Kode9, DJ Manny, Heavee, DJ Tre, Gloque | East Room | Dance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Kode9

Kode9

Maximilian Montgomery

Kode9, DJ Manny, Heavee, DJ Tre, Gloque Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Nov. 14, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $5
What open-minded, voracious music fan wouldn’t want to get a look inside the mind of Steve Goodman (aka producer Kode9), or at least get a peek at his record collection? Goodman approaches his lifelong affection for electronic music with an academic’s sense of scope, a journalist’s desire to dig, and a label honcho’s ear for curation—and it’s not only because he’s worn all of those hats at one point or another. He’s best known for Hyperdub, the 11-year-old label that started as a webzine and has grown into one of the most influential agents in the international underground electronic scene. The label’s catalog is a broad database of movers and shakers, all united by their individual desires to follow their guts; there’s aughties dubstep poster boy Burial, footwork leader DJ Rashad, grime wonder Joker, ethereal new R&B singer Jessy Lanza, and, yes, Kode9 himself. In the last role Goodman’s released a slew of EPs and singles, plus two collaborative full-lengths with vocalist and poet Stephen Gordon (aka the Spaceape, who passed away from cancer last year), and now the new Nothing, the first Kode9 solo full-length. Goodman is a restless but refined producer, and on Nothing he plays with footwork’s clattering percussion, pureed vocal samples that stutter and bubble upwards, and scary synths that make it feel like the walls are closing in. And though Gordon’s resonant voice pops up for just one vocal, on the short “Third Ear Transmission,” it melts and groans and bleeds into the album’s dark, shifting textures. In Goodman’s hands it all makes sense because, like the best material released through Hyperdub, even when something sounds strange or alien he twists it till it’s affecting.
— Leor Galil

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