whizz kid

Teetering between moments of lucidity and lunacy, Whizz Kid have always held a very special place in our listening space since first rearing their heads above the aural parapet and clearly knocking us for six with the frankly skittish ‘the yellow and blue’ EP from 2009. We made comment at the time to their uncanny indecision at falling between seducing and spooking the would be listener while appealing to a listening spectrum that found their way sneaking to adore everything from Raymond Scott to Pop Off Tuesday and quite possibly everything else in between. Impish was the byword, the all covering warts n’ all descriptor you’d imagine created with these dudes in mind, it proved to be one of our most favourite surrealist left field releases that year exiting stage left leaving us wondering whether its skewed nature was a deliberate and calculated act or simply the work of the deranged. Several years have flown by since then and now, our moods being buoyed a month or so ago at the news of new Whizz Kid sounds afoot, an album in fact from which ’the kid santa’ was sent forth unto the world as a teaser taster and mentioned here along the lines of childlike disturbia running amok in fischer price fantasia – or at least words to that effect. And while it came primed in the kind of weird wonkiness we’ve come to love and adore about Whizz Kid it didn’t quite prepare us for hearing the set in full. That said having now heard ’there’s conjuring to be done’ I’m of the firm belief that its authors (Yo Yo Nielsen and J-Kane) are mischief makers and that what lies within astound, amaze and amuse all who enter its fried domain. Out via the esteemed Bearsuit – themselves purveyors of the peculiar this set gathers together 10 sonic play charms that just might elevate this bijou label to the deserving attention of a wider audience. A playfully intricate bouquet of bizarro bric n’ brac, the Whizz ones craft out, to much delight, an at times delightfully purred and affectionate aural cocktail of hauntologist kookiness and soft psych shadow plays all schooled in lounge lilts, lunar waltzes (the serenely ornate ’charly stories’ being the case in point), lost lullabies and even archaic hued homely folk with ac touch tasting of francophile flair (‘trapeze’). From the crooked bandstand wheezes of the sleepy headed toy box umpah of the opening ‘clones’ to the mellowed oriental seafarer that is the dreamily dinked ‘I fall in the grandad bus’ (think youthful ISAN shimmying up to minotaur shock and Cornelius whilst ‘ballade a chaud fontaine‘ is similarly flavoured in old school Melodic imprint motifs), ‘there’s conjuring to be done’ never ceases to entertain and have you pressing the repeat button to re-imagine the experience all over again. ’summer bubbles’ and ’falling out of trees, falling down hills’ but emerge from a classically arched noir script, the former a fused mosaic of emperor penguin and busy signals smoothness, the latter once awoken from its yawning slumber a Gnac styled slice of spectral spy themed eeriness that courts to the lighter side of wizards tell lies albeit re-tweaked by the overseeing eye of Meek. Those adoring of oriental incantations and bowed chimes may find ears engaged by the crooked south sea shimmered flightiness of ’Burlington’. And while the mere mention of glitch electronica may have you thinking upon these chaps as strolling along tuned into all manner of Warp like madness, ’there’s conjuring to be done’ instead reveals an ear subtly au fait in the Birmingham underground scene c. mid 90’s tapping along to the kind of 60’s channelled sounds hatching out of Wurlitzer Jukebox so much so its easy to imagine a reworking of Kirchin viewed through the eyes of a child which on the likes of ’circus juice’ is revealed an informed and affectionate love for the likes of L’augmentation (see ‘trapeze’) and Pram which if stretched a little in the imaginations ear could easily be viewed as a spectral and skeletal Broadcast framing.

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