Blog September 30, 2013
Etoro Session 024: Bleepolar's Silky Smooth Realism

The very excellent weekly mixtape series, Etoro, dropped a new mix from Bogota’s Bleepolar last week, and we’re all about it.

To say that “slick” is the name of the game with Bleepolar’s music is to get him maybe 95% right. But Bleepolar (a.k.a. Luis Felipe Hernández) is both a DJ and a graphic illustrator, and what becomes abundantly clear when one considers both of the mediums that he works in as one is the obvious thrill he derives from the tension of juxtaposing seemingly mismatched styles. Consider the series of portraits he created for Shock magazine; the high-contrast color combinations that he’s working with and how he implements them are very reminiscent of the early iPod commercials (remember all those dancing silhouettes?), and the overall construction is fairly minimal (background + text + portrait = awesome), but where the portraits themselves are concerned, there is a level of detail, complexity, and the softness of a clearly handmade creation that is contrary to its surroundings. It’s almost like the inner-machinations of a joke, in that there is a set-up and then a resolution that is both completely appropriate within its own context, but also defies expectations.

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So, while there’s a whole lot of four-on-the-four kick drum goin down, and plenty silky-smooth electric piano à la the European approach to house, there’s still a good pound or two of soul within Etoro Session 024. It’s of little (but certainly pleasant) surprise that a few tracks from Palenque Records Remixed made it into this mix, as the undeniably-human-v.s.-unstoppably-synthetic nature of those remixes are surely right up Bleepolar’s alley. But elsewhere, he creates his own ghost-in-the-machine kind of vibes. Hernández really shines on his transitions, which span the great lengths between dub-step inspired drops, non sequitur extended samples of traditional horn-sections, and vocal hooks that are thrown into the mix as quickly and easily as they are ejected. There is a ebb and flow to this mix, in which pastiches of acoustic samples, configured to emulate the elements of techno and house music, drift out of focus as authentically synthetic beats and keys come to the fore. This makes for a mix that is done justice both passively enjoyed as the soundtrack to some serious dancing, and as the subject of a critical listen designed to soak up all of the subtleties and details that it has to offer.