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mo' fidelity | December 10, 2018

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Hyperdub 10.2 (2014)

Hyperdub 10.2
Nevyana Boycheva

Hyperdub is not a name that we usually associate with low quality music. One could say that Hyperdub is more of an institution now instead of just a record label – an institution for releasing genre-defying exciting innovative electronic music.

From the incredible Burial with his darker than darkness 2-step beats to the sweet Ikonika and her merciless synth compositions to DJ Rashad and his frenetic sample-heavy juke madness, Hyperdub has layed the ground for some of the most talented artists of our time, kick-starting the life of several genre crazes – from dubstep to the so-called future garage and everything in between.

For a label to be so strong it must have a strong lead and in Hyperdub’s case this is Kode9 whose standards are uncompromising both when it comes to selecting the next hot sound for the label as well as his own bass-heavy productions.

This year, as you without a doubt have already heard, Hyperdub celebrates its 10th anniversary. That’s 10 great years and a plethora of forward-thinking artists, quite diverse in their sound, but at the same time carrying the unmistakable Hyperdub feel.

The birthday year is celebrated both with a lot of shows all over the world and a compilation series of four instalments, two of which are already out. 10.1 was released in June and exhibited the label’s darker side with tracks by Kuedo, Mala, Kode9 and Ikonika, as well as a number of juke bangers by Hyperdub’s Chicago comrades DJ Spinn, DJ Rashad, DJ Taye, DJ Earl and DJ Taso.

10.2 is another thing though. It’s filled with tender female voices over sexy electronica, thus making for a nice mixture of top-notch producers and classy vocalists. This is a totally different side of the Hyperdub label, but those who have been following their roster have probably noticed some really strong ladies at the Hyperdub camp.

The lovely queen of synths Ikonika is one of the absolute icons of the label, but don’t be mistaken – her music could hardly be deemed ‘feminine’ as it’s comprised of heavy kick-ass beats and sinister synth symphonies. Her contribution to the compilation is a re-work of ‘Mr. Cake’, a track from her second LP ’Aerotropolis’.

There’s a big surprise for everybody here – what better upgrade for Ikonika’s sun-drenched synths in Mr Cake than Dam-Funk’s velvet voice? This guy is a truly amazing talent, not just production-wise but also vocal-wise and with him joining, the track is transformed into the ultimate electro summer love jam. It goes ‘I know that you are the one…’ and we can’t help but sing along!

Another absolute favourite that we have in the Hyperdub female camp is Jessy Lanza, whose fresh vocals are usually layed on just the kind of electronic instrumentals we adore so much – bass-heavy and delving deep into the musical hotchpotch that is the music of the UK nowadays, using different influences to create something truly original.

Another pretty cool lady featured on Hyperdub 10.2 is Cooly G, whose gangsta R&B sound on ‘Obsessed’ is so addictive I can’t stop nodding my head to it.

Further on we have producer Morgan Zarate with two great singers – Cinematic Orchestra’s ESKA and Roses Gabor whom we know from SBTRKT’s debut album.

The lovely Fatima is featured on a DVA track and Burial’s classic ‘Shell of Light’ is included as well, its sensual samples and warm beat taking the listener to a different dimension…

Hyperdub 10.2 exhibits a different side of a great and diverse label which in the course of 10 years have managed to establish itself as a cornerstone in the world’s electronic scene.

Here we’re able to hear that Kode9 has signed not just talented producers and vocalists with beautiful voices but also skilled songwriters contributing to the diversity and charm of the Hyperdub sound.

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