Album Review> UK Producer Tipper’s Broken Soul Jamboree
These days, the UK blows through club beat trends like so many pairs of dirty knickers. Yesterdays jungle beats get tossed out for today’s broken beats, and so forth. Transcending the club scene is Tipper, a UK producer who simply puts out what he thinks is good on his own imprint, regardless of what every other DJ is playing. His independence in production and distribution are the two prongs of Tipper’s self-imposed carte blanche, making each album a journey into his methodical yet positively tripping head. His newest release Broken Soul Jamboree is a brand new trip.
Some of the low and farty bass tones from his previous release Wobble Factor are present here, but are not nearly as accentuated. Tipper has traded much of the low end for melodic bell and string sequences similar to those heard on 2003’s Surrounded. The melodies are produced with more maturity this time around, falling in with Tipper’s habit of raising the technical bar for himself with every release. He continues to move toward using varied and sparsely occurring sounds to weave together harmonies, a technique mastered and pioneered by Aphex Twin, as exemplified on 1996’s IDM staple Richard D. James Album.
Every Tipper album has a personality, and this one encompasses deep emotion. In the same way that DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing conveys speechless sadness and hope through sample layering, Broken Soul Jamboree tugs at the heartstrings with synthetically rooted sounds masterfully molded into Tipper’s collection of organic sounding instruments. Sequenced tablas and droning, ambient sitars appear on “Brocken Spectre” and the producer rehashes some of his old orchestral sounds on “Tit for tat”, one of several tracks that gives up classic 4/4 time for 3/4 rhythms. The varied meters begin to slow down toward the end of the record, with jazz beats timidly driving “Reality Harshness Defender” and “Royal Dragon Sir”. For the last two tracks, Tipper descends into unique takes on gamelan drums, each manifesting in a beat that is classically and undeniably his own; down-tempo with some seriously compounded snare sounds.
It’s fun to follow the career of a maturing artist, and most sticklers for technical production would have called Tipper a master four albums ago. That’s what makes it such a pleasure to hear a Tipper album in its entirety for the first time; he’s constantly pulling out new tricks and applying them cleanly to rock solid technique. Broken Soul Jamboree will remain his finest work until his next album comes out.
Broken Soul Jamboree
[November 15th, 2011, Tipper Music]
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