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Blipvert – Stop:Stronk:Explode!

Blipvert - Stop:Stronk:Explode!

CD, D-trash Records, 2008

Words that immediately spring to mind when describing Blipvert are disorientating, experimental and varied. Other words would be irritating, boring and uninspiring.
Blipvert, aka Will Redmond’s background is promising: a multi-instrumentalist, he holds Masters degrees in teaching and music, played in rock and metal bands while in school, and is a regular staple of New York’s improv scene. With such a varied list of influences to draw from, this surprisingly dull and unoriginal mishmash of beeps, drones and ill-fitting ambient sounds is a real disappointment. The samples are the type of thing you’d expect to hear in commercial mainstream music, and the rare departures from the main wall of impenetrable sound are ill-conceived.
After the haphazard cacophony of opener “Peace With Ummem”, “SviiklectBomb”‘s unfocused sludgy beats (by way of what sounds like a substandard Nintendo soundtrack) give way to “Couch Of Soobs”‘s untuned radio noise, and “Mega Pseudo (No Congo)” slumps tiredly into “Black Jellow Interior” before you even realise the track’s changed. Lurching in a different direction, “Bye Judy, Don’t Make ‘Em Sad’s” sickly jingle is shallow and pointless with an overworked vocal sample, then it’s back to the drawing board for another three songs, with even the slight hint of potential in vaguely listenable “Barbwire Girl”‘s psychedelic trance, a passable rhythm, is soon lost in the miasma. Closer “Georges” feels utterly contrived, an overly long ambient track with no discernable point, the like of which you could expect to hear in any mid 90s trance club chillout room.
A missed opportunity, then, as this feels like it could have been so much more. It’s especially frustrating because there are moments when something almost seems to rise to the surface, some hint of how special this album could have turned out. Internet sources report Blipvert to be a highly recommended live experience, with the sound being reworked constantly via a high-energy set. It is completely possible that live, Blipvert becomes what the album almost hints at, but for now, this reviewer remains unimpressed.
Take a moment to appreciate the album’s artwork, which is suitably disturbing and sinisterly whimsical enough to garner it a special mention. More of this, please?


— Catherine C.

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