I’ve always found it difficult to draw the line between creative experimentalism and innovative musicianship when it comes to manipulating other artists’ works on vinyl. For the longest time, I refused to believe there was true creativity in the work, but as with anything, I just hadn’t been exposed to the right artists to prove me wrong.
Say My Name, the work of the mysteriously monikered The Kid from Lawrence, Kansas, does extensive sampling on his second release but also combines organic instrumentation in the form of guitars, percussion, and keys. The songs blend together nicely, creating an album that is more of a flowing, living thing than a mix of chopped-up sounds composed into songs. Just glitch-y enough, the songs here somehow maintain an atmospheric and somewhat ambient feel that makes it perfect for late-night listening.
Without real vocal accompaniment, it is somehow difficult to tell where one song ends and the next begins, and some tracks are under two minutes while others flow much longer. But there are many good things here, from the angelic (and almost liquid-flowing) “What’s After Next” to the more tribal, percussive “Fan Fiction.” Another favorite, “La Cygne,” has the feel of classic movie score, complete with scratchy pops, integrated into the flowing, nearly ambient background. And there’s something of a darker mood on the closing “Ayn Rand” that puts a satisfying finishing touch on the album.
While he lacks the world music influences of Thievery Corporation or the hip-hop elements of RJD2, Say My Name reminds me something of both. The approach here is more laid back, however, and fluid. It’s definitely a worthwhile listen for a creative approach to sampling and blending of styles.
Say My Name // La Cygne [mp3] from Say My Name 2