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Kode9 and The Spaceape performing at MUTEK in 2007
Kode9 and The Spaceape performing at MUTEK in 2007
Background information
Birth nameSteve Goodman
Born1973 (age 50–51)
Glasgow, Scotland
GenresElectronic, dubstep, future garage, UK bass
Occupation(s)Musician, record label owner, remixer, DJ
Instrument(s)Synthesizer, sampler, mixing desk, turntables, bass guitar
Years active1991–present

Steve Goodman, known as Kode9 (born 1973) is a Scottish electronic music artist, DJ, and founder of the Hyperdub record label.[1] He was one of the founding members of the early dubstep scene with his late collaborator The Spaceape. He has released four full-length albums: 2006's Memories of the Future and 2011's Black Sun (both with The Spaceape), Nothing (2015), Escapology and Astro-Darien (2022).

As owner of Hyperdub, Goodman has signed artists such as Burial, DJ Rashad, Zomby, and Fatima Al Qadiri. Goodman has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Warwick and has published a book, Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear, in 2009.



Kode9 studied philosophy at university in Edinburgh. During this time he DJ'd playing music genres including psychedelic jazz, rare groove and funk.[2] However, around this time he started becoming interested jungle. He has mentioned his first encounter with jungle as being "the most important musical event of my life".[3][when?]

Kode9 moved to Warwick to study rave culture, cybernetics, postmodernism and afrofuturism at the University of Warwick. This later led to a memetic philosophy regarding music, which he has spoken about in interviews.[4] He gained a PhD in philosophy from the university.[5] Here he also collaborated with the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit and was involved in running jungle nights.[2]

In 1997, Kode9 moved to London, becoming a teaching assistance and later a lecturer.[2][6] At this time Kode9 began finding a lot of jungle formulaic and he was looking to expand his musical horizons. He became interested in 2 step garage, DJing the style at clubnights such as FWD>>. He also played on pirate radio stations including Rinse FM.[2][7]

Musical artist and Hyperdub[edit]

In 2002, Kode9 had his first release as a musical artist; it was a track called Fat Larry’s Skank; a collaboration with Benny Ill and The Culprit.[8][2]

In 2004, Kode9 appeared on the second grime compilation on Rephlex records.[9] That same year, Kode9 founded Hyperdub records; the first release was Sine of the Dub, a collaboration between Kode9 and Daddy Gee, which was a minimal, loose cover version of Prince's "Sign "O" the Times". Kode9 treated the vocals to fit his idea of their delivery by "a man on his deathbed".[10]

The label as become an important and influential label within the dubstep genre. In 2006, Hyperdub released Burial's self-titled debut album, which The Wire magazine named their number one album of 2006.[11] Kode9 continued his academic career working at the University of East London as a lecturer in media production, and course tutor for a master's program in sonic culture.[6][12][13]

In December 2009, his Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear, a book exploring the uses of acoustic force and how it affects whole populations was published by MIT Press.[14] The book also explores how sound can be deployed to set moods of dread and fear, how sound can be used as torture, as a weapon and as a threat.

Musical style[edit]

He has been inspired by, what he calls the "hardcore continuum" of British dance music; styles such as jungle, drum and bass and 2-step garage. Genres that are common influences in his work include dub, dancehall (such as toasting), and Indian music.


Studio albums[edit]

  • Memories of the Future with the Spaceape (Hyperdub, 2006)
  • Black Sun with the Spaceape (Hyperdub, 2011)
  • Nothing (Hyperdub, 2015)
  • Escapology (Hyperdub, 2022)
  • Astro-Darien (Hyperdub, 2022)

DJ mixes[edit]

  • DJ Kicks (Hyperdub, 2010)
  • Rinse:22 (Rinse, 2013)
  • Fabriclive 100 with Burial (Fabric London, 2018)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ IMO Records. "Kode9 Biography" Archived 20 April 2013 at archive.today, IMO Records Retrieved on 25 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Kode9 Stared Into The Void And It Stared Back". The FADER. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  3. ^ Invisible Jukebox, The Wire no. 269, July 2006
  4. ^ Sandhu, Sukhdev (16 November 2015). "How dub master Kode9 became the hero of zero". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 September 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  5. ^ Goodman, Steve (26 January 1999). Turbulence : a cartography of postmodern violence. Wrap.warwick.ac.uk (Thesis). Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Steve Goodman - UEL HSS (staff profile)". 22 September 2009. Archived from the original on 22 September 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Croydon, community, soundsystem culture: Tracing the history of dubstep". Red Bull. 12 June 2020. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  8. ^ "Fat Larry's Skank". Discogs.
  9. ^ Derek Walmsley, "Dubstep", The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music, ed. Rob Young, London: Verso, 2009, p. 89.
  10. ^ Derek Walmsley, "Dubstep", The Wire Primers: A Guide to Modern Music, ed. Rob Young, London: Verso, 2009, p. 92
  11. ^ Rewind 2006, The Wire no. 275, January 2007.
  12. ^ "Kode9" - Artforum International, Vol. 45, Issue 4, December 2006". Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Sonic Culture (MA) (Summary of programme specification)". www.uel.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear catalogue description at MIT Press". Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2009.

External links[edit]