Reading Jeff’s post on the wonderful (and nostalgiatastic!) Stretch and Bobbito reunion, I couldn’t help but think of my current radio listening in starkly opposite terms to the scarcity he describes. As a Rinse listener, I’m flooded with hour after hour of raw, uncut radio. The magic isn’t due to inaccessibility (though in the pre-internet days it certainly was) but due to the sheer relentlessness of the musical barrage. Even if you ignore all of their Deep-House programming like moi (sorry Brits, I just don’t get it), Rinse still unleashes more music on the world than a normal human being could possibly process. Mary-Anne Hobbs may have made her name bringing bass music to the masses thanks to her preternatural ability to absorb hours of music and refract it into a proper show, but it’s the pirates that supplied her with those hours of music in the first place. You can’t underestimate the power of this kind of infrastructure: give New York DJs a single 24 hour station like this without any programming restrictions or commercial ambition and like Colonel Kurtz, I guarantee our problems here will be over very quickly.
Hyperdub made its name amplifying and pressurizing that underground pirate aesthetic into something for both initiates and novices so it was a surprise to learn that Kode 9 hadn’t DJed on Rinse in over 4 years. Thankfully, Grime dons Elijah and Skilliam changed all of that last week, inviting both Kode and producer Terror Danjah into the studio for a takeover/promo session for TD’s upcoming Undeniable album on Hyperdub. Though the label head remained mostly silent throughout the show, breaking only to throw shots at the trance crowd (blaow!), Terror more than delivered in terms of personality. Bigging up his own tunes live on the air and candidly sending shots at everyone from boring dubstep producers to trap rap-biting grime artists, Terror proved that if ever Scratcha DVA wants out of his daily morning show, there’s someone to replace him quick-fast.
It’s a wild two hours of radio previewing an album that stands in stark contrast to the darkness (and well…whiteness) of the Darkstar album which goes a long way to prove a point: no boutique label other than Hyperdub could possibly release the heir to Portishead’s thrown of melancholy AND a wild, neon colored club-rap album in the same month. Like Rinse, the label’s aesthetic has gotten large enough to cross all genres while still retaining an crystal clear sense of identity. It bears repeating: just one battalion of those men and our troubles here would be over.
MP3: Terror Danjah & Kode 9 live on Rinse FM 19/10/10