An Enchanting Slice of Sonic Storytelling.
From Sun Ra to Kool Keith and David Bowie, the vast expanses of space have been a source of inspiration for musicians working on the fringes of popular music for decades. The theme of being from or lost in outer space has long been a premise through which to explore taboo issues such as race and sexuality, with ‘the other’ adopting the role of the alien or explorer. Space has proven an effective forum in which to celebrate individuality and to evoke feelings of isolation and homesickness.
Billed as ‘…a sci-fi tale of loss and isolation,’ space is the setting for ’Kid Him’, Chaz Lewis AKA Elos’ latest offering for the beat behemoth Alpha Pup records, in which ‘Our captain finds his outer-dimensional vessel shipwrecked, creating a new home in a cave near the crash site…’
‘Kid Him’, like label-mate Nobody’s recent must-hear ‘Velvet Green’, is a slice of sonic theatre. There is a great sense of cohesion to the project. Rather than simply being a collection of tunes, each track works like a scene of a play or film, developing the mood and plot. Elos writes his interstellar story with brassy synth chords, R2D2 style bleeps, pitch-shifting snares, skittish hi–hats and big, rumbling bass.
‘Toy Explosion’ sounds like a Space Invaders arcade game which plays to itself even when the plug is pulled from the wall. This ominous opener implies that all will not go well on our voyager’s journey. It blends seamlessly into ‘Healingbeam’, another pensive tune with lovely multi-layered synths and bursts of machine-gun percussion. The opening triad is ended with the addictive ‘Wayward We Go’, which shows off a strong chemistry between Elos and rising star Zackey Force Funk, whose voice snakes around the beat, bouncing off the shiny reflective surfaces of the craft’s launch pad as the low-end hints at take-off.
The next three tracks convey the feeling that it has all gone wrong for the captain. The eerie ‘Zoltan Ship’, the melancholy ‘Alligottado’ and the so-off-kilter-it-hurts ‘Glass Legos’ take the listener to an uncomfortable place. Then, the ADHD-drums and relentless vocal sample of ‘Fall Light’ perhaps intentionally distract attention from its otherwise ethereal beauty.
Listening to the bass heavy ‘Cryogenics’, it is easy to imagine our explorer creeping around an abandoned laboratory where unimaginable horror may lurk around every corner. ‘3AM’, which hints at Boards of Canada and Jaylib, is the moment our hero does a 180 and flees from the terrifying discovery. The plodding funk of ‘Cave Theme’ has a menacing feel akin to moments of ‘iGeneration’ by Evil Alex and will have the listener checking over their shoulder.
So, does our hero make it off this alien planet? Well…the dramatic ‘Topdown’ does feel like he is on the move, although whether he is scrambling over alien terrain on foot, or blasting off into the heavens once again is open to interpretation.
Either way, ‘Kid Him’ is a project that the open-minded music explorer should definitely look forward to getting lost in.
Release Date: August 27, 2013
- Toy Explosion
- Wayward We Go (feat. Zackey Force Funk)
- Zoltan Ship
- Glass Legos
- Fall Light
- Red Band
- Cave Theme
For more information on Elos’ Kid Him go to Alpha Pup’s website