Seed To Sun
Lex Records, 2002
REVIEW BY: Jason Thornberry
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/12/2003
As my mind becomes tired of the same old poses on the small screen, the same four chords on an album, and that verse-chorus-verse tedium, I reach for something as far-removed from the dimension as possible. I had a friendly row with a friend the other day when he and I were weighing the sustained but dubious validity of genres of music after they've been done, in the exact same way, for decades. I cited the blues as an example, saying that, as the Latin language has been declared morté, isn't it time we all stopped listening to artists like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who looks ready to cut heads with Ralph Macchio in Crossroads 2, but hasn't had a single innovative concept in his short career? It's awfully rich how white folks will have extensive blues collections in their houses. They haven't a speck of culture anywhere else, but over by the turntable. There John Lee Hooker rules the roost, with stack after stack of forgotten classics.
Yes, I agree that it was a great form of music -- just like the dinosaurs, JFK, and Vanilla Ice's career were once similarly interesting things. Now you've got cartoons to remind you that it would have not been a good idea to throw rocks at a tyrannosaurus rex, Profiles in Courage by the late president, and that movie Ice did where he's some kind of renegade snowboarder. What I'm trying to say is, their time has come and gone. All things, good or bad, eventually must end, and the blues passed away a long, long time ago. Rock is next. Before long (I hope).
Meanwhile, hip-hop music is just building steam. Again, I'm not referring to commercial (c)rap music. I'm talking about hip-hop -- another species altogether. Boom Bip has not only been (too) aware of this, but he's one of the reasons the format is making everything else around it seem incredibly boring.
Boom Bip is a producer and sound collage scientist extraordinaire. He's able to produce a seamless music. Even though it's made up, generally, of dozens of strands and fibers of "found sounds," it becomes its own entity when he's done with it.
Insects appear to strike a buzzing execution lamp on "Third Stream," and a subdued telephone conversation unfolds as you eavesdrop, hoping they won't notice. "U R Here" is my favorite track overall, with Robotron drums tying up the ending. "The Unthinkable" diiieeesss like the batteries in a six-story automaton. Buck 65, one of my favorite emcees, provides the impeccable raps on that song. There's also mic control coming via Nacky Koma and Dose One (who seems to work with our friend regularly), but for the most part, the album is Boom Bip unaccompanied.
Seed To Sun is a clever, but subtle and understated album, and it's one that will stand the test of time, still sounding good when hip-hop has gone the way of polka.