August 10, 2012

Son Raw is playing some tunes at Off The Hook Clothing
in Montreal right now. Come pay him a visit.

Hyperdub’s output has been so unpredictable over the past couple of years that this video from Morgan Zarate feels almost as surprising as a Laurel Halo album. I mean, DUBSTEP? On Hyperdub? You must be joking! Thankfully, Broken Heart Collector is no joke, offering a strong reminder that Kode9’s label was dropping futuristic music at 140BPM back when the rest of the world was still excited about Glo-Fi. Morgan Zarate and Stevie Neal’s latest is unabashedly huge, a big room anthem custom made for chemical peaks and late night hours on huge sound systems.

Though it thankfully avoids any kind of fighting-robot histrionics, it nevertheless engages with the Dubstep as a mainstream sound, something almost every respectable Bass music purveyor appeared scared to do over the past few years. It’s the kind of tune that could easily score a movie scene where a silent killer walks through a rave before executing his target, a sweet-n-sour mix of euphoria and melancholy that’s been all too absent from proper UK dance music and one the world needs more of. As for the video, it’s a fairly good approximation of what goes on in the back of my eyelids on a good Saturday night, which is to say a straight edged person’s nightmare. You say no to drugs, Hyperdub can’t.

LV and Okmalumkoolkat head to the other extreme, delivering ultra-restrained menace in black & white. Calling Spitting Cobra’s backing track a “beat” would be a misnomer as the production trio avoid almost all traces of drums, instead combining off-tune synths with the occasional percussion drop. Meanwhile Okmalumkoolkat claims he’s an MPEG and JPEG without it ever sounding forced, one of the perks that comes with being an Afro-Futurist South-African MC instead of a white rapper from the burbs. Far from LV and Koolkat’s previous dance inflected tracks, it’s a humming, buzzing, paranoid affair that comes closer to zeroing in on the Hyperdub “aesthetic” than almost anything else in 2K12: dark, fun, smart and interconnected. The kind of music that makes you want to vibe all night and then write a dissertation about it the next morning.

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