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Hyperdub label-boss and leftfield electronic music hero Kode9 releases his second full-length album, the long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s Memories Of The Future. Black Sun once again features long-time vocal collaborator The Spaceape.
There’s a very good reason that Kode9, aka Glaswegian-native Steve Goodman, is held in such high regard by electronic music fans. Since emerging on the fledgling dubstep scene both he and his ever-reliable Hyperdub label have managed to remain constantly at the forefront of cutting edge dance music. In that time he’s released countless influential singles, nurtured the genre’s best-known talent in Burial and release a critically acclaimed album - Memories Of The Future.
With this second full-length Kode9 expands his production style to incorporate elements of the wide range of genres he’s shown an interest in through his increasingly eclectic DJ sets and Hyperdub signings. The album still takes dubstep as its template, but there are elements of UK funky, house and experimental tendencies throughout.
As with their previous collaborations, The Spaceape adds, brooding, semi-poetic and dub-tinged vocals across the course of the album. Supposedly the lyrics bring the whole thing together under a post-apocalyptic narrative, although any story there seems vaguely incomprehensible.
Either way, tracks like the warm, synth-driven Otherman, the potentially dancefloor-killing Am I and the excellent Flying Lotus collaboration Kyron are easily up there with the best things Kode9 has ever produced. There’s a reason Kode9 is held in high regard and this - one of the best electronic albums so far this year - is a perfect example of why that is.