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Kode9 – You Don’t Wash review

Hot on the heels of his DJ-Kicks compilation, which was released last month on !K7 Records, Hyperdub boss Steve Goodman (aka Kode9) takes one of the exclusively made tracks from the aforementioned album and teams up with long-term collaborator Spaceape to give it a bit of a vocal touch up and a new breath of life for the darker, more intelligent side of the dancefloor.

The quaint, hypnotic cowbell tinkling and richly blended intro of “You Don’t Wash” sits well with the husky, murmuring, slightly MC Kemo-esque lyrics courtesy of Spaceape. The ghost of Kode9’s jungle past creeps in from time to time, keeping things vibrant throughout the silky smooth, rippling flow of the track. Echoing prophetically into the emerging tune with a perfectly placed series of siren bleeps, blowing horns and funky SFX, the words become just as much a part of the melody as the soca riddims and future garage synthy haze (a sort of inadvertent nod to Joker-crossed with-Joy Orbsion’s “Hyph Mngo”). They are merged into the fabric of the music with a shimmering translucence, rather like a finely crafted watercolour painting. Spaceape’s lyrical contribution does not revolutionise the track particularly, or change it beyond recognition, but instead serves to enhance what is already there, and as a result, “You Don’t Wash” resonates deep into the musical consciousness long after it has finished playing. Belinda Rowse