Hyperdub has confirmed the death of Stephen Samuel Gordon, better known as recurring Kode9 collaborator The Spaceape. According to a Facebook statement, the poet/performer passed away earlier today after a five-year battle with Neurolymphamatosis, a rare form of cancer he addressed in the collaborative album Black Sun and the solo EP Xorcism . At the time of the latter’s 2012 release, Hyperdub wrote, “This intense experience was behind the sonic fictions of bodily malfunction and radiation that surrounded The Spaceape’s collaboration with Kode9 on 2011’s Black Sun album. Relisten to the lyrics to tracks such as ‘Black Smoke’, ‘Neon Red Sign’ and ‘The Cure’ and you’ll understand the context to this new batch of The Spaceape’s solo material. Whilst Stephen now feels able to open up about his condition through his music, treatment is still ongoing so you will understand this is still a sensitive matter.”
While they’re still in the midst of celebrating their tenth anniversary, Hyperdub has lost several artists this year, beginning with the accidental drug overdose of footwork pioneer DJ Rashad last spring. A Teklife-led tribute to the producer (Next Life) is due out November 11 through the label, with all profits going to his son Chad. Meanwhile, The Spaceape’s final work with Kode9, the Killing Season EP, was released earlier this week. Here’s Hyperdub’s complete statement, along with videos for “Devil is a Liar” and “On the Run” and a link to the free Xorcism EP:
We are devastated to announce that on Thursday 2nd October, Stephen Samuel Gordon aka The Spaceape, vocalist, poet and live performer, passed away peacefully after a 5 year struggle with a rare form of cancer.
He leaves behind his wife Luciana and 6 year old daughter, Cleo. His first release was the 1st release on Hyperdub, ‘Sine of the Dub’ in 2004 with Kode9, with whom he also released 2 albums, Memories of the Future (2006) and Black Sun (2011).
In 2012 he also self-released the Xorcism EP, appeared on the track ‘Spaceape’ on Burial’s debut album in 2006, and also collaborated with The Bug, Martyn, Jerry Dammers, Redshape, Dub Gabriel, the Echologist and more. Last Monday he released his new EP with Kode9, ‘Killing Season’ including the video ‘Devil is a Liar’ which was filmed in July 2014.
Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, and all who have been touched by his writings and performances. His Hyperdub family will always miss him.