Reviews Search

"Bip-Hop Generation V.3 & V.4"

Possibly the most consistently good series of electronic musiccompilations over the last two years has been the Bip Hop series out ofFrance. Each disc features musical contributions from six electronicartists from all over the world. The accompanying booklet gives a briefbio, selected discography and website/contact information. Thistechnique is arguably far more effective in introducing new acts thanreleasing something to the effect of a triple CD set with one song fromeach contributor and fuckall for background information.
Two pieces from Riz Maslen as Neotropic open v.3. While she clearlymoved away from the proverbial big beat sound of her Ninja Tunecolleagues with last year's mostly beat-less full-length, 'La ProichaneFois,' beats are reintroduced to the mix here. The depth and feel fromthe organic sounding album carry over, however, making me more anxiousto hear some EP and single remixes from her again. Bovine Life give upa string four tracks of varying styles, from tinkling melodies torandom tones and noises to bass heavy bumping beats with analogue humsand spacious synths. Pimmon's tracks sound like algorhythmic softwarerecreations of skipping records knocked off-center whilst playingunderwater [Don't drop LSD to these bits, please]. French newcommerZonk't leaves his mark with a 14+ minute beefy electro piece whichtakes a bit too much time building up to a mediocre climax. ThankfullyAtau Tanaka from Japan cleans out our ears with his 8+ minute segmentof gratious head bobbing beats with piercing yet nummy sound effectswhile the collection ends with a variety of segments from Russia'sNovel 23, whose pieces are almost a punchy cross between UlrichSchnauss and Solvent.

Volume four kicks off with a rather empty, unnecessary piece from MiraCalix with unchallenging beats, irritating clicks, melodically absent,with a pointless vocal loop. Luckily the deep echoes of si-(cut).dbjump in with two nuveau dub-ish bits which could easily bury Pole.Twine's slick combination of guitar and other organic elements inside asaturated electronic mix has gained the duo attention from both theChicago-based Hefty Records and Bip-Hop labels. I've been eagerlyanticipating their next full-length record (ones are in store for bothrecord companies according to the booklet notes). Datach'i has beenreleasing quirky, almost comical instrumental glitch-pop for the lastfew years on the NY-based Caipirinha, and while he's always had a goodresponse from fans and other musicians, I've always thought there wassomething missing from his music. Don't get me wrong, it is pleasant tolisten to, but nothing I have to go out of my way to drop loads ofcashola on. Maybe it's just not pretentious or German enough to betaken seriously, or it's completely lacking in concept. [Maybe afterlistening to hours of this I'm ready to give up.] The rest of thecollection is taken up by France's Vs_Price and Australia's Cray.Vs_Price contributes two gentle, unoffensive clicky bass kick-happyhead-bobbers while Cray ends the collection with a nearly 15-minutesoundtrack to an adventure horribly gone awry. It's like waking up onemorning inside a computer, enjoying the scenery, taking in all thesights, but then trying like mad to get out. There's quite a lot ofnicely varied electronic movements to this never stale track, whichalmost leaves the listener hanging, waiting for some kind of closure.

Thankfully, curator Philippe Petit has recognizably hand-assembledeach of these comps with a genuine love of music by not saturating thecollections with his own label's artists (haven't seen Tennis norSpaceheads pop up here yet!) Be on the lookout for V.5, due out laterthis month.