Brooklyn based Electronic music producer
and analogue synthesizer enthusiast.
After more than eight years of global touring, seven solo albums, countless collaborations, label-head tastemaking and vital artist-incubator in the USA's most critical beat-making cities (SF, Chicago, NYC), Eliot Lipp's status as an electronic music pioneer is known to scene connoisseurs and weekend warriors alike. Lipp's omnivorous tastes are apparent, from the obvious funk and myriad manifestations of hip-hop though less explicit reference points as jazz fusion, folk and techno. His well-earned reputation as a producer's producer stems in part from his craftsmanship. Never content with well-worn breaks and effects, his work incorporates a fetishistic love of analogue gear with sampledelic flourishes, intricate rhythmic patterns and more than a few leftfield surprises. But his melodic instincts and tunefulness are what have earned him such wide appeal, his songwriterly connection to music's storytelling possibilities, even without words.
Lipp’s latest album, Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake, shows his studio prowess at its peak, and his composing at its most focused. Lipp has distilled his songs down to their strongest elements and keeps them tight and sharp. With his firmly established reputation and a large body of work, Lipp says, "I don't need to announce myself anymore, or to have each track represent me fully." And that self-assurance is undeniable on his most powerful statement yet. Collectively, the songs on Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake were also inspired by the cover art from Daniel Anthony St. George. The predatory allusions in the art and the album title can certainly be found in the music, but a cartoonish sentiment leavens the intensity and there's a fair share of thoughtful "rabbit" tracks as well.
Playing live has long offered Lipp an opportunity to reimagine his past work in a radically different context, and the playfulness, charisma and showmanship he brings to stages has made him a major international draw, from massive, genre-crossing festivals to grimy urban sweatboxes. Recent dates have also shown a dramatic uptick in intensity. The keys, samplers and laptop he uses on the road also figures into his studio recordings, but in recent years he's brought a live drummer into the mix, lending a new dynamism to his performances, and by extension, his production. Many of Lipp's tracks have long had origins in audio sketches on Abelton Live, recorded between gigs. But never before has his live show been such an inspiration for his music. "I'd want some banging new stuff to play out at shows," says Lipp. And that percussive urgency, that contagious energy, is in abundance on Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake. Lipp says the new songs "started as tools to use when I play out. Stripped down, heavy, nasty little tracks. The music is a response to the crowd, and reflects where my head has been."
When Eliot Lipp first arrived on the scene with his self-titled solo album in 2004 (Eastern Development), he seemed to have a fully formed aesthetic out of the gates. Lipp displayed an intuitive knack for teasing earwormy melodies out of rhythmic bangers, and drew from a remarkably mature sonic palette - two qualities that immediately set the young instrumental producer apart from his oft-indistinguishable beatmaking brethren. Since that promising debut, Lipp has played to his strengths while creating an imposing body of work with a style uniquely his own.
After spending formative, collegiate years in San Francisco, Lipp found his next home of Chicago—along with label Hefty Records and the fertile, exploratory music scene that surrounded him—to be an indisputable font of inspiration that resulted in two full-lengths in 2006. Lipp's Tacoma Mockingbird record—named in homage to his boyhood home in Washington State—is a study in contradictions, as back-to-basics hip-hop and electro breaks underpin a more nuanced approach. He soon followed with Steele Street Scraps, a record that makes great use of some of his many collaborators. While it can't be said that his Chicago years resulted in the post-rock phase one might expect from his associates, it seems to have laid the groundwork for greater compositional maturity to come.
After time immersed in Los Angeles' vibrant community of producers, Lipp crossed the continent to set up shop in Brooklyn. His 2007 album, City Synthesis (Metatronix), is notable for its relaxed tempo, while the following year's The Outside (Mush Records) proved to be a thorough artistic breakthrough, his most formally complex and emotionally engaging work yet. Lipp's irrepressible creativity found another outlet in his Old Tacoma Records label, offering the opportunity for more diverse collaborations and a greater range of expressiveness. That freedom yielded 2009's Peace Love Weed 3D: a release that upped the electronic ante and supplemented his boom-bap instincts with futurefunk details. He followed this with collaboration from long-time friend and producer Jasia 10 for How We Do: Moves Made (2011).