Time to reflect. It’s been five years since I brought Hyperdub label owner, Kode 9, to Vancouver for what was his first gig there and the first dubstep focused party that city ever had.
We’re five years on and Hyperdub continues to move from strength to strength, pioneering its own line of warped bass music that pillages fro the bass music continuum and turns it out into something all its own.
When I first brought Kode 9 to Vancouver, Hyperdub was a platform for Kode 9′s own work. I remember him handing me a cd-r of the now legendary 9 Samurai. While it still remains the most direct link to 9′s work not only solo but with vocal linchpin, the Spaceape, Hyperdub has become so much more. A virus that has expanded to become a much different kind of infection.
Kode 9 always had an ear for polyrhythms, so it made sense when he started not only playing more and more of the burgeoning UK Funky sound. It also makes sense then that he’s helped jump start the careers of a handful of producers including Cooly G and Scratcha DVA. On the flip, Hyperdub’s appreciation of neon colored sound viruses meant that artists like Joker and Ikonika have found a platform and in turn, immense success.
It’s pleasing then, to see that the piece de resistance for a label that has never compromised or given a toss about genre names, is its most unclassifiable piece of work yet. Darkstar’s North is an album like no other. Rhythmically based in twenty years of UK bass, from bleep to garage and swathed in a melancholy grey, it recalls the early work of the human league as much as it does modern bass science.
It’s perhaps the perfect line in the sand, a look forward and back for a label whose virus constantly mutates at hyper speed.