Kid606: Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You

Fans of Miguel Depredo's Mille Plateaux release P.S. I Love You should beware, as Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You is no tasteful, restrained electronica exercise. On the contrary, its relentless breakbeat splatter is taken to such ridiculous extremes that incredulous laughter and disbelief may be the only possible reaction. Over the course of almost nine minutes, "Ecstasy Motherfucker," for example, grinds up and spits out every imaginable drill'n'bass idea ever hatched. It's pounding, assaultive music, in keeping with the cover images of mayhem and violence, and is certainly worlds away from the delicate ambient pieces Depredo contributed to the recent tigerbeat6 comp Good Night: Music to Sleep By.

Produced over the past five years, the twelve tracks are a varied lot, in spite of the thunderous energy that relentlessly blasts forth. The hardcore tone is established at the outset by the tribal beats of “The Illness (album mix).” Buried under the insane cacophony of Squarepusher breakbeats on “Who Wah Kill Sound?” are the UK dancehall stylings of MC Wayne Lonesome. But not all tracks hew to the splatter template. “Total Recovery is Possible,” for instance, oozes a funky Indian feel with fulminating electronic tablas, while “If I Had A Happy Place This Would Be It” and “I Think I'm Alone Now” are melodic slices of synth-based electropop. The processed strings and guitars of “Andy Warhol Is Dead But We Still Have Hope” offer a welcome albeit brief respite from the onslaught, and “Parenthood” ends the album on a contemplative, gentle note.

On the down side, the album is often derivative, with the kid exploiting a generic breakbeat style one might assume had played itself out long ago; “Buckle Up” might just as easily be an out-take from Squarepusher's Go Plastic as included here. On the other hand, it's refreshing to witness Depredo deflate the at times ultra-serious balloon of the electronica genre. Certainly, it's inarguable that Kid606 attacks the tracks on Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You with an insane amount of gabba energy that leaves the exhausted yet satisfied listener gasping for breath.

December 2003