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Beck - Hyperspace - Lim.ed. col. LP -

Price per Unit (stuk): €29.95

Beck takes on a new cosmic identity with aplomb, roping in Pharrell to achieve pop minimalism that proves there's no sound he can't excel at

Beck and Pharrell first discussed the idea of working together in 1999, but it’s taken almost 20 years to finally bring the two together.

Speaking to NME recently, Beck revealed that Pharrell asked him to initially work on the new N.E.R.D. record; from there, the two began sharing songs and, soon, a body of work emerged. A full collaboration ensued and ‘Hyperspace’, Beck’s 14th album, was born. Elsewhere, the record sees guest appearances from Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Sky Ferreira, Paul Epworth and Greg Kurstin on what is Beck’s most collaborative work for years.

‘Hyperlife’, the album’s brief but airy opener, sets the tone for the partnership as Pharrell’s minimalist production allows Beck’s fuller vocals to soar over a set of synths that sounds like something straight out of Space Odyssey. “I really tried to be less ambitious on the production on these songs, like to let them be simple and let them breathe,” Beck told NME. “Pharrell is a master minimalist. On production I’m a bit of a maximalist… I’ve really tried to reform myself to let it become more simple.”

The simplicity is marked, and fans of Beck’s fuller, more melancholic folk-rock style (exemplified by albums such as the stunning, career-defining ‘Morning Phase’) might struggle with the minimalistic leap that ‘Hyperspace’ represents. Even fans of his Grammy Award-winning ‘Colors’, which saw Beck venture further into the mainstream with infectious songs like ‘Dear Life’, may find the experimentalism here too stark – especially on the album’s first half.

But Beck is the master of unpredictability and has, since his debut, experimented with all manner of styles, including lo-fi, rock, funk, pop and folk. Here, he pushes that unpredictability to its very limit – and sometimes, the songs break.

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