Down With The Scene

Sick, twisted and very, very wrong, few records this year can be more heartily recommended.

If it ain't broke, make it sound like it is. San Francisco-based Kid 606 may well endorse Apple Macs in this record's accompanying literature, but 'Down With The Scene', the 20-year-old digital super scrambler's second album, is the stuff of rancid, virus-riddled programming.

Already responsible for a spate of 2000's most essential genre-trashing releases - including his now-legendary rewiring of 'Straight Outta Compton' on V/VM Test Records - Venezuelan-born Kid 606 is the enfant terrible of laptop geek-chic techno-terrorism and, more than anyone, looks set to become the standard-bearer for this increasingly diverse but still fundamentally underground scene (when you're reshaping the past, copyright remains an unfamiliar concept).

Detractors might claim that this isn't so much the future as random FX-fixated noise and regurgitated samples churned out by lonely young men who still live with their parents. They have a point. Tunes, certainly, don't figure too highly in Kid 606's prolific gameplan; rather, his methods of mayhem involve contorting his sequencers and software into gymnastically improbable situations, pillaging (his) pop culture history (hip-hop, Merzbow, gabba techno) and razing it to the ground.

Yet crucially, he's also taking the piss. Audio snobs may rejoice at the technology (ab)used on 'Down With The Scene', but for Kid 606 this is simply another opportunity to poke fun at his peers (see the Atari Teenage Riot pastiche 'Kidrush', complete with drastic breakbeatery and faux-Germanic sloganeering) and spray his toxic scent over whichever genre he chooses.

Clearly, he spent as much time on the song titles as he did the music: 'It'll Take Millions In Plastic Surgery To Make Me Black' submerges an old funk standard in fizzing battery acid; 'Two Fingers In The Air Anarchy Style' is frantic glitch gabba; while 'Luke Vibert Can Kiss My Indie-Punk Whiteboy Ass' merges, horribly, Latin folk with urgent hip-hop.

Sick, twisted and very, very wrong, few records this year can be more heartily recommended.
8 / 10

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