Don’t be afraid of the rhythm. Lose yourself to the power of Perfecto. Just feel the groove, close your eyes, and shake your hips. It’s a dance revolution. Perfecto: attacking the mic like the funky spawn of Snap, C&C Music Factory, and Technotronic. Not even Ya Kid K could ever get this low.
The path to self-discovery lies on the dance floor. Setting it off are your party-starters, Kenny Dennis (The KDz) and Ders. Chromatic funk comes courtesy of producer, DJ Rafal (AKA Larold Stevens). This is the hip-house crew that took the mid-western mall circuit by storm. You learned about their rise on the KD LP III record; now you can hear them shining like a Mercedes.
If none of this makes any sense, let’s take a step back. Perfecto is the latest and final odyssey in the life of Kenny Dennis, the absurd and oddly poignant fictional alter ego, blue collar hero of modernity, rib tips connoisseur, mustached rapper and softball titan.
It all fits into the bleak funhouse saga of Serengeti. Sometimes, the critically revered Chicagoan collaborated with Yoni Wolf (WHY?) or Sufjan Stevens. Sometimes, he works with Open Mike Eagle or Odd Nosdam. Over the final chapters of the Kenny Dennis chronicles, his co-pilot is Anders Holm (“Ders”) of Workaholics.
For most of Kenny Dennis’ career, the KDz gravitated to raw boom-bap reminiscent of his early days in the Grimm Teachaz—the 90s rap group once signed to Jive, who beefed with Shaq and never got their fair share of fame. In his latest scheme to blow up, Kenny embraces early 90s neon, glossy beats, house vocals, and bass to the face. Ders goes along because Perfecto is a formidable team.
Perfecto also tells its own origin story. The 17-minute long, “The Labrador” is essentially the novel-as-song—explaining how Rafal got into production after spending nearly nine years writing a 9,000-page plus book at his day job. There was a lawsuit. There were illegal confiscations. But everything eventually worked out after Rafal discovered a computer program that taught him how to make beats.
Mall music history jumps off from there. As soon as Rafal put the beats on Craig’s List, Kenny heard them and had his mind blown. He called up Ders, they started rapping and they never stopped. “Close Your Eyes,” “DJCU,” “Giorgio,” and “Side x Side” could be the best tracks on any of the MTV Party to Go compilations. Eric Nies would love it.
These are synth dance anthems, house vamps, wavy rhythms, raps that would make Chill Rob G have to chill. But there’s also a powerful message. Perfecto is about equality for human kind, because when we dance we’re color blind. This is about having faith for the dance floor. Tonight could be the night. They’re here to sing the body electric and make you sweat. Have a ball like a masquerade.
Oh, and if you need beats holler at Raffalltracks @aol.com.