When I was a little kid, I had a friend that I hung out with a lot. While we were off doing our own thing, we'd have a blast riding bikes or building tree forts. When we were at school, though, sometimes this same friend would punch me in the arm really hard to sort of assert his power over me in front of a group of people. It made me upset, but he was nice enough to me the rest of the time (and I perceived him as cool enough) that I kept on hanging out with him. Eventually, though, his treatment at school made me mad enough that I punched him back as hard as I could. I doubt it hurt him, but it shocked the hell out of him, and although he didn't punch me in the arm again after that, we also weren't nearly as close friends (if that's what you want to call it in the first place).
That might seem like a strange story to tell at the beginning of a music review, but I think it's actually fitting this time around. I've gotten off-course before in a review, and I usually try to explain myself, so here goes; I have a love/hate relationship with Kid 606. When I picked up his Down With The Scene release, there were definitely moments that shined for me, but there were also enough ear-splitting noise tracks that just left me feeling 'so-so' about the disc. After a short wait, I picked up his PS I Love You, and although it was much different, I liked it a lot more.
After another short wait, I decided to go with GQ On The EQ++, (made up from different out-of-print EP and 7" releases) and once again I'm left in sort of a weird spot about how much I enjoy the disc. Once again, there are moments where he asserts his brilliance, while at others I'm simply left scratching my head (and sometimes covering my ears). I guess I should expect some discontinuity because lots of the tracks come from different releases (6 different sources, to be exact), but maybe I'm just getting too old for the noise.
Musically, the disc is again all over the place. "Dodgy" opens up the release with chunky beats with high pitched screeches that accentuate them and static pops and fizzes all over the place while "Ginza" (from the same release) skitters along with clipped beats and squelching noises that never get too harsh while a field recording of what could simply be people in a mall drifts in the background. Just about the time you think your tweeters are going to get blown from the high-end, along comes "Nobody Wants To Be A Star Anymore (Toss It)" and rolls with a soupy bassline and loverly shimmering tones.
On three short tracks near the end of the release, Kid 606 teams up with Lesser (from a European-Only Tour 7") and again drop some squiggle, click, pop before the disc closes out with the downright playful blipwork of "Staying Home From School." While there aren't the crazy chopped, jungle beats of Down With The Scene, the release does show a quieter side a couple different times. If you enjoy his work (which keeps you on your toes), you'll probably find more to like with this release, but I still find myself a little confused.