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|Post subject: Jerry Dammers / pays tribute to MC the Spaceape
|Jerry Dammers pays tribute to late Hyperdub MC the Spaceape
Founder of the Specials says the artist, who has died of cancer, ‘produced the very best in popular music from this country in the last 20 years’
Jerry Dammers, founder of the Specials, has paid tribute to the Spaceape, the pioneering Hyperdub artist who died on 2 October.
Also known as Stephen Samuel Gordon, the vocalist, MC and poet died of a rare form of cancer after a five-year battle with the illness. “We are devastated to announce that on Thursday 2nd October, Stephen Samuel Gordon aka The Spaceape, vocalist, poet and live performer, passed away peacefully,” wrote his label, Hyperdub.
As well as appearing on the track Spaceape on Burial’s seminal debut in 2006, he also put out the self-released 2012 Xorcism EP, and collaborated with numerous artists such as The Bug, Martyn, Redshape, Dub Gabriel, the Echologist and Jerry Dammers, the latter of whom has issued a touching statement praising his musicianship.
“Stephen was not only a very pleasant and humble person, but remained incredibly brave and positive in the face of his terrible illness. In my view, he produced, with Kode9, amongst the very best, if not THE best, in so called ‘popular’ music from this country, in the last twenty years,” Dammer writes. “The relative lack of recognition he received in the mainstream, reflects on it, not on him, or his talent. But there were plenty of people who did understand.”
Gordon recorded a version of the Specials’ Ghost Town with Kode 9, a cover Dammers says is “by far and away the best version from the very very many I have been sent over the years”.
He also performed with Dammers’ band, the Spatial AKA Orchestra, on many occasions, one of which was the finale of the LoveMusic Hate Racism festival in 2008. Dammer adds: “To me it was fitting that Stephen was the very last artist to voice at that show, carrying to some extent as he did, the Jamaican ‘dub poetry’ tradition, championed in the RAR era by Linton Kwesi Johnson, forward into the ‘dub step’ era of recent years.
“Today I feel a mixture of sadness and anger at the unfairness that someone so talented has died so very young, when he still really wanted, and was very able, to give so much more, and before he received the full recognition he deserved. My condolences go out to his wife and young daughter, and to all his friends.”
Since news of his death was announced, numerous musicians have paid tribute to the artist, such as Nathan Fake, Rob Da Bank and Machinedrum.
The Spaceape’s last release was Killing Season, a new EP with Kode9.
Stephen Samuel Gordon
Ghost Town, Live (2008)
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