Kissy Sell Out “Youth”

It’s no secret that music’s face is turning more and more electronic. Charts are dominated by (more or less) plastic dance like Lady Gaga or Ke$ha and, in case they aren’t available for a longer time, ex-‘indie’ acts with synthie woof like La Roux or Gossip bridge the gap. No wonder, one classic rock band of the other is experimenting with electronic elements and new DJs pop up everywhere – sadly not seldom at quality’s expense.

One of those new artists and DJs is Kissy Sell Out alias Thomas Bisdee. This young Brit’s vita reads like the plot for an average Hollywood movie. Born as only child in a small village, discovering ‘dance music’ with 13, scoffed underdog at younger age, then move to another town and adaption of cultural ‘mainstream’, which leads into rising popularity among his classmates and friends – although he always sticked to his former affections like painting, albeit secretly. After this metamorphosis the young lad becomes a graphic designer, producer and in the end DJ and radio host with a flat at the hub of the world, big city London. It might not be career from the dishwasher to a millionaire but one from dusty the pavement to the shiny skylines.

After mainly deejaying at clubs and hosting his own show at BBC’s prestigious Radio1 Kissy Sell Out released his first self-written album in late March 2010. The debut work is called Youth and was recorded by Kissy himself and his cousin, who takes on the vocals here. In his songs Bisdee non-surprisingly re-telling stories from his on teenage days and listeners quickly recognize, that the same must have been neither notably exciting, nor varied.

Opener “Through the Leaves” might begin very promising with some nice strings but then enter the vocals and one start thinking about of what they remind you – weirdly enough, my first thought was ‘Bloc Party’, only jazzier and more electronic. Then it’s getting dancier: more rhythms, drums and synthesizer sounds, though, with no remarkable climax and so we start hunt for the very the same through the next ten tracks listening to one eagerly put together tune after the other.

After 38 minutes there’s suddenly silence, the ultimate one. The CD is over and one’s wondering, what he / she has been doing during the last half an hour. All we can remember are some lengthy and unspectacular synthie hooks, various hey!-shouts fleeing from a evenly singing and, somehow, a lack of real bass and beats. This album literally chokes you to boredom with its monotonous jazzy style, shining only with its unvariety.

If Kissy would have meet some cool and true guys and not some backstreet boys, the LP could sound way different today. But after all, you can be curious to see him giving it another try reaching out for electronic music’s Olympe with a follow-up called Adult or not. We only hope for him that his life gets a bit spicier till then – more dusty pavements and less shiny skylines maybe.

Kissy Sell Out Youth was released by Rykodisc / Warner in Germany in 2010 and already last year by ADA in the UK.

TRANSLATION: Thomas Vorreyer

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