Essential New Music: Jim Sauter & Kid Millions’ “Safe & Sane”

Safe? Sane? Anyone who feels the need to assure you that those qualities are at hand is not telling you something that you really need to know. So while the flower on the cover of the album looks pretty, beware of thorns. Kid Millions (Oneida, Man Forever) is a force of nature on the drums, raining down beats and channeling energy like the third hundred-year storm to swamp your coastal downtown this season.

What drives nature to such fury? The unnatural influence of humanity, of course, and if one man can cause global warming via sound alone, it’s Jim Sauter (Borbetomagus). In photos, he looks like your average tenor-saxophone-toting lumberjack. But you could spend a long time with Safe & Sane without realizing that a horn is involved, since his tone is so fried by electronics that it will make oxygen combust. This music is neither safe nor sane, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. 

—Bill Meyer