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DJ-Kicks: Kode9

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Album Review

Kode9, DJ/producer, Hyperdub head, author of Sonic Warfare, and tweeter of “bored of all 4500 unsolicited burial remixes. they are all s**t. every single one,” sticks his neck out once more. As much a reflection of the man’s current sets as 2006’s Dubstep Allstars, Vol. 3 was — though this one does not feature the Spaceape's polarizing vocal menace throughout — his DJ-Kicks is a vigorous synthesis of post-dubstep, grime, U.K. funky, broken beat, and avant R&B, with little in the way of “proper” dubstep. Most of the 31 selections date from late 2009 and 2010, but a few tracks from earlier in the decade are inconspicuously incorporated into the sequence. So, for instance, the dueling acid lines, piercing frequencies, and stuttering percussion from a Nubian Mindz remix of Aardvarck’s “Re Spoken” (2001) are slotted between the drunken lurch of DVA’s “Natty” (2010) and the sub-bass-enhanced downbeats of Morgan Zarate's “M.A.B.” (2007). All three could have been released the same week. What’s more significant is the range of sounds, that one fully interconnected set can contain Lone’s wistful yet propellant “Once in a While” (which offsets the chill of Boards of Canada and the melancholy of Carl Craig with Inner City joy), Mujava’s throttling “Pleaze Mugwanti,” and Zomby’s abstract “Spiralz” (in which technicolor pellets spray across sparse rat-a-tat rhythm). A few of Kode9’s own productions are put to efficient use, including the penetrating dub of “You Don’t Wash” and “Blood Orange,” the latter a previously unissued (?) 2008-dated track that, with its resonant swarming FX and clacking percussion pressure, could have been a warning flare for 2009’s “Black Sun.” A handful of other Hyperdub releases, both recent and forthcoming, are led by Cooly G's ricocheting snares and Ill Blu's indelible bell melody.


Born: 1973 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Kode9 is a leading dubstep DJ/producer from London who is also the owner of the influential label Hyperdub. Born Steve Goodman in Glasgow, Scotland, he began DJing in 1990 at age 16 and cites his first encounter with drum'n'bass as a key influence on his future career path. In 1997 he moved to London and continued performing as a DJ, spinning a fusion of breaks- and bass-heavy styles. In 2002 he made his production debut as Kode9 on the Tempa label and proceeded to found his own label, Hyperdub,...
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DJ-Kicks: Kode9, Kode9
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