When we covered Kid Flicks’ Hearts of Gold in 2011, founder Nickos Dervisis was dubbed a Grecian beat technician. In those days Kid Flicks was composed on a Macbook, a digital patch work of field recordings and kaleidoscopic manipulations. At the heart of Kid Flicks is psychedelia, vibrant and childlike. Five years later, the self-titled Kid Flicks record does not shy from its life blood, even as it has evolved into a four-piece band.
Where Hearts of Gold and follow-up By Typing “I Talk” You Don’t Talk toil for those shimmering cathartic reprieves (“The Institute” comes to mind), the self-titled album has forgone such anguish as a gatekeeper. “La Voix Surréaliste” burns slow in a virtual minimalism as Dervisis wails “let me try” before the sound breaks widescreen, utilizing the full band that includes dual drummers. It’s the collaboration, the necessity to work within the parameters of a core that has altered Kid Flicks on the self-titled album. Dervisis is no longer lost in his own devices, the album cannot digress into a noisy metal vignette if the players are unable to follow him on that path. It confines Kid Flicks to the afrobeat, the mediterranean bop, and psychedelic pop tableau— all for the better.
Kid Flicks stills bursts open in artful wonder. “Don Quixote” wedges in an orchestral sample that actually grounds the glitchy breakdown. It’s metal moments of prismatic outbreaks still have a home here. The sonic decoupage is still keenly designed. They are quite possibly compartmentalized into “Fingers”. The collages pasted in previous outings have fewer lines drawn and tracks like “Whirling Dervish” and “The Ocean” exist in a unifying hue of warmth. By “Textiles” Kid Flicks may do as they please without disrupting the homeostasis, all bets are off and they thrive in that license.
At nine tracks the self-titled album feels like so much more. It’s a testament to the dynamic effort of Dervisis’ elastic ensemble. Kid Flicks has made something immense. Nothing about the record is lightning in a bottle, but rather slow alchemy, studied and perfected over time.