Graham Reid | | 1 min read
You will be no wiser about who Jr Kong is by looking at his website, where his bio says only that he's a budding songwriter, producer and DJ, has played in high school bands, sung in a church choir and scored for short films. Where and when any of this happened remains a mystery. (The phone number I have is a New Zealand mobile, and I do admire the fact that he has "an assistant".)
But it probably doesn't matter where he comes from because all we need is the artefact and in this case it is wide-ranging, two-years-in-the-making, very smart collection of beats and electronica, sassy samples and soul-blues vocals, dub step and skewed electro-psychedelica.
It is diverse, engaging, ambitious and I imagine much of it makes as much sense in a club as it does on the home stereo. In Train Spotting he has a potential radio hit in my book, it is a loping and slightly world-weary slice of electro-pop that instantly catches the ear.
But elsewhere he gets edgy (the squelchy Hegemony with a sample from Noam Chomsky speaking about terrorism), brings in bluesy guitar for a brief interlude, then delivers up some hip-hop influenced but languid soul-pop (Hosea). Later there are nods to drum'n'bass, an bleep-punctuated acoustic quasi-ambient piece of trip-hop (Fallen Angel, with very seductive pop vocals) . . .
And so it goes: strength through diversity is the key here and as a sampler/showcase/calling card it is very impressive. Best sampled in small doses for a full appreciation of the mysterious Jr Kong's considerable talents.