Saturday, 13 December 2014

Legendary Label In The Limelight: Hyperdub Records

Kode9's indie dares to different in the British electro scene.

Hey good looking,

After Trangressive last week, the second record label that I'm both doffing my cap and wishing a happy tenth birthday to is the groundbreaking Hyperdub Records - an indie that makes most people's idea of eclectic look about as interesting as a celery museum. Home to the likes of Burial, Ikonika, Laurel Halo, Cooly G and the late DJ Rashad, Hyperdub has earned itself an impressive reputation for championing some of the most exciting, forward-thinking artists in modern electronica.

Formerly a webzine, the label was founded a decade ago by producer/DJ Kode9 from his flat above a South London hair salon to delve into the obscure depths of British dance music. As Hyperdub expanded it diverged from its proto-dubstep roots to push the boundaries of grime, dub, UK funky and footwork, and nowadays their roster is so ridiculously creative that categorising them is pretty much impossible.

So what better way to celebrate an extraordinary ten years shaping dance culture than with not one but four compilations? The albums cover four different areas of Hyperdub's musical output: '10.1' is a dancefloor-centred record, '10.2' focuses more on actual songs, '10.3' takes us to the minimalist end of the Hyperdub spectrum, and last but not least '10.4' (no prizes for guessing that name) aims to please the house and techno lovers out there.

That said, 2014 hasn't all been a cause for celebration for the label. In April this year footwork pioneer DJ Rashad sadly passed, followed by the death of long-term Kode 9 collaborator The Spaceape in October. Two of the label's finest, their influences will continue to be heard in underground club music for many years to come.

It's at this point that I'd usually write about future plans and upcoming releases however Hyperdub doesn't really have any. With artists as experimental as their's how can anyone possibly know what's coming next? Sure HDBCD30 could be a heap of rubbish but you know the old saying: "it is better to have attempted to create original dance music and failed than just put out the same old safe, boring records." Something like that anyway.


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