Terror Danjah interviewed by Kode9

With his latest Hyperdub single just released, Terror Danjah will drop his first album for Hyperdub entitled 'Undeniable' in November. Kode9 caught up with the East London producer to see what he's been up to.

Terror Danjah - Undeniable
1. Grand Opening ft Dream Mclean
2. Acid
3. This Year (Pro Plus) ft D.O.K, Mz Bratt & Griminal
4. Bruzin V.I.P
5. S.O.S
6. I'm Feelin U
7. Minimal Dub
8. Breaking Bad ft Baby Face Jay
9. Sonar (Selassi Mix)
10. Undeniable ft D Double E (of Newham Generals)
11. Leave Me Alone ft Bruza
12. All I Wanna Do ft Lauren Mason
13. Time To Let Go
14. Story Ending

9: Apart from the Mu compilation last year, you've had relatively quiet few years on the music front compared with say 5 years ago. What have you been up to?

TD: To the public, it seem like I was quiet, but I was behind the scenes working on alot of projects for my label at the time Aftershock. My output was crazy back then, I was engineering 25 plus artists on the label which involved recording, mixing and even mixing down all the other producers on the label tracks (D.O.K, Magnum Force, Big-E-D etc)! I had Bruza, Tinie Tempah, Mz Bratt, Gemma Fox, Sadie Ama, Shola Ama, Elrae, Loudmouth Melvin to name a few lol, but over the years the hype died down and the business model had changed and the music became more about the artist and less about the producers.

Selling music changed from Vinyl to CD's and more recently MP3, and it was hard for Grime producers to sell vinyl when artist mixtapes where popular in 2006/07. So I guess that's the main reason why I went quiet!!!

9: Whats you're feeling about grime these days?

TD: It's actually weird, on one hand the artist have gone from Mixtape artists to Popstars, don't get me wrong, that's great and on the other hand Grime producers are making more mellow Hip hop'ish sounding beats to get on MC's mixtapes or commercial albums, again that's great for the money, but everyone not balancing it out for making Grime music for what if is, CLUB MUSIC!!! So basically the major labels are actually have major influence on Grime. I thought Grime was underground music. I tweeted last year 'Rise Of The Producers' and with talks with Elijah from Butterz, were started deejaying Grime music from new producers and i encouraged the other Grime producers to start deejaying just like it's done in Dubstep. That's why I approached yourself (Kode 9) at Hyperdub because there will be no limitation on me to sell records!!!

9: The album is pretty diverse, and showcases quite a few different styles? Is this what you intended at the outset?

TD: Yeah definitely, I want to show the world how diverse I am and i believe Hyperdub would be the place because their track record and cult following, especially the interested Burial achieved. I don't think I could done this album on another label especially they way yourself (Kode 9) pushed me to be more creative.

9: Almost half the album is vocals. Can you tell us about the vocal tracks on the album and how they came about?

TD: I did try to only have a only a few, but as time went on it became half the album. I don't wanna spoil the storyline of each vocal track, but every artist is perfectly suited to the canvas I provided for them. I wanted to push the artists to their limits like you never heard before. Some you may know like D Double E, Bruza, Mz Bratt, Griminal, Ragga Twins, Mc Skibadde, Shabba D etc and newcomer Dream Mclean and Lauren Mason (she's the real Duffy lol).

I have no idea, seriously. I just make them, and the in process I decided if it's gonna end up as full vocal, vocal sample or instrumental track. what ever the vibe or how the mood takes me!

9: You've also got a beatless version of one of your older tracks from the Aftershock days. How come it never came out?

TD: Then wasn't the time, I think it was always intended for it to come out, but this album is perfect for it (and no, I haven't mention the tune, you have to get the album to relate loooool).

Darkstar interviewed by kode9

Darkstar in 2010 are an upgraded model of the Darkstar which released the much loved single ‘Aidy’s Girl is A Computer’ at the end of 2009. That song and previous singles ‘Need you’ and ‘Squeeze my lime’ hinted at a nascent song writing talent and a mastery of oozing synth drones.

The synths remain, but since then, the band have adjusted their focus, and added a lead singer James Buttery to the production and writing team of James Young and Aiden Whalley. The result is a brave, low-key pop masterpiece, which discards with the cheap thrills and treadmill ideas that many deploy to access success. Instead, 'North' will creep up on you with each listen, seducing you with achingly gorgeous, synthesized song writing.

From the intro track ‘In The Wings’, right through to the closing song, a lush new version of 'Squeeze My Lime' now called 'When It's Gone', the album blends their crunchy, citric synths, baroque strings, piano and tender guitar with vocal harmonies, gently laced with glitches and noise. Vocally here, Darkstar have subtly found the beauty in distortion.

The first single from the album, the catchy ‘Gold’, is a cover of a little known Human League song ‘You remind me of Gold’ inspired by hearing the original slowed to 33rpm. Insectoid drum machine rhythms carry the song along accompanied by a chilly piano. 'Deadness', 'Dear Heartbeat', 'Two Chords' and 'North' impress with their icy radiance, the rich, wafting strings, dreamy guitar and keys bury the otherwise snowy-white sonics, the crunch of the drums and the translucent vocals sounding as if they’re sung by a hologram. Some tracks, like 'Ostkreuz' and aspects of 'Under One Roof' conjure up a soundtrack to Twin Peaks if it was set in the North of England. Mini-anthem of 2009,'Aidy's Girl is a Computer' also earns a slot among the new material.

As their first long player, Darkstar have produced an album many bands with many more releases and experience under their belt can only dream of. Elegant, downbeat, breezy, sometimes melancholy and bleak, sometimes optimistic, 'North' will surprise many, a classic record for short days and long nights.

Darkstar - 'North'
01 In The Wings
02 Gold
03 Deadness
04 Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer
05 Under One Roof
06 2 Chords
07 North
08 Ostkreuz
09 Dear Heartbeat
10 When It’s Gone

Kode9 interviews James from Darkstar

9: So, apart from 'Aidy's Girl', you've been keeping a low profile over the last couple of years. What have you been up to?

D: Learning how to write things we'd like to write. Once Aidy's was finished we had a choice of going one of two ways. We could of carried on in that vein and made some great tunes or we could of gone the way we did and developed in a different way. In the long run I think the way we went will be the more fruitful for us personally.

9: On the album, 'North', you depart a little bit from that vocoder sound that I love so much from 'Out of Touch', 'Need You' and 'Squeeze My Lime' opting instead for a real, male vocalist. But it seems like whenever you do vocals, they are always synthetic. You seem to like mangling vocals. The vocals on North are all heavily processed in a way that I love and that people won't have heard in your music before. Can you say something about working with a real vocalist, and why you guys love synthetic vocals.

D: Working with James has been a pleasure because his voice sounds so neutral on our material. Once we process it the way we do it becomes a layer in the track... It's part of the grain, interwoven with the synths, distortion and all the other things we like fucking with. I think we worked James pretty hard, we would have over 100 takes of every line because we needed to make sure it'd fit with our vision of the song. Synthetic and effected vocals just sound better on our tracks I think. We're in a place where we will probably lean towards a more natural take and recording on our next group of tracks, it stared completely synthetic and it's getting more human as we develop.

9: The first single from the album is a cover of rarely discussed Human League track 'Gold'. What kind of affinity do you guys have with the Human League?

D: The Human League track was given to me by a friend, he used to play the dub at 33rpm instead of 45 so the break would be real slow and crunchy, he lent me the tune and i put the flip on 33rpm too, the vocal line was how you hear it in the single, the original is much quicker and it's a pretty obscure one from the Mirror Man ep. The Human League are great. We paid more attention to them after making the track, throughout the album we listened to four or five albums regularly and Travelogue was one of them. I'm not sure if we are real fans to be honest, I listen to some of it and think that it's brave but sometimes they get it so right. They've obviously got a strong vision to create a sound so uncompromising. Even though they were consistently in the charts it's a very particular way of writing, mixing and arranging. I don't think I've heard anything like it before or since. I don't neccesarily enjoy listening to it a lot of the time. It interests me though.

9: I know that making this album has involved a lot of blood, sweat and tears. What else have you been listening too during the production process to soothe those frayed nerves?

D: I like listening to house, I like putting my headphones on and turning the volume up to listen. We wrote quite a few slower spacious tracks, some in different time signatures and some with no beat's at all so before I started in the studio I'd have a daily fix of something repetitive and big. Once I'd leveled out and had some breakfast I'd be ready to get back into the cycle of the album. But for about an hour a day I'd get into anything by Romanthony or Cajmere, people like that.

Later on in the evening I'd usually listen to full albums stuff from Tin Drum by Japan to Actress.

We'd also got into writing full blown ambient pieces, there's three beatless tracks on the album, I watched a shit load of films over the time we recorded the last 5-6 tracks and so Aiden was constantly re-working certain scores to see how they were structured and constantly playing with chords to see if we could get anything.

We listened to so many things, so many albums in a critical way, comparing and listening to how artists structure a group of tracks is interesting. The lull's and peaks of a group of tracks.

9: You've been fine tuning an audiovisual live set for a while now and its almost ready to go public. Can you say something about what you are aiming at with that, and what gigs you've got lined up.

D: We played our two first live shows last weekend. It was pretty hardcore getting on stage and to be honest feeling like we hadn't prepared enough. The first show was in Copenhagen and was ropey, a few mistakes, a few missed notes but passable, not great but still probably interesting enough to get by. Then we played at Lowlands on the Sunday after Mount Kimbie and it went much better. We had a good audience, great system and although we made mistakes it went smoothly and at times it was enjoyable, which at this point I wasn't expecting. We're getting better all the time and making adjustments to the sound, rehearsing and trying to get the image right on stage.

Our first London show is in September. The visual side of things still isn't quite ready but we're hopeful it'll be in place for then. It's been a very steep learning curve that will carry on for the next year I think but it's fun to play with the tunes rather than stressing about finishing them.

9: Why did you call the album North?

D: Our first working title and one that we actually had artwork for a while back was 'Check my Machine' after the Paul McCartney song. The group of tracks on that initial album was different to what you have now. It was very much what people would expect from a Darkstar album. But personally we couldn't follow through with that. It felt that we were doing something to get it over with and not learning anything in return. It was a convenient route and to be honest, boring. We scrapped nearly all the album and started again. This was around late December 09. At that point we were at our lowest as Darkstar. We came back from Christmas with our families with no clear direction and tracks we didn't rate. We literally scrapped everything apart from two tracks. At that point it felt like it could go either way for us. We had a week or so in February were the disappointment and pressure of not getting to where we were expected to get became liberating, the burden of making an album in a dingy two bed in Clapton was overwhelming and the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but sometimes it got to me so much I'd just let go and live with the feeling, like taking positives from Groundhog day. When we got to that stage we wrote around five tracks quickly, and let it fester again, and worried about how we could finish. Once it built up again to that point, we'd sit down and write a couple of songs. In the end I'd wait for that heightened anxiety to let go. It was intense. My lyrics started to reference things that happened to me in the North and the sonics and arrangements became anti-colour... we'd had enough of glowing synths. It all kept going back to things up North. Aiden and myself both lost people close to us while making the album and no matter how hard we tried to escape to focus on recording we'd always be pulled back up by something. I think since I have been in London that has always been the case. All these things culminated in us going with the title 'North'.

9: How does being from the 'North' affect you musically?"

D: I'm not sure, there's obvious bands and artists that you immediately think of when you think geographically. I was raised in a town in mid-Cheshire, my whole family are from Liverpool. I was in-between Liverpool and Manchester right through my teens. Studied in both cities and loved each one differently. Thinking back, I can't really remember having an affinity with any bands or artists from that area. It was a very laddish thing going to a live gig up there. My friends smoked skunk and the two didn't go hand in hand. A few of us had turntables and that's what we based our interests on. I used to spend about £100 a week on 12's. It was a great time in my life and one that dictated my decision to write tracks. It was probably very typical of any group of friends discovering similar things. On the weekend we'd go to a club and in the week we'd smoke and listen to records.

My father has a hi-fi that sounds like you're in a concert hall. You have to switch on the amp twenty minutes before you play anything and his turntable is an astonishing thing. When I was 15 he got me a Marrantz amp and some floor stand speakers. The quality of sound was amazing. Our home was dedicated to music. We had a room for his gear, literally his deck, amp, speakers and a couch opposite. It was a great experience to have my dad show me things on that system. My ears were influenced then, from those nights he'd play me things from David Gilmore to Led Zepplin. He's got a great record collection.

9: How do you find living in London, being from the North?

D: It's tougher I think from a day to day view. Things creep up and you almost have to become good at living if that makes sense. It's unforgiving. I think that's what I'm trying to say. Obviously there's huge differences in the cost of things like rent and travel. It all adds up quickly and it took me a while to get on top of simple tasks like paying bills and then making tunes too. It's like scrapping for a time to be creative here, it's meant to be my priority but how often i get sidetracked is frustrating.

It has a huge influence on our sound being in London. I've built my own life and my world now revolves around this city. I've been here eight years now and I'm very much into the moment here. I like how vast the whole city feels. I like the choice and being able to really get hold of anything I need. That can't happen where I'm from. Even Liverpool and Manchester, both seem so much smaller having been here. Culturally and socially London is obviously far more diverse, from an immediate point of view where I live right now is very close to an Hasidic Jewish area. Within that area on Upper Clapton Road, estates and new developments sprawl off towards Stoke Newington and then in the opposite direction towards Walthamstow it's loud and busy. I pick up things from the Turkish shop below me, eat a lahmacun, sit on the roof with a beer in the evening and wish bus's didn't exist. I get cabs from the same Pakistani guy every time and in his side door compartment he has something called a Fanta twist. It's basically a vodka orange on the job. I watch Liverpool in an Arsenal pub and wish I was at home. I go for breakfast at a cafe at the top of Kingsland road where Micheal Watson eats his breakfast. Twice a week I sit two tables away from a guy that was almost killed in a boxing ring. I know the Chinese girl and her sister in Dans' Island on the roundabout. I know the Jamaican girl in Granny's. I know the fat dry cleaner on Lower Clapton road. The Indian builders who work in the yard behind the flat tip Aiden on working out. All these uneventful things in my day are part of me now. It's light years away from the the north. The north is where my family are, my friends I grew up with, cousins, ex-girlfriends, people I had fights with. Massive amounts of personal history in one town smaller than Clapton and Dalston combined. Everyone knows one another, there's a big sense of community and the air is cleaner. There's more space, more green space. It's slow paced though, things can become predictable and it gets to me when that happens. People in all parts of the world follow on from a previous generation. It's just magnified there because the population is smaller. You are able to see the footsteps retraced right in front of you.

I have my original group of friends I never question. They exist there in time with me. We have the same conversation most days. When we meet up again it's the same and it's something I miss down here. My friends in London are relatively new even though I've known some of them for up to eight years. You still separate one group from the other. It's just here.


After the surprise success of his self-titled, low-key debut on Hyperdub , Burial returns with an eagerly awaited follow up album, ‘Untrue’. The new record is weird soul music, hypersoul, lovingly processing spectral female voices into vaporised R&B and smudged 2step garage. Voices are blurred, smeared, pitched up, pitched down and pitch bent until their content becomes irrelevant and they whisper their saccharin sweet nothings into the void.

UNTRUE continues with the first album’s crackle drenched yearning and bustling syncopations haunted by the ghosts of rave, but also reveals some new Burial treats with a more glowing, upbeat energy. UNTRUE kicks off with the skittering 2step syncopations and vocal science of ‘Archangel’, ‘Near Dark’ and ‘Ghost Hardware’, before descending into a space of radiant divas and ambience. While Burial’s first album was humid, suffocating and unrelentingly sad, UNTRUE is less sunless. Many of the tracks are so sweet, they become toxic, underscored by the almost geological rumbles of growling basslines. Whereas the mood of Burial’s first album was overpoweringly melancholy, its now better described as a downcast euphoria typified by the epic, muted optimism of the album’s last track ‘Raver’. Forget central heating. The radioactivity of this album is all that you’ll need to keep you warm this winter.

Kode9 Interviews Burial

9: What have you been doing since the last album?

Burial: It was a bit weird people hearing the first record because most of those tunes were made without me expecting them ever to be heard. So I've been recovering.

9: How long did it take you to recover?

Burial: About 2 years [laughs]. I've just been trying to get back to why I wanted to make tunes in the first place. The first one got slightly out of where it belonged, and I found it a bit difficult to just block things out and make tunes in a low key way again, and it took time to just get back to doing that, and liking it, and doing it fast, and not trying to be a perfectionist. Just trying to dream up tunes again without worrying what people were going to think.

9: The tracks on the first album had taken about 6 years to make in total.

Burial: Yeah, that was tunes from 2000 hand picked by you out of loads. So doing the second one was never going to be as easy as that, and also I wanted to try and learn some new stuff but I couldn't, so I just gave up and went back to the old ways [laughs]

9: Were you surprised by the reception of the first album.

Burial: Yeah. I think it promised something, but if you listened to it, it didn't really get there. But I think some people liked it because it was just a no fuss bunch of tunes. I want to do low key records so i got uneasy if there was attention. my tunes aren't for everyone but thats the point of it, it's for those people. But I still want people to like it, Im not some ice cold fretless bass playing psychopath.

9: Don't you think, that whatever you felt about it, people liked it because it made a consistent album.

Burial: Why, 'cos it was all moody?

9: Not that it was moody or not, but just that the whole thing had a consistent mood.

Burial: Yeah, it was just a sad, eerie, night time thing. But the new stuff has changed a bit. No it hasn't. Don't listen to me [laughs]

9: What do you think is the main difference between the two albums?

Burial: This one is a bit more buzzin', glowy. It's a bit more uplifting. It doesn't hang around. It's a bit more up. The tunes were made quite fast in the middle of the night and they had to fight for their right to exist. but they came out of nowhere. Its a bit like an unwanted pregnancy, i wasn't always in a good place, but most of the tunes had to be faith restoring somehow to me, but they still take a while to get into.

9: Its still pretty melancholy record. But now I think its downcast euphoria, as opposed to just downcast like on the first one.

Burial: Yeah, the first one was quite a pissed off basic record, downcast. But this one has more little bits of vocals glowing in it, flickering around and burning in the tune, messed with.

9: Why did you end up doing something a bit more 'glowy'?

Burial: It's always been difficult for me to make tunes. i'd just sit or walk waiting for night to fall hoping i'd make something i liked. Or come back in and try to make the club echo in my head from going out. I'd chosen certain vocals because the mood I was in. I wanted more vocals cos they attempt to form songs, its kind of sad but they get to you in the end, i don't want a singer i want something else. Also all i listened to for a year was Black Secret Technology. I still made most of the tunes in the dead of the night, and when you do that you have to let the tune kind of hypnotize you otherwise you'll just fall asleep or play Playstation. The tunes just lulled me, and you need a vocal to do that, and a certain type of sound to echo and circle and sway into a pattern. The moodiness made the tunes, not me. Now when I listen to them, they're ramshackle, DIY and rolling but I know there is a thing trapped in them so that when I look back on them, even if its dry, I know when it was made, I know what was going on that day, its like stapling real life to the side of the tune. I can't get a singer or some session musician to come in and play or sing some dry song, so I've got to get people singing acapellas or just mates singing in their phones and re-cut up what they're saying. Sometimes I run out of a vocal and I have to re-cut up each word and make them sing a whole new verse, and you cant tell what they're saying. But I feel I can make them say certain lyrics.

9: the puppet master ha ha

Burial: I love the sound of 'girl next door' vocals. The way it used to be. Give me that any day over a really talented trained person that can actually sing. There used to be a girl who used to sing in the flat next door but I didn't have the guts to ask her. That would have been kind of awkward to ask.

9: Why don't you do gigs?

Burial: I'm not that kind of person who can step up. I just want to make tunes.

9: Why don't you want to do pictures?

Burial: Same reason. I like the old records, where you didn't know who made them and it didn't matter. You got into the tunes more. I don't want anyone knowing i do tunes.

9: And the drawing on the front of the new album.

Burial: I've been drawing that same one since I was little. Just some moody kid with a cup of tea sitting at the 24 hour stand in the rain in the middle of the night when you are coming back from somewhere.

9: Why didn't you use a sequencer on the album?

Burial: I tried. I did one tune before. . .Unite. With someone showing me how to use it, and it worked out nice, but in the end I wasn't ready and I wanted to do another record without a sequencer again.

9: You like that ramshackle thing, don't you.

Burial: Yeah, I admire people who understand complicated programs or whatever. But I'm not that into tunes that are so sequenced that all you can hear is the perfect grid, e ven on the echoes. With those kind of tunes, sometimes I just hear Tetris music, i always know where i am in the tune so i cant get lost in it, no rough edges in some tunes even when they try hard to sound rough. I want to learn one day how to make tunes properly , but I wanted to do a tribute to my rubbish, dying computer. It starts smoking sometimes and the screen flickers like a strobelight, it mashes your eyes. The tunes are made where they're made, somewhere in my building, the roof or wherever, but not in some airtight studio. Loads of the album was made with the TV on. I wish i could make technical proper music one day but people who want technical music maybe won't like my new tunes but its not for them.

9: What don't you like just now?

Burial: fiending and fakery. Sometimes you get people who don't seem to really enjoy tunes theyre just checking what other people are into and ripping it or slating it . just because..no reason. some people just talk mostly about things they hate like it matters, like they are fighting through a crowd that isn't there. i liked the world before it was so easy for people to find out stuff and get at it. i like it when people are genuine, they like tunes, they want a dance.. i don't get it when people are ploughing in with negative claimage to something. Sometimes you just want music to stay where it is from. I love drum&bass jungle hardcore, garage, dubstep and always will till i die and i don't want the music i love to be a global samplepack music.. I like Underground tunes that are true and mongrel and you see people trying to break that down, alter its nature. Underground music should have its back turned, it needs to be gone, untrackable, unreadable, just a distant light.

9: There are more vocals on this album.

Burial: When I was growing up it was hardcore or jungle tunes and you would catch people singing them while doing the washing up. Like 'Music is the key' 'Thru the vibe' 'inner city life', 'finley's rainbow' guy called gerald, kemet crew. People would be playing them from cars. But deeper tunes too not just big tunes . They tried to put a vibe into the room. They didn't just walk in and stamp on your head. Or they worked hard to take you out of where you were, make you get lost, steal away. They weren't just serving up an element that you could instantly get into. They would put an atmosphere in the room that wasn't there before, or maybe had never been there, not take the atmosphere out the room. Vocals . . .it needs to be glowing, swaying, but I want the tunes to be likeable. Not dark for the sake of it.

9: Why is the album called Untrue?

Burial: When you are not acting like yourself . . .that's an everyday thing for everyone, but it can be a bit sinister . . .It's like the opposite of Unite.

HDBCD002 [Out November 2007]
01 Untitled (0:45)
02 Archangel (3:59)
03 Near Dark (3:53)
04 Ghost Hardware (4:54)
05 Endorphin (2:57)
06 Etched Headplate (6:00)
07 In Mcdonalds (2:09)
08 Untrue (6:16)
09 Shell Of Light (4:41)
10 Dog Shelter (2:58)
11 Homeless (5:26)
12 UK (1:42)
13 Raver (4:58)

HDBLP002 [Out November 2007]
A.1 - Archangel
A.2 - Near dark
B.1 - Homeless
B.2 - Shell of Light
C.1 - Raver
C.2 - Etched Headplate
D.1 - Untrue
D.2 - Uk
D.3 - Endorphin

Watch out for "Stairwell"/"Feral Witchchild" on Hyperdub in February 2008.

Other Burial interviews:
Fact Magazine


This first album on Kode9’s Hyperdub label comes from the mysterious Burial. On this self-titled CD debut, Burial carves out a sound which sends the dormant slinky syncopations of uk garage, via radio interference, into a padded cell of cushioned, muffled bass, passing through the best of Pole’s Berlin crackle dub.

Burial explores a tangential, parallel dimension of the growing sound of dubstep. Burial’s parallel dimension sounds set in a near future South London underwater. You can never tell if the crackle is the burning static off pirate radio transmissions, or the tropical downpour of the submerged city outside the window. In their sometimes suffocating melancholy, most of these tracks seem to yearn for drowned lovers. The smouldering desire of ‘Distant Lights’ is cooled only by the percussive ice sharp slicing of blades and jets of hot air blowing from the bass. Listen also for a fleeting appearance from Hyperdub’s resident vocalist, the Spaceape unravelling his crypto- biography. In its loud quietness, Burial takes his kitchen crackle aesthetic neither from the digital glitch nor merely a nostalgia for vinyl’s materiality. Instead, as ‘Pirates’ suggests, Burial crackle mutates the tactile surplus value of pirate radio transmissions. Burial’s mix is haunted. Echoed voices breeze in and out, on road to another time. Pirate signal from other frequencies steams in, A tidal wave of noise submerging all but the crispest syncopations. The noise is not violent, but caressing, tickling, exciting the ends of your nerves. Seducing you in.


A exclusive sneak preview from The Bug’s devastating new album (due on Ninja Tune towards the end of this year). A fixture in sets by Kode9 & DMZ’s Loefah, ‘Skeng’ has been trashing danceflloors around the world for the last few months, with its militantly slow half-step and brick wall of bass. The track is ignited by the gunman comic genius of 2 members of East London’s prolific Roll Deep grime crew, Killa P. & Flow Dan whose low slung, rapid fire deliveries bull-doze all who stand in the way. On the flip, Kode9 drags the vocals into the video game arcade, adding spring to the step with his bouncy remix and more rewinds than your dead, dusty tape deck.


Hyperdub new recruits L.V. deliver probably the most effortless and summery roots reggae/dubstep hybrid to date with the A. side ‘Globetrotting’ featuring the sweet vocal tones of Errol Bellot. L.V. consists of four South East London musicians/producers whose earthy sound, heavy bass, tight programming and lush vocal collaborations is a welcome reality check in an era of cod reggae lightweights.

The name Errol Bellot first burst onto the reggae scene in 1981. He began recording for S & G Records - one of the main recording studios for established artists like Carol Thompson, Sugar Minott and Winston Reedy. After leaving S and G records, he went on to voice many tracks for the legendary Jah Tubbys (www.jahtubbys.co.uk). In the middle of the eighties Errol joined ‘Unity Sound’ from North London. He returned from a break in the early nineties to sing on the prestigious sound ‘King Original’. He has worked throughout England with the likes of Daddy Freddie, Devon,
Colourman, Wayne Marshall and also toured the Caribbean with Nerious Joseph in the nineties.

On the flip, ‘Takeover’ L.V. take it even deeper, this time with their syrupy low end voiced by Dandelion. Dandelion is the vocalist with Free King Sound. This has been running since 2002 and consists of Lawrence (aka Dub L) Jim (aka King Jimmy) and Drew at the controls (www.myspace.com/freekingsoundsystem).


This is the second 12” release on Kode9’s Hyperdub label, and marks the label debut of
the mighty Warrior Queen who, as on her releases with the Bug (‘Aktion Pack’) and Sunship (‘Almighty Father’), is takin’ no shit from anyone. This release features the second fresh producer, after Burial, to be blooded by the label.

Pressure’s mixes here present two unique takes on the diversifying grime/dubstep sound. The original mix comes more with a intensely bass heavy, dirty, disjointed feel, and its not clear whether you’re supposed to be jumping around or leaning into the bassbin in a dub coma - work it out for yourself. The equally ambiguous Pressure remix on the flip rolls with a dubbed out, accelerated bashment skank.

With either mix, this release is an unexpected twist in the Hyperdub saga. Let your batty


After the widely acclaimed Burial debut album, Hyperdub throw out another tangential long player, a mutant satellite to the grime/dubstep scenes, this time from label boss Kode9 and resident vocalist Spaceape. Memories of the Future features 14 dread filled flash-backs and flash-forwards from a world trembling in an echology of fear. The future has collapsed in on the present and spaceship earth is on route to nowhere. The album brings together the long sought after Hyperdub debut single 'Sine of the Dub' from early 2004 with other minor classics such as 'Kingstown', recent singles 'Backward' and '9 Samurai' and 10 new tracks of uneasy, sometimes queasy listening. Time scrambling dubtronic poet, Spaceape circulates around the lyrical black hole he calls home with tales of cultural addiction, urban paralysis, bioterror, smoldering flesh and psycho-affective meltdown. Yet they manage to conjure up a strange joy in these hallucinations of dystopia which infect the real present. ‘Glass’ eases you into a false sense of insecurity, a synthetic sea shanty for a spaceship adrift. ‘Victims’ descends down through the dub chamber and resurfaces towards the 'dread pop' of ‘Curious’(featuring debut appearance from Ms.Haptic), and the ‘dread hop’ of ‘Backward’ and ‘Portal’. Spaceape’s dark dictations and demented refrains form the consistent thread through 9’s loping rhythms, deranged melodies and walls of muffled, driving sub-bass. Alongside the singularly infamous 'Sine' are more doses of uniquely sticky, claustrophobic and katatonic bass poetry of 'Nine' and 'Correction'. The album closes with the cold shiver of ‘Lime’ and astro-dancehall of ‘Quantum’. But as Spaceape reminds us in ‘Glass’ – “It’s the beginning, not the end,
that we have to reach last.”


Hyperdub’s first 12” release of 2007 has a spring in its step. On the A side, Kode9finally drops his long awaited bouncy remix of Massive Music’s ‘Find My Way’ – like Augustus Pablo trapped in the movie Tron, this arcade game skank has a drop that has caused power cuts from Beijing to Brixton. On the flip side, is the tune that this remix eventually spawned and which concluded the “Memories of the Future” album; the 9 is joined by Spaceape for a chunkier, broken edit of “Quantum”.


After a summer in their own customized black hole, Kode9 & Spaceape emerge with this single, providing a preview from their incoming album, “Memories of the Future”(Hyperdub Oct 2006). Featuring two of Spaceape’s most upfront vocals yet, ‘Curious’, opens in the wind tunnel, laced by the lush vocals of new recruit to the Hyperdub Kru, Ms. Haptic, and refrains with Spaceape’s infectiously ambivalent chorus – “Maybe just maybe we will save you. . .Maybe just maybe we will kill you”. Rushed along by its bustling hi-hats, ‘Curious’ drops into Hyperdub’s customary wall of sub.

While both tracks feature Kode9’s distinctively offkey combination of melodica and synth, ‘Portal’ swerves into another orbit altogether with deranged, alien synths skewing an accelerated, rollin’ half-step groove, as Spaceape flows from
outer to inner space.

A wake up call to dub zombies everywhere.


On this 4th 10inch vinyl release, Kode9 & the Spaceape step up with a couple of very
different cinematic riddims tracks. ‘Backward’ is easily their most infectious skanker to date, with a vocal hook you’ll not forget [“One step forward, 2 steps back”], cascading brassy synths and a lumbering bassline rushed along by the interstellar wisdom of Spaceape’s upbeat flow.

Already an anthem from Kode9’s weekly Rinse Fm shows and appearances at NYC’s Dubwar party, the instrumental ‘9 Samurai’, with its fanfare intro and militant vox samples is pure funeral march material, descending into grimey synthetic bass, phased snares and deep, deep subs. Both tracks were performed live on Mary-Ann Hobbs’ Breezeblock sessions on Radio 1 in January 2006.

Special thanks to:
Fumio Hayasaka, Steve Barker, Lee Scratch Perry, Loefah


This third 10” release on the Hyperdub imprint is already a minor anthem, vibrating the
bits other tunes can’t reach. The instrumental featured in the last set of Radio 1’s John Peel tribute night earlier this year, and on dubplate, has grown into a sure fire rewind at London dubstep/grime nights such as DMZ in Brixton and Forward>> at Plastic People. On this release, not only has infamous Daddi Gee of the first 2 10” releases been abducted by vocalist the Spaceape, but this time, its not about the mutated cover versions, but a straight up Spaceape dubtronic take on Jamaica’s capital city. If that’s not enough, this Kode9 riddim will make you cry with its heart wrenching synth riff, delayed tablas and enough surging sub-bass to sink Babylon.

2004 - HYP002 - REVIEWS

What the Press said about ‘Spit’. . .
IDJ – Dancehall/Roots/Ragga Single of the Month – September ’04
“Having gatecrashed garage’s dubstep domain with their debut “Sign of the Dub’, the London-based duo now follow up that seismic rumble with this enviably deep cruise through the bush of ghosts. Spectral ska chords, a battering ram bassline and the dread-heavy resonance on Daddi Gee’s Satanic sermon supplies a crucial ride into the heart of darkness. Dystopian dub for William Gibson’s cyber generation.”

DJ Magazine – Uk Garage - August/September ’04
“Some seriously dready dubstep from Kode9 featuring some Rasta-style meditative vocals from the deeply resonant Daddi Gee. Heavily poetic with its spoken word style, lyrically this is as rolling and hypnotic as the beats. Kode9 lays down a cavernously deep rhythm track with a sonorous bassline pulse and echo chamber stabs. Like Horsepower fused with dark, dub poetry, this is pungent.”

2004 - HYP002 - KODE9 & DADDI GEE - SPIT

This second release on the Hyperdub imprint sees Kode9 & Daddi Gee picking up the pace, after the katatonic bass of ‘Sign of the Dub’ on HYP001. Again, a mutant cover version [of what?], Daddi Gee’s unique post-apocalypse poetics grace Kode9’s spine of disjointed skank rhythms and depth charge bass pulses. On the flip you’ll find the instrumental, souped up with some skin-tingling dub electronics.

2004 - HYP001 - REVIEWS

Jockey Slut [Feb/March 2004]
Hit of the Month [garage]
“Dance music is rife with mediocrity. Producers move in packs, as scenes evolve stepwise and dubstep is in many ways no different. Here Kode 9 uses covers to challenge that norm. Where “Stalker” was once a Junior Boys love song, he turns it to obsession, amid sparse soca-step shards. “Sign Of The Dub,” however, is truly remarkable: a beatless dub cover of the Prince classic. No percussion means no momentum: you’re immobilized by its immense bass-pulse and delayed reggae stabs. Police sirens wail into the distance while Daddi Gee growls: “Some people say/a man never truly ‘appy/unless a nex’ man/truly dies … the times/it’s the times.” Innovation and zeitgeist in one.”

Mixmag [April 2004]
"This is the ultimate anti-anthem. If you want Eskidance to make noize or 4x4 to bounce DON’T play this awesome tune. Built around a beatless bass-pulse, it’s a startling dub Prince cover at garage tempo, with no momentum. Played in a rave it turns heads and brings the dance to a standstill. Incredible abstract shizzle."

Urb [USA] [March 2004]
“Emerging from London’s furtive dub-step enclave, Kode9 strikes gold by hooking up with spoken word sorcerer Daddi Gee. As deep as Rhythm & Sound, as funky as Moodyman and as filthy as grime’s fiercest, this is head stunningly fresh and shrouded in claustrophobic atmospheric pressure. Sounding like a dervish ritual for existential dreads, this is death disco for deviant dub fiends” – Kevin Martin / The Bug

The Wire [January 2004]
Kevin Martin aka the Bug listed kode9 & Daddi gee’s ‘pulsations’ in his highlights of 2003.

I-D [March 2004]
“Covers are generally shite. Or a cash in. But here dubstep garage pioneer Kode 9 returns covers to the underground’s cutting edge. “Stalker” is a rework of the much-hyped electro balladeers Junior Boys. But where there was once love, now there’s twisted percussive darkness. If, however, you think that’s dark, try Kode 9’s rework of Prince. It’s beatless, intense and paralyzing. Daddi Gee’s booming voice reaches out through the unsettled night. “The times, man… it’s the times.”

The Wire [March 2004]
“Kode9 kicks off Hyperdub.com’s in-house label with. . .two of the darkest, most suffocating tracks ever to come out of the garage/reggae hybrid called dubstep. The entirely beatless ‘Sign of the Dub’ features Daddi Gee muttering nonsequiturs in a molasses baritone like LKJ in a K hole. His cousin lights up a spliff ‘for the very first time’ and in the next phrase is smoking rock; ‘I can’t understand when a rocket ship explode/yet everybody still want fi fly.’ For the five minute duration of the track, time effectively stops, a low bass pulse stilling your heartbeat into hibernating half-speed while pads flicker like the green flash of dusk. ‘Stalker’ is more familiar fare, laying down a swathe of spaceship hum over stop-start syncopations. But its techsteppy grimace is no less paranoid, and the periodic flare of backspinning vinyl sounds like a mind in meltdown.”

Xlr8r [April 2004]
"Hyperdub/dubplate keeper Kode9 launches his Hyperdub imprint with two plates of minimalist UK grime arrangements wrapped around ultra-lethargic MC/spoken wordist Daddi Gee’s fathoms-deep voice. On the first slab, a throbbing bass tone, a semi-open hi-hat and the occasional eternally achoing dub chord are all that jab at Daddi’s recitation of Prince’s ‘Sign of the Times’, while half-time garridge fuels the spooky flipside, ‘Stalker’. ‘Spit’, the second record finds Gee havin’ at Public Enemy’s ‘Welcome to the Terrordrome’ in front of kode9’s chunky, haunted skarage. Order this one up at your shops."

IDJ [April 2004]
“Irresistably fresh, improbably deep and radiantly warm, the sonic vapour trails from a dystopian soundscape, as electronic music targets the next millenium. Rich, cavernous reverbs drench the baritone boom of Gee's effortlessly cool delivery, as these dubstep escapees follow Rhythm and Sound's path on the Berlin to Kingston freeway. Lost in clouds of weed smoke and urban smog, this is minimal and clinically paranoid.”


After 3 years in operation, Hyperdub is about to launch its record label, featuring productions by Kode9 and vocals by newcomer Daddi Gee. Kode9 set up the South London based www.hyperdub.com project in 2001 to track emergent strains of Jamaican influenced electronic music in London. The website published the first and longest in depth interviews with London’s key underground artists ranging from Ms. Dynamite to Dizzee Rascal and Wiley Kat, from Horsepower to the Bug and Plasticman. Kode9 developed the project in tandem with Ammunition Promotions’ [who run labels like Bingo, Tempa, Road, Texture. . .] www.dubplate.net, a website with a global cult following earned from showcasing dubstep, grime, breakbeat and broken beats dubplates months before their release.

Kode9 has followed the freshest wave of the hyperdub virus into the 21st century, a mutating sound, as much influenced by Jamaican dub and dancehall, dub techno/microhouse as London’s jungle, drum’n’bass and uk garage scenes. He is currently pushing a distinctly South London sound, playing a mixture of dancehall influenced bass heavy post-garage, variously known as dubstep, and grime. In 2000-2001, kode9 promoted the Hyperdub sessions at the Bug Bar in Brixton, South London, one of the first nights to push the dubstep vibe, featuring guests like Horsepower’s Benny ill.