Hippo – BJP

A dizzying spectrum of electronic synthesis and aggressively effected saxophone that comes together in a form of compelling avant-garde jazz.

Hippo are nothing like a traditional jazz trio. From the opening few seconds, BJP offers up an other worldly array of the sounds that launch you into a dizzying spectrum of electronic synthesis and aggressively effected saxophone. They effuse a raw energy that is difficult to put into words; experimental and frenzied in their pursuit of a style that pushes at the boundaries of avant-garde jazz. And all this from sax, keys and drums. 

Spacious reverb, gritty fuzz and wild pitch shifts are all brought together to create moments cacophony and others of pure sonic bliss. It’s a shoegazers approach to the saxophone, and one that results in some glorious sounds. Sweeping filters create an ebb and flow of tension throughout a track that possesses no shortage of dynamism. Whilst it’s only the opening piece on their debut EP, BJP is an incredible 7 minute instrumental wonder.


Despite the complexity and depth of their music, Hippo remain remarkably accessible, achieving an inkling of familiarity through the occasional mellow groove or a synth bass line that is pure soul. It draws you in and captivates you before diving into intricate melodic runs, evolving towards directions you hadn’t thought possible.

Hippo is the innovative musical writings of Doug Cave, one-sixth of Bristol psych-pop band Cousin Kula, performed alongside Toby Perrett and Henry Binning. They’ve already re-entered the studio this year and I can’t wait for what comes next. 


As if the music alone is not enough of a journey, the accompanying video makes for a compelling experience. Retro 20th century scientific imagery combines the natural and the unnatural into an unstoppable and disturbing progression, while the presence of rover-like orbs are as haunting as the screams from the saxophone. The edit of human oddity becoming more and more unsettling as the track goes on; it’s an existential wonder and for better of worse, you’ll be left in a state of overwhelming awe. 

(WARNING: This video contains images of real life.)