I never really had any plans to visit Tacoma, Washington. And now after reading Eliot Lipp’s depressing one sheet, which paints a dreary picture of his hometown, where it’s always raining and has an exceptional high suicide rate, I know I never want to go. But hey, that’s what Eliot’s CD is for. All I have to do is sit in my apartment and pop the disk in the player and viola, I am magically transported 8,000 miles away.
Lipp’s newest release stays close to his electro roots, but also makes room for some branching out and experimentation with some pretty wild and twisted soul and funk sounds. But don’t stop there if you are not a fan of instrumental electronica, because this album also serves up a couple wicked tunes that find themselves closer to hip-hop beats than glitchy, poppy, monotonous electronic loops.
Lipp’s successful combinations of break beats, funk, soul, and electronica make Tacoma Mocking Bird not only a pleasant listen on the home stereo, but also in the car, and most importantly in the headphones. It’s amazing how after each time I listen to a track I notice more and more layers of sound woven together like a beautiful quilt. It doesn’t really make sense to list all the songs on the disk that I liked, but I can give you a few.
Although I dig the ’80s electronic melodies on this album, I have to say that I was definitely more impressed with the break beat, hip-hop centred tracks like “Last Night” for example, which not only has a mean ’70s funk break, but also features distorted, coked-out synths that Havoc from Mobb Deep would be proud of. In addition to “Last Night,” Lipp does his best to make a song that sounds like it was meant to be bumped out of Coupe DeVilles and Regals when he flips “Rap Tight,” and the ode to e-40 and The Click’s hometown “Vallejo.” I’m sure that if Charlie Hustle heard this song in the late ’90s he would have thought about flipping a little slizzle to the bizzle.