Is ‘Lies’ By Hyper The Electronic Album Of The Year?
Lies by Hyper.
I have been sitting on this for a month now and I’ve been almost bursting with excitement for this release because for me, I truly believe that this is probably the best electronic album of the year. Quite a broad and ballsy statement to make, but it is definitely the Breakbeat album of 2013. Having been gifted this particular release from Beatman – the head honcho of the electro-breaks label Ayra Recordings and Beatman & Ludmilla global fame – upon first listen, I was in awe. Upon the second a little bit more so and by the umpteenth listen, I could safely say that I am in love this album.
Guy Hatfield is Hyper, a multi-award winning producer of heavy breaks and electro and he has been absent for some time, and I wanted to know why. So I asked him. I had a chat to find out a little bit more about the album too as we find out about the release, where he has been and dealing with speeding tickets:
Interview with Hyper.
This is some body of work, Guy. Is this why we’ve not heard much from you recently?
Thanks man. Not really no. I’ve been working on a load of different projects in the last two years and this Hyper album has been a slow burner. I’ve also been going through a bit of a darker period in my life and it kind of sapped a lot of drive, direction and creativity, I’ve needed to get ‘Lies‘ finished. I think though that it’s ended up being quite an inspiration for more of the depth and variety in this album. Certain tracks like ‘Clockwork‘ – hear it below – and ‘Take Me Away‘ would probably not have happened without it actually.
To quote yourself, “New album nearly nailed..”. This was January 9th, 2013. So that was a few days ago I’d say, what’s delayed you? Everything?
All of the above and more. I ended up speaking with Beatman & Ludmilla about a follow up to ‘Lights‘ for the album (track is called ‘Breed‘ – hear it below) as well as getting a few more tracks started and finished very quickly. A fair few of the tracks I had penciled at that point haven’t made the album and I think it’s the better for the extra time. I’d also spoken to Ayra about them releasing the album and their release schedule also meant the release got pushed back a little.
How come you’ve gone for a full LP rather than dishing out a few EPs every now and then?
Because it’s a format I like and because I stopped writing full on club based tracks which I think work better as EPs. Although it’s a cliché, I do think the album allows you to explore different avenues with creativity. This one features a lot more strings/sound design etc because of some of the other work I’ve been involved with and I wanted them to be given space to stand out within a body of work rather than being discarded as a ‘not dancefloor’ enough by DJ’s.
If this is such a big release what are the aspirations now that it is out?
Really just to keep moving forward with production/writing skills and to develop more with the next project. I’m so happy with the way this album has turned out, I want to keep this vibe and push on while I have it going. I’d love to also get into scoring a whole video game at some stage too or do some more TV/film work. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done so far and the Hyper material has had a strong history of usages here so it wouldn’t be such a massive leap for me I feel.
You’ve got Beatman & Ludmilla on the album on the track ‘Breed’, but no-one else? No other producers or any further collaborations. Did you want this to be entirely your own thing?
There are plenty of other collaborators on this record all of whom have added so much to this project. A few vocalists (Neil Ormandy, Robert Shields and rapper Shirt), and I collaborate with James Cocozza and John Ross (Ronnie) still as I always have. I just feel that B&L kind of get where I’m coming from. They like the guitar based stuff I do as well as the idea of incorporating strings into tracks. I’m also really proud of our ‘Lights‘ collab’ and we’ve been threatening to do another for a while the tunes on the release are all just brilliant in my mind!
I’m fortunate to have been able to listen to this for a short while now and spent most of the time listening to it in the car. I noticed I had to watch my speed a little more. Is this something you appreciate?
Yep. I got a speeding ticket the morning after I got the title track finished and in the car..
Were you expecting to create something as dark and as brutal as ‘Lies’ as a whole?
I think the driving sound has always been the Hyper way and add to that a darker head-space I’ve been in, it was probably inevitable. I struggled a little to come up with a direction for this album, taking into account what Hyper has always been and tie it to where I feel it needs to be in todays market. In the end I’ve basically thought fuck it, I’ll do what I want and it’s come out much more uncompromising than anything since ‘We Control‘. Much better to me than trying to fit with a particular scene or whatever’s expected which I think would have been a bit of a cop out.
This is quite a ‘DubRock ElectroPunk’ kind of an album, as I would like to call it. It doesn’t feel entirely electronic. You’ve used organic instruments more rather than going down the full synthetic route. Has that been an important part for your sound design?
It’s always been the Hyper sound to add guitars etc but this time there are strings too. They add extra depth and I’ve been working with them more and more so there was never much doubt that they would creep into this album. In fact, I’ve moved the whole project onto another level by putting together a second album called ‘Symphony Of Lies‘ which will follow early to mid 2014. I’ve been working with a co-writer Chris White to reinterpret almost the whole album using just core elements of the tracks whether it be a vocal, a guitar part, string part or sound design and adding extra instrumentation. Primarily this is strings, brass and sound design but there are also more guitar parts added in places too. I’m really excited about both albums and ‘Symphony Of Lies‘ is already wrapped.
Is there any track in particular which you are more proud of?
Each mean something different to me but I’m really proud of the musicality of ‘Take Me Away‘. I’m especially pleased with the piano and string arrangement of the track and also how Neil (Ormandy) summed up the feel of the track and the emotion tied into it with his songwriting. On the flip side of that coin I’m also really happy with the raw aggression and uncompromising feel of both ‘Spoiler‘ and ‘Clockwork‘. They are the albums real headbangers and it wouldn’t be a Hyper album without a couple of those.
And I am inclined to agree! What’s next for Hyper? I’m predicting a Breakspoll Award of some sort for this.
Haha. Well, the next release will be ‘Symphony Of Lies‘ and then I have another project nearly wrapped up that I’d like to get done by Christmas if possible before heading out on another Hyper album. I’m also feeling inspired to write some new, all out club tracks which will start with a remix for Future Funk Squad new album title track ‘Darker Days‘. He flipped out for ‘Clockwork‘ and has just finished a remix of it. I’m feeling inclined to get back out DJing again too after a long break.
As far as Breaks are concerned, this is a sure fire winner of another Breakspoll award for Hyper and the Ayra Recordings outfit. The release itself is an assortment of technological wonder with hammering guitar riffs, speaker-blowing bass tones and gritty electro mids driving the track forward amongst a well-crafted weave of strings and heartfelt vocals.
A lot of people in Breaks like the funky stuff and then there are those whom appreciate the deeper and darker realms but with grooves such as these there will be appreciation from all sorts of genre confused minds. There are elements of dubstep, DnB, electro and breaks which are all punked-up and served on ice-cold dishes, similar to works of Nero in ways, Chase & Status in others but most definitely, all Hyper matching the house style of Ayra Recordings.
“Absolutely epic. My electronic album of the year.” – thetruejoe90
Lies by Hyper is released by Ayra Recordings and is out now exclusively on Beatport and will be unleashed on other digital stores from January 3rd, 2014
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