Story by: Ellie Salrin
Photos by: Derek Rickert (Spectral Productions)
This trippy new video from the In The Loop folks will set the stage for this review. Dive in
Less than a week after last month’s Infrasound EQUINOX came the first installment of Infrasound OSCILLATION. It marked Tipper’s return to Chicago, having not played in the city since summer of 2011.
The inaugural event was hosted by Infrasound Music Festival, and partnered with The Untz, Brew City Bass, and In The Loop. Dave Tipper is a legendary producer of electronica, glitch hop, trip hop, breakbeat and is known for extreme bass frequencies. His sound design is that of robots. His performance was complemented by visual artist and fellow future bot Johnathan Singer, who has an uncommon approach to digital art.
I got there as CloZee was getting started. Holy smokes. This glitch hop bass goddess from Toulouse, France blew people’s brains, leaving them looking confused as all hell asking “Who is this? Who is she?” Her effortlessly smooth transitions, trickling clicky glitches and dirty ass basslines pounded the sound system as she worked like the boss lady she is perched atop Tipper’s spaceship-like stage set up.
At a mere 21 years old, she captivated the full Portage Theater, my producer friends proclaiming their love for her. The visit was part of her first North American tour, and it is clear her industry influence will continue to blossom. She’s remixed tunes from Cashmere Cat, ill-esha, Banks, Flume, and more. Keep an eye out for this one, and check out our interview with her from September.
After a proper pre-Tipper set, it was time for the Tip man himself to emerge. The energy was surreal, with buzzing and anticipation prancing in the atmosphere. And off to outer space we went as he he began with a trill, downtempo intro before blasting into the wobbliest, grimiest, drippiest shit only expected from the British legend. I had the honor of seeing him two nights back to back at 10,000 feet in the mountains. He crushed Sonic Bloom, playing Friday night with Johnathan Singer doing visuals, and Saturday night with Android Jones on visuals.
Don’t get me wrong, Tipper can entertain an audience with zero lighting or visual production. But having outrageously trippy visuals being orchestrated live intertwined with his psychedelic glitch soundscapes is one of the most on point musical dynamics I’ve witnessed all year. This fine evening in Chicago was no exception. Tipper was contained in a giant capsule from another galaxy, projecting swirling, twirling, morphing fractal universes beyond what one’s mind could comprehend, both sober or otherwise. Forms jutted and shot across the screens as waves of squishy sonic explosions came crashing down around us. And away into the warm autumn night we were carried, blissfully on into the late hours.
These artists demonstrate something of a representation of a slice of culture. We are poised between this world and a celestial world, between organic and digital. The experience encouraged me to not hold back and be myself. A contradiction. And ethereal earthling.
Catch Tipper while you can, hitting up Halloween with Quixotic, Russ Liquid, Gladkill, and more in LA, New Years with Bassnectar and G Jones in Nashville, January 3 in NYC, and headlining Red Rocks with Quixotic, Alex and Allyson Grey, and of course his favorite visual maestros Jonathan Singer and Android Jones.
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