Kids Techno – Greatest Hits

Kids Techno
Greatest Hits

Planted firmly somewhere in the vast territory between sincere electronic mix-mash music and joke music made for nothing more than a kick, Kids Techno is probably laughing at us. Sometimes, it’s easy to tell which way this artist is leaning, as he takes on a true homage to Wesley Willis one moment and later puts together a chilling, tight track. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to tell if you’re supposed to laugh, cringe, or be impressed.
That’s Kids Techno’s greatest fault. You can’t always tell when the artist is taking himself seriously, and that makes the music at times difficult to take seriously. But if you can overlook the blatantly bad for the sake of being bad tunes, there’s some good music on this release. Kid Techno (the man behind Kids Techno) does just about all the instruments himself, mixing in beats and samples and recording to a 4-track. I can’t even begin to tell you what it sounds like, so we’ll leave it at that.
There’s no real cohesion here. In between actual songs, Kids Techno splices in telephone calls to stores asking if they carry Kids Techno, odd sounds and samples, and annoying little tunes that may be fun to make but are hardly fun to listen to. But you get the sense that Kids Techno knows when they’re good and when they’re bad, and they include both here purposefully.
Looking at the real tracks here, “Death Comes to People Who Eat” is a heavily distorted instrumental of beats and fuzz, while “Learn to Listen” is a nice (if slightly unoriginal) mix of samples from a audio set-up tape and slick beats and bass. Proving that anybody can do what Wesley Willis does – and thus that artist’s draw is clearly more than his music – “Tribute to Wesley” is just another Willis song about Kids Techno, only by Kids Techno. The best track here is the 8-minute “Sleeping Beats,” a slick combination of acoustic guitar, record-bips and pops, and sampled vocals that almost send you into a trance. This is a fine piece, the best on the album. And the fuzzed-out album closer would be a decent noisy rock track if not for the Casio beats.
Everyone’s going to point out how terrible some of these “songs” are, but the point isn’t to compare all of Kids Techno’s songs to your favorite band. This guy isn’t trying to be slick and well produced. He’s trying to have fun, to mix things up, to keep you guessing. And if you’re willing to sit through some weird, messy tracks, you’ll find some surprisingly good gems on this release. So why the bad songs when he has the talent to do better? I’m not quite sure, but without knowing, I’m not going to deride him for it.