The Spaceape – Xorcism EP
After the excellent video for On The Run hit the net at the end of last month I’ve really been looking forward to what The Spaceape had up his sleeve. Xorcism is the contents of that sleeve – seven short tracks showcasing his unique voice and lyrical abilities in full flow.
The name will most likely be familiar to many of you already from his work with Hyperdub boss Steve Goodman aka Kode9. Or perhaps the reclusive acclaimed, and formerly anonymous London producer, Burial’s Will Bevan. His vocal dexterity was featured on early Hyperdub releases with Kode9 on a series of 12s that started with 2004’s Sine of the Dub / Stalker (recording as Daddi Gee). This would be my first meeting with Stephen Samuel Gordon, better known as The Spaceape. He continued this partnership with a few more 12s in 2005 and 6: Kingstown, Backward and the 10″ Curious / Portal.
Kode9’s first album, recorded with The Spaceape was many’s introduction to the captivating voice and sublow sound of the emerging leftfield strains of London’s dark and soon to be world conquering juggernaut: dubstep. Though it’s worth mentioning Goodman and indeed Hyperdub has always strived to exist separate to all things named dubstep.
Xorcism is different and is indeed, as far as I know, the first solo outing for Gordon. The seven tracks are direct, narrative, ritualistic and utterly fantastic in their content and delivery. This is a deeply personal work, with the collections name a result of Gordon’s: ‘ongoing experience of living with a rare form of cancer, Neurolymphamatosis, for the last 3 years‘.
The accompanying video for On The Run sees Gordon in intense tribal markings, courtesy of one Kiki Hitomi. Part of fellow Hyperdub crew King Midas Sound; a powerhouse of future dub from everything he-touches-is-gold: Kevin Martin. The white markings on the dark skin and restricted tones of the video, produced by Hiroo Tanaka make for a powerful image.
We are given a visceral and pure presentation of the statement Gordon is making with Xorcism – a somewhat bleak, exploration of his place.
Last May the Guardian interviewed both Goodman and Gordon about their lyrical and science fiction inspirations behind their follow up second album Black Sun. And it stands as a good follow on piece whilst listening to his solo debut at least as far as reading of Gordon’s lyrical inspiration, authors and Prince covers.
The Spaceape is a vocalist and poet first and foremost, that much is clear, yet his production work is pretty tight as his debut aptly demonstrates. A great start to a solo producer path I’m very eager to hear more of.
Oh yea, Xorcism is up for free download.
The Spaceape – Your Angel Has Come
The Spaceape – On The Run
The Spaceape – Palaces
The Spaceape – He Gave His Body Over To Science
The Spaceape – Spirit Of Change
The Spaceape – The Sound
The Spaceape – Up In Flames