Kid Drama aka Damon Kirkham has continued to grow in repute as a genre-mingling producer, dabbling back into the 170bpm sector and returning to Exit Records after three years.
The Covering Ground EP begins with something crisp and explicit that is exactly what we were all expecting – coming from the place where he debuted his Kid Drama sound. To open this EP we are given a track where a hard, self-propelling intro leads into dark mechanical rolls and an arrangement of menacing bass stabs. This combined with the clean breaks and the spacey pads that come in at around 2:10 bring us some unmistakeable Photek-y flavours. Wispy interludes rush back into the deep end where Damon has successfully intertwined some serious bass weight with top sound design to bring the low end so successfully through those kicks and stabs.
For number two we’re given a track highly suitable if you’re having a bit of an emotional one. In ‘Luv’ feat. Skeptical gorgeous chords and that synth(!), are blended so smoothly into the tranquil sub and with vocals which fit just perfectly. The percussion hits stand out so clearly you can almost see the carefully set space around them as a result of precise EQ-ing and cautious control of reverb throughout. Skeptical’s stamp has well and truly been placed on the drums in this track giving it his distinguishable, pleasing sound while we wait for those heavenly vocals to fully sliiiiide in at 2:35 and for everything to generally kick off and deliver the full heart stopping beauty that was anticipated.
Tune three. ‘Wasted Time’ I must say probably my least favourite off the EP. I find that it’s neither one thing or another, quite jolty at the beginning yet becomes somehow flowing when the smooth sub bass creeps in, and the vocals, they just don’t quite do it for me. Saying that, this track is very much in keeping with the rest of the album, reiterating certain sounds and movements of various elements like the bass, for example. Despite my judgements, this track carries a strong vibe to it and I think that’s due to a combination of the typical Kid Drama percussion and strong vocals from Alia Fresco.
Last but not least we have ‘Shutter feat. Consequence’. We head off to a moody start which builds and dives into even MORE taut percussion. It’s fresh on the ears, layering those beautiful percs on top of such cinematic textures just seems to hit the spot. I love this one. Dark and brooding, it’s a perfect track to finish this journey.
Off hand, this EP doesn’t grab you instantaneously but give it time and it will. I have really enjoyed listening to this from start to finish, picking out new components each time to really understand what built these tracks. Nevertheless I must mention that after having this on a loop, one criticism I have is that the album doesn’t fit together quite right as one. Living up to the title ‘Covering Ground’ I feel like the contrast between ‘Red Magic’ and the rest of the tracks on this release is too drastic and the vocal content on ‘Wasted Time’ could’ve been toned down slightly to make the EP work better as a whole. This doesn’t take away from the fact that I would definitely recommend anybody to check this out. There’s such a diverse arrangement of material here I doubt you wouldn’t be able to find something you’ll enjoy. You can buy it here.