Dave Tipper – the wizard, the legend, and sometimes the man – released his first EP in roughly two in February, and it’s definitely worth a listen. Nothing short of a producer’s producer, Tipper’s meticulously crafted soundscapes and atmospheres are second to none, worldwide, for the sheer quality and imagination involved in their creation. He’s commonly regarded as one of the top sound designers in the game today, and for good reason.
Tipper first came onto the electronic map in the late 1990’s, starting his career DJing and producing in London, England. Immediately becoming known for his love of extreme bass frequencies and intricate, polyrhythmic, song structures,
Tipper has been a trendsetter from the outset.
Initially helping give rise to nuskool breakbeat, Tipper has always pushed boundaries, constantly moving forward with his sights set on the future. After several substantial releases that moved on into the mid 2000’s, Tipper yet again cast his lasting mark on the electronic music community.
It was the birth of glitch-hop.
Bringing his characteristically wonky style of sound design to the forefront with his album Tip Hop, Tipper showed producers just how far they could push the boundaries of electronic music. Pairing the swing and cadence of hip-hop with the production depth and clarity of IDM, glitch-hop quickly exploded into the international limelight.
Moving on from there, he dropped 2008’s Wobble Factor, yet another mainstay in the glitch-hop fanatic’s arsenal, even to this day. From there, he progressed into a more ambient and downtempo style for his next release, Broken Soul Jamboree. And although he’s consistently moved between the two styles, 2015’s Fathoms EP is yet another decisive foray into the brooding depths of contemplative downtempo music.
Methodical, precise, and painstakingly well produced, Fathoms is an intensely cerebral experience.
Showcasing Tipper at the top of his game, the EP is ambient and experimental to the core. Creating otherworldly downtempo grooves that challenge the psyche, the album is a monumental piece of work in regard to sound manipulation. The samples, scrapes, scratches, squelches, and everything else featured on the record won’t be heard in another producer’s work. Period.
Low key and restrained, the EP challenges listeners to immerse themselves deep into Dave Tipper’s domain; a realm where the constraints of the natural world are replaced by digital possibilities, where water becomes an instrument and boundaries are forgotten. It’s an odd world, but an interesting one through and through.
In sum, don’t sell yourself short, give Fathoms a few listens. Is this an album for a Friday night house party? Probably not. But, is this the album to toss on once the party’s done and all the stragglers have left?
When the 4am corp. of after party troopers, still melted to couches, tired and happy from the nights frivolities, remain.
Yes. It’s an album to sit down to, analyze, and let wash over your psyche. Even if it’s not your style, it’s guaranteed to be appreciated for the work that it is. 100 years ago this music couldn’t have been fathomed, hell, even 20 years ago the possibility to create sounds as intricate as this did not exist.