Eclectic influences replace nu-skool breaks in Tipper’s latest album, Broken Soul Jamboree, a digital release. Tipper takes a downbeat approach on collaboration between rich Middle Eastern instrumentation and industrial downbeats. Retrospectively, it might sound like collaboration between Trent Reznor’s industrial prowess and Zakir Hussain’s renowned pitch bending Tabla (drum) virtuosity. This album is caught between Eastern tradition and western modernity.
Tipper’s instrumental tool belt must weigh him down. From the very beginning listeners are exposed to a barrage eastern instrumentation. Three minutes into the album, a Tabla solo refines what some may confuse as a blind stab at multicultural composition, but it resolves–unexpectedly, like a spider web plot, where various character who are seemingly disconnected, come together and solve one another’s problems.
This heavy northern Indian influence is also prominent throughout the track “Brocken Spectre”, which is a magnified shadow one casts on a cloud, opposite of the sun. Likewise, Tipper casts his shadow across 10 albums of work with an album that is both organic and alien, relative to past albums, The Seamless Unspeakable Something (the organic) and Wobble Factor (the alien).
You get the sense that Tipper has evolved architecturally, by creating compositions that keep you listening. If these tracks accompanied a movie, you’d know exactly where the action begins and where it ends. If these tracks built a house, you’d be enticed to enter, perhaps offered a drink, find yourself in the maid’s quarter…basically you’d enjoy your stay.
The title of track three is “Class 5 Roaming Vapour”, an allusion to Ghost Busters. For those of you who don’t already know, a Class 5 Roaming Vapour is a very nasty ghost. It’s hard to get rid of, and the Ghost Busters team charges about $5,000 to conduct and extermination. Likewise, you’ll find yourself infected with this track once it enters your ears. It’s subtle at first, like most tracks on this album. You might hear some whispers (repeating melody), and then some voices (high hat). At some point you’ll start speaking in tongues and bobbing your head like a dippy bird.
Track 12 is “Hourglass Infringement”. It opens with drummer’s perspective over pan drums. Followed by some harp, pan flute, hand claps, xylophone—and the list goes on. Ultimately, the track pulls you into the last track, “Ever Decreasing Circles”, which also opens with what sounds to be pan drums. It gives you the sense that Tipper has crossed and ocean, replacing North Indian Tables, which inhabit the beginning of the album, with Caribbean pan drums. As a complete album you don’t feel as though you’ve walked a circle but crossed and ocean, and you’ll be glad that you did. Look for the physical release, due February 2011.