Boom Bip – Blue Eyed in the Red Room

Boom Bip is described by everybody as a hip-hop producer. He’s on a hip-hop label and everything. But his music actually sounds nothing like hip-hop. And the last time I checked, Gruff Rhys (from Super Furry Animals) – who collaborates with Boom Bip on his new album – was not a rapper.

I almost didn’t buy Blue Eyed in the Red Room. I think Boom Bip is great, but everything that I had heard from him since 2002’s excellent Seed to Sun album was pretty mediocre. On the EPs he’s released recently, by far the best tracks have been the remixes. And at first, I thought this new album was pretty mediocre aswell.

There’s nothing that really blew me away with this album. It seems a world away from the eclectic Circle, which he made with Dose One. But after a few listens it’s grown on me. It’s a pleasent album with some nice tunes – most notably ‘Dumb Day’ and ‘One Eye Round the Warm Corner’. This album reminds me a bit of Four Tet. It’s broadly the same sort of deal – playful electronic sampling with vaguely experimental guitars intertwined.

There’s nothing at all wrong with this album, and the forty-five minutes it takes to listen to it go by quite quickly really. It just isn’t anything special, unfortunately. It is probably the sort of album that will really grow on me eventually, but it simply will not top Seed to Sun or Circle.

The best bit is actually the extra 3 inch CD that comes with the limited edition version. Bonus CDs often aren’t that good. But this one is different. It is made up of “elements and pieces of ideas developed early in the recordings.” So it’s a bit more like a mini out-takes CD. And it’s awesome! It sounds like a great big fuzzy jam. It is spectacular. I love it.

As always with Lex Records, the artwork is by ehquestionmark and it is fantastic. But once again, it won’t top the amazing packaging for Seed to Sun, which just has to be seen to be believed (the barcode extends out to form the words ‘Boom Bip’ – pictures don’t do it justice). A perfect metaphor for the music.

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