Between his duties as founder of the groundbreaking Hyperdub label, his always forward-thinking DJ sets, and his original productions and remixes, Kode9 has remained at the forefront of underground dance music since the early 2000s. One of the originators of the U.K. dubstep scene, he founded Hyperdub in 2004 and released numerous singles with ragga vocalist Spaceape, as well as full-lengths Memories of the Future (2006) and Black Sun (2011) and mix CD Dubstep Allstars, Vol. 3 (2006). Constantly expanding his horizons, he became an early champion of the juke/footwork scene, in addition to exploring styles such as broken beat, garage, and grime on releases such as solo full-length Nothing (2015) and mix CD Fabriclive 100 (2018, with Burial).
Born Steve Goodman in Glasgow, Scotland, he began DJ'ing in 1990 at age 16 and cites his first encounter with drum'n'bass as a key influence on his future career path. In 1997 he moved to London and continued performing as a DJ, spinning a fusion of breaks- and bass-heavy styles. In 2002 he made his production debut as Kode9 on the Tempa label and proceeded to found his own label, Hyperdub, soon afterward. The debut Hyperdub release, Sine of the Dub (2004), is a dubstep reworking of Prince's "Sign o' the Times" billed to Kode9 and vocalist Daddi Gee, aka the Spaceape, a collaboration that would continue in subsequent years. In 2005 Hyperdub released South London Boroughs, a seminal EP that marked the recording debut of Burial, whose full-length albums Burial (2006) and Untrue (2007) were critically acclaimed and did much to popularize dubstep internationally.
Meanwhile, in addition to running his increasingly popular label, Kode9 continued releasing his own production work on Hyperdub, most notably Memories of the Future (2006), his full-length debut album with the Spaceape. He released his official mix album debut, Dubstep Allstars, Vol. 3 (2006), on Tempa, and followed it four years later with an installment in the !K7 label's long-running DJ-Kicks series. Also an author, he wrote Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear (published in 2009). The anxiety-ridden Black Sun (2011) was Kode9's second album with the Spaceape. In 2013, Kode9 mixed Rinse, Vol. 22 on Rinse Recordings, and released the solo 12" "Xingfu Lu" on Hyperdub. Both of these releases demonstrated the increased influence of the Chicago footwork scene in his music; that same year, Hyperdub also released DJ Rashad's acclaimed Double Cup album. Sadly, 2014 saw the deaths of both DJ Rashad and the Spaceape, who lost his battle with cancer in October, shortly before his final EP with Kode9 (Killing Season) was released. Kode9's debut full-length as a solo artist, Nothing (2015), reflected both of these losses. He concentrated on DJ'ing and running Hyperdub for the next few years, rather than producing, but in 2018, Kode9 and Burial teamed up to assemble Fabriclive 100, the final volume of the long-running mix CD series. ~ Jason Birchmeier