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Amplivate

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Album Review

Beatboxing — using only one's voice to create often highly intricate and funky drum patterns — is a well-respected art in the hip-hop community. But if the ability to beatbox well commands respect, the ability to do so at a virtuosic level commands something more along the lines of disbelief and can give rise to suspicion that the beatboxer has crossed the line into mere gimmickry. Kid Beyond goes one step further than virtuosity, not only creating beats and sounds that seem humanly impossible, but looping and layering them with his sung vocals and thereby creating complete musical compositions. If he could beatbox in a manner that would have you disbelieving your ears, that would be interesting for about three minutes. But because he invests his amazing skills in the creation of fully realized music, the result is music that is interesting in and of itself, regardless of how it was made. Kid Beyond's debut release is an eight-track EP containing three original compositions, a jaw-dropping arrangement of Portishead's "Wandering Star," and four remixes, all of which are fun enough but (ironically) none of which is as interesting as the original on which it's based. Highlights include the frenetically jungly "Mothership" and the more meditative and dreamy "Deep Inside." There's a deeply human sweetness to Kid Beyond's attitude, yet another aspect of his art that tends to set him apart from the hip-hop mainstream. The full-length follow-up can't come soon enough.

Customer Reviews

Kid Beyond - The One Man Band

This guy is amazing. If your not familiar with him, he is a beatboxer. But he loops his beats to create full songs with lyrics, music and meaning all at once with no instruments or other people. He is a very talented as an artist both in music-making/beatboxing and singing and songwriting. I never thought iTunes would have this, very pleased. Great album, definatly check it out, even if you dont like hipp-hopp and that nonsense, check it out anyway, its nothing like that.

Good stuff, but nowhere near the live show.

This is a solid, four-star EP. Unfortunately, that puts it about a star-and-a-half below Kid Beyond's spectacular live show. You get the full mix here, though you miss out on half the fun without seeing Kid Beyond create all of these beats from scratch, using only his beatboxing skills (not to mention the sexy, sweaty people dancing like mad that seem to be at every show). At the very least, this will sate the Beyond fan 'till he gets back into town.

Amazing

The things this man does with his mouth pale only in comparison to the things he does with his mind and heart. It's a wonderful and too-rare combination for music to be enjoyable, technically excellent, and also to have a sincere, beautiful message. Kid Beyond is off the chart by any and every measure.

Amplivate, Kid Beyond
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings