KID606 with LESSER, GOLDCHAINS and KNIFEANDCHOP at the Tequila Lounge (794 Bathurst), Friday (April 5). $9 advance. 416-968-2001. Rating: NNNNN
It's not easy to make controversial music these days, particularly on a laptop. Glitch guru Kid606, aka Miguel Depedro, knows that if you can't be shocking, it's best to be subversive or at least entertaining. So until he finds the right Mexican wrestling mask and learns a third guitar chord, he's decided to put aside the minimalist avant-squawkery and use his studio smarts to reconstruct the music of Missy Elliott/Timbaland, Eminem and Kylie Minogue for sheer aural kicks.
On his controversy-starting new disc, The Action Packed Mentallist Brings You The Fucking Jams (Violent Turd!), Depedro has a go at Missy's Get Ur Freak On, D12's Purple Hills and Kylie's comeback hit Can't Get You Out Of My Head, with hilarious results.
The track MP3 Killed The CD Star finds him pitching up Eminem's rhymes to Alvin Chipmunk levels before pointedly mixing in the Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star without ever losing the groove. Who says shit-disturbing cultural commentary can't be artful as well as danceable?
"I don't really plan on doing stuff like this to release," explains Depedro from his Oakland home. "If I get inspired I'll do it because it's fun. The idea of putting it out was just to do something I don't think anyone else would've done.
"There are so many huge-ass electronic artists telling me how they did similar stuff but they'd never think of releasing it. Well, maybe they should have, because it probably would've been their most exciting work. These are the tracks that get the best response live. So I just wanted to put 'em out and be finished with it -- the final nail in the coffin." "Where Negativland ran into trouble was not in the sampling, really, but defamation of character. I'm not that much of a shit-disturber. I mean, I'm not putting Missy's name on the cover or making any reference to her songs in the titles.
"And Negativland's thing was cool, but it's like a comedy record -- you hear it once and you get the joke. It's not something you can put on at parties and get people to dance.
"Right now everyone's behind me because doing stuff like this is only wrong if you get caught. Who knows? I could wind up shrivelling away in jail like Ol' Dirty Bastard. I don't know if I need that kind of drama, but I won't not release my music out of fear."
It could be just that for Kid606 if the song publishers of Missy Elliott, Eminem or Kylie Minogue find out about Depedro's unsolicited remix fun. The 23-year-old troublemaker has learned from the U2-Negativland debacle to proceed with caution -- there's a reason he chose to release the disc on an obscure New Zealand-based indie rather than his own Tigerbeat6 label.