You slam the door behind you, separating your soaked body from the relentless downpour outside. It’s pitch dark, but you soon find a switch after fumbling your hand along the wall. The massive room is cast in sterile, white light, illuminating a multitude of stainless steel tools and glass containers upon long tables. It’s a laboratory of some sort, but for what purpose? The containers begin to fill with potent, multicolored liquids, and the tools come to life . . .
Nothing. It’s a concept that’s difficult to grasp, and imagining it as inspiration for the creation of music is entirely perplexing. However, it is the common thread that ties this gorgeously heartbreaking record together. Nothing is the newest full-length from producer and Hyperdub label head Steve Goodman, under his Kode9 moniker. Hyperdub has always flourished with electronic innovation, and Goodman follows suit.
The spirit of The Spaceape, Goodman’s longtime collaborator, permeates throughout these tracks and even materializes for a posthumous feature on “Third Ear Transmission.” Goodman honors the recently deceased poet by constructing otherworldly, rhythmically intricate techno and footwork that’s ripe with melancholic melodies and cavernous space for the late wordsmith’s soul to silently inhabit.
The most powerful statement arrives at the very end, in the form of the album’s closer, “Nothing Lasts Forever.” Acting as a modern update to John Cage’s classic “4’33”,” the 11-minute song drifts in the clamor of silence, awash with fuzzy static and faint hints of everyday activity. It’s the purest form of “nothing,” and a beautiful tribute to a friend. If you’re seeking progressive, melancholic techno and footwork, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)