Photo by Chris Eichenseer
Text by Aaron Richter
After cutting his teeth in LA, Eliot Lipp now calls Brooklyn home. And judging by the cover and layout of his fourth LP, The Outside–which features images of the billboard-strewn Manhattan intersection of Lafayette and East Houston–the electronic artist is looking to the city for inspiration. A few obvious references pop up throughout: â€œThe Interludeâ€ (literally an interlude) bangs with skitter-scatter cuts like it’s driving a Bronx-corner cipher and the prog-y future-funk of â€œSee What It’s Aboutâ€ begins with a sample of the robo-conductor sounds of the city’s underutilized (though well air-conditioned) automated subway trains. â€œStand clear of the closing doors. Bing-bong.â€
Otherwise, Lipp conducts his own people-watching soundtrack with a uniform, approachable sound palette atop a reinterpreted hip-hop base that seems endlessly infatuated with â€œPlanet Rock.â€ Bass-slathered sections of â€œOpening Ceremonyâ€ and â€œBaby Tankâ€ recall the dirty sick grooves of Montreal beatsmith Ghislain Poirier. â€œThe Area,â€ a guitar-syncopated track riding simple, somber piano chords, could be a lost gem off DJ Shadow’s Private Press. And â€œBeyond the Cityâ€ is propulsive, glimmering techno that goes from minimal to maximal without losing its control or precision.
For our New York City readers, The Outside is worth loading onto your iPod for a weekend stroll through the city streets. Our advice: Start downtown, outside Bowery Ballroom. Strap on your ear laces. Press play. And just walk north. See how far you get by album’s end and report back to us.[audio:http://www.self-titledmag.com/wp-content/uploads/audio2/03%20The%20Area.mp3]