According to the duo, Hype Williams officially gave up the ghost in 2011 with their One Nation LP for the sadly defunct Hippos In Tanks (R.I.P. Barron Machat), with any subsequent live shows as HW done to fulfil contractual obligations. The pair went their own ways with solo projects from 2012 onwards, again resulting some of this decade’s most celebrated releases in the likes of Babyfather’s BBF Hosted By DJ Escrow and Lolina’s Live In Paris. Now seemingly scraped from some lonely iTunes folder and reduced to the lowest bitrates, the 20 tracks of Rainbow Edition hold tight to the hard-bitten, tarmac level, shit camera-phone grain and fidelity which has framed their work since the self-issued High Beams download and their Han Dynasty I 7” for De Stijl back in 2009, all effectively, metaphorically finding virtue in the tension between soulful resilience and worn down daily grind in a way that hyper glossy, bloated studio productions can never grasp. Whether the rough diamonds of Rainbow Edition form an archival release, a false restart, or even the work of others, is a moot point. What is easy to grasp, though, is the fact it physically exists, and features some real nuggs inside such as the airborne drill blowouts, Ask Yee and Cocksucker Blues or the very John T. Gast-like 6 minute meditation, Spinderella’s Dream. So for (possibly) one last time, HW’s simulacra presents a severely compressed and bittersweet perspective on waking life that’s as sur/real as it gets right now.

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