Praise You: a Kode9 tribute mix by Shy One

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There aren’t many London DJs who can condense the music heritage of their hometown as well as Shy One. Jazz, soul and hip-hop on one end and broken beat, garage, grime, footwork, dubstep and DnB on the other, she manages to synthesise parts that don’t readily attract across her sets and productions. When it comes to bridging disparate sounds, few model better than Kode9, Hyperdub leader and forger of an enviable discography. Shy pays tribute with an hour plus mix of his work and unpacks why he’s made such an impact on her creative output.

Shy One plays Patterns, Brighton on 18th January.

Why does Kode9’s music mean so much to you?

Probably to do with the time I discovered it, or it found me. I had gotten into dubstep and it was that change over from grime into dubstep. Not that everyone had to do that but it happened in this bridging for me, getting into a different genre of music that then would influence my production and work its way into my sets. But also because Kode’s stuff was always a bit hybrid-y. It was always a bit…like Scratcha’s stuff in a way, pushing the envelope a bit.

What makes a Kode9 record so unique?

Nowadays, definitely since he’s been doing footwork , it’s his drums. 100% his drums and how he changes his drum patterns and sometimes the time signatures.

When did you first hear Kode9’s music and what impact did it have on you?

I can’t remember exactly when. I feel like it would probably have been introduced to me by Scratcha and this would have probably been in 2006/7. The impact…it was huge. I remember going to a record shop with my iPod because I downloaded one of Kode’s FWD mixes…yeah, I remember this! I’m lying. I don’t think it was Scratcha I think it was just through listening to Rinse and downloading FWD sets. It had a huge impact on me, to the point where I travelled all the way in to central London and made Dappa (of Rinse FM, who worked at Uptown Records in Soho) listen to part of the set to ID me a track that was Kode’s from his own set, and then I was just hunting. He just sent me off on this new quest to discover more of this music that he was making.

What’s your most sacred Kode9 record and why?

It would definitely be ‘Curious’ with Spaceape. That was actually the tune that I went hunting for, made someone listen to in a record shop. He played the instrumental in his set but it’s that tune. There’s something about the chords, the accordion or organ, whatever he uses in it. The emotion in that tune is just incredible. It hypnotised me.

How did you approach this mix? What did you want it to say about Kode9?

I didn’t really want to say anything. I just wanted to celebrate some of his tunes over the last ten-ish years, to celebrate a bit of his journey. I know that sounds a bit naff but that was it really. I play tunes from his latest album, starting from his first single and EP releases I think.

How has Kode9 impacted you as a producer?

He’s definitely influenced my use of accordions in some of my grime and early, more electronic productions, so like 2006-08. My first ever release, ‘Untitled 9’, has accordions in it and that was straight up influenced by that ‘Curious’ track and then another tune of his with CASISDEAD has got accordion in it again and that was probably from hearing Kode use it.

What would you say is Kode9’s biggest legacy?

Well, without discrediting him as an artist I would say Hyperdub, but that’s a hard one. I’m not a huge dubstep bro but his early days in dubstep and what he did for that whole genre.


Lee Perry Vs. Kode9 – Yellow Tongue (dub)
Kode9 & The Spaceape – This Love The Drug Ft. Cha Cha
Kode9 – Black Sun
Kode9 – Babylon (dub mix)
Kode9 – Uh
Kode9 – Ghost Town
Massive Music – Find My Way (Kode9 Remix)
Kode9 – Magnetic City
Kode9 Vs LD – Bad
Kode9 – Xingfu Lu (Helix Remix)
Kode9 & The Spaceape – 9 Samurai
Kode9 & The Spaceape – Neon Red Sign Ft. Cha Cha
Kode9 & The Spaceape – Curious
Kode9 & the Spaceape – Quantum
Kode9 – Confusion (dub)
Kode9 & the Spaceape – Time Patrol
Kode9 & The Spaceape – Abeng
Kode9 – Just Inside
Burial – Rodent (Kode9 Remix)
Kode9 & The Spaceape – Black Smoke Ft. Cha Cha
Kode9 – Void
Kode9 – Vacuum Packed
Kode9 – Kan
Mr Fingers – Spy (Kode9 Remix)

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More Shy One on STW:
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Shy One plays Patterns, Brighton on 18th January.

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