"Resilience" could suggest a kind of impervious plasticity, which might then
be read as an autobiographical hint: there are five years' worth of recordings
collected here, and, on past form, Kid 606 (AKA Miguel Depedro), knows a thing
or two about bending or ignoring the rules, gleefully loading up clusters of
restless, pile-driving electronica. But hold on the big surprise about Resilience is
how streamlined it is, how focused this music sounds.
Instead of a series of frantic scrambles around angular mazes and sudden swerves down unexpected detours, we have the opening glide through "Done With the Scene," and at once the choice of album title seems apposite in a completely different way: this is a display of maturity, where, having reached a plateau in his creative ascent, Kid 606 is taking stock and, well, ruminating. But that said, this never gets too po-faced or self-consciously elegiac.
By the second track, "Spanish Song," the Kid is indulging in a bit of genre-shuffling, blending Latino warmth with cool, clipped funky edits. "Phoenix Riddim" follows, promising an infinite loop of skanking electronica in its evasion of any conventional resolution. Each successive track sounds fully developed and thematically loyal to itself; "Sugarcoated," for example, is a kind of squelchy, deep-bass, mutant disco groove, while "I Miss You" has a polyrhythmic but plaintive structure that is part-Exotica, part post-carnival hangover wistfulness.
There are recurring traces of John Carpenter-style '70s synth sounds, and hints of melancholia amid the electronic steppers' rhythms and jaunty grooves, but for the most part this album is most notable for its evenness and restraint. It doesn't have the edginess of the Kid's previous recordings, and cloaks its eclectic sense of play in tasteful, textured layers, but in so doing achieves a consistency that has previously been lacking.