“Monochrome Intro” gives you a pretty good idea (slash warning) that you’re about to hear some weird shit. You cannot tell just from this bizarre (and a bit spooky) slowed down rap intro whether this weird shit is going to be any good. But the second track “Haz” makes it clear (it did for me anyway) – Boomruin is an experimenter and couldn’t care less about following any sort of genre guidelines, but he sure knows how to lay down some tasty beats and lace them with instrumental flavor (in the case of “Haz” it’s ethnic and it’s finger-licking good). And this is how this album goes – a sequence of psychedelic weirdness (which, however, never disintegrates to the level of pointless cacophony) is followed by a sequence of crafty beatmaking. Sometimes it happens within one track. Sometimes it happens several times within one track (check out the last minute of “Locate”). But what I personally (being an old fart and a big fan of “classic trip-hop”, whatever that means) liked the most about Monochrome – is that I could totally hear the old-school influences that sent me back to early Massive Attack, DJ Cam and Funki Porcini tunes and by adding all the psychedelic screeches, crackles and bleeps Boomruin managed to not only preserve that old-school flavor but enhance it, giving the listener a unique opportunity to discover (and re-discover, and then discover some more) all the nice surprises scattered around the record by handfuls. Even the more mellow tracks like “Month Of March” are intricately layered with seemingly conflicting melodies. If you like your music transparently structured and… um, easily understandable? – you may want to skip this release (no judging here). But if you like participating in the process of exploration when listening to a record – then don’t miss Monochrome. Like the aforementioned masters Boomruin is not afraid to break a few rules and step outside of boundaries in order to create something new. This just shows how vast and still mainly unexplored the territory of trip-hop really is, which makes me happy and what more could you ask from a record than making you happy?

Boomruin/BMRN – Monochrome is available on Bandcamp for a donation (which basically means free if you don’t feel all that charitable), listen below, love and click to go to download page.

R.I.Y.L. Funki Porcini, DJ Cam – “Lost Kingdom”, film projectors
personal favs: “Going Down Fighting”, “Haz”, “Month Of March”

★★★★☆ tipkin’s rating

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