The name Boom Bip may not be familiar to mainstream hip-hop listeners, but in some sections of the underground, he is one of many innovative producers who is taking the art of production to new and unique areas.
"Corymb" is the best way for new fans to get familiar with what he's about. The 11-song album features four brand new songs, but what older fans will appreciate are the six new remixes, each of them brand new interpretations of songs that have come before.
On this release, if one was forced to make a blunt comparison of Boom Bip's music, I would say a cross between Future Sound Of London and DJ Krush. Boards Of Canada fans will love their treatment of "Last Walk Around Mirror Lake", where the mood becomes very serene and ethereal in a 3am sort of way. You have a combination of synths and manipulated beats that become a driving force in the music. It's not a complex sound, in fact the layers of sound going on in the background should be something present day hip-hop artists should be experimenting with, but for the most part aren't.
Buck 65 collaborated with Boom Bip in the very trippy "The Unthinkable", but in this mix Buck is chopped up in the digital blender and what comes out is something very unfamiliar, as if Aphex Twin broke out and had his way with the both of them.
One of the best tracks on here is the cLOUDDEAD remix of "Closed Shoulders". If you enjoy cLOUDDEAD's unpredictable approach to their music, you will no doubt be pleasantly surprised at what they do to Boom Bip's song, making it eerie and dark rather than funky and sarcastic.
Throughout "Corymb" you get to hear one of many soundscapes that Bryan Hollon has lurking in his mind. It's not just hard or delicate beats with bursts of digital splendor, there's an incredible amount of thought put into each of these tracks, whether it's something very funky, something more electronic, or something like "First Walk" which involves real instrumentation.
I'm not sure if this would be considered a "proper" album in the sense that it's a collection of songs from a particular place and time, but it does shine the light on a man whose music continues to expand and surprise everyone, including himself. For those who seek textures in their musical routine, Boom Bip is for you.
Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Production Vibes: 9 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 9 of 10
Originally posted: April 13, 2004