Tag Archive: hyperdub

Kyle Hall, Kaychunk/You Know What I Feel

In a city with a rich and diverse cultural heritage like Detroit, it’s not difficult to understand how so many of its native electronic music producers have avoided being penned into a single genre like techno. Following in the footsteps of artists like Kenny Dixon Jr. and Anthony “Shake” Shakir, Theo Parrish and Omar-S, young turk Kyle Hall is the latest to throw off the yoke of listener expectations and create without concern for categories. Hall was raised by a creative clan who engulfed him in house music at an early age and fostered his innate talents with an education at the Detroit School for the Arts. Add to that unfettered access to a world’s worth of music care of the Internet (something his predecessors could only dream of) and you’ve got a free-thinking, well-equiped producer for whom genre boundaries are as outmoded as landline phone service. So far in his relatively brief discocraphy he’s offered everything from delectable house melodies and grinding techno grooves to loose-limbed hip-hop beats and sprawling jazzy excursions. The genrebusters at Hyperdub proved keenly aware of his capabilities when they asked him to remix Darkstar’s “Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer” and positively prescient in nabbing him for his own 12″, Kaychunk/You Know What I Feel. It’s easily his most accomplished release to date.

Terror Danjah, Acid

Terror Danjah and Hyperdub seem like a neat fit. One of grime’s finest and most innovative beatmakers was given a fitting retrospective on Planet Mu in 2009, and here he delivers his debut on Kode 9’s equally innovative label. For those that listened to Gremlinz (The Instrumentals 2003-2009) or any of Danjah’s After Shock productions, you’ll know what to expect. Mr Danjah crafts gold out of the detritus of electronic music. Rave sirens, the trademarked Gremlin sample, and piano house riffs are recontextualised into a broken carnival of beats that are recognizably his own.

LWE’s Top 5 Labels of 2009

Dance music enthusiasts are almost certainly the most label-conscious people in the record-buying world. How else can you explain the bickering over new Perlon signings, the ubiquity of the compound adjective “buy-on-sight,” or the hastily depleted stocks of anonymously-produced 12″s? We follow our favorite DJs and producers, naturally, but a record publishing operation with vision and taste is very often the best guide to the sounds we thirst for. 2009’s cream of the crop — labels like Running Back, Uzuri, Prologue, Dial, Sound Signature, Blueprint, Apple Pips, and Time To Express — did more than narrow the field of available records, but sharpened our expectations of what new music should achieve. And the mushrooming of secretive private presses (many of them fostered by Hardwax’s distribution) yielded results that were just as rewarding. But from where I’m standing, these five labels loomed largest.

Darkstar, Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer

For those keeping close tabs on Darkstar, Hyperdub, or the broader “dubstep etc.” community, there’s a sense of “it’s about time” in the ship date of “Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer.” Landing in shops this month both on Hyperdub’s fifth anniversary compilation and as the advance single of an eventual Darkstar album, the track’s been floating around on Internet and radio for some time. If you’ve not heard it already, count on more of the bouncy bass lines, spare percussion, 8-bit keyboards and digitized vox that made the duo’s woozy, chilly “Need You” a crossover hit last year. Brace yourself, though, for a sweeter and much more melancholy pop song this time around — albeit a cool, depersonalized one.

LWE 2Q Reports: Top 5 Labels

Record nerds of the world are greeted daily by news of the music industry’s impending doom. Yet record labels — in dance music, at least — have refused to fade away. All profitability aside, might the concept of the record label in 2009 be as strong as it’s ever been? As record stores continue closing at an alarming rate (Manhattan’s Etherea Records, one of my personal favorite spots for dance vinyl, shuttered this past February), there exist less shelf space for the familiar sleeve designs and logos of your favorite imprints to stare down enticingly at you. But in this digital era, where dance music is more easily disseminated than ever before, the filter of a reputable record label has taken on supreme importance in separating wheat from chaff. Tellingly, some of 2009’s most exciting labels have de-emphasized genre affiliation in favor of amping up their reputation for quality output. Others, realizing how quickly novel sounds can weave their way through the scene via the blogosphere (ahem), are starting labels as incubators for daring new tracks that might not have found an outlet otherwise. And despite the seemingly endless tide of new music gushing through the cracks of record bags and hard drives, some of the best labels have resisted the urge to flood the market with their brand, releasing only the choicest of cuts.

Cooly G, Narst/Love Dub

Although Hyperdub has rightly earned its reputation as one of the world’s leading dubstep labels, the scope of its sound is far more complicated. Burial’s spectral aesthetic owes much to 2-step and garage; Zomby and Joker are pioneers of whatever they’re calling wonky these days; and label head Kode9’s sews together bits and pieces of hip-hop, Baltimore breaks, 2-step, dubstep, and mostly recently the nascent sounds of funky. With the latter most genre quickly gathering steam and admirers, it was only a matter of time before Hyperdub signed their own funky producer — South London’s Cooly G.

Joker/2000F & J Kamata, Digidesign

[Hyperdub] Joker, as his name perhaps suggests, is not one to take his productions to seriously. His tracks tend to be brash and rude, and they shun emotion like it’s a man in a collar at a dubstep rave. It’s hard to ignore the attitude of adolescent rebellion hat infects Joker tracks. When he and […]

Kode9 vs LD, Bad/2 Bad

[Hyperdub] Steve Goodman’s Hyperdub imprint has been spearheading forward-thinking dubstep since 2004, though as Kode9 he has often been overshadowed by his first and most famous signing Burial. The 2008 release calendar for Hyperdub was marked by distinctively fresh sounding product from the likes of Flying Lotus collaborator Samiyam, Zomby, King Midas Sound and this […]