- Mik & Mel
- Mik & Mel
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Music for Sleeping Children is an EP -- stretched into an album on the edition with bonus instrumentals -- composed by underground hip-hop/electronica producer Boom Bip, who sounds quite like the slick, '80s-loving guy who made up one-half of the Neon Neon project here. There's good reason too, as this is a conceptual piece, made to accompany the teenage girl photographs of artist Charlie White, whose work eavesdrops on the 12- to 16-year-old female set in a manner that's revealing, creepy, and beautiful all at once. Aeropostale shirts, teddy-bear bed sheets, and DayGlo hairbrushes are the thing for White, and Boom Bip's music here is simpatico, bleeping and pumping in that slick, commonplace, and mainstream style as interviews with White's subjects are layered on top. Easy video-game electro accompanies "Sabrina" ("I have so many plans. I'm gonna get married and have four kids and I already have their names picked out....") as she gets one "B" on her otherwise "A" report card and sends her parents into a freakout, while "Georgia" gets some old Italo-disco to make her explanation of junior-high girls pop ("You have the girls who are confident with themselves, but don't have a lot of friends.... They could be popular, but they have a really bad energy about them"). Depeche Mode-like synth pop is what helps emo "Isabelle" deliver her tween history of broken hearts and shattered dreams ("I've just felt like I'm experimenting, or passing through"), and it's the classic sound of Kraftwerk that Bip employs for the display of friendship that "Mik & Mel" giggle out ("We don't have to eat pizza alone anymore"). Bip sanitizes and glosses all of these electronic music touches to just one step short of Muzak, an edgeless yet subversive move, making one think the "Sleeping" in the title means "blissfully unaware" or "bred to join the masses." Take this music in with White's photographs and it transcends, but Boom Bip regulars solely craving his twisted style of boom-bap will be disappointed, thinking the completely cloaked Music for Sleeping Children is merely maddening mall music for BFFs who like to LOL and OMG all day long. Fans of the avant-garde can think of this as Peter Sotos' Buyer's Market album mashed with the work of Jeff Koons for the ultimate in banal/unsettling meet-ups.