Dim Dim: Whip
Audio Dregs

Transmute The Joker's “Why so serious” into wacky pop bricolage and the result might be Dim Dim's Whip. Squeezing eighteen vignettes into fifty minutes, Belgian music producer and artist Jerry Dimmer packs his six full-length chock-full of merry melodies, eclectic voice samples, ukulele, candy-coloured synths, toy instruments, guitar riffs, and programmed beats. He intermixes short, off-the-wall experiments (e.g., the fragmented collage “Tune In” and Latin-driven mayhem of “Ha Ha”) with more substantial songs, such as the six-minute “Smart”—a veritable epic in this context—which weaves a squirrelly mix of dreamy slide guitar, light-footed rhythms, and Afro-funk guitar-and-bass interplay into a sun-kissed whole. In his collage-like experiments, Dimmer often throws two or three ideas together to see if they might stick, the merging of guitar-based funk jam with seductive voice cooing during “In Your Town” one example of many. “Split” neatly wraps George Benson-styled guitar shadings, acoustic bass, spindly afro-jazz guitar playing, voice snippets, acid-funk and soul jazz guitar into a frothy whole, and the punk-funk stepper “Sheena” with its warbling vocal parts is memorable too. Dimmer can do pretty when he wants to: close your eyes and the tropical guitar breeze and tight double-time beats of “Tatjana” could transport you to a Hawaiian seaside resort in an instant. Elsewhere, classical strings get sucked into a woozy undertow in “Rank” while “Urge Gap” races with a G-man jazz pulse. The child-like, brightly-coloured cover illustration's a perfect match for the music too (surprisingly, the artwork wasn't by Dimmer but rather Belgian illustrator Oréli). Though Whip is serious fun, Dimmer's clearly not out to change the world (would a song title such as “Sexy Panda” suggest otherwise?). There's no grand message, just high-spirited, even lunatic open-endedness that's anything but lugubrious or po-faced. Chin-strokers beware.

January 2009