Domino release the 10-year anniversary of These New Puritans’ Hidden now called Hidden [MMXX] – a re-issue of the original album in its full glory accompanied by new and unreleased material from the Hidden sessions alongside live recordings from the same era.
The album itself was produced by TNP’s Jack Barnett and Graham Sutton (Bark Psychosis, Boymerang) and mixed by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, MF DOOM), it draws on both the rhythmic lexicons of dancehall and 20th century post-minimalism, the recording features 6ft Japanese Taiko drums, a thirteen piece brass and woodwind ensemble, sub-heavy beats, prepared piano and a children’s choir. The result is equal parts brutal and melancholy, standing the test of time, sounding as pioneering and bold a decade on.
Hidden is a record that crushes together menace and beauty: after the prelude of woodwind that is Time Xone, We Want War remains one of the most startling tracks to be released as a single in this millennium – a sound like swarms of invading, metallic wasps, robotic voices intoning, the martial rattle of layers of drums, Jack Barnett’s vocals an incantation. The militant funk of Three Thousand, strange skittish jazz in Hologram, and Drum Courts – Where Corals Lie feels like an ancient, elegiac folk song carried forth on a storm. A record of intense variety, soul and depth, Hidden is remarkable by anyone’s standards, let alone one made by a group of people barely out of their teens.