September 15, 2006

Kid606 feat. Johnny P - Seaya Face and P.J. Body


MC Johnny P disses Jamaican women who keep their skin brown but bleach their faces to look “pretty,” but his message will likely to be lost on the dancefloor. Not that many THC-clogged minds would ponder our man’s critique of post-colonial fallout in the first place (the “P.J. body” is of black PM P.J. Patterson and the “Seaya face” is inspired by Caucasian PM Edward Seaga). Johnny’s baritone accent is so thick and rapidly spat in a typical raggacore fashion that most listeners will just nod along to. That being said, this is Kid606’s strongest excursion in dancehall. He delivers a faithful dubstep groove that tick-tocks to an ace Middle Eastern poly-rhythm and synth growls that resemble a lazer gun shooting blanks (I assure you that they got funk). The fact that this track is produced by the same mastermind behind the vandalistic Ma$e remix, “It’ll Take Millions in Plastic Surgery to Make Me Black” has left me a little mystified though.

Shockout / SHOCK12
[Cameron Macdonald]

January 27, 2006

Drop the Lime - Shot Shot Hearts EP

Luca Venezia (Drop the Lime) made Attention Deficit Disorder sound sexy last year by shoving so many ideas, cartoon noises, and breakcore rhythms into each second of his joint, This Means Forever. He also showed off his pipes that were equally hardcore punk rant as well as a gristled call to art students to get jacked up on booze and gangsta kultcha. His latest EP, Shot Shot Hearts shows an abundance of ideas, along with emphasizing that the man can croon.

Opener Hometaker slaps the listeners face with gabber bass and splattergore beats with an equally discomforting swauve, R&B synth melody that steps into the room midway through. The following Get On It is another rumbler with an acid-beat that oddly grooves as much as it bludgeons. Venezia then undergoes a refreshing transformation as a blue-eyed soulman who launches from his influences rather than imitate them, unlike an Englishman named Mr. Lidell. He delivers a boogeyman serenade in Cold Hearts, which is made more ghoulish with smooth, night sky synths and splintered beats that sound like a warehouse inhabited by squatters. Venezia finally lets his voice stand alone without any noise to distract listeners away in Tonight, an acapella number that might make millions of tweens fall in love with him, earn him riches and later earn him a five-minute segment in a VH1 Where Are They Now? special by 2016.

Tigerbeat6 / 130
[Cameron Macdonald]

January 27, 2006

Kid606 - Done with the Scene EP

“Done with the Scene” is the song of an artist still trying to figure out what to do next. A droning, electro-pop synth melody first stares at the sunset while holding his chin with both hands. The song then grows more restless as a steady mid-tempo beat pushes the momentum with bits of guitar dropping in and a brazen Spaghetti Western-synth shouting out the melody. The song title suggests that Miguel Depedro is trying to move on after quitting his habit of being a yin-yang, either releasing records as a noisenik who smashes everything in a room with a whiffle bat or releasing Mother’s Day presents of synth-pop. As to where he goes next, it’s difficult to predict. The Done with the Scene EP gives some suggestions with remixes of a few tracks from his album Resilience as well as a cover of Annie’s cult hit, “Heartbeat.” In the latter, Depedro’s treatment keeps its focus on the song’s hook by smothering it with fuzzed-up shoegazer textures and scattered, mumbled vocals. It could’ve been much stronger without the odd synth screeches and the rather disjointed synching of everything.

As for the remixes, post-rock stars Mogwai infuse “Down” with rawer energy by piercing the song with feedback and garbled beats, along with playing hide-and-seek with the melody. Bravecaptain places a cosmic glint to “Down” with cascading synth work and live, rolling beats that is all sublime until the band gets cute by singing the song title. Elsewhere, Her Space Holiday turns “Spanish Song” into a song that could play on an in-store video at The Gap, and Swedish post-techno maven Dwayne Sodaberk steals the show by radically mutating the melody from the gentle guitar ballad, “King of Harm” into a rampaging, post-punk dirge that resembles an Interpol b-side. Sodaberk’s remix is brave as hell for risking utter failureGod knows what he would’ve done with “Heartbeat.”

Tigerbeat6 / 126
[Cameron Macdonald]