Dean Blunt, the London based artist, presents his first official solo LP The Redeemer via his own World Music imprint and Hippos in Tanks. The Redeemer explores sounds ranging from psychedelia to orchestral sonatas, while still maintaining the artist's characteristically raw flow and soul. Blunt's haunting new release follows his 2012 solo introduction The Narcissist II, which was a drug fuelled ode to an unspecified 'girl'.
The Redeemer continues on this direct message to his faceless girl, who may or may not be perceived as former lover Inga Copeland, whom he has gathered acclaim with as Hype Williams.
If you are familiar with his previous work, one could expect the usual misdirection and tape hiss of former Blunt affiliated releases. The Redeemer has none of this, with Blunt truly taking on new sonic territory. Without dismissing the exceptionally groundbreaking work he and Inga Copeland have laid down,The Redeemer is almost as if Blunt has saved his best, most direct work till now.
This is an album that is somehow familiar, recalling every album that lusting young lovers play on repeat. Blunt tugs at the listeners' heartstrings to evoke bygone memories from first kisses to humiliation and heartache, either as the heartbreaker, or the heartbroken. Sometimes the two can exist in the same person. What's most frightening about this album is how it exhibits a new kind of love that exists outside of traditional 'valentine' notions but is somehow still romantic. This is undoubtedly Blunt's most romantic collection of compositions, but make no mistake; this love dwells in nightmares as well as in dreams.
Through its 19 pieces, The Redeemer is replete with mosaics of sound and imagery, like a mirage, with foresight into the kind of relationships that are still to come, not merely for the artist himself, but for all of his listeners. One sees into his/her own future whilst listening, as if somehow enchanted, and though hardly esoteric this is an album to play during moments of reflection, a perfect supplement to meditation and fantasy. The listener becomes the character in Blunt's unflattering romance, receiving scorned voicemail messages and whispers from lovers.
Though there is really no other album quite like this, it is as accessible as it is remarkable. Blunt captures the essence of modern romance, delusional and infatuated. From the first time The Redeemer is played it is already timeless.
- Rhys Raiskin