May 12, 2005
Since 1992, Bryan Hollon has made beats and turned heads in the hip-hop and jazz communities. The Cincinnati artist that re-christened himself Boom Bip(after the sound the kick drum and snare make) mixes the freedom and the music-is-your-canvas approach of jazz with electronic beats and hip-hop bass lines. He's the mellow little brother of Squarepusher.
At Twiropa on Wednesday night, Boom Bip stuck to electric guitar and brought along a bassist, keyboardist, and a drummer. Sometimes the instrumental band used hip-hop beats and bass lines that induced rapid head-nodding, but at other times the music was trance-inducing. Good for a stupor. The drums benefitted from a purposefully muddy sound. When the drummer wanted to make a scene, he could, but his kit was behind amps and his presence in the mix was turned down low. So, this helped during the more ethereal songs that required a faraway dream drum sound.
Many layers of sounds comprised each song--electronic blops, short blasts of industrial air, waterdrops, sticks hitting cement, an industrial '80's handclap, etc. Each song had an unending barrage of samples. They came from the Mac positioned next to Boom Bip.
Some of the songs were danceable, but the music always kept its calm and cool factor in check. If you were dancing, you weren't dancing hard, and maybe you were just swaying asleep.
The last song devolved into a beautiful noise freak-out. The bassist de-tuned his strings and was slapping away like mad. The drummer was all over the kit, while the two in front added screeches and bleeps.
Boom Bip's music was very enjoyable. A highly recommended show.
Boom Bip said thanks to the crowd, but the band as a whole actually acted like a D.J. most of the set. They played with stone expressions and performed like there wasn't an audience in front of them.