I was first introduced to the work of Kid Loco several years ago with his excellent remix collection Jesus Life For Children Under 12 Inches. After hearing and enjoying that release, I sought out some of his solo work and although it didn't blow me away, it was constructed well enough to stick out in a world cluttered with mid and downtempo electronic music.
The Graffiti Artist is his newest work in almost four years (following Kill Your Darlings, which I consider to be his least-interesting work), and it's the soundtrack to an independent film about yes, you guessed it; underground graffiti artists. I've not seen the film itself, but given the basis for the film figured without even hearing the score that it would fall in line almost perfectly with the music that Kid Loco has already created.
I've always been a big fan of soundtracks and how well they hold up as individual pieces of music outside the films that they accompany, and I probably have fifty or so soundtracks in my personal collection that hold up to repeated listening and indeed even conjure up unique imagery on their own (holding court at the top of the list are the usual suspects like Ennio Morricone, Danny Elfman, and John Williams).
Unfortunately, the soundtrack to The Graffiti Artist is so repetitive and plain that it makes me wonder why it was released in the way that it was. Eight un-named tracks run almost eighty minutes long and in most cases barely change instrumentation. The first three tracks (which run almost fifty minutes total time) mix middle eastern percussion, a bit of guitar, and some rhodes for some warm backdrops, but the melodies are all so jammy and non-descript that they could easily be edited down or trimmed.
It's only towards the latter part of the release that things actually change up and get a bit interesting. Track six busts loose with some funky rhodes organ and a hip-hop beat before dropping off into dark ambience while track seven recycles a melody from earlier in the album and pairs it with some chunky beats and synth strings for something that sounds like the theme song for a suave intercontinental spy. Even with the bursts of late creativity, though, the album sags and lags in so many ways that it will probably only appeal to those looking for something very repetitive and innocuous to put on in the background while doing something else.