JULIA BLOOP “Roland Throop” (Crash Symbols)

Sometimes I type these reviews up after some wine – I find that with the proper social lubricant, I can communicate to you, the masses, much more easily. I’m not so shy when I face you – and music filters just a little more exquisitely through the ear canals, pinging past blood vessels thinned by alcohol’s dreamy passage. I mention this because Julia Bloop has a similar process sometimes – maybe not the same intention, but the results appear to be comparable: “I drank wine, watched movies, listened to the radio, and was never quite sure what sounds I’d find on my 4-track when I woke up in the morning.” That’s how ideas are born, how Roland Throop began life and gestated to completion. I, on the other hand, require an editor after an evening of tipsy typing. Sadly, I’m usually the only editor in the vicinity at any time.

Just to be clear, here, I’m drinking coffee and eating breakfast for this one. It’s morning. I’m warming up.

Whatever Julia Bloop found on that 4-track certainly was worth the time it took to drunkenly capture it. Layers upon layers of loops and samples course through Roland Throop, taking on lives of their own, blooming into imaginary worlds vaguely familiar from half-remembered dreams. Indeed, the Bloop Bandcamp page notes “mysterious sounds from the bottom of the ocean” as the humeur actuelle, and there is definitely a sense that this tape envelops you as it unfolds. “I Gotta Get Outta This Place” is a trick to begin, an instrumental hip hop track in the vein of DJ Wally (The Stoned Ranger Rides Again was genius), the title of the song the only words spoken periodically. From there we are submerged, the music piping from a faraway place as the water in our ears carries the sound, yet it seems to be all around us. It’s not ambient, it’s not exotica, it’s ambi-exo-tronica, a thing I came up with when I combined some words together to form a terrible new one.

Without mincing (or combining) any more words, Roland Throop is at least exotic, an excursion to recesses of your mind usually reached only in a state of less-than-full consciousness. And that’s where the fun begins, where your imagination takes over, like it does on the hypnogogic “When You Get to Me,” a far-out surreal trip where voices whisper through the haze. It transitions into the almost fourteen-minute (!) “May These 2 Spirits Meet,” the central piece and the most flagrantly and unusually tropical and vibrant. It’s a joy to get lost in, and lasts, dare I say, not long enough. Its transition into “Diver on the Rocks” though sort of keeps the spirit alive. That goes for the rest of the tape – Julia Bloop’s mastered the spirit of playful discovery and execution of happy accidents. May we all drink wine in Julia Bloop’s honor.

Julia Bloop
Crash Symbols

-- Ryan Masteller