There’s a saying in Spanish, “Dime con quien andas, y te dire quien eres.” It literally translates to, “Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are.”
If this is the case, then LA’s Boom Bip, is a psychedelic wizard like his Neon Neon collaborator Gruff Rhys, a haunting siren like Cate Le Bon, a surly disco-punk like Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, and truly more than anything else an excellent spacey soundscape creator like M83, Four Tet, and Mogwai.
Earlier this decade, Boom Bip (known to his familials as Bryan Charles Hollon) made an abstract hip-hop album with rapper Doseone that caught the attention of legendary UK DJs John Peel & Gilles Peterson, which eventually lead to his getting signed onto Lex Records, which is affiliated with Warp Records.
Having released a number of beat driven full-length albums, EPs, and collaborative efforts, Boom Bip has earned the critical acclaim of DJs and reviewers, and the respectful ear of a great number of modern masters (Boom Bip has been remixed by Boards of Canada.) Despite this, he has remained fairly anonymous in the public eye.
On his new album, Zig Zaj, Boom Bip has called on members of Empire of the Sun, Franz Ferdinand, Bon Iver, Warpaint, and more to explore various aspects of his sound while maintaining his definitive Boom Bip beat. And it is a steady-handed, dramatic, and lovely affair. Moments like, “Do As I Do,” “New Order,” “Automaton,” and “Tumtum“ throb with a cinematic energy that are evidence of Hollon’s control of the beat.
Proof that when it’s all said and done, it’s good to have a gang of friends who know you, support you, and help define you, but you design your own identity.
Evidenced by this fantastic new release and his name, Boom Bip has known since minute one he is the beat.
— Mario Cotto