The official release (though you can stream the entire thing for free here) of Laurel Halo’s debut album Quarantine next week should temporarily satisfy our desire for experimental pop mixtures of the Hyperdub-ian variety. But while that album seems almost impossible to pin down stylistically (same goes for Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland’s Black Is Beautiful), what about Hyperdub’s more danceable roots? Besides Burial (who wouldn’t be tasked with so public a responsibility anyway), who else is carrying the flag for the label these days?
I knew I’d heard the name Cooly G before, and it wasn’t through an erroneous belief that she was the sister of a Sacha Baron Cohen character. She’s appeared on several acclaimed mixes, including the Kode9 edition of DJ-Kicks, Martyn’s Fabric 50, and the massive label undertaking 5: Five Years of Hyperdub, released in 2009. On July 17, Cooly G a.k.a. Merrisa Campbell will be releasing her debut album Playin Me on Hyperdub. Initial impressions suggest a unique and soulful take on the burgeoning UK funky sub-genre; as a press release notes, “[o]n Playin Me she displays the full spectrum of her sound, plummeting from her sometimes melancholy, sometimes romantic songs through to her more menacing, trackier sound.” Indeed, corroborating the “romantic” aspect of things is the inclusion of the track “Trouble,” a cover of the Coldplay song by the same name.
Despite the unavoidable tendency of myself and others to lump Campbell in with a particular scene, she has understandably shied away from that: “I don’t really want to call my music anything right now, but the album is much more melodic and… a bit girly. A bit more about me, Merrisa, rather than Cooly G. People probably think I’m hard because I make hard tunes, but I’m not really that hard!” Check out a preview of Campbell’s softer side below.
Playin Me tracklisting:
01. He Said I Said
02. What This World Needs Now
03. Come Into My Room
04. Landscapes (featuring Sinbad)
05. Good Times
08. Playin Me
10. What Airtime
11. It’s Serious (featuring Karizma)
12. Is It Gone
13. Up In My Head