K_Chico: When I Was Young

Perhaps the strangest sound heard in recent memory is the mutant mix of blues, electro, techno, and glam that characterizes K-Chico's Festplatten 12-inch When I Was Young. Opening with soft keyboard puddles and a straight 4/4 beat, “I See You” initially steers clear of any one genre until, that is, an electro bass line appears. But then a deep voice intones “I see you walkin' down the street” and stabs of slide guitar resound, and easy classification is again defied. The sound of an acoustic guitar soloing alongside an electro-soul groove is certainly unfamiliar. The other tracks are likewise unusual: the title song overlays bleepy accents and a slightly rockish shuffle with a bluesy baritone (“When I was young / Oh yeah, I had a girl”)—accompanied by humming, no less—and a raw electric guitar solo. “Hot Damn” opens with a chorus of pants before the singer drools “I got some tricks on my mind / When I woke up last night / Hot damn / Hot damn” amidst handclaps and guttural croaks. At the very least, K-Chico's bizarre hybrid of T. Rex boogie, Cologne techno, and Delta blues is nothing if not original.

May 2007