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KID606 – Die Soundboy Die (CD/vinyl/digital, Tigerbeat6)

Posted: October 5th, 2008, by Stuart Fowkes

For much of Kid606’s ten-year career, he’s confounded and confused as often as he’s delighted: for every slice of techno wizardry, there’s been a frankly distressing three-minute cacophony of static and noise or a comedy snippet of A-Ha thrown in for a chuckle. This sense of digital mischief has set him apart over the years, in that he succeeds where precious few do in bringing a sense of personality to electronica.

However, this new EP, a taster in advance of a new album due out in 2009, is perhaps one of the most straightforward things he’s done. Straightforward in the sense that it’s fantastic, pounding TECHNOJOY of the highest level. Absolutely dominated by pulsatile, growling basslines, there are obvious dubstep grooves here, but delivered at the restless, aggressive pace we’ve come to expect from 606.

Elsewhere, old-school handclaps ride over a hurricane of a bassline on ‘Umbilical Bullets’, while ‘The Drip’ brings to mind an update on something the Ganja Kru might have put out in 1996. ‘Bat Manners’ drops the pace a little, all atmospheric reverbs, sluggish, downbeat drum work and a crackling undercurrent that gives it the feeling of a dub classic trying to break its way out of a pocket calculator.

Kid606 has taken the signifiers of classic electronica from the past decade (bits of jump-up, techno, hardcore and bassline all take the lead at various points) to create a miniature tour de force of dancefloor-fillers. The only downside, perhaps, is that there’s little of the flagrant sonic mischief we’ve come to expect, so it’s not stamped through with his personality as clearly as other releases. When it’s as consistently great as this though, who cares?