Review: Blockhead – Insomniac Olympics (Trip Hop)

This review covers the trip hop track Blockhead – Insomniac Olympics.

This track was released in 2003 on the album Music By Cavelight.

The track starts off with some trumpets. This is joined by a dumkit and, soon after, a bassline. Some keys come in, but are largely left with just chords.

When the drop happens, the track is simply left with some piano elements. The drumkit returns for a moment, and is then replaced by some orchestral string elements.

Shortly after this, the piano comes back and is joined by an extremely low quality vocal sample. It’s so low quality, no words can be heard. It’s almost like an electric guitar sound if that makes any sense.

From there, the contract contains some soft vocals with no lyrics. The piano replaces it, but the two elements are eventually layered together, giving the track some progression. The low quality vocal element also joins in and the layers gradually come in and out. This section is capped off with the trumpets that were heard in the beginning.

Those trumpets combined with the piano elements leads the track out.

One thing I do like about the track is the drumkit. It does a great job at filling out the entire track. While it is the most consistent element throughout, it really gives the track a nice structure.

The piano elements and trumpet elements also works out quite well. Combined with the orchestral elements that make a brief appearance, there is some nice counterbalancing going on here. It makes the track seem nice and full.

What I’m not so sure about is the low quality vocal sample used here. While it is seemingly filtered to almost sound like an electric guitar, it has a certain edge to it that I’m not so sure about. Either the resonance needs to be taken out further with what I believe is the fast distance filter applied, or it simply needs to be pulled back further in the track. Especially with the first appearance in this track, it just punches itself out and disrupts the overall mood here.

The other vocal elements are OK. They aren’t amazing nor are they terrible. I’m just not sure they really add a whole lot to an already eventful track.

Overall, this is a pretty decent track. It has some great elements in there. The relaxed vibe is nicely done. The vocal elements, surprisingly, are either a bit much or they don’t add that much to the overall sound. Still, I think it is a good track to listen to overall.


Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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