By Kid Adrift
Kid Adrift's 'Oxytocin' EP is the sort of experimental electro that makes you think of bedroom recordings and one man meticulously editing and mixing tracks on his home laptop. The strongest of the three tracks, is the title track, which is like an anthemic indie track re-created with a computer. It may be based on a crunching, mechanical beat and filled in with waves of dense electronics, but there's something distinctly indie about mainman Iain Campbell's impassioned vocals and the synthesised strings. Campbell's vocals are unusually unpolished, as he slips between speaking, singing and warbling, and speeds up and slows down seemingly at random, but this only makes for a more earnest performance, and it brings an organic element to 'Oxytocin's sheened electro.
'Oxytocin' works itself to a melee of surreal, space-aged electro and a relentless, back-and-froth shriek of synthesised strings, before collapsing in on itself and fading out in a whisper of vocals and squeaking, computerised strings. This song is all about forcing together indie-rock passion and harsh mechanical beats, and it makes for an intense listening experience.
'Crash Therapy' is more sinister. Beneath the surface of skittering synths, 'Crash Therapy' is hollowed out with the drone of an organ-like sound effect. Campbell's vocals are as rough-after-the-edges as ever, once again bringing that human element to this electro experiment, but this time he's joined by a wailing female backing vocalist, who is guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine. An arty electro head-trip that'll give you goosebumps.
After 'Crash Therapy' and 'Oxytocin,' it's disappointing how conventional 'Static' is. Even if the synthesised strings make a welcome re-appearance, it can't help but feel flat next to the other two tracks, which push the boundaries of electronica.
With its fondness for synthesised strings and vocals that sound almost live, 'Oxytocin' manages to maintain that sense of DIY aesthetic, and at times almost feels like a bedroom project, just with a little extra polish.