Kids Indestructible - "Please Avoid Strong Light"
Anyone remember mp3.com? Yeah, I know it's still around, but it looks like it's evolved into some kind of weird, redundant version of iTunes, selling Eminem and Pussycat Dolls songs while still trying to promote itself as the vanguard of "indie" music (featuring Bloc Party and Amy Winehouse on their home page). It's nothing at all like it used to be back in 2000, which is probably when I discovered Kids Indestructible while browsing its vast archives of sound-alike trance and Fruityloops-powered IDM. Like most artists on the site, they had a handful of mp3 files available for download, which could also be purchased on CD. Years later, I'm kicking myself for not buying the Please Avoid Strong Light EP, readily available even to fans in the United States like myself. Unfortunately, this wouldn't happen again.
As for their later releases, Kids Indestructible fell in with the UK (French?) label Gooom, which released the EP/mini-album Trans-Pennine Express in 2003. Gooom soon became best-known as the original label of M83, who even appeared on TP-E to remix the title track. But "Please Avoid Strong Light," after first showing up on mp3.com, is also included. It's not very far removed from the kind of analogue soundscapes that M83 build out of synths and vocal incantations, though without any of the drama or emotional overflow that's usually found in their work. "Please Avoid Strong Light" also recalls "Style" by Orbital, and given the time and place of its release, I wouldn't be surprised if was a subconscious influence on the Kids.
Gooom hasn't seemed to push Kids Indestructible any further since TP-E, but if their website is any indication, they haven't seemed to do much at all over the past year or two except promote the hell out of M83. It could be that Kids Indestructible have gone on hiatus. Their website no longer exists and no new releases have surfaced. However, the new (or at least previously-unreleased) songs posted on their Myspace and Last.fm pages are very promising, and feel a bit more confident and flushed out than most past efforts. While I might have been tempted to compare them to Stereolab or other such knob-twiddlers in the past, they seem destined to explore more expansive, Orb-like territories if they keep this up. Hopefully 2007 will find them rising out of the Leeds scene and onto better things. They already pulled themselves out of the mp3.com gutter, which relatively few bands ever really managed to do with much success, so anything is possible.