Kid Kay Ferris - Colour Me Badd
Fri 4th Jul, 2003 Music Reviewsin
Kid Kay Ferris new debut album “Colour Me Badd” showcases the exciting new direction electronic music is taking post breaks, borrowing segments of 80s and 90s electronic music and blending it with aspects of the new European clash style.
The duo’s stage name comes about from combining 80s movie characters and obscure soundtrack listings. Danny Muller and Joel Joslin are the brains behind the operation both classically trained musicians. Joel an accomplished fiddler and Danny a goanna basher.
Having met at a social gathering they formed an alliance based on the love of bad 80s n 90s dance pop and electro blips n blops. Kid Kay Ferris have already been heard internationally, having created the backing for the BMW ads in Hong Kong which allowed them to purchase the equipment to create the electro mash that is “Colour Me Badd”.
Rather then take the example from other Brisbane electronic acts which attempt to incorporate live instruments into their music and live performances Kid Kay are unashamedly synthetic in their music styling.
This is born out from the opening track of their album ‘Space Travel’ which after a blippy build up launches into a rockin techno beat similar to the sounds emerging from European techno currently. While retaining a break beat skip to the music it also takes to driving beats which push the track into a dance frenzy.
‘Here to Stay (the Kid Kay Way)’ follows the driving beat with some funky techno with catchy hooks, some breaks influence and amusing lyrics from Joel.
Live favourite ‘Phil Collins Running’ brings breakbeat influence further into the album with an awesome buildup then release into a hook chucky enough for any slaughterhouse. Background blips and blops add atmosphere and meat to the track, something evident in the other tracks on the album also.
For the title track ‘Colour Me Badd’ the duo get in Madaline Paige who adds dreamy vocals to a track offering early 90s glow stick dance and a side dish of deep tech beats.
To break up the album, a cute, 80s Commodore 64 sounding 70 second ditty ‘Square Wave 2’ is included, just to make you wish you were back in a time when 8-bit computer game graphics were the real deal.
However the deep techno beats aren’t far away, and ‘You Make Me Feel Electric’ brings them back, deeper then all the other tracks on the album. Danny tries his hand on the vocals for this track, which have a similar style to ‘Here to Stay’ although to a different backing. Lots of early 90s build ups in this track which make you feel like pumping your arms in the air like you were listening to Itchee and Scratchee ala 1992.
Deep housey grooves dominate the ‘Robot MC’ track. Again the album takes you back in time to when, as a recent artist put it ‘house was house’. A very happy song, one to get the dance floor moving no matter what the crowd.
Again Kid Kay Ferris use vocals in their track, something which is becoming quite a trend in electronic music lately, this time Monique Eichperger gets the invite to add her disinterested vocal stylings to “Unplanned City”. Backing these vocals is some nice techno, not dissimilar to classic Dutch techno of the early to mid 90s.
“Trouble Indeed” continues the vocal escapade that is the signature of the album. This time Danny’s sister Vicki gets a gig telling us ‘The republic will fall, this is trouble indeed’ in a style which would not be out of place being transmitted round a doomed Death Star under rebel attack. Early 90s driving glow stick techno again gets a gig in the backing although slightly darker then other tech offerings on the album it is in keeping with the theme of the song.
The last track, “When Will You Float Away” is the enigma of the album, starting out Kraftwerkish in its beats, with the calm, soothing vocals of Michael Ross accompany the chilled beats. After a period of silence we are then treated to some intelligent electronica sounds which are atmospheric and moody. The purpose of 20 minutes of atmospheric sounds at the end of a dance album slightly confuses, as the boys reportabley have created over 60 tracks, some of which I’m sure would be much more suited to the album then this strange piece.
Overall however this album is a very exciting piece of work. While not creating anything new itself, its synergy of past and present musical styles creates a work that is rare in its application and blending of these various styles. For those people tired of current breakbeat offerings and not quite into the eurotrash of Chicks on Speed or Peaches this is for you. Grabbing the best that electronica has offered us over the last 15 or so years and melding it together into a delightful tapestry of sound shows skill of rare quality and provides Kid Kay Ferris with a fantastic launching pad to take over the Australian electronic scene.