Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You
he reason Kid606 is so thrilling to listen to is because he taps into an aspect of the sound pioneered by Richard D. James and company that often gets left behind; the giddy sense of humour. Miguel Depredo has always been a bit of a prankster when it comes to his music (see the excellent, illegal The Action Packed Mentallist Brings You The Fucking Jams), but even at his earliest and most fragmentary he’s also been deeply talented. It’s just that he usually exercises that talent in annoying people.
On Kill Sound… the Kid moves away from the overtly experimental Mille Plateau-isms of P.S. I Love You and the mashups of …Fucking Jams for his most fully realized work to date. The aforementioned ‘Andy Warhol Is Dead…’, ‘The Illness’ and ‘Powerbookfiend’ are old-style room wreckers that you may not be able to dance to, but should inspire spirited twitching anyway and the quieter and glitchier strains of his work are finally realized completely in the amazing ‘If I Had A Happy Place This Would Be It’ and the almost Boards Of Canada-ish ‘Parenthood’, offering further proof of talents beyond mere provocation. For further proof, listen to the harsh down-tempo ‘Total Recovery Is Possible’- another place on Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You where Depredo takes a form he’s worked in before and blows previous efforts away.
But it’s ‘Who Wah Kill Sound?’ and ‘Buckle Up’ that are the most interesting things here. It’s a combination that I, at least, have never heard before: full-on, no compromises “IDM” or whatever you care to call it in a Squarepusher stylee, with added reggae vocals. The effect is similar to Squarepusher’s ‘My Red Hot Car’, but much more roughly aggressive. The tracks kick, and are enjoyable on a visceral level, beyond any sort of conceptual attraction.
And that sums up Kid606 perfectly as well. He does lots of neat things, and in the hands of a musician with less energy, humour and talent than Depredo, this album could easily be more fun to think about than to actually listen to. Instead it’s his best work and one of the best electronic albums all year.
Or, to quote another of the samples here: “Is it on? It’s on!”