Kid Called Computer (self-released)

Toriano Terrell 

Kid Called Computer (self-released)

Dubbing a project Kid Called Computer, thus incorporating the names of two beloved Radiohead albums, creates outrageous expectations, though Toriano Terrell sidesteps the issue by operating on a different plane. Terrell's tracks combine accessible elements such as gentle, jazzy guitars, speaker-punishing bass blasts and eerie orchestra samples. His carefully tended sonic gardens don't contain any garish colors or ingratiating scents; instead, this sounds-keeper leads listeners to a running fountain, where they become mesmerized by the steady-splashing rhythms.

Terrell's ghostly vocals, which float weightlessly through his percussive compositions like a windblown feather, seem detached but not desperately so. On "Absence and Abnormalities," the album's multilayered masterstroke, Terrell's delivery varies to fit the song's many moods: breezy during its opening stretch, stern during its spoken-word interlude (The danger is past/The lingering illness is over at last), melodic up to its seeming conclusion, transcendent during its surprising psychedelic-rock reprise.

Other voices appear occasionally -- a sampled schoolteacher chiding a youngster about becoming just another ignoramus, a brazen cyberhussy cooing you feel so good inside me, a flatulent child breaking wind in a bathtub -- but save a few scratches from turntablist Ran Mecca, Terrell executes Kid Called Computer alone. This debut disc reveals a wide-reaching vision, offering low-end thumps for hip-hop bass fiends, low-key hooks for the intelligent dance music crowd and a gloomy haze that might provide dark comfort for victims of the area's government-funded witch-hunt, Blue Springs goths. And his eclectic electronica-informed approach might be even better received in other locales, which means Terrell might soon take his beat-generation on the road.

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