Various: Bip-Hop Generation V.4

Bip-Hop, 2001

Bip-Hop Generation V.4 cover

Bip-Hop continues its ground-breaking survey of the contemporary electronic music scene with Bip-Hop Generation V.4. This time around the contributors are Mira Calix, Si-cut.db, Twine, Datach’i, Vs_Price, and Cray.

I’ve never been a big Mira Calix fan, but the track she contributes is decent, with Eastern percussion, shadowy voices, and mandatory crackly sounds. Si-cut.db’s “A Shower” is reminiscent of Basic Channel output, with minimal percussion and lots of reverb. It’s good for late-night atmosphere. Similarly, “Surfeit” is lo-fi burbling with a few dubby elements. These two tracks tempt me to track down more Si-cut.db material.

Meanwhile, Twine’s up to their usual tricks, layering noise over a soft melody on “Room.” “One_2” is equally melodic, and the sounds are more interesting—little squelches swirl over the beat, then strings begin to swell. Actually, Twine’s come a long way since Reference—their production’s stronger, and there’s a wider variety of sounds in their palette. Datach’i is also a purveyor of noises, some of them unpleasant, but all with interesting textures. “Komatsu” is a bit too grating for me, but “Truax” features a pleasing, subtle interplay of beats and bleeps. If only it were a bit shorter.

Next up is Vs_Price. “Plast_N1” starts with an extremely distressed hip-hop beat, with clickings over top. The melody that surfaces is simple, but effective. “B3” is in a similar vein, although perhaps it’s a bit too simple. Finally, Cray’s “Seven Satellites” is very abstract. There’s bursts of static and distortion and a smattering of actual notes. It’s basically an ambient composition, but its seeming randomness borders on uninteresting.

So there’s a relatively wide variety of music on this compilation. As a whole, the Bip-Hop Generation series offers a valuable glimpse at some of electronic music’s lesser-known artists. I know I’ve discovered a few new artists who I plan to explore.

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