Kode9 and the Spaceape Memories of the Future

Kode9 and the Spaceape Memories of the Future
Kode9’s Hyperdub imprint has been at the centre of the dubstep scene for a few years now, and last month’s release of the Burial singles on one handy CD went a long way toward giving North Americans a glimpse of what’s been going on across the pond. Now Kode9 teams up with resident MC/mumbler the Spaceape for a retrospective through his own catalogue. Running from 2002 till now, these 14 tracks present an altogether lusher counterpart to Burial’s stringently minimal paranoia. True to form, the existential dread inherited from the weed-rampant two-step community is here in spades, but these tracks also highlight the Spaceape’s academic background — beneath all that mumbling, he’s got some pretty articulate politics going on — and Kode9’s productions sound as if they were always intended to work as an album. This is one surprisingly cohesive package, not a weak link anywhere. Here, Kode9 demonstrates himself as a producer refined enough with dubstep’s signatures to advance them into more accessible territory without sacrificing any of the dungeon-like atmosphere. As a result, Kode9 and the Spaceape often sound like they’ve inadvertently evolved trip-hop for the 21st century, and Memories of the Future takes its place as the rightful heir to Tricky’s Maxinquaye, minus the "lover man” persona. Essential. (Hyperdub)