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Q&A: Kode9

From Burial to Rashad, Kode9 has facilitated some of this century’s most innovative music with his Hyperdub label. We hooked up to see if we could crack the Kode

  • Seb Wheeler
  • 30 October 2015

Hyperdub boss Kode9 releases his third album next month. It'll be his first without longtime collaborator Spaceape, who died of cancer last year, and represents something of a new beginning for the Scottish-born, London-based artist.

Unlike 'Memories Of The Future' and 'Black Sun', there are no vocals, but there will be an accompanying A/V show which will see Kode9 work with visual artist Lawrence Lek when performing in live spaces. What 'Nothing' does share with those previous albums is a sense of standing on the cutting edge, Kode yet again crafting an LP that sounds like little else.

He also lost another friend in 2014: the inimitable DJ Rashad, who took Chicago's footwork sound to the world and was head of Teklife, a fervent squad of musicians who carry on his legacy today. Kode's been obsessed with footwork, touring with the Teklife stable and releasing tracks by the likes of Rashad, Spinn and Taye via Hyperdub.

Its speedy rhythms can be heard throughout 'Nothing', forming the basis of his new productions and his own vision of future-facing dance music. Last year Hyperdub celebrated its 10th birthday with parties across the globe and records from Fatima Al Qadiri, Cooly G, Flowdan and Ikonika, as well as a series of 10-year comps and a massive comp from the Teklife camp.

Kode9 also received an Innovator award at the AIM Independent Music Awards. But this year has been quieter for the label and its founder, with Kode focusing on his own solo work in the wake of a bittersweet 12 months. We talked to him about the concept of 'Nothing', his continued love of footwork and why 150bpm is the magic number.

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