belated tune: Little Dragon “Seconds (Syd the Kyd remix)”

[audio http://downloads.pitchforkmedia.com/Little_Dragon_-_Seconds_Syd_the_Kyd_Remix.mp3]

Download (right click, “save as”): Little Dragon, “Seconds (Syd the Kyd remix)”

About a year ago, when I first read about and listened to the work of ridiculously explicit LA alt hip-hop collective Odd Future, nobody was really anticipating that they’d dominate the music blogosphere in 2011. At that point, Everyone of the group’s mixtapes were still available for free, direct download. Also at that point, Tyler, the Creator’s “French” video had a mere 60 thousand views (on the statistics tab, you can actually see the video’s views take a huge spike upward near the beginning of 2011; it now has over 5 million). On OF’s Radical mixtape, he brags on “Splatter” that said video won 20 thousand views. Even he couldn’t have foreseen what was to come.

This year, it seems like every music critic has been so moved by their music as to write some impassioned piece from either side of the fence. A lot of people are, perhaps rightfully and dutifully, completely disgusted by the lyrical content, littered with rape references and other assorted offensive things. This repulsiveness is built-in: grimaces are expected, and anything less is a pretty solid indicator of inhumanity.

Yet a lot of folks are absolutely compelled. If not by the monstrous, violent lyrical fantasies, then by the instantly recognizable sonic aesthetic. Indeed, perhaps more recognizable than Tyler’s menacing growl is Syd the Kid’s production. Syd’s instrumentals invoke an instant daze, an aimless introspective trudge where anything–especially unspeakable things–can happen.

Usually, this woolgathering sphere provides the appropriate context for OF’s mostly inappropriate discourse. But here, it backs frontwoman Yukumi Nagano’s rumination and distracted lust on this remix of Little Dragon’s “Seconds”, the last cut off their album Ritual Union.

In truth, considering the introspective, bottled-in conceptual similarities between Little Dragon’s Ritual Unions and, say, Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin, this remix had a perfect potential. And Syd translated all of that potential into a repeat monger of a track. It is, without doubt an upgrade over the original, which is a solid part of a tremendous album in its own right. But most importantly, it should serve as an aural example of why Syd the Kyd might be destined for more success and longevity than any of her OF counterparts. It’s hard to imagine these grooves just trending.