I guess you have to be on a wide-open dance floor, wearing pants 15 sizes too big, zonked out on Red Bull and youthful abandon, making out with your girlfriend and boyfriend in order to appreciate the music Eliot Lipp drops. As I sit here, writing this piece at my cubicle and listening to his latest album, Tacoma Mockingbird, on my computer, I'm nodding off faster than I do when Charlie Rose has Sean Penn on his show and he starts going off about the "craft" of acting. I keep having to pretend that I'm driving in order to get through this. But is it Lipp's music that's making me go to where the dreamers go, or is it the mere three hours of sleep I got last night? Whatever it is, the music isn't helping.
Tacoma-born L.A. boy Lipp usually lays down breakbeat music; he calls Mockingbird (this is straight from the press release) "an impeccable beat record that also serves as an autobiographical chronicle of love, longing and a soulful testament to his hometown." But the music sounds like the kind of deep blip-hop that made Prefuse 73 all the rage a few years back. (Prefuse helped Lipp find a distributor for his first album, so that explains that.)
I gotta admit, there are a few tight tracks on the CD that I'd boom out of my automo -- wait a minute, bad idea -- my home stereo. Numbers like "Rhyme War," "Spit Rap" and "Sex Tape" (trust me, it's not what you think) are reminiscent of the Kraftwerk-style synth music that inspired Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock." In fact, Tacoma has an overall retro vibe that may remind listeners of everything from the '80s electro sound to the trippy prog-rock of Tangerine Dream, to the synth-heavy film scoring of John Carpenter, to Atari video-game music.
I guess you don't have to be young to appreciate Lipp's music. You just have to be very well rested.