Groove Tunes

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Kode9 & The Spaceape - Black Sun

I, like a lot of people, have been waiting what feels like a very long time for Kode9's follow up to the hugely influential Memories Of The Future album. It was always going to be difficult to make a come back album after an album regarded as a true classic in the dubstep world, which is perhaps the reason for it taking so long to arrive. 

Many people will listen to Black Sun and think that it is not as strong as Memories, or even that it hardly sounds like the same artist. The latter is true enough, it does sound very different. Is it as strong as the previous release? I would have to say yes it is, I can't deny that it took a couple of listens as it was nothing like what I was expecting, but it is an excellent follow up. There were two directions Kode9 could've taken; make an album in a similar style to Memories and guarantee a happy fan base, or make whatever came out, following the creative direction and integrity that probably has always driven him, the will to write something ground breaking and fresh. 

Fresh it certainly is. In a genre that is getting more mainstream, and more aggressive yet predictable (and almost cheesy) and paradoxically soft, this sounds very new. In fact, it could be argued that it is barely even dubstep at all. 

There are the hallmarks of the artist all over the album, such as the almost jazz extended chord stabs and pads, but there are massive innovations in the sound. For a start, Spaceape sounds completely different at times. Gone is the close-microphoned and super deep lines, replaced with a much broader palette of sounds, styles and textures. He seems to spent the time away practising and honing his skills all round. 

I don't know how to describe the new style that the album has taken, it's completely original although there are still the disjointed beats, lovely basslines and sharp lyrics. The opening song starts with some timpani drums, a dub siren and some soft female vocals, which are all the last things you would expect. But then the track kicks in and a touch more familiarity comes with it, with Spaceape's vocals reassuring that, yes, this is the same group. 

The rest of the album is equally varied but at the same time still typically Kode9 & Spaceape. I'm sure lot of fans will be disappointed, especially when you consider the direction that dubstep has taken since the last album was released with the clichéd blow-your-face-off wobbly basslines and simple beats barely reinforcing the rhythm, but that is what is so great about Black Sun, it is the opposite of those clichés. The beats are quite complex, the basses are not necessarily the main focus and, above all, there so lots of other layered sounds building up the tracks. 

While maybe not a classic on the first listen, Black Sun is definitely a grower, it seems to get better and better every time you hear it. 


very original track, thanx !

Whoa that's pretty out there. Some very experimental sounds. Awesome video!

"I don't know how to describe the new style that the album has taken, it's completely original although there are still the disjointed beats"
but I like it anyway for it's originality

Black hole suuuuuun won't you come and waaaash awaaaaay the raaaaain. Whoops, wrong song.

I like the cover art for this album though.

I like it. Need to check out more of this band. Thanks.

Following. :)

Hmmm... sounds alright. Dunno if I'd listen to it a whole lot though.

The video is really cool but i really don't like the vocals. instrumentals and vocals do not seem to fit somehow.
The track reminds me of Maddslinky, but I think he's better at making music ;)

Can't say I'm a fan of dubstep, but this song's got something going for it.

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