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Boom Bip | Zig Zaj

Lex (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  October 4, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars


Cincinnati-via-Los Angeles producer/DJ Bryan Hollon, a/k/a Boom Bip, hit throwback gold in 2008 as one half of Neon Neon, an '80s pop concept project with Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys. Boom Bip's latest solo effort often touches on similar way-back-machine tropes: "Pele" is New Order on the moonlit Autobahn, whereas the pulsating synths at the heart of "Automation" qualify as Depeche Mode-esque. Despite these passing influences, Zig Zaj is largely new-century populist electronic rock music. The curtain-lifting bloom of "All Hands" is like Animal Collective bolstered by Spielbergian cinematic grandeur, "New Order" is Gothic Fatboy Slim, and "Goodbye Lovers and Friends," featuring Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, finds happiness in its sulky movements. Hollon gets help from new Chili Pepper Josh Klinghoffer and members of Angelino band Warpaint (many of them members of his live band), but going it alone and forsaking the dance-rock hybrid is where he finds most success. The 10-minute penultimate track "Tumtum," in particular, is a tiny masterpiece of mood, stamina, and insistent rhythm, built sparingly on overlapping percussion and waves of sound. More of this kind of thing is what will squeak Boom Bip farther from the then and the now, and closer to what comes afterward.
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