Release Date: Apr 26, 2011
Record label: Hyperdub
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Dubstep
“An atmosphere lacking in oxygen, scorched by day, frozen by night, continually bombarded by the dimly radioactive rays of the sun. ” Winding out like an unplugged turntable, so intones the sample library pivot at the middle of the killer revisioning of Kode9’s 2009 single “Black Sun,” a track that skirted the edge of Kode9’s spacious, woozy dubsphere to explore the dancefloor dynamics of UK funky. “Black Sun,” like (but more so than) its bleaker B-side “2 Far Gone,” leavened Kode9’s signature sludge ‘n’ dread with a peppy and uptempo trip across a blasted dance plateau in an ecstatic search for guzzoline under dying, shooting stars.
A dismal rain pours on a ramshackle village. Makeshift roofs buckle under the wet weight. A howling wind whips the tattered shutters, behind which frightened eyes gape and arthritic hands tremble. Pitiful fires dot the dark-grey streets. Hollow drums beat ominously. The end is coming. Then the ….
Dubstep's crossover bid-- whether James Blake's introspective fragility or Katy B's pop hybridization-- is starting to obscure one of the genre's initial strengths: the way it could transmit anxiety. The soupy low-end and skittering hi-hats of a 2006 Hyperdub side made the ideal soundtrack for a sense of encroaching doom-- whether it was Burial's affecting desolation or a bracing dose of Kode9 & the Spaceape. The teamup of Hyperdub's flagship producer with the earthen-voiced poet resulted in an underappreciated full-length, Memories of the Future, which shot chest-collapsing bass and gutter synthesizers through firebrand reggae.
Dubstep pioneer and doctor of philosophy Steve Goodman, aka Kode9, is also an impressive curator as boss of the Hyperdub imprint. The release of the 5: Five Years of Hyperdub compilation in 2009 felt like the closing of a chapter; since then, Goodman has steered the label through the British electronic underground while also carving out its own niche within it. His own music has also transformed: while 2006's Memories of the Future captured the nocturnal smokiness of traditional dubstep, Black Sun is more about richly textured, pitch-shifting synths and spidery rhythmic workouts.
Dubstep duo’s second LP hums with a menacing darkness. Adam Kennedy 2011 Of all the warped offspring spawned from dubstep's umbrella metamorphosis, Scottish-born producer Steve ‘Kode9’ Goodman and cerebral pal Stephen ‘The Spaceape’ Gordon stand tall at the very scalpel-sharp edge of its boundary-slashing evolution. And with second album Black Sun – arriving a full five years since standard-setting debut Memories of the Future – they effortlessly breach the stratosphere once more.