by Kyle Taylor |
Electronic music is constantly evolving. It’s arguably the future of music, granting artists complete and sole control over their sound. Bands have given us some of the best music out there, and they will surely continue to do so. But for some, the riddance of settling for a muddled, collaborative artistic vision doesn’t measure up to engaging a single mind in a project that allows that individual free reign over whichever direction they wish to go.
Dave Tipper, known to many simply as Tipper, is a UK producer who has been demonstrating just how deep the rabbit hole goes for a talented and open producer’s mind. With countless releases covering everything from his more recent heavier breakbeats- dubstep, drum & bass glitch-hop- to older ambient and downtempo releases, Tipper’s work has always showcased the work ethic of a man trying to set himself apart.
While Tipper has been hard at work since the late 90’s, he has only begun to garner serious attention in the past few years- if nothing else, a testament of his advanced perspective on electronic music. This past Summer he took massive strides, taking a firm spot on the lineups for Infrasound, Rootwire, The Hudson Project, and Great North music festivals. This all followed the announcement of Tipper’s first ever headlining shows at one of North America’s most premier venues, Red Rocks Amphitheater, in Morrison, Colorado on May 16th, 2015.
While this recent attention seems to be most easily attributed to Tipper’s latest uptempo releases, it remains a fruitful endeavor to delve into the past of such a talented artist. Tipper downtempo sets have admittedly become a commodity for more longtime fans as well: he performed two sets (one regular and one downtempo) at Infrasound, Rootwire and Great North; followed up his recent performance at Best Buy Theater in New York with a special downtempo set the following night at CoSM; and will perform both uptempo and downtempo sets at his Red Rocks debut.
However one release that may slip through the fingers for Tipper fans just now being turned on to his majestic peculiarity is the 2005 album Tip Hop. This record is notable in particular for a few reasons. One, it demonstrates further musical flexibility from Tipper, bridging the gap between his downtempo and heavier bass releases, finding a comfortable middle ground in psychedelic-driven hip-hop beats. Additionally, a truly commendable factor of Tipper’s live performances is the amount of work he puts into keeping his sets special and consistently original. He does so by scratching his own sound design over original productions while he performs, creating additional sound layers that remain unique from set to set.
While the “Tip Hop DJ Mix” fuses together the entire Tip Hop album (and some additional bonus Tipper tracks from other releases), it further emphasizes Tipper’s impeccable turntable abilities. If you listen to the album from start to finish, then delve into the mix, it’s easy to identify the individual tracks; but, what’s even more enthralling is being able to identify the extra work Tipper puts in on the decks during the mix to give the tracks these additional Tipper sound adjustments.
While many music fans complain that “DJs” these days are just “glorified button pushers”, Tipper is a prime example to the exact contrary. Never does the UK native producer and DJ settle for playing his tracks out. He doesn’t take steps back to shout into the microphone. He doesn’t go ballistic on stage at those “sick drops”. Instead, he is ceaselessly focused on creating a unique piece of art each and every time he steps on stage.
This ideal is only further exemplified by Tipper’s constant efforts to keep his shows an overall spectacle of artists showcasing, calling upon digital artists Android Jones and Johnathan Singer (both of whom will join Tipper for his Red Rocks debut in May) for mapped projections on many of his performances. Tipper has also collaborated with Alex Grey and Allyson Grey in multiple instances, and both will join him at Red Rocks to add live painting to the glorious evening of artistic magnificence.
This devotion to the world of live art only plays back into the effort that Tipper exudes during his live performances. Tip Hop and the “Tip Hop DJ Mix” are a perfect way to put that effort right into perspective.