BOOM BIP AND DOSEONE
Life-changing records aren't supposed to come free through you door. It's the music rules: your special albums should have some kind of romantic quest narrative even if it's just, "He said,'I think you'll like this' and I said 'Yeah, whatever', and he put on side one and I was like 'Ohmygodwhatthefuckisthat?"
Then you get sent an unsolicited promo and it just about goddamn melts your ears and puts words you don't understand into your mouth. It's one of those wake-up calls - you get them every now and then - to just listen like you ought to.
To justify this excessive praise, perhaps 2002's "Circle" by Boom Bip and Doseone, should have sprung fully formed from nowhere. Maybe beamed down from a planet of idiot genji, and picked up, crackly and insistent, on late night radios, keeping inquiring minds awake all night.
Something like that.
But the truth is better than hyperbole. So let's start again. Adam Drucker (Doseone, preaching, postulating, all-round poet-entertainer) and Bryan Hollon (Boom Bip, intuitive-complex ultra-musician) made "Circle", back in 1999. Both of 'em were productive, prolific, professional and super smart guys. You've heard Dose before and since, blah-ing and freestyling over the spaced sounds of cLOUDDEAD, sucking in the world around him and blowing it out in streams of profoundly wise nonsense.
Boom Bip has had less time in the limelight, but his new solo album, "Seed To Sun" - a gorgeous, epic thing - will probably change that. They fit into the hip-hop mould restively, fluidly, like many current artists described by that term for want of a better one.
I speak to them just before a London gig. A few hours later Adam will be prancing onstage in a white fur coat, inviting us all to his funeral, telling us about how he had dinner with Jesus, conducting a wild-eyed prayer meeting meets hip-hop cabaret meets metaphysics seminar, while Bryan gracefully shapes the accompanying sounds and textures. Right now, though, they're polite and charming, although a little tired of talking about That Record, perhaps.
"It's coming up for three years old," points out Bryan, "And, you know, we've both been busy doing other thingsÉ"
What are you gonna do together next?
A: Well, we're doing this yoga retreat-
B: And we're developing a shoe, it's called the Dosebip and if you step just right this tune comes out-
A: And we're doing a pair of Chinese torture shoes for women, ones that like make you hobble-
Like foot binding?
A: Yes, it's very popular now.
So you have to break your feet before they'll fit in the shoe-
A: Exactly. Or at least grossly deform the foot, in order to be in and hip with this pop shoe.
Does it make a sound, your torture shoe?
A: Well, Bryan wants to it to make a sound. I'm ÉI don't know.
B: I'm digging for the perfect sample right now.
What kind of sound, d'you reckon?
B: Like a duckÉ
A: That would be kinda cool.
B: Like a kind of mutated IDM duck.
AFTER A DIGRESSION into the legal habits of birds ("I don't know if you now this, but among the animal kingdom, birds are some of the more avid suers, as far as publishing and rights go" says Adam). I try to ask some proper questions. That Record is funny, laugh-out-loud sometimes, but it's also pretty disturbing. As Dose's vocal pyrotechnics burst into glorious Vegas-tacky flames then fizzle into confusion and disorientation, so too do Boom Bip's arrangements turn from jazzy, string-laden loops to roaring noise radio weirdness.
It's like hearing a character go from confidence to insecurity, from brazen sanity to almost madness: like tuning into the conversations of random strangers and writing down what they say.
Do you actually do that?
B: I do lot of that.
A: A lot of my ideas are just patched together from other people's ideas. And I'm an eavesdropper.
B: That's a good trait.
And you're a musical eavesdropper, Bryan?
B: Oh yeah. We're big into keeping it all open, taking on as many influences at once. It's good for contrast and relevance for today, ripping off where you're at and what's around you.
Ébecause you can't escape from all the amount of stuff that's around you all the time?
B: Yeah, we're sponges, you know?
A: He's a female sponge. I'm a male sponge.
B: Yeah. You have projectiles. I have holes.
Is that how you met, being two sponges?
A: In a former life? Yeah, in a Lit class in Cincinnati, we were blackboard spongesÉ
B: That's it. And ever since then it's been pretty much like this.
THE SURREAL imagery that permeates their music, and their conversations, has - not surprisingly - resulted in reviewers at a loss to describe what they hear bestowing upon Boom Bip and Doseone the cursed/blessed tag of psychedelic music. But, although they agree it's a tangential and hallucinatory record right enough, Bryan says, "It's not psychedelic to us. There was one magazine that said it was like sex on acid, and one that said it was the best album they'd ever had to do drugs to or something. But there are no intentions to make it like that at all. God no. Kill me if I ever do that."
In fact, "Circle" evokes more of a dream state than a drug state, with its juxtaposition of strange new worlds and hilarious familiarity, not to mention the day's neuroses being worked through and worried over.
How are your dreams. guys?
A: Bryan has probably some of the most interesting dreams I've ever heard anyone tell me. Bryan's are incredible.
B: I dream almost every night and remember them for like two or three weeks after. My dreams are pretty intense.
A: Mine are all B-movies. I dream thoroughly in B-movies. Either horror or adventure, they're always bad and tacky. I don't know dream a lot though. I go entire months without dreaming.
I have pretty horrible dreams too. When I have nightmares they're raunchy andÉgory.
B: It's weird, I hardy have any nightmares. I got a dream about John Peel with alligators the other day. It wasÉkind of scary, but not a nightmare. It was just alligators.
A: When I'm really stressed out I have this dream when my jaw stays shut and all my teeth disintegrate and fill my mouth and I spit them outÉ
B; That's the worst dream you can have.
So can you describe each other? Adam, describe Bryan.
A: He's genuine, kind-hearted, musical and worldly. I work well with people who are good vessels and conduits. I tend to overshoot and over-think and I'm really good with people who are more of the moment and Bryan is totally that, he's a grounder of ideals. And he is also quite a musician, very self-taught, which I think are the only people who bring out the best in a lot of music, including the music I try and do.
What can he play?
A: Everything. I don't know if he can play the violin or anything, butÉ
What's your favorite instrument?
B: Oh man. I don't know, I haven't found it yet. Maybe the accordion. That's gonna be the instrument for me.
Now you have to describe AdamÉ
B: Oh my godÉuh, he's definitely one of the most sensitive, kind people I've met. He's also one of the biggest scatterbrains I've met, which is the foundation for his creativity. It's inspiring to be around him, because he has a lot of thoughts that I wish I could communicate and I can't. My brain and my mouth - there's like a kind of a wall in between there. He doesn't have that. He has a direct route from brain to mouth -
A: Not always a positive thing, that's for damn sure.
B: He might also be the greatest server in the world, you know? Like a waiterÉ
A: Oh yeah, I was a really good waiter.
B: You would probably be excellent.
FRANCES MAY MORGAN