Album Reviews

The Only Blip Hop Record You…

UK release date: 30 September 2002

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 guyssit up in their bedrooms sampling curious noises onto their computers andloop the results into five minutes or so of sound which they decide to fileunder ‘music’.

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

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

Of course experimental music is is a good thing, but there is still everyreason to discern wheat from chaff. Pushing boundaries alone does notnecessarily good music make, and that is what this album proves. There aregood tracks – Mouse on Mars deliver a fine specimen of parping brass withbeats with the opening track Mykologics and there’s a gorgeous slab ofcurious bliss in To Roccoco Rot‘s Pantone.

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

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