Dance to a Different Beat
Kid 606—Miguel Depedro’s musical pseudonym—is an oddity, a musical misfit that mangles every genre from power-noise to hip shaking dance music to drone-driven ambience with an array of computers, samplers, and vintage drum machines. The Kid’s musical instruments act more like blenders and garbage disposals than what typical IDM-afflicted artists use them for (i.e., resurrecting the same tired paths of boredom).
While exploring nosier, more schizophrenic soundscapes on his Ipecac debut, Down with the Scene, excavating the sounds of ambience with P.S. I Love You, and mish-mashing pop songs into sound juggling chaos on The Action Packed Mentalist Brings You the Fucking Jams, Kid 606 has returned to his dance-driven roots only to brilliantly explode them on his fifth album, Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You. The 12 songs imbedded into Kill Sound are perpetually in motion—every densely layered noise is constantly moving, writhing, and jittering to form a melting pot of sound that captures genres and crushes them into a compound of breakbeat rave-up dance music.
“The Illness”, the album’s first cut, is also one of its best, with its composite and chaotic mix of cartoon samples, glitched-out grooves, and sputtering synthesizers that warp the song into a dancefloor detonating jaunt. The majority of Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You‘s material satiates this realm of electronic music, but what makes this album continually exciting, versatile, and will ultimately make you reach for it time and time again is that Kid 606 never once rehashes ideas or sounds stale. Depedro—through all of his solo albums, EPs, and remix work—is perpetually reworking not only his musical muse, but also the entire entity that is Kid 606. By never backing down or shying away from any style, the Kid has crafted one of the most revitalizing excursions into contemporary electronic/dance music.
The explosive rhythmic tension erupts everywhere on Kill Sound, and two of its best examples are the eight-minute, 160-beat-per-minute “Ecstasy Motherfucker”, which twitches with enough body-writhing venom to make any DJ drool, and the very aptly named “Woofer Wrecker”, a study in mauling beats and shape-shifting bursts of static. However, the very brief moments that Kid 606 chooses to lose the dancefloor-ready grooves in favor of electronic fragility are also some of his best.
“Andy Warhol Is Dead But We Still Have Hope” elegantly grafts beautiful string segments atop skittering patterns of glitchery for barely over a minute of introspection, but it’s in Kill Sound‘s closing track, “Parenthood”, that Kid 606 expertly captures echoing tone drifts and breathtaking ambient drones to counteract the album’s overtly dominant dance-friendly moments. Still, what is remembered from Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You is its chaotic mess of floor-rumbling beats, frantic samples, and layer upon layer of electronic madness.
When I recently spoke to Kid 606, he told me that, “My music is a personal diary. If the music I produce during a period of time is boring, it essentially means that my life was boring at the time.” If that is indeed the case, I can only imagine that Miguel Depedro’s life during Kill Sound Before Sound Kills You must have been a continuous party, both night and day, with thousands moving their feet like everyone had suddenly developed a case of epilepsy while on a caffeine high.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.