"Rochester is a fucked up place," is one of the first things that Cody Murray announces as we sit on a bench in Brooklyn's Williamsburg Park. It's one of those perfectly cloudless, early-autumn days when the air feels clean as a whistle, and we're gazing across the East River at skyscrapers sparkling in the afternoon sun.
Murray, who produces music under his childhood nickname Codes, is reflecting on his rocky beginnings in Western New York. He admits that he was involved in some "illegal shit." "A lot of my friends were just doing drugs. I learned the hard way that money doesn't make you happy unless you're proud of where it comes from."
"So I dropped that and was like, fuck this place."
He smiles as the sunlight hits his snapback—appropriately emblazoned with the name of his new hometown: Brooklyn.
Getting settled here wasn't without its hijinks—he got kicked out of his first apartment in Greenpoint because his landlord stepped barefoot into his dog's shit—but Codes says he's never looked back. In fact, this borough has become so integral to his signature sound that he's dedicated his first full-length album, Brooklyn Bounce, to it. (Check out our exclusive stream above.)
drops today on Slow Roast Records—the label run by Kill the Noise and DJ Craze. "Before Jake [Kill the Noise] blew up, we were little punk kids in art class talking shit about the DJs in Rochester and how we were going to take over the scene," Codes says. Ten years later, and former punks like Kill the Noise have become the new faces of America's bass music scene.
Like Kill the Noise, Codes specializes in a kind of bass-heavy electro that is unapologetically made for the turn-up. But while Kill the Noise has his fingers in the contemporary sounds of dubstep, trap and even hardstyle, Codes looks to the past to create his blend of upbeat, fun-loving party music—specifically, 90s-era New York City house, with guys like Todd Terry, Armand Van Helden and Danny Tenaglia as his chief influences. Throw in some hip-hop-style samples, the swinging drums of jungle and garage, and you've got what Codes calls "Brooklyn bounce."
Asked why he felt the need to coin a new term for his sound, Codes says he's grown wary of the type of watered-down EDM dominating the radio. "'House' has almost turned into a dirty word. When I tell younger kids that I play house, they think of Pitbull."
But having weathered the many fickle trends of dance music, Codes insists that he couldn't care less about what's "in" right now—even if cashing in could make him more money. "I'm just doing my own thing," he says, giving one last look at the skyline before we head back indoors. "I don't really give a shit about what else is going on."