One assumes Zach Lipkins chose to name a song after Bernie Williams for the Puerto Rican’s skills with a baseball bat rather than a guitar. And while we may not have heard the classically trained 5-time All Star’s 2003 debut The Journey Within, Big Bern is veering into dangerous Hoddle/Waddle territory. Whatever the inspiration though, ‘Bernie Williams’ (the song) offers a thundering, rapidly breaking introduction to New York bedroom electronist Lipkins.
The multi instrumental music student is somewhat of a switch hitter himself, marrying drumming and producing duties for other local bands (Rmchair, Dome) with his home produced electronica, which in itself is quite diverse. The bounding ‘Bernie Williams’ (yes that one again) is almost an anomaly on Lipkins self-released debut Air Wheels when placed next to the organic electronica of opener ‘Overneath’ or the richly textured, downbeat and superbly named ‘While Juggling Cobras’.
At times, Air Wheels is a bit too much of mishmash for its own good but contains far too much not to intrigue. Lipkins is at his very best when looping guitars with the MySpace streaming ‘Fine Tea’ and ‘Magnets and Velcro’ in particular feeling every bit as dreamlike as anything on Irish instrumentalist Chequerboard marvellous Penny Black record. A follow-up themed along a journey into the ocean expected later this year has the potential to be just as impressive.