delightfully by Kastel’s many and manipulated vowel sounds.

2. Jessy Lanza“Bardeux” The return of Classic Lanza Pop, in the vein of Pull My Hair Back’s title track. Lots of room to breathe it all deeply, in preparation for her upcoming album.

3. Lawrence Lek“One Nation”The compilation’s first hint of darkness, with a bassline (standing not too far from something like Kanye‘s “Fade”) carrying the track across various vocal and textural scenarios, from smooth to serrated.

4. 700 Bliss“Sixteen” – Moor Mother and DJ Haram bring a sonic directness and lyrical potency to everything they do as 700 Bliss. This time it’s flat, grained-out Haram giving Moor Mother a noisy stage. ‘Can’t breathe without crying, and I know you hear them sirens’. 

5. Lady Lykez, Logan Olm, Dizzie Kid, Jammz. Scratcha DVA“Jackie Chan” Huge gang effort, held down by a full, shaking Lady Lykez hook, the music morphing with each verse. Sonically it lives in the same building as 700 Bliss’ contribution – perhaps in a bigger, painted room.

6. DJ Tre“Concept Track” – Pace is picked up with an expert ghettotech-leaning-into-footwork banger, featuring typical, quantized synths and drum switch-ups to keep it consistently lively.

7. Loraine James“Microdancing Or Something” – The music and the natural reaction to it are both the same thing – erratic movement. But it’s a serene erraticism – breaks/no brakes.

8. Klein“Arese”Classically dissonant electric pianos, told to waft around the mix until dethroned by a host of different strings. Diffuses the rest of the compilation’s tensions by re-directing them.

Not a bad track in the picture, and no complaints about the auto-repeat feature on the Adult Swim website, turning a first listen into a compulsory purchase.

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