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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

No-Man - Schoolyard Ghosts – Few may know that Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson first achieved success (at least in the UK) with No-Man, his partnership with singer / songwriter / musician Tim Bowness that dates back to 1987....  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues