- A while back, Blip Discs might have been referred to as a dance label exploring "world music." In more recent years, a loose band of parties (Berlin's Vulkandance, Glasgow's Highlife), labels (Sofrito, Soundway, Analog Africa, Awesome Tapes From Africa) and artists (Auntie Flo, Africaine 808) have made efforts to present such crossover sounds more faithfully. Blip Discs positions itself on the periphery of this network. The A-side of O'Flynn's Oberyn / Spyglass is full of clattering rhythms that are straight out of West Africa, but as label founder Tom Blip explained over email, it owes just as much to grime.
The statement rings true. On "Oberyn," O'Flynn throws bird calls and hand drums into surging waves of bass that rush against dextrous percussion. (It's harder to find a British flavour to O'Flynn's Blip Discs debut, whose B-side featured an African-sounding vocal and a double-time accordion riff.) O'Flynn gets more relaxed on "Spyglass," a smoky house jam with a glowing Rhodes and tender saxophone. This one betrays more conventional tastes, nestled somewhere between the cosy jazz textures of London's Rhythm Section label and Shadows-era Floating Points. O'Flynn excels when things are tense and fraught, but even when loosening his grip on "Spyglass," he doesn't drop his guard.