Airhorn!! After months of technical strife accompainied by much gnashing of teeth, the "missing" Funkystepz 12" is finally in the place and heading your way this week, available to the public's collective sweaty mitts from February 6th. All original pre-orders will be filled, and here's the info again to jog your memory ... Funkystepz return to Hyperdub, their debut 12" 'Fuller' / 'Hurricane Riddim' having detonated dancefloors earlier in 2011. It's rare to find an act who's name describes so functionally what their intention is and how they are going to get there, and their ruff but complex productions and DJ sets are incredible at raising energy and getting bodies moving in a way that so much modern dancefloor music just doesn't. These three tracks are straight up dancefloor destroyers, almost overloaded with energy. 'Trouble' is exactly that; with martial stomping kick drums, whistles, a tough, infectious melody line, and chords like a skidding car, this tune is built to bounce to. 'Dirty Dutch' has structure that breaks down and breaks up again, playing question and answer between a twilight zone style melody, a wiggly, scratched in test-tone, a grime-styled violin melody, and rapid-fire drums and claps. 'John Wayne' is so bow-legged that it almost falls over, made of loose, galloping drums with a backward drunken melody and skippy snares, a hilarious repetition of the words 'John Wayne', a rollin sub, and a spacey breakdown. It's really fun, strangely surreal and massively compelling on the dancefloor.
This new single features two of the most upfront tracks from King Midas Sound's forthcoming album project 'Without You', featuring re-voiced and re-versioned mutations of their debut album 'Waiting For You'. Side A is a mix of 'Goodbye Girl' by Kuedo aka former Vex'd producer Jamie Teasdale, who drags the original's domestic melodrama through a fatigued waltz of droning synths and stumbling drums. Side AA carries a radical new take on 'Earth A Kill Ya' by Mala from Digital Mystikz. He smothers Kiki's voice and dubs out Roger's lyrics to their most dread components, leaving strands of the original song lost at sea in sub bass and drowning in toxic chords and dusty reverbed drum blasts.
Ossie is a 22 year old producer from East London, who's debut EP 'Tarantula' came out earlier this year on the Lightworks label. His follow-up for Hyperdub is a three tracker of percussive house and beats, which is contemporary while giving a nod to the pioneers of electronic soul and fusion of the 70s and 80s. The EP starts with 'Set The Tone'. It's been a feature of Kode9's sets for about six months now, and doesn't fail to get bodies moving. The track opens with a dazzling lattice of latin percussion over a driving, off beat kick drum, before the song breaks into an infectious vocoder accompanied by lush Rhodes chords. It's one of those songs that manages to mix the worlds of dance music abstraction and catchy song writing without falling into obvious tropes. 'The Power Of Love' mixes similar elements in a completely different way, zoning into a more Masters At Work vibe. Here a short vocoder repeat and swelling synths roll out over a big bassline and a swung garagish drum pattern, but it's the depth of production that really builds the intensity here, as unexpected elements such as huge orchestral strings and spooked synth lines are woven in and out. Finally, on a completely different tip, is 'Moves', slower but still perhaps even more danceable. If it wasn't for its rasping, grimey bassline, and some classic house strings and xylophone towards the end , it could be mistaken for a long lost Sa-Ra dub or the instrumental for an R&B classic.
New EP on Numbers from the elusive North London funky production duo Ill Blu. 'Meltdown' ripples into earshot with fast paced congas rolling endlessly, flamming with intent, before the bomb like mid range tweaked bass line explodes and the kick drum pound really takes hold. Adding swelling strings and tremeloed melodics 'Meltdown' progresses into something a little more pensive, before the switch returns and that b-line drops in hard again. 'Overdose' wheels out one of those naggingly insistent Scratcha DVA-esque, nursery rhyme like lead lines - one of those that worms its way into everything you do for hours after you hear it. And it's the same combination of simple sound banks and borderline maddening melodies that dominate 'Chelt', its rasping open snare snapping out under the hard stabs and choppy flickers of percussive texture.
After his remix of Darkstar's 'Aidy's Girl Is A Computer' at the end of last year, Hyperdub were quick to request an EP from Kyle Hall, and these two fantastic tracks are the outcome. Just 18 years old and hailing from Detroit, Kyle Hall has been getting a lot of attention after releasing several EPs on his own Wild Oats label, plus a one-sided single for Omar S' FHXE imprint. However, this is his first full release for another label. Both tracks inhabit an interzone between live and mechanical music, full of details and fills that lend a playful, hands-on feel. 'Kaychunk' wraps lush arpeggios and classic warm Detroit strings around shuffling syncopated drums into an upbeat track that's almost a mirror image of uk funky. 'You Know What I Feel' combines 2-step kicks that sound like rain hitting wood, with great clouds of bittersweet chords, a see-sawing bassline, and a rich swooning melody that echoes Stevie Wonder's classic '70s synth-drenched soul. of the path less trodden.
Rinse FM's breakfast show host, DVA is a producer with a unique take on the UK Funky bug, blending the stiff 8-bar funk of grime with a super-supple rhythmic sensibility, sewing neon colours with a laid back precision into his tracks. 'Natty' is a prime example; drums stagger like they're about to topple over, squelchy bass synths lock together a tough tribal drum pattern, liquid metal trickles around in the mix, and these contrasting elements react with explosive results on the dancefloor. On 'Ganja', a cartoonish ring-tone-friendly synth melody worms its way around tight soca-esque drums and housey organ stabs. Factor in the depth-charge 808 subs, steel drums and sparingly used ragga chat and you've got a technicolour Hyperdub debut fresh for 2010.
Darkstar's last single on Hyperdub, 'Need You', released early in the summer of 2008, was Pitchfork's # 1 dubstep single of the year, and turned many towards their developing melancholic sound. Championed by Radiohead, they recently returned the nod of appreciation by recording a version of 'Videotape' for Mary Anne Hobbs' new Planet Mu collection, 'Wild Angels'. Now the much-anticipated vinyl release of 'Aidy's Girl Is A Computer' is at last set, having first made its presence felt 12 months ago as part of Darkstar's contribution to last year's Radio One Hyperdub showcase broadcast. On 'Aidy's Girl...', the duo confidently define and refine their catchy melodic sound with a song that's perfectly pop, while at the same time possessed of strange and intriguing bittersweet machine soul. Over at the other side, Detroit teenage wunderkind and Omar S protege Kyle Hall recalibrates the original into a blissful robotic Motor City house opus on his Oats B So Good remix, with a massaging bass line that sounds like sunshine on melting wax.
October 2009 heralds the release of '5', a double CD marking Hyperdub's five years of life as a record label. Honouring past, present and future in equal measure, '5' is comprised of one disc of prior highlights, and one of freshly-composed material contributed by Hyperdub artists and close friends. A series of five 12-inch EPs featuring a selection of the new tunes will be issued, one per week, leading up to the release of '5'. The initial pressing quantity of these EPs will be dictated by preorder demand, and none will be repressed, nor will they be made available digitally, before the complete CD collection is on sale. 'Hyperdub 5.3 EP' contains two previously unreleased tracks : Quarta330 - 'Bleeps From Outer Space' and LV - 'Turn Away'.
October 2009 heralds the release of '5', a 32 track double CD marking Hyperdub's five years of life as a record label. Honouring past, present and future in equal measure, '5' is comprised of one disc of prior highlights, and one of freshly-composed material contributed by Hyperdub artists and close friends.
The first disc contains 16 brand new compositions from a heavyweight line-up which includes Burial, Cooly G, Darkstar, Flying Lotus, Ikonika, Joker & Ginz, King Midas Sound, Kode9 & The Spaceape, Mala, Martyn, and Zomby. The second disc features 16 key tunes from the Hyperdub back catalogue, many making their first ever appearance on CD and long since sold out of their original 12" vinyl versions. Also included is Kode9 & The Spaceape's previously-download-only 'Fukkaz', and their semi-legendary unreleased reading of 'Ghost Town', in which The Specials' anthemic lament is given a similar deconstructed bass treatment as that inflicted upon Prince's 'Sign O' The Times' to such dramatic and remarkable effect on the label's debut release in 2004.
After half a decade of consistent artistic and commercial success for all Hyperdub's releases, there is little need in these pages to talk up the import of their influence upon the current electronic music landscape - we can leave that in the hands of the denizens of the international print & web press, who have been fulsome indeed in their aniticpation of '5' right from the moment the project was first announced.
October 2009 heralds the release of '5', a double CD marking Hyperdub's five years of life as a record label. Honouring past, present and future in equal measure, '5' is comprised of one disc of prior highlights, and one of freshly-composed material contributed by Hyperdub artists and close friends. A series of five 12-inch EPs featuring a selection of the new tunes will be issued, one per week, leading up to the release of '5'. The initial pressing quantity of these EPs will be dictated by preorder demand, and none will be repressed, nor will they be made available digitally, before the complete CD collection is on sale. 'Hyperdub 5.4 EP' contains two previously unreleased tracks : Martyn - 'Mega Drive Generation' and LD - 'Shake It'
October 2009 heralds the release of '5', a double CD marking Hyperdub's five years of life as a record label. Honouring past, present and future in equal measure, '5' is comprised of one disc of prior highlights, and one of freshly-composed material contributed by Hyperdub artists and close friends. A series of five 12-inch EPs featuring a selection of the new tunes will be issued, one per week, leading up to the release of '5'. The initial pressing quantity of these EPs will be dictated by preorder demand, and none will be repressed, nor will they be made available digitally, before the complete CD collection is on sale. 'Hyperdub 5.2 EP' contains three previously unreleased tracks : Joker & Ginz - 'Stash', Zomby - 'Tarantula', and Samiyam - 'Roller Skates'.
October 2009 heralds the release of '5', a double CD marking Hyperdub's five years of life as a record label. Honouring past, present and future in equal measure, '5' is comprised of one disc of prior highlights, and one of freshly-composed material contributed by Hyperdub artists and close friends. A series of five 12-inch EPs featuring a selection of the new tunes will be issued, one per week, leading up to the release of '5'. The initial pressing quantity of these EPs will be dictated by preorder demand, and none will be repressed, nor will they be made available digitally, before the complete CD collection is on sale. 'Hyperdub 5.1 EP' contains three previously unreleased tracks : Kode9 & The Spaceape ft. ChaCha - 'Time Patrol', Black Chow - 'Purple Smoke', and Flying Lotus - 'Disco Balls'.
As a seductive taster and spectral glimpse of the forthcoming King Midas Sound full length, 'Dub Heavy - Hearts And Ghosts' is an EP of three of that album's tracks dubbed into new alien versions. King Midas Sound is the duo of Kevin Martin, known for his groundbreaking work over the last decade as The Bug, teamed with Roger Robinson, reputed writer and spoken word performer. The pair first worked together in 2003 on The Bug's 'Pressure' album, but within these King Midas grooves, the visceral drive characteristic of The Bug's fevered sound is replaced by deeper core energies, and graced with Robinson's gentle soul lilt, the combination is blissfully, crushingly powerful. On these tunes, song structure and vocal are intoxicated with unsettling fx and consumed with reverb, pressing the music into haunting and unfamiliar territory. 'I Dub' marries booming bass and gaseous echo to grime hand-claps and a tense chilling melody. Centrepiece 'Ting Dub' fuses ominous distant sirens, shifting vocal streams, decelerated hip hop boom bap and a geologic subsonic rumble into a wraith-like miasma, while on 'Too Long Dub', the sinister chiming pendulum motif and decaying vocals dissolve into a delirious haze of toxic audio reflections. Burning like an endless fuse, this special release will be available only for a limited period, pressed on high grade 180g heavy guage vinyl, and is also Hyperdub's first ever individually artworked 12", housed in a photo jacket with gold-embossed detail.
Black Sun' started life as a ceremonially torched copy of The Sun newspaper and ended up as a weirdly euphoric, smeared synth workout that Kode9 has been mixing in his recent "funky" sets. Wavering and pitch-bent tones wind their way around a broken rhythm, while the bassline bubbles manically from beneath. '2 Far Gone', on the flip, similarly sends recent strains of UK house rhythm into modulating analogue drone. Sounds like 9's been drinking acid rain. Whatever this is, we're not sure where it came from and don't quite have words to describe it yet. Nor do we need them.
By day, LD is a cutting engineer at Transition Studios, the country's number one mastering room for dubstep and bass music. What he doesn't know about carving a deep groove can be written around the edge of a center label, and he applies the same audio-architectural expertise to the design and build of his own productions. After his recent killer collaboration with Kode9 on 'Bad' / '2Bad', LD returns in fine style with two more lean and muscular tracks, each richly percussive and aimed squarely at the dancefloor, yet each still imbued with the thoughtful melodic overtones that are fast becoming a Hyperdub calling-card. 'Traumatic Times' suggests Ryuichi Sakamoto trapped in South London, with a gorgeous melancholic ringing keyboard motif riding on top of a driving rhythm section and the warmest of sub-bass swells. Flipside 'Woodblock' is a more animated excursion, like a heightening of the senses after the a-side's languid rolls, peppering the air with infectious synth hooks which dart across and worm around an insistant tribal rhythm. Essential selections.
2009 finds Hyperdub marking their fifth anniversary, and the first of many astonishing outings lined up to celebrate the half-decade is delivered by prodigious Bristolian synth wizard Joker, dropping his debut release on the label, backed by the talk-box sleeze of Danish producers 2000F & J Kamata. This new equal-front-side12" is yet another in Hyperdub's series of tunes putting the fun firmly back into synthesizers. Already well known for bombs like 'Gullybrook Lane', 'Hollybrook Park' and his recent epic 'Play Doe' with Rustie, Joker's 'Digidesign' staggers in with a laid back groove and twisted bass synth, but it's all about the infectious melody in the middle. On the flip, 2000F & J Kamata's much-anticipated 'You Don't Know What Love Is' opens up a 1985 vintage can of robofunk R&B earworms that will eat your audio nerves alive.
Like an advert to promote the public health benefits of hydroponic abuse, this frankly unhinged slice of genius from the man like Zomby will hot-knife your cerebrum. Simple and straight to the point, the seven mini-tracks that make up 'Zomby EP' have a directness about them rare in music so strange; Or to put it another way, these sounds that initially appear to come from beyond the weird side of the tracks quickly establish themselves in the mind as target-locked aural arrows from one of the most prolific and wildly creative producers working in electronic music today. From the straight-up half-step of 'Aquafresh' and 'Gloop', to the scattered 2-step of 'Spaceman' and '1 Up', through the stutterfunk of 'Kaliko' and on past the disingrated rhythms of 'Diamonds And Pearls', Zomby parades his range of skills in a wide-eyed spree of relentless artistry. But just when you think you can pin these tunes down to the crazed bleep-mania of the early arcade, he comes with the ultra-lush two-minute micro-epic 'Test Me For A Reason', a crackling emotive ache that's already a big favourite with Burial - for obvious reasons, While his hardcore-reactivating debut album 'Where Were U In 92?' on Werk Discs currently makes its presence emphatically felt, 'Zomby EP' arrives as a huge follow up on previous Hyperdub outing 'Mu5h', representing a giant stride ahead of the pack into 2009, a year which even now has Zomby's name sprayed all over it.
Switching up the styles again, this Hyperdub release features two off-beat, house flavoured dubs driven along by crushed synth piano hooks. The tag team between Kode9 and LD (dub-cutter extraordinaire from the legendary Transition studios in South London) brings percussion and cut-up, filtered female vocals back into the mix. The A-side 'Bad' has been circulating on dubplate since the beginning of 2008 and has been a dancefloor friendly favourite from Kode9's DJ sets. The flip '2Bad' sounds like 'Bad's' little sister, a slower slice of broken house laced with synthetic soul, and that little extra underneath the pavement that you can always expect from Hyperdud.
After the 8-bit cult classic success of his debut Hyperdub release, which surprised dancefloors around the world in late 2007 and continues to do so today, Tokyo's Quarta 330 returns with some fresh beats to crown the close of 2008. Both tracks were previewed in clipped form on the recent BBC Radio 1 Hyperdub Showcase. On 'Sabacco', Quarta takes one step outside of the video game console, expanding his palette, with his signature synths lacing scattered, highly-swung snares in a lush and melodic slice of broken techno. On the flip, Mr. 330 steps up to remix renegade Venezuelan bassman Cardopusher, with a refix of 'Homeless' that returns to the crunchy arcade vibes of 'Sunset Dub' and the '9 Samurai' remix' showcased on his previous release. A strong outing that adds bonus points to his earlier Hyperdub high score.
Cool Out EP [ inc. Dabrye & Flying Lotus remixes ]
King Midas Sound is Kevin 'The Bug' Martin and the angelically-voiced Roger Robinson, who first came together on The Bug's 2003 Rephlex LP 'Pressure'. With Martin taking a more blissed out, but equally deranged approach from that of his new epic Bug album 'London Zoo', the King Midas Sound is 21st Century jilted lovers rock. First surfacing on Kode9's Sonar mix from the summer of 2007, and heavily in demand ever since then, 'Cool Out' is finally getting the release we've all been holding our breath and turning purple for. If that wasn't enough, this EP also features two previews from the forthcoming King Midas Sound album, in the form of remixes by two producers known for sending their off-beats into orbit. Graced and defined by Roger's sweet, sweet vocals, 'Cool Out' is a hymn to the ever persistent ghosts and mutations of Jamaican sound system culture. The remixes of 'Lost' and 'One Ting' on the flipside take that same spirit into hip hop peripheries. Dabyre's rendition of 'One Ting' laces his funk with unexpected and shrill shards of early Detroit techno, while Flylo captures the essence of 'Lost' with a suicidal Japanese monologue and dysfunctional bleeps and crunches. Another tale of the unexpected from Hyperdub and taster of the forthcoming KMS album due later in 2008.
Ikonika's second release on Hyperdub sees her unleashing a bittersweet, unhinged, dancefloor assault that combines her disjointed beats and a both comic and sinister laughing bassline, with breezy synth chords that owe as much to the current swell of post-bump beats than anything else coming out of London right now. And all this named after her cat, 'Millie'. On the flip, 'Direct' takes it easier, opening with an accordion-like synth before a cascade of bleeps desends, and the swollen sub bass rises. Totally lush. Watch for the sublime switch in the middle of the track, the soundtrack to winding down the roof of your space cruiser, and donning shades as the sun reflects off Saturn. Deeply psychedelic off-beats from the queen of Hyperdub.