Paws Across America Tour w/Eats Tapes, Knifehandchop, DJ Collage
Mon Aug 15, Chop Suey, 9 pm, $7 adv, 21+.
KID606'S SPEECH pours out of him with the same mercurial velocity that characterizes many of his tracks. If you've heard albums like Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You, Down with the Scene, or Don't Sweat the Technics, you understand the rampantly hyper nature of Kid606 (Venezuelan-born/Oakland-based Miguel Depedro). Though usually classified as IDM (Intelligent Dance Music, a term Depedro loathes), the prolific producer mulches ragga, jungle, hiphop, glitchy techno, and ambient into visceral, adrenalized units of excitement. Humorous song titles ("Smack My Glitch Up," "MP3 Killed the Radio Star") and keen genre parodies further up Kid's entertainment value.
The intensity of his productions combined with his tireless touring, dynamic live shows, and ambitious label-running (Tigerbeat6 and its offshoots Violent Turd and Shockout) have made Kid606 one of the most visible figures in underground electronic music. Such visibility—and undeniable talent—probably explains why fading psych-rock heroes Butthole Surfers tapped him to open for them on their last American tour and why Mike Patton's Ipecac Records issues his work.
Kid606's profile arguably peaked in 2001 when he graced the cover of highbrow British music mag The Wire. But since then, he's done no laurel-resting, releasing the crazed mashup disc The Action Packed Mentallist Brings You the Fucking Jams, the Why I Love Life EP, Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You, Ruin It (a split EP with avant-hiphoppers Dälek), Who Still Kill Sound?, and The Illness EP, and contributed to a 3-inch CD of NWA covers. All of these works reveal Kid's breakneck recording pace and omnivorous genre collisions as he thrusts music to market as quickly as it leaves his hard drive. By contrast, tracks on the new Resilience leisurely accrued over the last five years from sessions done in myriad locations. Without time constraints, Kid had the luxury to collate a sonically coherent statement instead of his usual scattershot MO.
Consequently, Resilience is Kid's most personal as well as his most joyous—at times, even tropical—album yet. "[Resilience] was completely organic and the music was made for the sake of making music, not made to be part of anything," Depedro says. "This is why it took so long to compile. The actual songs didn't take that long to make individually, maybe no longer than two days per song, but if I had 24 days to make an album like this, I couldn't do it, because it's a product of having to want to make this kind of music, not having to need to."
It seems that Resilience marks the beginning of a new phase—or maybe just a warmer, more festive return to the cerebral, chilled techno of 2000's PS I Love You. Besides the melliuous Cluster/Harmonia/Eno tonal inuence here, Resilience boasts some seductively danceable rhythms: "Xmas Funk" recalls Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke," while "Sugarcoated" evokes Prince's "Erotic City" or Hall & Oates's "I Can't Go for That." "Spanish Song"—which sounds like an updated Tropicalia classic—is one of the best Kid606 tracks ever.
"These songs are not new, and weren't a turning point," Depedro clarifies. "My new stuff is even more different than what I'm used to. All I did this time was hold on to these tracks until I had enough to make a good album with a singular direction and theme, instead of showing 15 mostly contradictory musical elements on one album. I just think from now on I'm gonna more consciously try to release albums and songs that fit together better instead of doing my normal diary approach of just releasing stuff as quickly as possible."
For an artist who just turned 26, Kid606 has accomplished much over eight albums and many more EPs, remixes, and comp tracks. The astonishing work rate continues, as he alludes to several collaborations and four in-progress Kid606 albums. Where the hell can he go from here?
"Everything I've done has either been too confusing or contradictory for most people to get a clear vision of what I'm about and where I'm going," Depedro observes, "so I'd rather people just take every new release on its own merits and then decide if they like it or not. I can't even think about being pleased with what I've done; I'm constantly unhappy and manic about my creative works and don't ever go there—it just would open too much therapy talk for me to bother."