Kode9 :: Rinse: 22 (Rinse)

British beat and bass avantgarde and head of touchstone Hyperdub label, is notably partial to its darker, miry side, and despite opening with an exemplary track by poster-boy Burial, feeds out increasingly rapid-paced stuff on this mix CD, thirty-seven tracks over a breakneck sixty-five minutes, wrapping up with a showcase of recent signing DJ Rashad, who appears on most of the ten final cuts.

My body can’t ignore the beat, but my brain can no longer keep track of the genres, so the curious reader will have to consult the recognized resident advisors to sort them all out. Steve “Kode9” Goodman, curator and theorist of the pointiest end of the British beat and bass avantgarde and head of touchstone Hyperdub label, is notably partial to its darker, miry side, and despite opening with an exemplary track by poster-boy Burial, feeds out increasingly rapid-paced stuff on this mix CD, thirty-seven tracks over a breakneck sixty-five minutes, wrapping up with a showcase of recent signing DJ Rashad, who appears on most of the ten final cuts. Kode9 also peels the cellophane off three new tracks of his own, “Uh,” “Xingfu Lu” and “Kan.”

It’s a sprawling catalog of the latest post-dubstep. post-rave, grime, house with any number of prefixes, and variegated styles identified as “new jungle, juke, UK funky, trashy neon, trap and Chicago footwork.” Despite the complicated taxonomy, how effortlessly each piece jumps onto the back of the next. Commentators claim the dance scene has fractured into countless micro-scenes since the dawning of the ’10s, but then again, what hasn’t? Ours is a world of a billion islands of fandom. At least this selection makes foxy hedgehogs of us all, to mess up the elegant analogy of Isaiah Berlin, helping us, for a moment, to know a lot about one thing by providing a coherent framework.

Goodman’s catholic taste is matched by solid skill and sound hypothesis, providing in Rinse: 22 what he calls a selection of “rhythmically sophisticated,” ostensibly club and street music that immediately becomes the one-stop reference point for what´s vibrant and right here right now—basically “a slow bass underpinning, with those double time drums and percussion on top.”

Despite the warp speed, the atmosphere is largely noir and unsettling. Things slip however into giddiness with Cashmere Cat’s “Aurora,” a chance but unwelcome meeting between close-mouth silliness and overglitzy synth on the turntable, and the following clutch of tracks feels like Benny Hill comic relief, before the edgy looped strings of RP Boo’s “Steamidity” pulls the brim of its fedora back down over its eyes. As the end approaches (though still half an hour off), DJ Rashad takes centerstage. Representing a scene whose favorite party steroid is a cocktail of codeine and sprite, Rashad smithereens Stevie Wonder and recent r’n’b singles into insane collages. It’s hard to love to shards, but easy to feel a bit of the shock of the new.

I suspect Kode9’s set will both enthrall and enrage the “hardcore continuum,” but for us ordinary mortals, it’s a cornucopia of what people think with their brains about their feet.

Rinse 22 is available on Rinse.

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