Electronic music maverick Eliot Lipp has teamed up with the Pretty Lights Music Label to introduce fans to his latest full-length album, Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake. Lipp’s sound effortlessly flows with the PLM style, emanating a chilled out vibe sending you straight into a grooving space odyssey. The construction of this LP utilizes various midis, analog synths, drum machines, samples, and who knows what else to come up with an organic sounding ambiance, perfect for any day hanging out in the sun.
Eliot’s first couple tracks on Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake, such as, ‘The Mountain,” and, “The Sunset,” display that it was much more than just a friendship with Derek Vincent Smith, aka Pretty Lights, that sealed the deal for PLM to release Eliot’s album. "The Sunset," opens with a eerie lyrical sample then dives into a pool of funky beats with a mysterious aura. Lipp fills yet another previously undiscovered niche on the Pretty Lights label, joining the likes of Michal Menert, Paul Basic, Gramatik…should I go on? Each artist has established their own unique sound and as a collective PLM is conquering the glitchy, hoppy, trippy, drippy mega-genre. Another favorite track on the album, "Gettin' Money (ft. Michal Menert)," interweaves classic hip-hop beats with underground swagger. Just another testament to the solid talent PLM represents.
Eliot masters his own niche, texturing similar samples and instruments as the other PLM artists, but with his own head-bobbin twist. The album explores vast scales of ambiance with an old school feel, but with modernized and personalized layers of sweet melodies and exceptional drum patterns. Filling Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake with hip-hop, drum & bass, funk, techno, jazz, and more, while still remaining a cohesive whole, the tracks flow smoothly like a story.
Diversity within an entire universe is an easy thing, but within an artist’s own personal musical universe, that bares a challenge. Eliot makes it look easy, flipping genres on their backs, then helping them back up, and then kicking them back down again. “The Chase’s” final breakdown closes the album out nicely so one can hit “repeat” and listen to it all over again.
Be sure to download Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake for free on PLM here.
Read our interview with Eliot below from his last show in Boulder, CO.
SPRING AND SUMMER TOUR DATES
*Interview from 12.7.11 @ The Fox Theater - Boulder, CO*
Swaager: You’ve been into music for a long time starting with piano in the third grade then into drums and creating beats for emcees all the way to becoming a figure in the electronic music scene in about 2004 when the first record came out. You have all of that in your repertoire then fast forward to today and you’ve shared the stage with several top name artists amongst being a staple in the industry yourself, you have your own record label and another solo album coming out in 2012, what are some of your thoughts on your success and advice to others who are striving to achieve what you have? Part of it is trying to stay consistent and stay true to what you start out doing. It’s what has really helped me and may not work for everybody but that’s one thing I would suggest. Don’t be afraid to try new things; if I keep doing something the same way and I’m not reaching my goals I’ll make a shift and try other things. There’s been times where I haven’t been able to pull things off the way I wanted to and sometimes it’s because I wasn’t willing to compromise. It comes down to consistency. There’s so many people that blow up over night that everybody when they start doing music think that is what is going to happen to them, so they jump on bandwagons thinking they are going to be the next “so n’ so.” Then a new style of music comes along and they jump on that too. Really I think consistency as an artist is key. If you hold it down and just build your own style, rhythms and melody and create it that way then you have your own thing. Then the flavor of the month doesn’t interrupt what you are doing, it’s just there. People will come up a new name for your style constantly to try and lump you in with the trends. Longevity is brought upon by consistency.
Swaager: Your thoughts on this sound very similar to a recent Swaager interview with Emancipator. Yea, he’s still down tempo and mellow with big, lush sounds and it’s the same as when he started. Everybody heard it and they were like, “I love this kid but it’s not gonna blow up cause it’s not Rusko or Diplo.” They don’t think of music that hassubtitles and depth; Emancipator is a great example as he is consistent and building, getting bigger and bigger with the music getting better.
Swaager: You also share a similar experience factor with Emancipator, as he has introduced Ilya to his performances as a live violinist you now have Steve playing live percussion for you. With my style staying consistent, a drummer is a variable I can add to keep things changing and exciting.
Swaager: So I want to touch on some funny things I came across when following your social media. You’ve been posting some #lipptips on Twitter and in particular I loved the one, “There’s nothing wrong with shoplifting at the airport, careful though, lots of cameras.” (laughs) It’s mostly out of boredom. But I’m trying to get back at them (airlines/airports) for jackin’ me. Airlines made over a billion dollars in the last six months just on checked luggage and fees. Like if you go to change your flight – that’s a fee. They just invent that and these are the same companies that cashed in on 9/11. They needed the government to kick them funds to keep afloat still making billions. If someone is taking things from Starbucks at the airport they’re probably not taking money from the airlines but it can make you feel a little better about personal issues with the outrageous costs. Steve’s the one who pointed out to me that once you cross through the security gate everything doubles in price.
Steve: You can’t get out, you can’t leave after security and it’s rigged. If you’re hungry you better have $15 for chips and salsa.
LIpp: And I think stealing is wrong in just about every circumstance but I don’t feel bad about that comment. Whenever I post things on Twitter, I think “am I down with this or not?” Cause there’s some times where I think of something kinda funny and post it right away and then later on people are like, “oh that’s fucked up that you said that.” But this one I decided I was down with the comment and I support it.
Swaager: I also want your insight on the #lipptip, “Stop shooting video on your phone and just enjoy the show.”
Lipp: Yea, that’s another one from Steve.
Steve: You commented about that?
Lipp: I just wrote what you said as a #lipptip. But I started another one though, a new trending topic that I call #shitmydrummersays.
Steve: You did not, are you serious?!
Lipp: Yes, I did! So you know what I should have put that the camera thing in that category but I wasn’t thinking.
Swaager: So tell me about your thoughts on shooting video…
Lipp: It doesn’t bother me, but I never think to do that. When I’m watching a show and I’m having a moment I’m like, “Wow I’m stoked right now.” You know when you are at a show and it gets to the part where you get goose bumps, the last thing I think to do it to interrupt that by trying to capture it somehow. Just be there. That’s what I was thinking.
Swaager: So we touched earlier on your background, are you still building beats for emcees?
Lipp: Yes, I’m currently working on a project called Auburn with an emcee from Chicago, Vyle.
Swaager: How’s that going?
Lipp: Good, I mean we started with a single. It got interrupted as we are not with the original label and we still have the album. Albert has actually been recording verses to it for the past couple weeks. But we did a mixtape and a single, but we are in the process of searching for a new label to put it out on or I’m going to try to schedule it in with my label. We took a hiatus doing shows to focus on production and finish the record.
Swaager: Have you tried your hand at emceeing yourself?
Lipp: Yea (smiling), it’s been awhile…about ten years ago. That’s how I started, my friends and I were rapping and we were like, “let’s make beats to rap over,” so that’s how I got started.
Swaager: How is your label, Old Tacoma going?
Lipp: Good. The most recent thing we’ve done was called Lagos and it is a collaboration between Leo123 who’s in my group Dark Party. It’s him and a guy, Radius, from Chicago. He’s actually from Lagos in Nigeria. And their sound incorporates world music into their end result. They are making deep house, straight-up Chicago style ambient broken beat house while bringing in elements of Latin music and African beats. It’s good and just came out a couple of weeks ago. Then we put out Ben Samples’Malbec, album.
Swaager: You personally have a new solo album coming out. Tell me a little about that.
Lipp: It’s pretty much done. It’s 99% done. I’m mixing it with Kurt, one of the guys in Flosstradamus, he goes by Autobot. So he’s got a dope studio a few blocks from mine in Brooklyn. I’ve been going over there and mixing the tracks. One thing I can say about the music is it is definitely heavier than my last record. There are some slower songs and it’s darker and heavier. One thing I did since the last album was buy a sub for my studio, which I never had. So now I’m listening to lower frequencies. Playing out in clubs with awesome sound systems got me listening to music a little differently. Also the main focus of the music is for it to be played in the live setting so it’s more aggressive, club music. I’m structuring it like an album with good sequencing but it’s really made to play live.
Swaager: Talking about sound systems, tell me about some memorable ones.
Lipp: When I was touring with Bassnectar they did a show once in Albany at the Washington Avenue Amory and there was something about the acoustics in the room and just the amount of subs. They boxes they had subs in were about the size of a bed and they had about 16 of them. And not only that, they angled them specifically for the waves to travel in certain directions so that the phasing doesn’t happen and every part of the room feels powerful. They don’t even turn them up that loud, it’s just the amount and the way they push the air together when the bass hits you feel like gravity shifts. It was the most bass I had ever experienced in my life, it was cool. Their sound guy Trevor is a scientist when it comes down to it. He studies it and his examples just blew my mind.
Swaager: I want to talk about when you decided to incorporate a live drummer. When was that and what influenced it?
Lipp: Well Steve and I started playing around August 2011 but it was in May when I was doing shows with Colby from Two Fresh first. We did all the festival together and then Steve and I joined up in August. I saw a lot of performances that had live instruments. I just thought to myself, “What would I do if I could set-up that situation?”
Swaager: What is the dynamic between you and Steve off stage when it comes to collaborating?
Lipp: We rehearse but it’s not just going through the songs. Steve has a lot in input on the transitions and he has remixed one of my tracks and we play one of his tracks live too. We are definitely collaborating it’s like a band. We are getting more into it too. Next year we are going to be doing even more where we’ll be taking more sound out of the laptop and performing it live. Steve will handle more live drums and I’ll do keys and samples. I’m also hoping to incorporate a live keyboardist too. Ultimately my goal is to have a band, a full on live electronic band.
Swaager: Well it’s been a busy year for you; do you have any memorable shows?
Lipp: Electric Forest was really cool. There was this one set we did, me and the twins and Colby, Michal Menert and one of the dudes from Cherub. It was 4 a.m. and we were in the camping area and we just set-up and rocked for a few hours. It was awesome.
Swaager: A lot of artists we’ve talked to have mentioned Electric Forest as their favorite of the year.
Lipp: It was happening. It was just right there and a lot of stuff was on the fly. My other favorite set of the summer was a morning set at Wakarusa when the sun was coming up. That was really fun, I’d never played a sunrise set before.
Swaager: Last year you played NYE in Portland, OR and then this year you are in Richmond, VA. What are your expectations?
Lipp: Well Richmond always goes off and Canal Club is cool. It’s grimy and people can get rowdy and super wild and they aren’t gonna get kicked out. It’s always packed whenever I play there so it’ll be even better on New Years. For New Year’s Eve I find out how long the time slot is and I pick out all the bangers and play them back to back. There’s no meandering and building. I just try to play all the really fun shit. I just make it a party for New Years!
Swaager: What else are you looking forward to in the near future as a performer?
Lipp: Like I mentioned I’m looking forward to a live band set-up and working more with visuals. I’ve got a bunch of remixes coming out by friends as well as my album. With Old Tacoma I have some new artists I’ll be putting out.
Swaager: So we’ve been chatting for awhile, so to round this out I’m going ask you my signature question. If you had a time machine and could go back in time, to what era would you go to and what genre would you play?
Lipp: I just love the jazz from the early 70s. That’s all I buy at the record shop now. I want to play a Fender Rhodes. I’ve been buying a lot of straight up jazz too; I’ve always been into fusion but now I’m getting into the late 60s where it’s just starting to get a little weird. That’s probably my favorite era.