Kode9 and the Spaceape | Black Sun

Hyperdub (2011)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  May 6, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

K9 main

Kode9 is the most important electronic artist of the past five years. Debatable, sure, but there's only so many times you can be so far ahead of the curve before you have to be promoted from bandwagonaire to outright curator. His label's 2009 compilation, 5 Years of Hyperdub, showcased the unmatched breadth and pure tastemaking abilities of this London producer, and Black Sun maintains the momentum. The drums are unapologetic, pummeling as they maneuver over spiraling synth floods. At times, the album draws more from drum and bass than from UK funky or any other bass music du jour. I could fill the rest of this space upholding the apocalyptic cadences, but I'd be remiss to not mention Kode's partner-in-grime. Half freestyling, casting spells all the way, the Spaceape rides the dexterous riddims with ominous threats. The tracks without him are less devastating, but only in the sense that a Tomahawk air raid is less devastating than full-on nuclear detonation. Songstress Cha Cha coos threats of strangulation on "Love Is the Drug," and on "Black Sun (Partial Eclipse Mix)" a monotoned operator warns against the dangers of radiation. Is deadstep a thing yet?
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