All posts tagged hyperdub

Wood & Wires Afterhours: Ikonika

Published October 31, 2013 by subcultureshanghai


Ikonika 2

Only 2 more days now until the Guinness Wood & Wires Festival Afterhours! Here’s a bit of info on one of the acts we are most looking forward to, Hyperdub’s Ikonika!

Sara Abdel-Hamid aka Ikonika from South West London grew up listening to hardcore and post punk while her elder sisters obsessed about hip hop. So for her, Dilla and Dillinger Escape Plan were next-door neighbours from the get-go. After starting out producing hip hop, the dubstep bug bit her hard in 2006. Her musical tastes, ranging from Pretty Girls Make Graves to Burial, are reflected in her music: not in any kind of forced fusion of sounds, but in productions that move from the sweetly melodic to atonal clang effortlessly. This approach made her a natural addition to the Hyperdub roster, with Kode9 first inviting her to release a 12″ on the label before he coaxed her into thinking about what an Ikonika album might sound like. The results are as odd and iconic as anyone might have wished for. After further singles for Planet Mu and Hyperdub, she went on to release one of the best albums of 2010 ‘Contact, Love, Want, Have’, receiving glowing reviews from The Guardian, BBC, NME, FACT, Resident Advisor, Pitchfork among many more. In 2013 she released her second full length for Hyperdub, Aerotropolis, pushing her sound even further to create the perfect follow up to a near perfect debut.

Equally accomplished is Ikonika the DJ. Her technical proficiency has taken her to bookings at clubs and festivals all across the world. Her live and studio sets journey from classic House and Techno, to RnB bangers, to the freshest sounds of the underground. Her talent was recognised by DJ Mag with nominations for ‘Best Breakthrough DJ’ of 2009 and ‘Best DJ’ of 2010, in their ‘Best Of British’ awards. Ikonika also runs the label Hum + Buzz with Optimum (Night Slugs/Planet Mu). As well as releasing singles from the owners, it focuses on introducing bright new talent.


Saturday 2nd November

Guiness Wood & Wires Festival Afterhours – presented by Sub-Culture & Split Works

10.30pm till late – tickets 80rmb on the door

@ QSW Culture Center No. 179 Yichang Road near Jiangning Road

Locked In – King Midas Sound DJ Set – This Saturday

Published March 15, 2012 by subcultureshanghai


For Sub-Culture’s 4th anniversary last December, we were very lucky to have Kode9 agree to play a special set of Burial’s music early in the evening, as well as his Kode9 set later in the night. For the Burial set, we opened The Shelter one hour early (at 9pm) and at 10pm we locked the doors of The Shelter, turned off the lights, turned off the mobile phone signal and from 10 – 11pm, those who were lucky enough to get in on time experienced a very special and intimate hour of music. The response to this was great, and we had around 150 people inside the club for the set, and around 50 people outside who had arrived too late and had to wait until 11pm for the doors to reopen (the reason for turning off the phone signal is we didn’t want ourselves or the other people inside the club to get bombarded by phone calls and texts asking to get them in).  It was a full hour of uninterrupted, beautifully dark music with everyone in attendance knowing what they we’re coming to experience.



We said we would only do this again when an opportunity came to do something equally special. Now that time has come. As you probably know, The Bug and Daddy Freddy are our guests for this month’s Sub-Culture. The Bug is one of the many pseudonyms of Kevin Martin, the multi talented frequency-fiend from the UK. As well as ‘The Bug’, Kevin’s other current project is King Midas Sound, a group consisting of Kiki Hitomi (Dokebi Q), poet Roger Robinson and himself. Signed to Kode 9’s Hyperdub, Ming Midas Sound released one of 2009’s best albums – ‘Waiting For You’, and their incredible 2011 remix project ‘Without You’, which included reworks by Flying Lotus, Mala, Kode9 and Kuedo to name but a few.  Much deeper than ‘The Bug’, beautifully heavy and hauntingly cerebral, the KMS sound has morphed and progressed over the last few years and is a serious force to be reckoned with.



So, this Saturday night, with Kevin already in town, we thought we would bring a little something extra to the table to make this, already immense event, just that bit more special. For the first time ever, Kevin will be playing a DJ set under the King Midas Sound banner.  It is something that he is very excited about as we were the first people to ever suggest this (they usually play live) and so he is planning to make this debut something to remember. Dark drones, warped pop, ambient sound scapes and more, this is an exclusive chance to hear where the King Midas Sound came from, and where its heading.



As with our last lock in, doors to The Shelter open at 9pm with a very special warm up act (to be announce soon), and at 10pm the doors will be locked and its lights out, with doors reopening at 11pm. During the set you are welcome to leave The Shelter, but re-admittance will not be allowed until 11pm. This is a very special set and will not be repeated in Shanghai again, do not miss!

Sub-Culture Anniversary Pt. 2 – The Full Line Up

Published December 9, 2011 by subcultureshanghai


The final part of the Sub-Culture 4 year anniversary and the last Sub-Culture of 2011 is almost here, and we welcome back one of our favorite guests and head of one of our favourite record labels – Hyperdub’s KODE9!

As well as his always stunning DJ sets, as a special treat for our anniversary we are very excited to announce that KODE9 will also be playing a set of music by Burial from 10pm – 11pm. The doors to The Shelter will open one hour earlier than usual, at 9pm, and will remain open for one hour. At 10pm the doors will be closed, noone will be allowed in or out, the lights will be turned off and for the next hour you will hear new and unreleased music from ne of modern electronic music’s most celebrated artists – Burial. Please arrive before 10pm, this will be a very special experience and one which will not be repeated in Shanghai.

Here are the full details of the nights proceedings:


9pm – 10pm: R3 + VJ Chromaphase


R3 is one of the conspirators behind STD, one of China’s biggest independent promotion groups, as well as part owner of the newly opened Arcade bar on FuXing Lu. For his Sub-Culture debut, and also his final set of the year before he goes back home to sit on his arse and play playstation for a month or so, he will be steering away from his usual electro-nonsense and warm up the evening with a set of ambient and downbeat music along side visuals from VJ Chromaphase.

Designer and multi-support artist VJ Chromaphase has been VJing with French indie trip-hop group The Wipping Willow since 2007 and has performed all over Europe and Asia. This will be Chromaphase’s debut performance in The Shelter.


****Doors will close at 10pm****


10pm – 11pm: KODE9 plays Burial


Burial is one of modern electronic music’s most prolific and individual artists. Both his self-titled debut album and his Mercury award nominated second album ‘Untrue’ are certified classics and his recent collaborations with artists such as For-Tet, Thom Yorke and Massive Attack have caused serious waves in the electronic music scene around the world. Burial has not, and will most likely never perform live or DJ in public. The only person who can play a set of new, unreleased Burial music is Hyperdub label owner, and Burial’s manager, KODE9, but this in itself is not something which happens every day. KODE9 has only played a Burial set a handful of times, has never done this in the UK, and will only do so in special locations or occasions, such as the stunning Teatro Carignano in Turin in 2010 and to 5000 people at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona in 2011. Luckily for us, the idea of playing a Burial set in total darkness in a 2nd World War bomb shelter in Shanghai appeals to him and we are incredibly excited and honored to announce that he has agreed to play a one hour set of Burial’s music for our 4 year anniversary. This is maybe the 5th time this has ever happened world wide, certainly the only time it will ever happen in Shanghai, and more than likely the only time it will happen in Asia.


****Doors will reopen at 11pm****


11pm – 12pm: dji + George Wyndham (Harmonica) + Nick Muzyczka (Melodica)


Quebec’s dji is one of the original members of Uprooted Sunshine/ Sub-Culture and has been djing in Shanghai for over 6 years. Known for his deep, sub heavy dub music, he always warms up the dance in the best way possible. Joining dji for this special anniversary set will be Uprooted’s newest member George Wyndham, on live harmonica, and Nick Muzyczka on Melodica. Dji and George stunned the crowd at Uprooted’s recent appearance in Manila, and with the addition of the very talented Nick on Melodica, get ready for some heavy dubbed out vibes.


12pm – 1am: Steven Lorenz + Didje


Steven Lorenz is the newest addition to the Sub-Culture crew and over the last 2 years has honed his style and taste and has become an integral part of the Sub-Culture line up. Originally more into the straight up dance-floor style of Dubstep, recently he has got much deeper into the sound and his recent sets have been deep, dark and heavy, just how we like it! Think producers such as Pinch, Kryptic Minds, Vivek, Biome, etc and you get an idea of his sound. With his own productions with the Intransik Beats crew getting releases on multiple labels around the world, Steven’s sets always deliver.

Joining Steven will be soldier of positivity, man of one hundred voices and Sub-Culture veteran MC Didje. Didje has been around these parts for many years and has hosted some of the biggest events Shanghai has seen. His latest project with Demokracy’s Damscray entitled ‘Original Fools’ is about the blow up, and his recordings with Uprooted, Jahtari, Mungo’s HiFi and many more have been some of the best music to come out of Shanghai. Paired up with Steven Lorenz, expect some deadly Dubstep styles!


1am – 3am: Kode9 + ChaCha


Although born in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, Kode9 is genetically a junglist. He started DJing in 1990 at the age of 16, playing a fusion of reggae, breaks, hip hop, jazz, funk and house. He was subsequently swept up by the emergence of the breakbeat hardcore, jungle and drum’n’bass scenes, and has been rinsin’ breaks, ragga chat and bubblin’ basslines ever since. DJing across the UK during the 90s, from Edinburgh, to Coventry, Kode9 migrated to London in 1997, suffering infection to darker strains of the emergent 2step garage scene, and after forming his label/collective Hyperdub in 2004, electronic music would never be the same again.

With a roster of people including Burial, Ikonika, The Bug, King Midas Sound, Darkstar, Zomby and many, many more, Hyperdub consistently puts out some of the most forward thinking and futuristic music out there. His latest album Black Smoke, which saw him once again together with The Spaceape and also included 4 tracks with Shanghai’s own ChaCha, took Kode9’s sound even further and cemented his, already huge, place in electronic music. A true pioneer and manipulator of soundwaves, once you’ve experienced one of Kode 9’s set, you will never be the same again!

Joining Kode9, fresh off her trip to Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid and Worldtronics festival in Berlin, will be the mind-melting voice of ChaCha. Very little is needed to be said about ChaCha. Uprooted Sunshine, AM444, KarmaKoma, collaberations with Kode9, Adrian Sherwood, Desto, Jimi Tenor, The Bug, Jahtari, Clive Chin, RSD and many, many more, ChaCha is the most prolific underground artist to come out of China in recent years. ChaCha has recorded and released multiple tracks with Kode9, and this night will see some of these tracks performed live for the very first time along side the man himself!


3am – 4am: Heatwolves


Ex-Baijiu Roboter and current Love Banger, Heatwolves has brought something to the Shanghai scene that its always missed….more Gucci Mane and Dipset! His sets cover everything from Dubstep and House to Footwork and Dirty South Hip-Hop, and his latest release with DJ Caution entitled ‘Super Ayi Cleaning Team’ saw a release party that blew the hinges off Dada Bar and brought together the sounds of bubblegum Chinese pop and dirty Witch House vibes, the perfect combination! Pure energy party vibes!


4am – 5am: Drunk Monk

That slightly scruffy, drunk guy you see at Shelter quite a lot.


Limited amounts of the Sub-Culture 4th Anniversary Poster by Nini Sum will be available on the night, as well as the last remaining Sub-Culture T-Shirts designed by Gregor Koerting. See you Saturday!!

Kode9 & The Spaceape – Black Sun – Out this week!!

Published April 11, 2011 by subcultureshanghai


After a long wait, the new album by Kode9 and The Spaceape – Black Sun is released this week and up for pre-order now. As we mentioned before, the album features Sub-Culture’s own ChaCha on 4 of the tracks, and also a collaboration with Flying Lotus! We’ve had the promo for a few weeks now and it gets better with every listen (and it was amazing on the first listen!!). Here’s what Boomkat has to say about the album:


‘Five years on from their debut album, Kode 9 and The Space Ape present another riveting missive from the underground on ‘Black Sun’. Since the release of ‘Memories Of The Future’ in 2006, Kode has adopted the mantle of UK Bass shamen, with a cardboard box for a headdress and the most forward/backward/sideways record case in the world, besides heading up a celebrated DJ Kicks session and A&Ring the impeccable Hyperdub label. All this has fed forward into ‘Black Sun’, twelve tracks of nextisms spanning myriad tempos and incorporating the influences of Chinese producer/MC, Cha Cha and an outstanding collaboration with Flying Lotus. OK, so you’ve probably gathered we’re avowed Kode 9 fans but ‘Black Sun’ has just exceeded our already high expectations. From the doom-laced intro of ‘Black Smoke’ he’s tweaking our endocrinal system with acrid Bubblin’ synth licks, urgent lyrics and martial rhythms begging the question “fight or flight?”. Stick around for ‘Promises’ and the contrast is acute, menace dissipated and replaced with lusciously artificial cybeR’n’Bass vibes followed into ‘Love Is The Drug’, adhering to a formula of dissonant synth cadence and dismantled House patterns spawned by his original ‘Black Sun’ 12″ back in 2009, itself re-kinked here as the ace ‘Black Sun (Partial Eclipse)’. However, the best tracks are those which take up Timbaland’s rhythmic ideas (before he became a muscle bound pop goon). The synapse-triggering drums and paranoid tension of ‘Neon Red Sign’ is just exquisite, especially when Cha Cha and Space Ape find the same crease, while ‘The Cure’ uses similar patterns in a bleepier context, spliced with deft techno stabs for the dance, and then there’s the junglist tuck-and-roll of ‘Otherman’, the hip-synched wriggle of ‘Green Son’ or the Grime-jacked force of ‘Bullet Against Bone’. Sh*t, we’ve not even mentioned the brilliantly woozy harmonic tunings that really define this album, but this is getting long now and you’ve probably got better things to do. Take it on trust or find out for yourself, either way this album is just completely essential.’

Kode9 & The Spaceape – Otherman/Love Is The Drug (feat ChaCha) – Out now!

Published March 31, 2011 by subcultureshanghai


The lead 12″ from Kode9 and Spaceape’s forthcoming album ‘Black Sun’ has just dropped into the record shops, with the stunning ‘Otherman’ backed with ‘Love Is The Drug’ feat ChaCha- two deadly tracks from the superb follow up to 2006’s ‘Memories Of The Future’!!

From Boomkat:

‘Hyperdub’s head honcho serves a first taster of his forthcoming ‘Black Sun’ LP with two mystikal entries featuring Space Ape and Cha Cha. Furthering his new, up-stepping sound from the ’09 single ‘Black Sun’, A-side ‘Otherman’ sails in on signature, wheezing melodica surrounded by melting synth drones before Tech-stepped swing drums and cone-imploding subs suck the air from the room, perhaps explaining Spaceape’s breathless, distanced vocal. Flipside, ‘Love Is The Drug’ introduces Cha Cha, an MC/Singer from Guizhou, China and in possession of a superbly sultry, spectral delivery, over a sleeker, heavy rolling riddim matched with melancholy synthlines twisted into mournful cadences. It’s standardly moody Kode 9 business and a class tease for the album (which is absolutely ace, as it goes). Really into this – highly recommended.’

Kode9 and The Spaceape: Otherman / Love is the Drug (Feat Cha Cha)

Published February 17, 2011 by subcultureshanghai

HYP010: Kode9 and The SpaceapeOtherman / Love is the Drug (Feat Cha Cha)

Release Date: 4th April 2011

These two songs make up the lead single from Kode9 and the Spaceape’s second album ‘Black’ Sun’. Coming from oblique angles, these two songs introduce the breadth of the album.

Otherman opens with a sombre, arpeggiated march built from wavering analogue synth drones, lulling the listener until Spaceape’s cracked communique interrupts the flow with downtrodden descriptions, wrapped around lop-sided rhythms. Sombre, flatline funk.

Love is the Drug features the vocals of Cha Cha, a singer from Shanghai, who guests across 4 tracks from the album. Love is the Drug operates on a raw emotional level, over a droning synth and an aggressively coiling drum pattern with the sound of a pumping heartbeat at the centre. Cha Cha’s vocals drift into a sensual pattern as the melody sours under her, before confirming the suffocation of love, with Spaceape whispering over her shoulder.

Black Sun is released on 14th of April CD / LP / Digital


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