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Camp Bisco 7 - Eliot Lipp Interview

From electro-synth melodies to head banging beats, Eliot Lipp knows exactly how to move a crowd and make them think. After a bit of phone tag at this past weekend’s Camp Bisco 7, Imprint Magazine Music Editor Julian Williams caught up with Lipp for a few words on what’s up and what coming from the Brooklyn - based artist/producer.

Imprint Magazine: So, I already asked you, but, first of all, how are doing?

Eliot Lipp: Good, good.

IM: How are you enjoying Camp Bisco?

EL: Yeah, it’s nice here, man.

IM: You got in late last night you said?

EL: Yeah, I drove up from Brooklyn and I missed Snoop(Dogg), unfortunately. I made it right after his set so I’m kind of bummed out about that, but I saw Pnuma Trio so it’s all good.

IM: So, I know it might be a hard question to answer, but there’s been a really nice change since S/T(2004) and Tacoma Mockingbird(2006) to City Synthesis(2007) and The Outside(2008). Your styles changed—it’s still that indefinable sound but it’s also more. What do you think caused that?

EL: I think a lot of things that have influenced me since I made those earlier records have been just a lot of different styles of music. I was listening to a lot of jazz and hip hop when I made those earlier records and I still listen to lots of jazz and hip hop, but techno and electro and house and all these different styles of electronic music, whether they were the older, 80s stuff, you know, like Detroit and Chicago stuff to, you know, newer European stuff…it’s just all different styles of music have been influencing me, but most of it is electronic and dance music and but at the same time a lot of obscure, experimental stuff too. So It’s been influencing me to kind of push into new territory, you know, but at the same time I incorporate everything I’m interested in from before. I’m not trying to be one of those producers that’s switching up his style every year and trying to keep up with the trends or anything, but I definitely want to evolve, you know.

IM: Say, if we went into your car right now, what are you pumpin’?

EL: Right now?

IM: Yeah.

EL: I have a mix that I was just listening to—this techno mix I made back in like 2002 and that’s what I was playing. Just, kind of like a lot of Detroit techno from the early 90s.

IM: Really?

EL: Yeah, that’s a big influence, I have a lot of that in my car right now and, um, I don’t even know, man. Some Miles Davis is in there. That’s a tough one. I’m always listening to so much music, I can never think of it.[laughter] But, I’ve also been getting into—in the 80s, there was this moment when electro was fusing with some of the people that were doing jazz, like, progressive jazz. And they were kind of fusing electro and jazz, like Bob James and all these different producers were bringing in synthesizers and drum machines into their jazz music and a lot of those records, you know, you find in the dollar bin of a record store. But every now and then, some of those records have a really good track or two on them or a good moment within a track. So, I’m getting into that—that moment in ’86, ’87, ‘88 where people were trying different things, but at the same time it had that old B-boy, break-dance and electro style. Not, like, a newer version of some trance shit. It was a boom box kind of style, you know, and I’m really into that. That’s what I’ve been exploring.

IM: Are you trying to create that or infuse it with your own style?

EL: Yeah, fuse it with my own shit, you know? I just got so much love for boom box beats. Just old drum machine music, like some of the early Run-DMC beats or some of the early 80s rap. Where it would just be, like, a drum machine beat and MC Sean or somebody just rappin’ over the beat. I love those beats so much, but at the same time, in my music…I’m so musical. I’ve gotta’ have chords and all these samples and synthesizers and shit. Lately, I’ve just been trying to start with the drum programming and just trying to make real head-nodder beats.

IM: So based on all of this (Camp Bisco 7), where do you think there’s a place for this? I mean, you have your Lollapaloozas, Bonnaroos, Wakarusas. All those big named festivals, and this isn’t certainly one of the biggest, but it’s definitely one of the most dedicated…one of the few pushing for electronica. So based on that, what do you think about Camp Bisco?

EL: I think it’s cool to see some of the names like AmpLive and, um, some of the DJs that are playing are definitely not what you would expect. And I like that about it, for sure. It’s one of the more eclectic festivals that’s going on. That’s what I like about it.

IM: Is there anything that you wish, because you have to leave right after your set, that you could see…besides the obvious Snoop miss?

EL: I haven’t taken a look at the schedule really…cause I don’t even want to torture myself. I know on Saturday there’s a lot of shit I wanted to see. I wanted to see, you know, Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow. And I definitely wanted to see the Lazaro(Casanova) who’s playing after me and AmpLive. Yeah, that’s the stuff I’m kind of bummed that I’m gonna’ miss out on but, you know, I’m sure I’ll catch them at some other show, I’m sure.

IM: So, what do you think, and we’ll kill it here cause I don’t want to keep you too long, but what do you think in the coming years you’re going to be pushing for?

EL:
In the next few years? Well, I have a band that I’m starting with Alex(Botwin) and Lane(Shaw) from the Pnuma Trio. The bass and the drums. So far, we just played in San Francisco together and tomorrow we’re gonna’ play in Portland. So I’m gonna’ be pushing the band, trying to do a lot more shows with a live band just because it brings a different energy on stage.

IM: It brings that different feel.

EL: Yeah, yeah, and it’s really fun. There’s so much to explore with having live instrumentation versus the solo electronic set.

IM: So, we can expect to be hearing a lot more of this?

EL: Yeah, we’re gonna be touring and we’re going to be doing a lot more shows with that project. And um, I’m going to be releasing a compilation. I’m starting a record label. It’s gonna’ be – I’m starting with a compilation of me and five other artists. It’s all brand new artists, um, just friends of mine and we each are putting 2 tracks on the compilation. And then throughout the year, I’m going to be releasing everyone’s full-length record and I’ll be putting out one of my own full-lengths on the label as well.

IM: I’ll be looking forward to that.

EL: Yeah, it’s called Old Tacoma Records. That’s kind of what I’m working on a lot in the coming months.

IM: Well, thanks for sitting down with me, man.

EL: No problem.

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