Steve Goodman, known as Kode9 (born 1973) is a Glasgow-born, London-based electronic music artist, DJ, and owner of the Hyperdub record label. An MC, The Spaceape, was a frequent collaborator. Initially inspired by what he calls the "hardcore continuum", he also draws on dub reggae, and was one of the founding members of the early dubstep scene (which he views as a continuation of developments originally stemming from UK Hardcore). He appeared on the Grime compilation on Rephlex, and released two full-length albums: Memories of the Future and Black Sun (both featuring the Spaceape) on his own label Hyperdub. Kode9 has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Warwick and has published a book, Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear.
Like many dubstep artists, Kode9 comes from a musical background of oldschool jungle, drum and bass, and 2-step garage; he has mentioned his first encounter with jungle, in Edinburgh, as being "the most important musical event of my life". Other genres that are common influences in his work include Dub Reggae, Dancehall (such as toasting), and Indian music (such as in the tabla part on the song "Kingstown").
A move to Warwick and collaboration with the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit at University of Warwick studying rave culture, cybernetics, postmodernism and afrofuturism later led to a memetic philosophy regarding music, which he has spoken about at length in interviews. In the late nineties, Kode9 moved to London, and established a name as a disc jockey in clubs such as FWD>>.
In 2004, Kode9 appeared on the second Grime compilation on Rephlex records. Journalist Derek Walmsley described Kode9's track "Ping":
sample libraries have been plundered for accordions, bells and musique concrète effects reminiscent of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and they are scattered in a beguilingly serene manner that recalls Wu-Tang Productions.
That same year, Kode9 founded Hyperdub records; the first release was Sine of the Dub, a collaboration between Kode9 and Daddy Gee, which was a minimal, loose cover version of Prince's "Sign "O" the Times". Kode9 treated the vocals to fit his idea of their delivery by "a man on his deathbed". Subsequent releases established the label as an important and influential label within the dubstep genre. Hyperdub have since released records such as Burial's self-titled debut album, which The Wire magazine named their number one album of 2006.
Goodman has a Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Warwick and has also worked in academia. As of 2006 he was working at the University of East London as a lecturer in media production, and course tutor for a master's program in sonic culture and taught several musicians, DJ's such as Pixel 82 & Shem Booth-Spain sound/music theory and production. In December 2009, his Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear, a book exploring the uses of acoustic force and how it affects whole populations was published by MIT Press. The book also explores how sound can be deployed to set moods of dread and fear, how sound can be used as torture, as a weapon and as a threat.
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