Boom Bip

Blue Eyed in the Red Room

Boom Bip should hire more singers. That's not a knock against his vibrant downtempo instrumentals: Like an interior decorator, he takes disparate sources -- rock guitars and Eastern-flavored synths, laptop beats and a basement drum kit -- and combines them with airtight tastefulness. Blue Eyed in the Red Room is more refined (though less surprising) than his debut long-player, Seed to Sun, but the instrumental songs are dwarfed by the two tracks featuring guest vocalists. Ever since Circle, on which Bip, aka Bryan Hollon, backed up MC Doseone, the producer has proven himself an adept accompanist to idiosyncratic voices. The carnival motifs of "Do's and Don'ts" pull Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys through a three-part fun-house ride, while Nina Nastasia's "The Matter" rivals her acoustic material for mood and beauty. The shimmering backdrop wraps her like a silk kimono, and it's so gorgeous that the other cuts almost sound jealous.

 
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