Kode9 on Sonic Warfare

Pitchforkmedia recently interviewed Kode9. They discussed his label Hyperdub, the state of constant hype and the use of unsound. Read interview (here)

Excerpt below;


Pitchfork: You spend a lot of time deconstructing the virus metaphor as applied to the ways music spreads and shifts. How have technological advances in transmission, both digital sharing and pirate radio, changed the ways that music mutates and becomes over-exposed? How has it changed the ways that new music from urban areas around the world– the global ghettotech– operates and evolves?

K9: Audio virology is not a metaphor. It is to be taken literally. It maps real processes of mutation, transmission, contagion and memory within music culture. Both analog and digital developments have intensified the viral nature of sonic culture. Because we live in a condition of ubiquitous music and media, and near infinite technological memory, it is much easier for local cultures to find an audience that resonates with their music, whether local or globally. At the same time the acceleration and saturation leads to things becoming outmoded, or out of fashion before they’ve even happened. That’s a pretty complicated situation. Hype becomes autonomous from its object and runs away with itself.

Pitchfork: A quote you reference says, “Our discos are preparing our youth for a retaliatory strike,” and you deconstruct the different ways that sound is used to control– armies dispersing crowds, marketers implanting sales pitches, and DJs unifying the dance floor through bass vibrations. With the hyper-niche culture of music and the ability to be constantly plugged in and bombarded with information, has sonic warfare become more of a constant state of being?

K9: The book runs on the real fiction that sonic warfare is our ambient normality, purring away in the background so that you don’t even notice it– that is what I call the politics of frequency.

Earlier and related post on Hyperdub and Sonic Warfare book (here)


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