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Kid606 - Resilience

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Artist: Kid606

Album: Resilience

Label: Tigerbeat6

Review date: Jul. 26, 2005

For better and for worse, Miguel Depedro, the man behind the moniker Kid606, is an imperial producer. Claiming territory in hip hop, techno, jungle, glitch, and mash-ups, that trendy electronic archipelago of yesteryear, Depedro seems to view music not as art but as conquest. To date, Depedro’s oeuvre is scattershot – if one graphed his work according to genre, one would not have a linear path but a series of disconnected colonies. I can imagine the man cutting a Napoleonic pose behind his decks, his left hand massaging a spinning record, his right tucked in his jacket’s breast pocket.

Resilience charts Depedro’s adventures on more virgin, if not higher, ground. The drums of 2003’s Kill the Sound Before the Sound Kills You have been toned down – having conquered jungle’s skittering snare, Depedro seems set on slower, dare I say, downtempo regions. But unlike most artists who chill out for a living, Depedro doesn’t sound comfortable in his new environs. If anything, he sounds complacent.

Throughout his career, Depedro has made music according to a more-is-better principle. His songs are thickly layered with samples, and often boil over with computer and machine-like blips. In the past, this approach has worked with his jetting takes on techno and jungle. Beginning with speedy and often spastic rhythms, Depedro built little electro symphonies, five-minute songs that wove disparate sounds into tight anthems bordering on combustion. Depedro tries the same method at a snail’s pace on Resilience, and without the inertia of previous works, his new album feels more like a glacier than an avalanche.

“Banana Peel” is one of the few examples where Depedro succeeds. He begins with a reggae riddim, and instead of stacking one loop atop another, he lets them play hide and seek. If much of Resilienceis a series of samples stacked high like skyscrapers, then “Banana Peel” curves and swings like a Frank Gehry construction. It’s one of the few songs where Depedro realizes he can impress his audience by saying less rather than more.

Few emperors, and even fewer DJs, are remembered for their restraint. Depedro, one of the most ambitious DJs in recent years, has succeeded by storming gung-ho, producing and remixing across genres with abandon. Yet empires fall and tastes change. The question is whether Depedro can recover from this setback as he continues onward and avoid his own personal Waterloo.

By Ben Yaster

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Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You

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