Kode9 and the Spaceape
Memories of the Future


4.0
excellent

Review

by BeardedTurpulence USER (5 Reviews)
July 31st, 2013 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While [i]Memories of the Future[/i] suffers from a few minor hiccups, it is ultimately an intriguing and eclectic offering from one of the founding fathers of dubstep in the UK.

As 2006 started to wane, Steve Goodman could very easily have just called the year a success and settled down. He had recently earned a Ph.D. in philosophy, his budding label Hyperdub had just released its first ever album - Burial’s self-titled debut - to overwhelming acclaim, and he was holding regular lectures on sonic culture and media production at the University of East London. Deck accomplished, right? Fortunately for us, Goodman’s busy year had little effect on the work of his DJ alias Kode9, and late 2006 saw the release of Memories of the Future, an eclectic and brooding collaboration with enigmatic MC The Spaceape.

Musically, Memories is artfully diverse; it weaves an impressive array of emotions and styles from a sparse soundscape. By turns it roils and seethes, rolls and slides, rocks and sways, all the while maintaining a simple but distinctive percussive palette. Where “Glass” meanders and creeps over a bare-bones backbeat, “Backward” marches resolutely across the throaty wash of ride cymbal, and while “Curious” stutters along under the weight of metallic clicks and dissonant wheezes, “Kingstown” practically floats atop echoing tabla. On standout track “9 Samurai” (one of only two tracks that does not feature The Spaceape’s spoken philosophizing), Goodman is in top form, carefully layering a soft tribal cadence over distant swells of brass and insidious bass frequencies sure to rattle even the most mediocre speaker system.

Vocally, Spaceape brings an intriguing component to Kode9’s music. His voice is a smoldering bassline of its own, adding an angular fluctuation to each track and deepening the rhythmic variance of Memories. Spoken word can be surprisingly versatile, as the MC demonstrates with a reggaeton inflection (“Portal”), sinister invocations (“Bodies”), or even a tremulous whisper (the excellent “Correction”). The album is also lyrically satisfying, with The Spaceape’s gloomy meditations running a gamut of defiance, paranoia, social alienation, and even infatuation (“You and me/ What did that mean?/ I tried hard to master your language but could only manage colloquialisms...” [from "Correction"]).

Sadly, Spaceape seems either unwilling or unable to expand into more dichotomous styles of vocalization, leaving him rather hard pressed to match Kode9’s amorphous production, and rendering his component of the album a little flat as Memories progresses. Furthermore, some of the ideas present simply do not work; “Addiction” is merely a lyrical reiteration of “Portal” with some of the words omitted (which is as thrilling as it sounds), and the truly mediocre “Nine” repeats the titular number so often it dwindles into an apocalyptic grocery list (“Nine days of pain…nine days drained…” [from "Nine"]). These moments are disappointing, but they are also very rare and by no means detract from the majority of the album (which is superb). The truly frustrating thing about their scarcity is that they could just as easily have been another stellar offering, and these little hiccups keep Memories of the Future from becoming a truly incredible experience.


user ratings (58)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
oltnabrick
July 31st 2013


40610 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is really good. i had a hard time getting used to spaceape's vocals at first

Aids
July 31st 2013


24473 Comments


break those paragraphs up and maybe add some italics for album titles (do that by with (i) (/i) tags, but use [] ), but other than those technicalities, nice first review. props for reviewing this. sputnik needs a lot more love for stuff like this. I saw Kode9 last year and it was mental, so nice to see that stuff every once in a while where I live (Canada).

clercqie
July 31st 2013


6525 Comments


As much as people tend to complain about Spaceape's vocals, I really like the mesmerizing sound of his voice.

Nice first review man. Welcome to the site!

BeardedTurpulence
July 31st 2013


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the feedback guys! And thanks for the tip Aids; I was wondering how to do italics n stuff

Bassclef
March 25th 2014


4 Comments


Hey Guys, it gets its Vinyl release for this years Record Store Day, just sayin´.
Just pre-ordered.

GhandhiLion
May 4th 2021


17626 Comments


bumpstep

Sharenge
February 11th 2022


4710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as a child, I was always happy-go-lucky

as a man, I believe I am just plain lucky

Sharenge
November 27th 2022


4710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sine o' da times

gon' mess wit your mind

you better 'urry before it's too late

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
May 6th 2023


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

average bump whoops shit yes

Ryus
May 6th 2023


36074 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i didnt have this rated tf



two legends

DadKungFu
Contributing Reviewer
May 6th 2023


4531 Comments


Man I miss old-school dubstep

Deez
May 6th 2023


10280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

word, a golden time



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