Kid Kasio is the most 80s person on the planet. Nathan Cooper lives and breathes the decade in a way that even the staunchest nostalgia-ist doesn’t. His music, as we’ve said before, is one of the some of the only truly authentic sounding 80s Pop being made today. Oh sure there are, and have been, many scenes that claimed ownership of the 80s bloodline; the Modern SynthPop Movement, with it’s simplistic digital beats and Industrial leanings always sounded too 90s, ElectroClash felt more like a parody that a mirror and Synthwave, despite professing the be the 80s scene, owes too much to late 90s Euphoric Trance to sound truly of the decade. All those scenes were awesome in their own right, but for songs, sounds and a look that could have genuinely stepped right out of a mid-80s episode of Top Of The Pops Kid Kasio is your man.
Nathan Cooper first came to SynthPop prominence as the driving force behind acclaimed (and rotatingly named) The Modern/Dirty Blonde/ Matinée Club in the early 2000’s, but it has been his solo output where he has really come into his own. The Modern’s big brand of vintage flavoured Indie-Electro was a show stopper at the time, nevertheless it’s since parting ways that Kid Kasio has truly been able to revel in his obsession with the 80s. From the preciseness of his DIY music videos, that recreate visual styles from the era with eerie accuracy, to the artwork, to how Nathan presents himself; the man is the pure embodiment of the 80s.
It’s been four years since Kid Kasio’s début album, Kasiotone; and this, his sophomore album, has has been a long (and sometimes troubled, not least the fact that the video for lead single, The Kodo Song, took two years to finish) journey. The final result, Sit And Wait, was well worth the wait. Blending a few of the singles we’ve been treated to over the past couple of years with a whole host of new tracks, Sit And Wait serves as a tidy follow up to Nathan’s impressive début.
Speaking of The Kodo Song, that’s how the album kicks off . The comradery anthem, with it’s sing-a-long chorus and uplifting, have on the rhythm, soundtrack is best place here. Slightly sad themes aside, The Kodo Song is a great way to introduce people to the album. A slicker representation of the 80s than found on Kasiotone, The Kodo Song is an immediate earworm to entice new listeners. 2014 single Letters Of Love is next, the first of a few tracks co-produced by The Sanfernando Sound. These guys are perfectly matched (we should know, we introduced them!). TSS’s slightly darker, more abrasive take on vintage electronics tempered by Nathan’s trademark catchy songwriting. Letters Of Love is one of our personal favourites on the album, bringing a European dancefloor Italo energy to Kid Kasio’s distinctly British retro Pop. Coursing basslines and shoulder shaking hooks pair up with Kasio’s epic vocal perfectly. Full Moon Blue has us grinning as Kid Kasio goes full Kershaw with a slice of digital Funk Pop. Building up FM slap bass and warbling synth brass in a soulful manner to underpin Nathan in heartfelt crooning mode Kasio delivers what might be the most 80s sounding track on a very 80s sounding album, and one we could listen to all day. Blood Red Skies is possibly one of the album’s only mis-steps. There’s something here that doesn’t quite gel. The song itself is really good, and catchy as hell, but the music just doesn’t work here. It’s that kind of ‘don’t quite get it’ attempt at Dance Music that people who don’t really know about Dance Music make. It’s not terrible, but it just isn’t of the same quality as the rest of the record. Along with One More Time, a similar cacophony of over compressed kick drums (because Dance Music!), this is the only point where the album falters, but The Story Of Kid Charlemagne’s intoxicating synthetic haze soon draws you back in. Not quite a ballad, but a mid-paced and involving hymn that draws you in with each piano note.
The album’s lead track, Sit And Wait, is a track we have a bit of history with. At one point to was going to be the second release on our record label (but we were let down by a whole bunch of people and it just unfortunately never happened) so we’re glad it sees the light of day here. Another The Sanfernando Sound collaboration, Sit And Wait is an energetic slice of ItaloPop with a wry sense of humour lyrically.
There’s a couple of tracks on Sit And Wait co-produced with Kal-Q-Lus. Both One Chance and Human Beings make for a nice aside to the strictly 80s SynthPop sound found elsewhere. While still keeping it retro, both of these track play around with B-Boy beats and an Electro Soul feel; the latter upping the atmosphere with some subtly used choir.
Drive (Some Kind Of Love) is Kid Kasio’s big soundtrack moment. An intense track that plays homage to the most motivational 80s movie themes. A dynamic and high-octane tune that could easily bust into the closing credits of any number of inspiring 80s movies. The Sanfernando Sound returns for the album closer, fitting title The End, a dark floorfiller that rounds off Sit And Wait on a wave of melancholic energy.
Kid Kasio has managed to turn in another must album for fans of 80s music. Despite a couple of wobbles, Sit And Wait is a highly recommended, solid album. Nathan truly is at the top of his game and has produced a record to rival many of his heroes.
♫ Kid Kasio & The Sanfernando Sound – Letters Of Love
♫ Kid Kasio – The Kodo Song
Kid Kasio’s Sit And Wait is out now.
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