Tipper’s newest album, Forward Escape, is one of his most detailed works to date, and given his expertise in sound design, that’s saying something. Conversely, it’s also one of his most subdued.
In the four years since his last LP, Broken Soul Jamboree, he’s been utilizing his squeaky-clean production talents to secure his title as the godfather of glitch hop, releasing a string of EPs designed to shred most sound systems like giant cheese graters. But Forward Escape marks a return to his downtempo work–spacey trip hop for headphones and quiet rooms where you can really hear all the surreal details.
Along with that shift, he’s abandoned aggression and the sub-bass of earthquakes for a playful sound that’s more in tune with childhood–a time when power was unimportant and more value was given to whatever was the most fun.
Instead of massive snares and buzzing chainsaw synths, you’ll hear a myriad of cartoonish descending toms, tumbling pops, funny finger snaps, alien beatboxing, and bleep-bloops that should make you giggle with glee, all delivered in a polished package that sounds as sharp as a samurai sword. Each song can be equated to a toy. Homage Sliders feels like it was inspired by a giant slinky. Grabbers Holders sounds like it was made by a broken bubble machine. The kick drums from Apex of the Vortex and Gulch are buoyant enough to be samples of someone dribbling a basketball.
But playing with toddlers can be exhausting, and so the more somber, mature tracks are welcome breaks. With its atmospheric pads and bells twinkling like stars, Dreamsters is heavy with a profound yearning for space travel. Rip Cord has a similar tone but stringed instruments and an acoustic bass keep it more down to earth.
Still, the more serious moments can’t undo Tipper’s success at becoming the king of quirk here. Skip on over to Beatport to get the full album and stay in touch with your inner kid.