30 Jan 2022
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Sweet Mix Kids - Album Review: Radio With Pictures

27 Jul 2021 // A review by Danica Bryant

Sweet Mix Kids are just as flamboyant as the cover of their debut album, Radio With Pictures, would have you believe. Stepping off stages at Coachella, Peachy Keen and Rhythm and Vines, the DJ and production duo have created a record of sensual experience, bending genre and sound to their will. The artwork’s bursting colours, vaporwave aesthetic and internet-age humour perfectly summarise what this album is here to offer: Radio With Pictures is a party album, loud and proud, but a party with Sweet Mix Kids is whatever you make it.

Radio With Pictures is a collaborative effort, with an expansive and often surprising list of musical credits. Foot-stomping folk band Albi and the Wolves make an appearance on Timewaster, an energetic banger which still leaves room for some startling lyrical sincerity, whilst Kiwi-Brazilian performer Bandi offers her silky vocals for the classic EDM number System. On occasion, the guest vocalists are the most inspired elements of the song, as there is room for Sweet Mix Kids to further experiment with more inventive structures and instrumentation.

Album highlight Ginger stars Nigerian rapper D.Matthews, who delivers a snappy, fun vocal performance, brought to life by Sweet Mix Kids’ infusion of tropical sounds and grooving percussion. Get Serious is pulled together by Maya’s sassy, playful vocals, as well as a clever bilingual verse from Te Reo artist Rei, and a brassy, inspired chorus drop. Every vocalist featured across Radio With Pictures is subject to Sweet Mix Kids’ excellent vocal production, as they play with pitch, filtering and layering with clear excitement on songs like Deep Enough and Never Have I Ever.

A defining trait of Radio With Pictures is its commitment to developing tracks as strong instrumentals in their own right. Throughout the album, Ginger (Postlude), Run-Timewaster (Interlude) and Peace (Prelude) slow down the heavy beats for moments of zoned-in instrumentation which emphasise their solid melodies. Amongst the dancehall, house and drum and bass of the album, these stunning instrumentals hone in on pianos, keys and even a violin solo from Pascal Roggen.

The most unique track is the acoustic Happy Ever After, featuring the vocals of Boh Runga and additional production from Sam Cullen. Happy Ever After may at first feel out of left field after the never-ending rush of Radio With Pictures, but as an album closer, it serves to prove that Sweet Mix Kids can really write a sticky chorus. 

Beneath the glitz and glamour of their production, Sweet Mix Kids know how to construct solid, strong music, whether stripped down to something vulnerable and soft, or built up to a full-on explosion. When Radio With Pictures hits an inevitable string of summer festivals this year, Sweet Mix Kids will be in full bloom.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Sweet Mix Kids

Auckland, based DJ/Production duo Sweet Mix Kids have played the worlds coolest parties and clubs - Coachella, Wanderlust and Rhythm & Vines music festivals & toured supporting Ed Sheeran, Rae Sremmurd, Flume, Empire Of The Sun, Kimbra, Schoolboy Q, Ryan Hemsworth & Baauer.

Sweet Mix Kids, aka Sandon James & Chris Scott's musical knowledge arises from decades in home and radio studios, crossing all genres with big production and first class collaborations. With over 500 shows performed in 2015, the Sweet Mix Kids DJ sets incorporate electronic drums & samplers, live instruments and striking dancers - mixing every genre in flamboyant live performances.

In 2015 Sweet Mix Kids released 2 singles with Pikachunes and Helen Corry - their newest single Wired ft. Iva Lamkum is out now featuring a video shot while on tour in New York. Their new single With You featuring Vince Harder drops August 26th, 2016, ahead of 2 more singles and a debut album The Party & The Pretence to finish 2016.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sweet Mix Kids

Releases

Radio with Pictures
Year: 2021
Type: Album

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