Boom Bip


(Lex; 2004)

By Chet Betz | 20 July 2004

For several months I’ve been sitting on the promo CD to producer Boom Bip’s Corymb, an album of remixes by other artists and a few B-sides, trying to muster up some sort of reaction. And now, as I type, all I can really get out of myself is a shrugging “Golly gee, guys, it’s pretty pleasant. Most of it.” Prepare to not get excited.

It’s promising that the new stuff from Boom Bip goes over best. In fact, numero uno “From Left to Right” blows the rest of the album out of the water. At its core it’s a stupendously simple electronic tub-thumper, but the routine plays out with more fantastic flourishes than figure-skating queens. This is what I imagine crunk club singles sound like in Iceland. “Morning and a Day” works beautifully in its melding of guitars and techno drums, but it desperately lacks the sense of build and momentum that empowers “From Left to Right.” Radiohead would love “In the Tree Top.”

Unfortunately, the remixes from the higher profile artists, Mogwai and Boards of Canada, are limp and lifeless driftwood. On the other side of the lake, the hardly boring Venetian Snares crashing of “The Unthinkable” should be called “The Unlistenable.” Okay, so it’s not that bad, and I know plenty of highly knowledgeable audiophiles who admire this kind of shit, the music that sounds to my untrained ears like a black leather Bohemian rubbing his groin furtively up against a sequencer while stroking board knobs. Oh yeah, this track supposedly features Buck 65.

Faring much better than their aforementioned peers, cLOUDDEAD convert “Closed Shoulders” into something that sort of sounds, oddly enough, like ambient Yo La Tengo. Lali Puna slam the glitch-pop stamp down hard on “Awaiting an Accident,” which gives me a nigh irresistible urge to reach for my copy of Neon Golden. And Four Tet riddles “Third Stream” with percussion so off-kilter it wobbles back around to being straight ill; this track would be a clear album stand-out if it ever managed to develop into more than the sum of its very foxy parts.

Toss in a couple decent yet unnecessarily long Peel session tracks, and call it an album.

Believe me, I tried really hard to avoid the whole 69 rating ordeal, but it’s the only number that fit for me. And there’s nothing remotely sexy about this album. Except, well, I suppose it could be the soundtrack to getting down with fairies… um, like Tinkerbell, I mean. Damn.