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Over at eMusic, I talk to Kode9 about "D-step," going funky, and the shadow of the Internet. After the jump, a few short bits from the cutting-room floor.

Q: Hardcore continuum sounds have often been resistant to the 4/4 beat, preferring extreme degrees of swing and syncopation, whether by using breakbeats or programming rhythms inspired by them. After years of 4/4-phobia, why are the beat patterns of classic house inspiring so many producers across funky, dubstep, etc.?

Kode9: I find personally it goes in cycles of five years, where I'll come back to more house orientated rhythms. I'm in one of those zones right now, but the 4/4 I go for is always a little lean-up or lopsided.

A lot of UK dance music has tended to pride itself on its rough-hewn qualities -- musicians readily admit to bashing their music out on Playstations or Fruity Loops. The scene doesn't seem as in thrall to gear fetishism and analog purism as techno, for instance. And yet on the music's margins, the principals of bass immersion and sonic futurism would seem to run counter to the on-the-cheap, anything-goes ethic. How do you see this opposition playing out?

I'm not a purist, and use plenty of plug-ins, but yeah, I'd rather use an analog synth that has its own way of being out of tune, where programming it is not based on buttons but sliders and knobs. Most of the synths on my recent stuff such as "Black Sun" and "Bad" and the forthcoming album is analog. There is an intimacy with the electricity that you get with analog synths that is a lot of fun to play with. Regarding futurism, as far as I'm concerned, any notion of futurism that goes against the on-the-cheap ethic is ready for the bin. I've never really bought those cold, hi-tech, gleaming notions of futurism. I've always just understood it as the shock of the new, and we all know that the way to get to the "new" is to use things and bodies in ways they weren't intended, and not merely to upgrade to the latest technologically enhanced version.

Bongos. They're divisive. I get the sense that many listeners can't see beyond their overdetermined signifying properties—as markers of exoticism, tropicalism, etc. They're deemed cheesy by association with mainstream (American) funky house, etc. And yet they're central to UK funky, just as they've been central to the minimal scene's turn back to deep house. Dubstep, likewise, seems very much about signs and references. I think of a track like "Sign of the Dub," and how it opens with a clanging guitar chord, almost certainly sampled from a vintage reggae tune (and if not, designed to sound like it), and how that lone chord stands in as a sort of synecdoche for all of dub reggae. How do you see these sort of highly overdetermined fetish objects functioning in the current dance-music landcape?

To be honest, I'm more interested in the rhythmic, affective and textureal dimensions of music. I find the notion of music as a text composed of signifiers and references the least useful and least interesting approach to making, listening and analysing music. Sure certain sounds are overcoded by habitual, obvious or cynical contrived use that disintensifies their affect, but really I'm more interested in how often the reduction of sound to signifiers becomes a journalistic trope for arbitrary critical attacks and a refusal to confront amplified vibration.


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