Kode9 & The Spaceape – Otherman/Love Is The Drug ft. Cha Cha (Hyperdub)

Steve Goodman has been a stalwart of the electronic music scene for pretty much a decade now, building a reputation for floor-shaking, speaker-shattering productions that owe as much to the space and depth of dub reggae as it does to the sheer energy of early jungle. Goodman returns this year under his Kode9 moniker with a new album, ‘Black Sun’, his first album since 2006’s classic ‘Memories of the Future’. Released on his own hugely influential Hyperdub imprint, the label that has supplied the world with bar-raising innovators such as Darkstar, King Midas Sound and the emblematic Burial, ‘Black Sun’ again sees Goodman linking up with long time collaborator The Spaceape for another collection of dub-influenced electronica, something the prolific producer quite literally wrote the book on (Goodman’s ‘Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear’ was published last year).

The lethargically calculated Spaceape is in fine form on ‘Otherman’ – his ominous vocal typically filtered and low down in the mix as an extra sonic layer – adding further menace to a brooding synth and choked snares. The mood is solemn but threatening; a slow, eerie organ builds to a rolling half-time beat, crackling as it rattles around the skull.

Shanghai-based singer Cha Cha contributes vocals to ‘Love Is The Drug’ (no connection to the Roxy Music song of the same name), and her snatches of looped phrasing weave in and out of an uptempo groove with a downtempo mood. Growling keys play unsettling chord progressions as a round, fat bass hops between bouncing kicks and snares: a nice rhythmical contrast with ‘Otherman’. Bring on ‘Black Sun’…

‘Otherman/Love Is The Drug’ will be released on April 4 through Hyperdub.

Tom Quickfall