Shatter Box

The bone-rattling bass bastard, supremely delirious sound designer, wizard of wonky wobbly womp and turntablist trendsetter who brought nu to breaks and liquid to glitch, Dave Tipper teases those begging for a follow-up to his downtempo album, Broken Soul Jamboree (2010), by releasing Shatter Box, his fourth consecutive EP. Further increasing expectations, these four tracks show Tipper pushing his already pan-dimensional sound into even more surprising realms of experience. "Higgins" is a track to see your destiny to, after the bass drops, in the form of a heavy broken beat with warm sub-base outlined by drum & bass percussion and a raunchy, ever-evolving yet carefully employed synth lead. Rarely explored in-depth by Tipper previously, the drum & bass territory gets an even more precise examination in the EP's title track. "Shatter Box" starts with skittering percussion and sounds of cutting through the air, vaguely soundling like a martial arts dojo, and quickly picks up into techy jungle that could give late '90s Photek a run for his money. "Spunion" has a similar synth-vocal manipulation as "Tiny Face" (the opening track from 2008's Wobble Factor), but his technique is far more developed. This is no typical vocoder work or patchwork programming though; he makes this machine laugh maniacally throughout, and I swear it actually says, "fuck yeah" at one point, while constantly scratching and tweaking the liquefied, funky breaks soundscape behind it. Closing the EP, "On the Natch" is a slab of Beats Antique done right, with a lunatic yet upbeat progression realized with saucy clarinet and saxophone. Four tracks, and they're all mind-blowing in their own way. He is, without a doubt, one of the most talented technical producers in the world today. (Tippermusic)
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