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Waiting for You

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Album Review

Inconspicuous as it was, King Midas Sound's 2007 unveiling — on the Soul Jazz label's first Box of Dub compilation — was a well-defined statement of purpose. A vaporous yet rugged production from Kevin Martin (Techno Animal, the Bug), "Surround Me" slithered and moaned with seductive black-hearted dread projected by poet (and Bug accomplice) Roger Robinson, a Trinidad and Tobago native whose upper-register whispers could have been recorded as his tear ducts were about to activate: "I'm with my lady, but you know it ain't easy." From there, KMS took an indirect route to their first album. A pair of Hyperdub singles were filled with dubs and remixes of tracks that had yet to appear in original form, and then they led off 5 Years of Hyperdub with the disarming psych-ward lovers rock of "Meltdown" ("You hear me crying out for help/Lord, I don't need nobody else"), placed as a central track on Waiting for You, issued a few weeks later. Over half of the album's songs are filled with Robinson's bittersweet longing, brilliantly paired with some of Martin's most detailed, creative, and accessible production work. The title track, a light stomp with shimmering and chiming accents, expresses longing so powerful that it paralyzes. On "One Ting," anchored by a five-note sub-bass vamp beneath juicy thwacks and heavily reverbed SONAR-like pings, Robinson is positively stung, stuck: "I try not to give up hope/The only way for me to cope." The slowest of these mostly slow-motion songs, the most entrancing of all, is the prowling "Goodbye Girl," where a resigned Robinson (“Our love has hit the wall”) is joined by Hitomi, whose languorous delivery betrays livid spite: "I wish you pain 'til you can never feel joy/I wish you luck with a capital 'F,' boy.” Survival themes and battle rhymes are also part of the mix, with "Earth a Kill Ya" the most powerful of the album's remainder. Robinson switches to deep-voiced dub poet over clinking and pattering percussion clusters, transmitting a pro-vegetarian ecological sermon augmented with a hypnotic refrain: "The Earth will kill you if you try to kill it/Your body heals you if you discipline it." Words (and rhythms) by which to live.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An art-damaged dub-meets-lovers rock collaboration between producer Kevin Martin (God, Techno Animal, the Bug) and distinctive vocalists Roger Robinson and Kiki Hitomi, King Midas Sound surfaced in 2007 with a track on the Soul Jazz compilation Box of Dub. "Surround Me," an alluring and bleary dirge between dub and (heartbroken) lovers rock, set the tone for what followed. KMS linked with Kode9's Hyperdub label, where they made their proper debut in October 2008 with "Cool Out," a relatively rugged...
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Waiting for You, King Midas Sound
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