Starting a small independent label in the notoriously fickle world of electronica is one thing. Keeping it going, and keeping it both successful and relevant, is something else altogether.
So it’s to the credit of UK label Hyperdub that it celebrates its tenth anniversary this year as a thriving launchpad for underground producers who set the standard for future club hits. As part of the celebrations, the 10 Years Of Hyperdub Tour will be making a stop in Los Angeles on September 25th. To prepare yourself for the tour, enjoy this selection of the label’s finest moments.
This is included for two reasons. Firstly, it was one of the label’s earliest releases and introduced the world to one of its most compelling double acts, namely owner and producer Kode9 and the awesomely creepy Spaceape. Secondly, it’s just an awesome tune from way back in the day. Reason enough I believe.
Burial – Untrue
If Hyperdub survives another twenty years, it would do well to release a more iconic record than Untrue. Burial is treated as the label’s most glittering star with good reason. This album is a perfect snapshot of dubstep back when it was innovative and had depth, before the term was hijacked by formulaic wannabes building near-identical tracks around huge and wholly predictable bass drops. It still sounds utterly fresh.
Joker – “Digidesign”
For a brief period it looked like Bristol’s so-called “purple” sound would take over the world. To some of us anyway. Before Joker released a subpar debut album he released a golden run of terrific singles on various small labels, and this was Hyperdub’s contribution to his burgeoning reputation. That brief period may have passed, but songs like “Digidesign” have aged surprisingly well.
Ikonika – Contact, Love, Want, Have
Not only is Ikonika’s debut album one of the best examples of that spate of music that sounded like it was trying to ape the Nintendo sound effects of our youth, it is also a sadly rare example of a female producer is a scene that remains very male-heavy, something that Kode9 seems fairly determined to remedy (Jessy Lanza and Laurel Halo are amongst the label’s current signings).
DJ Rashad – Double Cup
The tragic and sudden death of DJ Rashad earlier this year has elevated Double Cup from a subgenre-defining album to a brilliant epitaph for a too-short career. The star of Chicago’s footwork scene created a record full of tunes that will likely be lighting up dancefloors for some time to come, filled with beats that seem to shift under your feet in a flash.
Tickets for the 10 Years Of Hyperdub show at Los Globos, featuring Kode9, DJ Spinn, and others, are available now.