30 October, 2020

Rob Bidder – The Green Mosaic

Rob Bidder, who also sings and plays guitar in Dog Chocolate, kicked off the new year by treating us to a brand new EP on 1st January, as a follow up to his first EP under his birth moniker, 2013’s “Auberginion”. Here he mixes lo-fi ambient psychedelic music with power pop.

You can be all these things is a dreamy, ruminative opener which is full of space. It features sparse synth squiggles and bleeps and guitars that murmur and gently clang, around slow repetitive drums. The result is hypnotic. Lyrically it questions existence and extensions of the self (“The drawing is him, it’s of him, he did the drawing”) and our deep inherent connection with nature (“You eat the fruit, you become the tree. It’s proof that you are here.”)

Domestic Dust is a simple bouncing pop song about… well… dust and its origins. This links up nicely with Bidder’s four panelled “Body Squabbles” art works that find wonder and humour in the folly of human existence and bodies. Great music to clean the flat to!

It’s Salad Again brings things back into a more abstract realm, opening with distorted synth swells before a one note bass line and twinkling keys shift the mood. Guest vocalist ELDON introduces himself with a poetic piece which initially concerns food then ponders ethnicity. Bidder enters the fray with a deep, double tracked vocal line which discusses ageing processes. The synth swells of the intro are reintroduced over the top to bring the subtle textured spew full circle.

Help Guitars Find Themselves is a minimal instrumental with two guitars playing notes rhythmically out of sync with each other, while a static crackle carries all the way through. Occasional delayed tom thuds give it an almost Low-esque feel. It’s time then to bring back the power pop with Medieval Mind. It’s a wordy twisted puzzle, lyrically akin to Stephen Malkmus. The main theme seems to be a distrust of social media with references to “keyboards”, “clicks”, “the embarrassing stream”, “refreshing the window” and the superb phrase “proselytizing polemical from a like-farm in Siberia”.  Musically it has the playfulness of They Might Be Giants with its toy keyboards and hip shaking beat. It also features a pretty killer guitar solo to round things off!

The final of the six tracks, Long Nosed Dog, places us back in the realms of the minimal and almost abstract. A playful guitar intro gives way to a minimal guitar line that adds emphasis to the incoming vocals that are full of metaphors posing almost as a riddle. It seems to suggest imperfection “I’m the tear in your trampoline” and the need to be used or useful “I’m a table that needs to be varnished”. A field recording of rain is introduced before Bidder, again, harmonises with himself in the closest thing there is to a chorus “Thank God, you’re an insignificant speck”. The vocals then appear to have some kind of reverse effect as the rain takes hold and Bidder is let inside.

The Green Mosaic requires attention to appreciate the lyrical playful images and puzzles presented. Every track conjures visions of nature and biology, yearning for the wider world around whilst living in the midst of the modern slog of city and the online realm.

You may enjoy this if you like: They Might Be Giants, Panda Bear, Stephen Malkmus

Listen here:

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