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LIVE REPORT: Hyperdub At Koko
Tim Burrows , June 14th, 2012 11:08

Tim Burrows catches Kode9, Laurel Halo, Cooly G and more bringing the bass shake to Koko

Not since Swans made the pavement outside the venue quiver in 2010 can Koko have had such a pleasing sonic workout. On Tuesday, Sunn O))) and Nurse With Wound filled the 112-year-old venue in Mornington Crescent with slow-burning yet ear-perishing noise, and last night the Camden venue was again a temple of boom with a Black Atlantic-promoted night that showcased the cream of Hyperdub's current roster, marking the mid-point of a vintage year for the label.

After a Burial-heavy opening session from Kode9, the throb and thrum of Laurel Halo's set shakes Koko back to its cheesey quaver days, back when it was still known as the Camden Palace. While the sound quality isn't always terribly clear – the night is pockmarked by sonic glitches such as the sound cutting out at the beginning of Kode9's second set – there is a thrilling novelty to hearing songs from Laurel Halo's bewitching new album, Quarantine in a big, high-ceilinged venue like Koko. The venue isn't full by the time she comes to the stage, leaving you the room to explore the many levels and crannies of the old venue, and experience the various textures and depths of her beautiful noise-bred and pop-infused abstractions.

Cooly G comes after, singing over tracks taken from her powerful forthcoming album Playin' Me, turning the Koko into an almighty rumbling album playback and getting the crowd moving in the process. Barefoot in a dark dress, the south Londoner moves nervously between the front of the stage and her laptop at the back, offering up smooth post-garage beats and romantic, paranoiac dub basslines that are all wrapped up in a kind of synthetic, soulful lushness. Scratcha DVA is joined by an array of female singers who appear on his grimy-funky debut LP, Pretty Ugly, including Natalie Maddix, the smart moving Alesha E (aka AL), and the bequiffed South African Zaki Ibrahim, who guests on 'Fire Fly'.

Scratcha moves his visor-clad head to the gloriously moody 'Where I Belong', later switching to the other side of the stage for a DJ set that includes his remix of '21 Seconds' by So Solid Crew. The night ends with a frisky set from footwork lords Rashad and Spinn. All in all it serves as a brilliant live primer of the label to the uninitiated, and a treat for seasoned Hyper-heads, all for a fiver in.

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