Last Wednesday was Hyperdubs long awaited turn to carry the torch of Tiger’s "Hidden Depths" series of nights and needless to say they performed their role amicably with the artistic integrity we have all come to expect from the innovative imprint. Make no mistake about it, the night was more akin to a tastefully curated exhibition of sound then your conventional Koko night.
We were welcomed into the auditorium with Laurel Halo’s wails of lament and we instantly took up our vantage point on the balcony overlooking the stage where we were instantly mesmerized by this seemingly harmless hippiesh looking girl taking such an informed command of her gear and singlehandedly conjuring up such a undeniably avant-garde atmosphere.
It was a beautiful thing to watch, her music that is, the organic and haunting vocals were effortlessly projected to the four corners of the venue and the crowd were obviously taken back by her torrent of achingly honest music which manifested itself in their collective silence and awe.
Next up to take the centre stage was a barefooted Cooly G ready to demonstrate the fresh material from her new album, Playin Me.
There was an undeniable sense of vulnerability to her performance, which made it that more endearing to watch, she was totally honest and opened herself to the crowd irrespective of how nervous she was feeling and for that I have nothing but admiration, as did the crowd.
She soon warmed up and her soulful voice mixed with her elegant production made for a welcome step up in mood from the melancholy vibe left behind by Laurel, only for Scratcha D to come on to the stage and usher the night along its designated trajectory of progression.
He started off playing his unique take on UK dance music from his last album Pretty Ugly, with the help of an ensemble of talented female vocalists that were scattered throughout the record such as Zaki Ibrahim, Natalie Maddix and Alisha Lee, all of which did a stellar job complimenting each other with their distinct styles and voices.
Being the host that he is, he felt the audiences desire to release their built up energy from the vocal heavy performances of the night on to the dancefloor, because as great as their music was, it wasn’t the type of stuff to work the crowd into a frenzy of intense sweaty dancing.
Once he switched to the decks table everything changed, the epic yet imposing sounds of the final song on his album “Where I Belong” were dissipated in his bombardment of heavy bangers that soon turned our area of the balcony into an impromptu dancefloor.
As much as his beats floated our boat it never pushed us to join the masses in the standing area, which is more of a testament to our snobiness rather than Scratcha’s DJ mastery, that was soon about to change with the arrival of Kode 9 his infamous emcee, Spaceape.
Kode 9’s sonic onslaught finally forced us to the dancefloor were we assimilated ourselves into the rapt crowds and quickly lost ourselves in the hypnotising combination of Kode 9’s dope beats and Spaceape’s dark stream of consciousness musings.
After a series of rich and layered sets, it was finally time for Hyperdub to say goodbye which they did by bringing on the impressive American talents of DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn, whose hardcore take on bass orientated music worked whoever remained in the audience into a fever, me and my friend included
All in all the night was a refined sample of Hyperdubs' unique appeal and a reminder to everyone why they are at the forefront of electronic music exploration and experimentation and will continue to be in the foreseeable future.