For Hyperdub founder Kode9, aka Scotland-born, London-based producer Steve Goodman, dance music and futuristic philosophy are inextricable, and their bond appears especially tight on Escapology, his first album since 2015’s Nothing. The LP serves as the soundtrack to Goodman’s evolving multimedia project Astro-Darien, a science-fiction narrative about British colonialism, Scotland’s history in the slave trade, and the future of space travel. Though those themes may not be immediately apparent in the music itself, there’s no mistaking the avant-garde nature of Goodman’s off-world fantasies. Where Kode9 has historically danced on the fringes of styles like dubstep and UK funky, here he largely leaves the club behind, teasing flickering stretches of footwork-inspired rhythms (“The Break Up,” “Angle of Re-Entry”) and then letting them dissolve in glistening pools of beatless, atonal synths. Rather than causing whiplash, though, these unexpected transitions only draw you deeper into the album’s labyrinthine dimensions, bringing Goodman’s imaginary world vividly to life.

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