Review: Tipper – Forward Escape (Tippermusic)

David Tipper is probably one of the world’s foremost influences to producers within the questionable category of IDM/glitch, and is right up there with the likes of Amon Tobin in his intricate palette of sounds.

Personally this style of music isn’t my cuppa, and I expected to come out of this album disappointed because all of this glitchy slurpy whomp stuff has been done in abundance. I was still impressed in what I heard with Tipper’s latest offering – Forward Escape.

It’s great to hear Tipper has gone back to a more downtempo offering with this one, as I would have surely not have gelled at all with the older, more bombastic albums that late-noughties glitch-hop crew have come to expect from the man. The production of Forward Escape is remarkably detailed, just like we’ve come to expect from every Tipper album. Unfortunately, I found a lot of the melodic component to be on the hippy-trippy side of things.

Forward Escape is like taking a walk through an electric cheese forest surrounded by cheese trees, sighting strange, farting cheeses, hearing cheese monkeys whomping gleefully in the cheese trees, whilst getting pissed on by glitchy, resonating cheese cicadas. This being said, despite the music sticking to the roof of my mouth, filtering saturated fat through my system and stinking to high heaven, this cheese was a delectable treat with some nice wine and is always good with crackers.

This is definately something you could imagine some crazy gypsy chick on LSD hula-hooping to in a chill area, but unfortunately not for me. The atmosphere can work for me at certain times when I can relax in the pool of melted cheese, but generally I’m pretty lactose intolerant when it comes to my dietary needs with music.

However, outside of my own subjective tastes, Forward Escape is an undeniable testament that Tipper’s still got what it takes to dominate the world of atmospheric and intricate glitch, except more for a more mature and laid-back style of listener. It is, however, spoiled at times by over-the-top whomping embellishments that don’t serve the overall chill composition and atmosphere of the album. Another thing that loses marks for me was the overly synthetic percussive hit, they really lacked a decent hit to complement the organic and slippery glitch textures. I find this is always a problem within this sort of sound though.

Also, note I haven’t named any single tracks yet. This is because no tracks stand out as anything lasting or as anythings that grabs me. All tracks are right at the top of their game on many levels, but I’m still not captured by any one song, despite the overwhelming “epic” quality of most tracks here.

I mean, it’s questionable whether the listener is supposed to be grabbed by any tracks or whether Forward Escape is supposed to flow through the senses without intrusively gaining the listener’s attention, The evidence is to the latter as the album is definitely a chilled listen. However, I had the general expectation with listening to chill styles of being emotionally captured at least once during the album, in order to rate one listening experience higher than another. Personally, I was not captured and there were no real discernable moments that stood out. 

This is of course a subjective review on my part, and you’ll no doubt love this album if you’re down with psychedelically colourful downtempo beats.

3 out of 5 Haarp Strings.

Written by Kristian Hatton.


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