2 July @ Garden Club, Wellington

Steve Goodman, aka Kode9, is a crucial figure in the world of the dubstep. As well as producing his own brand of dark, futuristic dub music, he runs the Hyperdub label, which has pushed the dubstep genre to new and exciting places with artists such as the Bug, Flying Lotus and the incomparable Burial.  To top it off he is also a lecturer at the University of East London, where he specialises in the subject of Sonic Warfare. 

With these impeccable credentials, Kode9 was one of the most keenly-anticipated of gigs in the short history of the New Zealand dubstep scene.

The night started off in fine fashion, with a small crowd enjoying the sonic niceness provided by the local crew, which consisted of Excelle, P Vans, Thief, Kaps and Steppa D. Thief was particularly impressive on the mix, dropping some rootical duplates with effortless precision. By midnight the place was filling up nicely, and a strange phenomenon was taking place – loads of females were turning up to a dubstep gig…

At 1am it was time for time for the main event, and the dutty revelers began frantically reaching for their ear plugs (which were handily available for sale at the door). However the two centimeter-long cylindrical pieces of foam offered little protection from the massive wall of bass emanating from the eight-strong stack of 21″ subwoofers.

By this stage I was starting to feel of the effects of the cheap Coronas that Garden Club were selling but I was well enough to confirm Kode9 certainly dished up some sonic delights – the 9 Samurai refix he dropped was especially pleasing.  However I recall lamenting the distinct lack of his eery Spaceape tunes (which I had been really looking forward to). I think he may have decided to play a slightly more upbeat and funky set rather than pushing the deeper, sparser sounds that characterised his Memories of the Future album.

Perhaps he was catering to the needs of dubstep newcomers a bit too much, either way this was of minor concern. It was certainly an enjoyable night and it was great to see droves of people flocking to embrace the bass.