Kid 606, Gold Chains | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Kid 606, Gold Chains 

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With his noisy, hyperactive 1999 debut, Don't Sweat the Technics, Kid606, aka Oakland's Miguel Depedro, ushered in the new wave of electronic music: brash, obnoxious, and with an undeniable personality. Artists like Cex, Lesser, and Blectum From Blechdom, all of whom have recorded for his Tigerbeat6 label, have followed his lead, charting out their own paths with abrasive charm and charming irreverence. Nothing is sacred in this camp, and that ethos is more than evident on the Kid's latest offering, The Action Packed Mentallist Brings You the Fucking Jams. It was put out by the tiny New Zealand label Violent Turd, and one listen explains why it wasn't released in the States: Depedro makes hash of popular tunes, from "Get Ur Freak On" to "Walk Like an Egyptian" to "Video Killed the Radio Star," forcing them through an intense remixology aimed at ADD sufferers, and there's no sample clearance info to be found. His treatments exaggerate standard remix techniques--stretching, looping, beat enhancing--with the same hyperbolic relentlessness that's marked all his work. He can fuck shit up real good, and he does it for the sake of fucking shit up real good. On Gold Chains's recent eponymously titled five-song debut (on Kit Clayton's Orthlorng Musork label), the San Francisco rapper (real name: Topher Lafata...why not just go with that?) rides his own beats like a baby kangaroo in his mama's pocket--old school, except his beats are all glitched-up and dirty. While there are plenty of standard floor-rumbling beatbox patterns at work, they get upended by a melancholy melodica riff, rhythmic static, or screaming electric guitar. Lafata is a terrible MC, unleashing a barrage of hokey, warmed-over boasts--"My headphones, they're large / My speakers are in charge / Cash advance on my vocal chords / Like a Visa card"--but his unapologetic attitude and the unpredictable tracks save the day. Lesser also performs. Sunday, April 7, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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