'Kev Hopper has used his Spoombung
alias several times since his bass playing days with 80's alt rockers,
Stump. He has associated with The High Llamas and Stereolab contributing
saw to the latter's 1999 album, 'Cobra and Phases'. And he is one third
of the laptop trio, Ticklish, purveyors of tongue in cheek, glitch funk.
In fact this new solo album can be seen as a pop-minded companion volume
to Ticklish's recent Here Are Your New Instructions
This clever, concise collection of oddball melodies is book ended by two
snatches of domestic life, in which the junior members of the Hopper family
get very excited about (a) a farting balloon, and (b) thunderclaps. They're
charming illustrations of the pure enthusiasm for sound that underpins
the whole album. Hopper creates vividly coloured tunes that progress steadily
through cunning harmonic writing, featuring guitars celeste and keyboards.
He then wraps them in fizzy, rubberoid beats that relate directly to Ticklish's
use of electronics.
Voices range from space-age robots to a pitchshifted Al Johnson effect
on 'Sadhammer' intoning lyrics both wistful and menacing: When you sprinkle
with your hose/Kev Hopper knows. But Hopper also knows how how to create
space within the sound, and the translucent, see-through quality is very
There's a great sense of fun here as he lines up his sweet romantic tunes
and his bleeding edge, granulated electronics and lets them fight it out.
The result is a dreamy but futuristic music that might well be appreciated
by the outer space oddbods of Hopper's cover illustrations. The remarkable
album sleeve is designed as a minature comic book. And the Kirby dots?
Those are the black dots representing energy fields in space comics as
developed by superhero comic artist, Jack Kirby.'
Clive Bell, Wire Magazine October 2005