Other Music 10-16-11: Bobbie Boob
We had Lincoln Dada-electronica duo Bobbie Boob live in the studio for the 10-16-11 edition of Other Music. Originally scheduled to play for around 40 minutes, we were having such a great time with them that we let them run for much longer: download this podcast where you'll find 80+ minutes of live Bobbie Boob waiting for you.
Bobbie Boob has released 8 albums so far. It's a lot of music to cover in a review, but a few words about the music in general: I'm hearing BB as party music for awesomely weird parties. Their approach incorporates a lot of relatively abrasive IDM and noise influences, including Aphex Twin, Merzbow, and the Legendary Pink Dots, but they always keep an emphasis on energetic, propulsive beats. And there are contrasts, too: mellower moments tend toward ambient music, and some passages feature almost classical or jazz progressions.
They mix things up enough to keep their sound intereresting over long hauls. Normally my attention span wanes when I'm listening to the same music for an hour and a half, even if I like it a lot, but Bobbie Boob never got boring during their long performance. I've heard the same comment from a few listeners in the couple of days since the broadcast, too. And the music can support more active listening than "party music" might imply, too--it just maintains a great forward thrust that would make for a great party. To my ears, the closest sonic comparison to the Bobbie Boob sound is probably JG Thirwell's Steroid Maximus recordings, or maybe some of The End's work. All incorporate a wide variety of sounds and samples, alternate between rhythm/noise and relatively tonal orientation, and all keep laying down a beat that promotes focus and attention even for listeners who wouldn't consider themselves fans of "experimental" music. In particular, some of the sections featuring vocal/chant samples in the last hour of their performance reminded me of similarly eerie moments I love from Steroid Maximus' Gondwanaland.
The overall vibe helps to pull listeners in, too. While some of their influences tend to create abrasive or gloomy musical spaces, Bobbie Boob embraces humor and fun. I'm guessing that most of the BB discography is intended to be creatively playful, displaying a warm kind of intelligence that can handle a good laugh or two. But that doesn't mean it can't be taken seriously in its turn: as I mentioned in the recent Paul Bailey review, I'm pretty burned out on the notion that "serious" has to equate with "depressing." Bobbie Boob is more likely to become the soundtrack for your next bonfire rather than your next riot.
Best of all, you can hear them for yourself for free. The entire Bobbie Boob discography is available online from several places: check their website, their BandCamp page, or Mindless Machines, a site that also features some other Lincoln-area electronica downloads, all for free. If you like what you hear, maybe you can book them for that next bonfire and kick 'em some $$$ that way.