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Kiki, "Boogybytes Vol.01"

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Almost in reaction to Modeselektor’s recent foray into pop realms with Hello Mom!, Bpitch inaugurates a new series of DJ mix CDs with a disc from the prolific Kiki, a Finnish producer with several singles and a full length on the label and many, many compilation appearances elsewhere.

Bpitch Control

The brilliant cover—a still of the artist mid-headbang, shirtless and zombified against a slate gray background—sets the mood of this set rather well.  Kiki’s music has always been some of the more recklessly flamboyant on the label, though never without a stylized distance, his disco-fried tracks always taking the reference to its breaking point before pulling back into dark, almost gothic remove in bizarre emphasis and homage to the plasticity of its creation.  Tracks like “Hott!,” and “Luv Sikk,” speak a pessimistic cheekiness in titles alone, and the stiff pan-ethnic borrowing of the tracks in turn accentuates both the irresistibility of their rhythmic coils and the desperate, regenerate puppet-dance inspired.  A Kiki mix is similarly disco-derived with the dark gurglings of electro and gothic crooning along the bottom.  

The mix begins with one its best tracks, from ex-Wax Trax-er/PTV-ite Fred Giannelli. “Distant Gratification” could be a mood-piece for the whole disc: cold; comfortable electro sputtering flat; with synthetic arpeggios flattened and reduced to a depressive wallpaper.  Although distant, the personality of the track comes through in subtle filter and is made more powerful for it.  Boogybytes never reaches above this strangely addictive reanimation, even during Kiki’s frequent blending of newer Bpitch tracks like his own “End of the World” or Ellen Allien’s electric “Your Body Is My Body.” 

The mood is sublime automatism, bolstered by a few brilliant tracks like Troy Pierce’s nearly industrial “Smack The Black Off of Ya” and Donal Tierney’s “Verse 2 The Chorus,” effectively mixed with Andre Kraml’s “Safari,” a track that Kiki and Silversurfer have remixed in the past.  One of the most appealing things about the disc is that, despite the track listing, Kiki is often mixing in at least one other unlisted item, making for new avenues of comparison or discovery within the relative homogeneity of atmosphere. 

A few missteps occur toward the end of the hour+ length when several weak vocal tracks are worked in.  Microhouse artist Turner’s “When Will We Leave (Robert Hood mix)” was no doubt included for the drowning, swallowed urgency of the vocal, though the pulse of the track is all wrong and ends up mixing poorly.  Likewise, tracks by better-known artists Slam and Infusion color the end of the mix with cheap imagery, altering any subtlety or tact in Kiki’s complexifying of the sound’s plasticity.  While not the mindblowing mix I’d expect to hear from such a great producer, Boogybytes is nonetheless entertaining throughout, and it will certainly be nice to hear what comes of this series in the future.

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Last Updated on Monday, 30 January 2006 23:55  


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