Only one awesome review
In need of a bit of electronic soothing, I think 'Bling Bling Vs Bleep Bleep' may be just what you are looking for. This is the latest outing for Canadian analogue alchemist Justin Armstrong AKA Kimonophonic, you may recall he's previously featured as a regular fixture of our singles reviews, this time we are grateful to get our mits on this tasty six track mini album.
Partly given away by it's title, 'Bling Bling Vs Bleep Bleep' is an unusual counter culture battle between old skool vs new skool electronica. Armstrong adopts his trademark analogue derived landscapes that have graced labels such as Earworm, Queen Nymphet and Jonothan Whiskey while logically endeavouring to bestride the great genre divide to flavour his lullaby like backdrops with carefully annotated drum n bass rhythms that surge between the robotic romance of early Kraftwerk to the primal steps of dark electronica via Aphex Twin.
Because of the adoption of newer techniques, 'Bling Bling Vs Bleep Bleep' can be seen in many ways as an experimental release, as Kimonophonic test purchases environs normally out of his reach. Within these six tracks, Armstrong weaves various images and creates differing backdrops, if any fault can be found it is the relative shortness of the whole proceedings at times you just want it to flow forever such is its charm and its overall interaction and smoothness. In reality 'Bling..' gives Kimonophonic a chance to spread his wings and explore further fields.
'German Roadway' begins the journey, pertly poppy updating the territories of early Kraftwerk's electronic road music oddyseys but installing a sense of warmth to the Teutonic chill before giving way to the charming 'Air Hostess'. It has to be said that 'Air Hostess' is by far Kimonophonics poppiest presentation to date, encapsulated in all manner of modernist decorations, it neatly crosses the borders between sublime dreaminess and darkened electronic ambience. '2p press start' ambles neatly into Aphex Twins waters, possessing a pulsating canvas of drum n bass beats that with professional ease flits between scratch like techniques and space invader futurism portraying a widened picture of cold, hostile yet deeply mesmerising tranquillity.
Side 2 reverts back to more familiar terrain's, Anderson delights in providing futuristic lullabies that recall ISAN and send us further back to the dawn of keyboards via Raymond Scott. 'Dear Korea' is gorgeously glossed, a maddening suffusion of samples atop a delirious groove while 'The Winter was long' has to be the albums highlight. Conjuring up serene images of setting suns in untouched havens, 'The Winter was long' tugs with traces of sadness and regret while faintly belying exotic far eastern melodies like some kind of theme for an oriental Robinson Cruscoe. Simply classy.
'Bling Bling Vs Bleep Bleep' is a romantic yet often tortured array of scenic images with a sense of warm solitude amid an Artic heart.
losingtoday.com - October 2001