Last night, China time, Kode9 released his new single meant to be the A side of his upcoming 12”. Kode9 gave the track the name of where it was conceived, “Xingfu Lu”, one of the happy streets of Shanghai, also the street of the home of ChaCha and Garreth Williams (DJ Drunk Monk), founder and keeper of The Shelter and the Subculture crew, both home base of Kode9 in Shanghai.
When Kode9 comes to Shanghai he stays here for a some days to hang with his friends, from these hangs have flourished several collaborations that have featured ChaCha on his tracks, evidence of this are the four tracks in Black Sun, his latest album, where she appears, and the single “Time Patrol” produced for Hyperdub’s anniversary compilation of 2011.
“Xingfu Lu” has already been in the round of Drunk Monk’s sets for the last month, he got the privilege of the premiere as it was in his living room where Kode9 created the tune. Gareth Williams tells the story of its creation “we had a bit of a session in my flat on Xingfu lu, Kode started making a track that was initially meant to be for ChaCha to sing on but it ended up turning into something different. The track changed into something that didn’t need a vocal on it. Then after he went back to UK, he finished it off, and now its his new single.”
The 4’40” track evolves around a high-pitched synth sound, and the sound of pincers going from fast to faster. Regardless the platitude, the sound is very yellow, it’s the strange but classy discomfort behind the synth chords, there is pollution and harmony in it, and a likable annoying saturation across the track that goes just mad at the end. One of those sounds that we like to hear loud and late in The Shelter.
The connection that Kode9 has established with ChaCha, Subculture, The Shelter, and Shanghai says a lot about the spaces created by Gareth Williams, solid roots and a comfortable space for artists to play around, a space that is not only well used and enjoyed by Kode9 but by several musicians, producers, DJs, and graphic artists from around the world, and from Shanghai. Maybe I’m wrong, but I read the title of this track as an special show of affection from Kode9 to Gareth and his home, Kode9 could have titles the track Yongfu if he wanted to say hi to the party time he has had in Shanghai, but he didn’t, he chose Williams’ home street. Williams says about his feeling on this “yeah, its an honor. Kode has been really supportive with what we are doing here, and his input into what we do, and also his work with ChaCha is a massive thing for us.”
I say one to Shanghai, passed by Williams and all his projects, and beautifully kicked by Kode9.
The 12” contains “Xingfu Lu” on its a side and on the b side “Kan.” The cover is a photo by local photographer and promoter, part of the Subculture crew, Andrew Rochfort. The vinyl will be soon available in Shanghai through Subculture, contact them to reserve one for you.