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  • Filed under: Review
  • 05/21/2013

Kode9 Rinse: 22

Rinse: 22 opens with a solid four minutes of Burial's somberly triumphant "Truant," but the hit of atmosphere is a red herring. With the exception of its introduction, Kode9's mix is a neon blur that tears through various UK styles before concluding with a tour through his recent obsessions. Certainly, this is by design: Consistent with the Hyperdub boss' recent XLR8R Pick'd "Xingfu Lu" b/w "Kan" 12", the DJ/producer born Steve Goodman lets his footwork fetish dominate the latter half of his set. (DJ Rashad alone shows up eight times here.) The transition is a bit jarring at first, even running the risk of seeming haphazard, but repeated listens reveal the keen curatorial skills that have kept Hyperdub on the top of the heap for the better part of a decade.

A judicious selection of banner cuts ("Big Room Tech House DJ Tool – TIP!"), as-yet-unreleased gems (like the tantalizingly brief passage from Morgan Zarate's & Roses Gabor's "Pusher Taker"), functional UK funky (Funkystepz's "Vice Versa"), and the occasional odd left turn (Jam City's "Her" preserves its bizarre edge) are all on offer throughout the 37-song tracklist, but it's Kode9's "Uh" that provides the mix with a particularly high point. Clotted, oppressive bass is juxtaposed with rattling streaks of hi-hats to foreshadow the imminent arrival of warp-speed footwork. It also feels like the moment Kode9 decides to switch from offering the listener what they expect to letting them in on his own mutating sense of low end's power. He seems to be finding his way, along some twisted paths, back to an incipient notion of rave. Of course, all the chintzy synth stabs don't hurt "Uh," and rather than breaks, we get some heavily syncopated kicks—but this mix is more about loved-up abandon than urban paranoia. Still, there are shadows; it's just difficult to dwell on the glottal gasps of Cashmere Cat's "Aurora" when the serotonin rush of Rustie's "Triadzz" is on deck to wash it all away.

The most significant metamorphosis during Rinse: 22—from mid-130 bpms to tempos in the neighborhood of 160—gets underway, appropriately enough, when Kode9's own massive "Xingfu Lu" mixes into the lumbering cascade of samples that is RP Boo's "Steamidity." Despite the production's obvious debt to footwork, this new direction for Goodman sounds especially considered—it's nowhere near as deliberately off-kilter as his Midwestern influences. Kode9 navigates carefully through the jungle of hi-hats and beefed-up tempo, making sure to prove that footwork can be just as malleable and emotionally varied as any other genre. The mix is of an expected high quality throughout, but the closest it comes to conveying a sense of surprise is, unsurprisingly enough, when Kode9 smears UK styles into US ones. It's a reminder that the veteran artist is especially talented at mining the spaces between in his own musical endeavors those of others.

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