“Fuck up everything you can before you plan on slowing down.” There’s a mouthful of youthful hubris, originally expressed by a 21-year-old Miguel De Pedro, a.k.a. Kid606. In the twelve years since that statement, things have definitely been fucked up. Here’s the stats: ten albums, ten cats, two failed engagements, countless psychedelic and chemical revelations, lapping the world multiple times to play in more countries then he previously knew existed, a hairline that would make a Franciscan monk proud, Buddhism and physical fitness—remember how Miles Davis turned himself around and got into boxing?
It’d be tempting to use some cliché about reflection (“Kid606’s Blood on the Tracks!”; “now it’s Adult606!”) but that’s not the case. Lost in the Game is a sea-change, but it’s not Sea Change. Instead, it’s a revised focus. Everything’s been fucked up, and you can create the world’s most headphucking fuck-ups with any number of plugins. Anyone can be an “anti-DJ” sound artist. Mashups have gone to the posh clubs. Here De Pedro confronts an unlikely new partner—melody. The beats on Game don’t disintegrate every second bar anymore. The Kid could spend the rest of his life playing “I love the 2000s” to nostalgic audiences, but what the hell kind of creative life is it when you stop evolving at 26?
The eccentric song titles are still present, but opener “Godspeed You African American Emperor” lays down the new ground rules. Distorted organs and snaky arpeggios with a beat that’s more there to keep the party going than to piss in the punch. Game rolls deep with emotion, too—dig those wordless reflections in the “it’s gonna be all right” chord progressions of “Meeguk So Horny.” The most important approach is the direct one, however: “Step into the Light You Fucking Idiot” is a track as concise and direct as its title, with layering psychedelic organs and flute-y synths slapping ears with divine truth.
And what of aging and the old persona? “Night Club vs. Book Club” isn’t something 21-year-old De Pedro might have thought much about. The two clubs battle it out over an ethereal set of tight stabs that evoke the sheer bliss of reading in bed at night. Neither side wins, but the Kid’s balanced happiness means that sometimes you retire earlier and wake up feeling refreshed with the light. So, this isn’t the prophesied slow-down—there’s still lots more to fuck up.