Boing - "Bi Hai" (Single) TDRCO-034
Boing's single Bi Hai is mostly hallucination, the backdrop soundtrack of Big Trouble in Little China spellchecked twice over for the third eye set. Upscale opium den music. Two-tone hypnotic space drone, flittering string lilt suspended over a half-buried Deep South guitar wobble-chunk and a tambura-aping sonic layer cake that sounds like it's percolating out of a hand-cranked Buddha Box. 2:52 seconds in, the listener is just where s/he started off, levitating easily in a sub-space easy chair designed for the recline, contemplating heavenly bodies and all that jazz.
Boing's Bi Hai finds its form in formlessness, so for those looking to latch on to any shipshape structuralisms, look elsewhere. If you're into this sort of thing, you get it, and though the track could take longer to develop (it's in and out before one's had time to process any depth into it), it's still a good listen in all, though on repeat. Musical lines slouch past in a cyclical, revolving door pattern, and the saving the 'breakdown' piece around mid-song, this one is all whisp and candle flicker, kind of like smoke put on wax. In poking around the interwebs, one can find Boing's aural jaunt listed under the loose category of 'World: Indian Classical', though despite the tambura drone, it's hard to fathom what exactly is South Asian (read: Indian) about it, with this shindig coming off instead as a loose East Asian-themed (read: Chinese) investigative committee reporting back on a crossover take on Ming Dynasty courtship ritual run up against some stripped down strain of hypnotically glossy-eyed hippie shit, man. Rather, it's not quite either, but takes from both, and to easy effect on the ears, though there's none of the contortedly obtuse rhythm gymnastics and general wizardry that accompanies other Indian classical music. This is more jam than raag, anyhow.
Of course, Bi Hai comes to us direct from our multi-hued friends over at Portland's Ten Dollar Recording Company, and from whom we would expect no less than a single that defies the tired logic of 'The Single', instead laying out road plans for another multi-colored, meandering head trip of a piece of music courtesy of the gang of creative types fleshing out the TDRC roster. Given the easy outlines and general listenability of Bi Hai, one wishes it were about five minutes longer. Give or take a few, who's counting? (REED BURNAM, August 28, 2012)
Release Date: August 13, 2012