Exposé Online banner

Basilwink — Bipolar Bliss
(Basilwink 825576997222, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2009-07-01

Bipolar Bliss Cover artBasilwink is a Milwaukee based project featuring Jeff Marcus (guitars, keyboards, bass, engineering), and Jim Bloedel (percussion, keyboards, loops and effects), and the disc at hand is their fourth in about a dozen years. Their instrumental vignettes tend to be all over the map stylistically, almost like listening to a film soundtrack, but share a sort of progressive influenced electronic feel, with some dreamy yet powerful guitar leads and quirky keyboard-based textural backing. One reference point might be Planet P with more inspired melodic humor and a less bleak and serious tone, and of course no vocals. But that's OK, it makes for a less demanding listen (read: more enjoyable). None of the eleven tracks here are so long as to wear out their welcome, and just when the listener least expects it, there's always a change in store. Marcus and Bloedel are both fearless creative forces and capable players, although their music tends to be more about ingenious ideas and working them into something palpable in the studio than raw musicianship and displays of rote virtuosity. I can live with that when the results are as brilliant as this. All taken, there's plenty here to entertain, surprise, and puzzle the listener.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Basilwink, James Bloedel

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

vidnaObmana - The River of Appearance – In 1996 vidnaObmana recorded The River of Appearance, which was a high point of his early compositional style. Employing samples, loops, electronics, and sparse piano phrases, vidnaObmana crafted...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues