A Thoughtful Ambiance
For the fans of Boom Bip (Bryan Charles Hollon) and his creative rock/electronic sound, his latest album, Sun Choke (a soundtrack for the moody, nonlinear thriller film of the same name), slows down and dives deeper into the electronic aspect of his artistry. This ambient album is different from Hollon’s previous work on album Zip Zaj. Sun Choke creates a psychedelic ambiance as the tracks of the album bleed into one another making individual tracks almost unidentifiable by anything other than their titles. Over all, the new album is an interesting change for Boom Bip.
Being that the sounds of most of the tracks seem to melt together, it is difficult to pick out any standouts from the crowd. Though difficult, it’s not impossible. “Make Up” has an organic sound of string instruments creating an eerie 18th century feel. The track “Little Girl” also continues the spooky theme as the sound is something reminiscent of a nursery form a psychological thriller film. Most of the other tracks in the album seem to feel longer and meander about without really going anywhere. This isn’t a bad thing as it creates a thought-provoking atmosphere where the listener’s attention isn’t totally held by the track and one’s mind is allowed to wander. For fans of the ambient scene, Sun Choke may be all that they’ve desired.
Though the Sun Choke brings interesting sounds and a creative flow from song to song, the album does play like a film soundtrack more than a traditional album. The tracks don’t grab attention, yet create a specific mood making it perfect background music. Aside from the few stand outs of the album the rest of the tracks are a blur of notes. “Savannah” starts off sounding good but the track ends before the listener realizes a new track has started. Hollon is an extremely talented producer as proved in his previous works but this new direction doesn’t seem like the home run of which he’s likely capable.
Sun Choke is a fourteen track ambient journey through one’s self. This album is thought-provoking and relaxing while time melts away and the definition between tracks fades from existence. The new album may not be what was expected of Boom Bip but the producer’s artistry is still present. The sounds created are organic and strike a nerve in the soul. If only the composition of these sounds had been more upbeat or dynamic this album could have been just that much better. Hopefully in the future Hollon will bring back some of his old style to his new direction.