Eliot Lipp Releases “Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake” on Pretty Lights Music Imprint

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:: Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom ::
:: July 26 ::

By Levi Macy

It’s been eight years since Eliot Lipp released his first album and six years since he left his coffee shop job to focus on music full-time, but in that relatively short amount of time, the producer has morphed from a kid saving every penny he had just to buy a new keyboard to a critically acclaimed beat-making man, that some call a pioneer of electronic music.

When Eliot Lipp first arrived on the scene with his self-titled solo album in 2004 he seemed to have a fully-formed aesthetic out of the gate. Lipp displayed an intuitive knack for teasing earwormy melodies out of rhythmic bangers, and drew from a remarkably mature sonic palette — two qualities that immediately set the young instrumental producer apart from his oft-indistinguishable beat-making brethren.

“It’s that moment when you hear something that gives you goosebumps,” Lipp said in a recent interview with The Marquee.

Lipp was able to find many goosebump moments after leaving the coffee shop, doing stints in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City, where he began to earn a reputation as a producer’s producer. Never content simply with well-worn breaks and effects, his work incorporates a love of analog gear with sampledelic flourishes, intricate rhythmic patterns and more than a few leftfield surprises.

“Electronic music can be so trendy sometimes, it’s a little oversaturated,” Lipp said. “But my love for music is what keeps me motivated.”

However, as his career has grown, Lipp has at least identified, if not necessarily gotten over one hurdle that still remains. “I love making music, but I’m also trying to make money off of music,” he said. “Therein lies the paradox. The music industry can get pretty shady sometimes. Promoters and people on labels don’t pay people. People aren’t snakes, it’s not like they’re out to rob you. People are just flakey, especially in this industry. It’s really easy to see these folks on stage or hear them on iPods and forget that they are doing a job.”

Hopefully some of that hurdle will erode with Lipps most recent effort Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake,  which was released in May on Pretty Lights Music.

The release runs the gamut from ’80s synthpop to modern electro breakdown — an electro hip-hop soul sample based style. Pretty Lights Music founder and the producer behind Pretty Lights, Derek Vincent Smith, said of the project, “Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake is an album where classy hip-hop meets eighties dance party. The synths are cool, and the samples are smooth.”

Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake also bridges a gap for Lipp by giving him label support from Pretty Lights without selling out. “Just becoming independent and as autonomous as you can be is key in this,” he said. “Getting used to that has been a challenge for me. That’s where the courage comes into play. I’ve never really been able to fit into one genre. I guess if you’re never relevant then you can never be irrelevant. To me, what I do has never been the ‘hot flavor of the month,’ but I like not fitting in.”

Still, Lipp is plagued with that independent autonomy because oftentimes it means being “on” 24-7, and the inability to step back, or even to place blame on someone else when things aren’t working isn’t available to Lipp.

“I’m learning that it’s difficult to find success in this business and put your ego aside. I don’t have a band. My whole thing is Eliot Lipp. I have a tough time separating myself from the brand,” Lipp said. “It’s hard not to take shit personal. I just want my music to tell my story, I push myself and try not to hold back.

Despite those struggles, or maybe because of them, Lipp comes off like a grounded seasoned classic rocker who’s done the hard days on the road and lived long enough to remember them fondly with some lessons learned. “Be original, just stay independent and work from the ground up. Put your family first and never forget about where you came from,” he said.

 

:: Eliot Lipp ::

:: Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom ::

:: July 26 ::

 

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