Eliot Lipp - Biography
The name Eliot Lipp should have a more familiar ring to it. One of his generation’s less known producers, Lipp’s music nonetheless radiates talent, inspiration and skill. Since 2004 this inventive beat maker has crafted some killer records of classic instrumental hip-hop infused with traces of electro, house and ‘70s vintage synth disco. Buoyant, light, funky and catchy, Lipp’s tough yet well-measured sound deserves greater attention.
Growing up in Tacoma, WA, a young Eliot Lipp developed a passionate love for golden era hip-hop made on both coasts. His dedication to seeking out hip-hop is all the more evident when you consider that Tacoma is hardly a rap hotspot. With this in mind, Lipp moved down to San Francisco for art school and began working on early tracks around 2001. Running on a restless streak that would find him hoping from city to city, Lipp then moved to Chicago with the idea of really focusing on his music work. Chicago exposed him to post-rock, abstract electronica and classic house and techno. All of these influences merged with his hip-hop background to form the sound he continues to explore.
Early in 2004 Lipp caught the moving bug again, deciding that the Los Angeles beat scene was the best place to jumpstart his career. He moved there and split his time between simple jobs and working hard on music in his apartment. It was during this time that a few of Lipp’s tracks found their way into the hands of Scott Herren, better known as Prefuse 73. Herren loved Lipp’s funky, electro influenced style. That same year, Lipp’s self-titled debut was released on Herren’s Eastern Developments label. The album’s warm, classic sound comes from the use of various vintage synths, a working method Lipp continues to hold close to the heart of his music.
After his debut made the rounds, Lipp signed with Chicago indie Hefty Records. After a couple singles his second record, Tacoma Mockingbird, was released in 2006. That same year Steele Street Scraps was also released and features collaborations with Hefty founder John Hughes as well as Earmint and Victor Bermon. Both records find Lipp refining the glossy, electro infused uptempo hip-hop of his debut.
2006 is also the year that Lipp left L.A. to live in Brooklyn, where he continues to reside. 2007 brought the release of City Synthesis on Metatronix. 2008 brought a collaboration with Vyle for the Neonstrider Bit Rate EP featuring vocal spots from K-the-I???, Masai Bey and V8. More importantly, 2008 found Lipp signing with underground hip-hip giant Mush to release The Outside. Arguably his best album to date, this record is a full realization of Lipp’s overall aesthetic. Tight grooves and excellent, thoughtful production mark this one as a classic.
Lipp founded his own label, Old Tacoma Records, in 2009 to release his newest effort. Peace Love Weed 3D folds in a greater influence from disco and house music. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable record, filled with energetic drum programming, unique textures and memorable melodies.
From city to city over the course of a decade Eliot Lipp has continued to push his craft and has created some fascinating music in the process. His ability to synthesize his influences into a unique style marks him as a truly innovative producer. Perhaps more importantly it’s his passion, hard work and sincerity that gives his music its warm, infectious sound.