Various Artists


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It's all Missy Elliott's fault, really. Would listeners really be wading knee-deep through these endless piles of clever yet shallow mash-ups had her Miss E... album not first drawn in the laptop terrorists like moths to a porch light? This mini-LP (not counting the 46-plus minute noise jam tagged at the end) centers around Miss Misdemeanor's endlessly pillaged repertoire. As poster boy for this re-digified style that breaks down its original pop parts into the carefully (carelessly?) crafted sound of a CD on rhythmic skip, Kid 606 opens with his prototypical refashioning of the album's mega-hit, "Get Ur Freak On." Co-conspirators Mortal & Chemist and Kevin Blechdom each give it a go with effects that vary from overly reverent to overtly narcissistic. Blechdom's "She's a Bitchhole" barely pushes the cutting-edge territory of assigned producer Timbaland, meaning a savvy DJ could drop this right in the middle of P. Diddy's Courvoisier dream with hardly an eyebrow raised behind the Gucci sunglasses. Meanwhile, Mortal & Chemist seem to have merely created their own piece of IDM difficulties without consulting the original blueprint that everyone else was a good sport in following. Only Max Tundra scores a bull's-eye on "Typify Dial-Up Toll Amateurishness (Fuck Coldplay)," which skitters around the supa-sex vocal in a way that teases and tickles like a seasoned lover. Who would have thought the subtlety of a quarter-note click over "Beep beep/Who's got the keys to the jeep" would drive the b-girl call into erotic overdrive? There is a future in this sort of wink-wink piracy that seems to currently be trading as much on concept as on execution. But just like every other electronica subgenre out there, it still comes down to a producer's indefinable "oomph!" to make it work.

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