Album Reviews

Various – The Only Blip Hop Record You Will Ever Need, Vol 1

(Luaka Bop) UK release date: 30 September 2002

The Only Blip Hop Record You Will Ever Need, Vol 1 Ah, the coinage of a new genre, very clever. So what is blip hop exactly? If this album is anything to go by, it’s the type of music where nerdy guys sit up in their bedrooms sampling curious noises onto their computers and loop the results into five minutes or so of sound which they decide to file under ‘music’.

Part curated by reinvented former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, whose recent single with X-Press 2 indicates his new interest in the quirkier end of dance music, this compilation brings together the current purveyors of bizarre bleeps and ticks.

Much of the music on this compilation pushes at the boundary between what is music and what is essentially a soundtrack, in that you wouldn’t mind it accompanying a film but isn’t really strong enough to stand on its own. Take the track Taxidub by Pole, for example – the one on the latest Levi’s ‘rub yourself’ ads. It goes on for more than seven minutes, and believe me, you’ve already heard the best bit.

Of course experimental music is is a good thing, but there is still every reason to discern wheat from chaff. Pushing boundaries alone does not necessarily good music make, and that is what this album proves. There are good tracks – Mouse On Mars deliver a fine specimen of parping brass with beats with the opening track Mykologics and there’s a gorgeous slab of curious bliss in To Roccoco Rot‘s Pantone.

However, there are far too many tracks, particularly towards the end of the album, for which the phrase “mind numbing tedium” seems too mild. Whatever good stuff they’ve saved for Volume II could have been better used to boost this very patchy compilation.

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