Kid Loco

The Graffiti Artist

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French trip-hopper Kid Loco has been more or less silent since the release of 2001's subpar effort Kill Your Darlings. That record trashed the promise of his stellar debut, A Grand Love Story, by tossing out the subtle beauty of his laid-back, relaxed, and melodic tunes and replacing it with a clattering and decadent sound almost bereft of any value at all. His 2005 soundtrack to the film The Graffiti Artist regains much of the ground Kid Loco lost with Kill Your Darlings. The disc plays as one long song stretching out over 79 minutes of tuneful, flowing music that is dynamic, peaceful, and never boring. The first half of the record is heavily influenced by Indian music, with a snake charmer clarinet (played by Jerome Benoussan) and sitar providing much of the atmosphere but also loads of mellow guitars, relaxed beats, and tablas. It then shifts into some moody downtempo sounds that tread more closely to an accepted soundtrack style with lots of strings and dramatic shifts in tone before heading back into a more frenzied take on the Indian sound to conclude the disc. Luckily, there are no vocals to mar the proceedings and the record has a lovely grooving psychedelic feeling that gently enfolds you from the very beginning of the disc and doesn't let go until the very end. The disc succeeds both as a soundtrack and as notice that Kid Loco is back to doing what he does best.

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