Katasonix on 18 Jul 2000 04:34:19 -0000

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<nettime> Hyperdub Update

Following the media panic regarding South Londonís bosozoku, this
interview was conducted with Hyperdub crew insider, mc Epi, by Dr.Demic of
the Institute of Cultural Epidemiology. For further information go to

Dr.Demic: What is Hyperdub ?

Mc Epi: a virus

Dr.Demic: What do you mean itís a virus ?

Mc Epi: itís a cultural virus ?

Dr.Demic: What are you talking about ?

Mc Epi: We encountered infection early nineties but as far as we can tell
it had been brewing for quite some time. Maybe. We have a feeling that
this isn ít correct. Our feeling is that it has come out of the future to
take us somewhere. 

Dr.Demic: Where to ? 

Mc Epi: Not sure that matters. Itís more like being led through darkness. 

Still not exactly sure what youíre talking about. Lets talk about music. 
What is Hyperdub ? 

Mc Epi: What does it sound like it is ? 

Dr.Demic: Well it sounds like a paradox, doesnít it ? Hyper is, well,
hyper.  . .it sounds like speed. And dub, well its for kickin back, kind
of mellow. 

Mc Epi: So you see some kind of tension here ? 

Dr.Demic: Iím supposed to be asking the questions. Yes, I see a tension

Mc Epi: Thatís not a problem. Hyperdub is that tension. Without that
tension it would not exist. Tension is its innovation. 

Dr.Demic: OK. So letís go back to this virus thing. Itís a cultural virus,
yeah ? Are you suggesting that this virus manifests itself as a tension in
music ? 

Mc Epi: Partly. More accurately, its more like a tension between the music
and its hearers. Our bodies have developed a need, practically an
addiction to this tension. 

Dr.Demic: So this virus manifests itself in human carriers as an addiction
?  If I am H.Y.B. positive then the symptoms of my disease are my cravings
for sound ? 

Mc Epi: Itís like a drug. It alters the chemistry of your body and
encourages certain behavioural patterns. 

Dr.Demic: Such as ? 

Mc Epi: The most infected, those in whom the H.Y.B virus has developed,
tend to serve as incubators among the surrounding human population. 

Dr.Demic: Where is the virus coming from ? 

Mc Epi: Machines. 

Dr.Demic: But I thought you said it was a cultural virus. So you are
saying itís a computer virus now as well ? 

Mc Epi: We said it was a cultural virus. Machine and human culture. Weíre
both swimming in informational fluid. Code is flowing in through every
pore.  Things are growing in us now that you wouldnít even dare to

Dr.Demic: Hmm. You didnít answer my question. What kind of behavioural
patterns are induced by the virus ? 

Mc Epi: Well, the sticky zone of infection is usually populated by sound
producers. The virus comes through their software platforms and frames
their activity within this virtual space. By framing this area of
cyberspace, the virus code instructs the production of sound, leading to
distinct outputs. A certain sound. 

Dr.Demic:  So itís the machines fault ? 

Mc Epi: ĎFaultí has got nothing to do with it. 

Dr.Demic: So what is the virus ? 

Mc Epi: A certain sound. 

Dr.Demic: How do you know when youíre infected ? 

Mc Epi: One symptom of those who have full blown H.Y.B. is delirious
record buying activity. Generally, an epidemic can be identified by
turbulent and compulsive consumer patterns, commodity loyalties and
virtual idol worship.  Incubation is no longer concentrated in pools of
producers. A tipping point was reached in the late 1990s with consumers
downloading music off the internet. In the matrix the spread of Hyperdub
has been ferocious. Offline it has taken on new shapes and seems to
learning more intelligent tactics in its proliferation. Hyperdubís more
aggressive tendencies have been synthesized into an accelerated lush,
seductive sheen. Hyperdub has synthesized soul. Vocal science.

Dr.Demic: So the virus makes copies of human characteristics and
reassembles them ?

Mc Epi: Of course. 

Dr.Demic: What else does it do ? 

Mc Epi: It transforms the kinesthetics of humanoid motion. It is
constantly modelling, replicating and steering the dancing body. The
transformations often take place at imperceptible speeds. We have come to
know this face of the Hyperdub virus as breakbeat science. 

Dr.Demic: Does Hyperdub also suggest crucial phase in the evolution of dub

Mc Epi: Yes, but not dub as a genre of music. Rather Hyperdub is a phase
in the proliferation of a set of abstract processes activated and applied
in that genre of music. The spread of Hyperdub escalates hugely when the
dub plate is complemented by the V-plate. . .mp3s are hyperdub plates. Or
the abstract process of dubbing is translated into code. Hyperdub in this
sense is dub phase 3. Phase 1 involved the application of analogue fx to
sound and subtraction of vocal lines. Phase 2 relates to the impact of
digital sampling and fx, and Phase 3 corresponds to the global ubiquity of
this sample bank as what we used to term the internet. 

Dr.Demic: How did Hyperdub spread through Ďwhat we used to callí the
internet ? 

Mc Epi: Dense nodes on the internet started to form towards the end of the
millennium. Here the virus was reentering the matrix, building a series of
Hyperdub KoloniesTM as incubators and delivery mechanisms of planetary

Dr.Demic: What activity would occur among the inhabitants of these
Hyperdub KoloniesTM ? 

Mc Epi: Listen . . . 

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