With everything that’s going on tonight, FREE the WAX has got one more gig vying for your attention featuring American electro-cinematic producer maestro Eliot Lipp who is best known for his seamless weaving of 80s electro, 70s jazz-fusion and Bay Area hip hop.
We’ve got here a snippet of an interview by FREE the WAX with Eliot Lipp to amp up your interest. And if you really really can’t make it tonight, Eliot Lipp will be hosting a free (yes you heard me right, FREE) workshop and barbeque on Sunday. What are you waiting for?
Where: The Shelter, No. 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu 永福路5号，近复兴西路 for the show, The Lab, 5F No. 343 Jiaozhou Lu, near Xinzha Lu 胶州路343号5楼，近新闸路 for the workshop/bbq
Starts: Friday, November 6, 9PM for show; Sunday, November 8, 5-6PM for workshop
Cover: 50 RMB for show, FREE for workshop
Where did you grow up?
In a typical American town northwest of Seattle, in Tacoma, Washington. It is very rainy, a working class town, not much going on. I was 14/15 and started going to shows, did the whole punk rock thing…
When did you start producing music?
At the same time I was doing the punk rock thing I had a four-track and a drum machine and started making beats with my friends. Making beats, doing graffiti, writing raps, break dancing, DJing, playing in bands, always being creative… It was just a part of high school, just what you did as a teenager to kill time, find shit to do, you know. It was the cultural environment.
And now you are living in New York. How does this environment influence what you do?
It’s mainly the energy, the chaos in NY. There’s always a lot going on, people everywhere. It’s always motivating for me. I work better when I’m oversaturated with information. Creativity flows more spontaneously. It is definitely a part of my track-making process.
You lived in Tacoma, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco… So do you think NY is more inspirational?
I get different things from different cities. Moving means I get to listen to music in a different way. I never listened to Chicago house until I moved to Chicago. There people were teaching me why Chicago house is awesome. I used to listen to it before and just say “Ah, this is whack, turn it off”. It’s like hearing Chop and Screwed in the south instead of in France, you know. It makes total sense. In LA I was around a lot of other producers, mesmerized. Your roommates are making music, people are coming and going. I felt a sense of community in the arts scene which was stronger in LA than anywhere else. It was friendly competition, people feeding off from each other.
What did you produce in LA at the time?
That’s when I did Tacoma Mockingbird for Hefty Records.
That album has a special meaning for you…
Yeah, I had done my first album which was stylistically all over the place and all sample-based. Tacoma was when I wanted to zoom in and see what I wanted to bring to the table as a producer. Give myself an identity and bring out all of those melodies that I had in my head. For Tacoma I was writing all the chord progressions, bass lines and the beats. It was a lot more “me”.
So no more sampling?
Now I’m trying to bridge the gap. Find a way of incorporating sampling with synthesizers and everything else I do. It’s hard. I think ‘’ve been successful at times and failed in others.
And how would you describe your style now?
On my last album, ‘Peace Love Weed 3D’, I mixed all the different styles I’ve been listening to: disco, electro and dance music from the 80s, which makes the sound more uptempo. I’ve just been true to what I felt like making. It’s an experimental process, I’ll record a sketch of a song then resample it, chop it, de-tune it… That’s how I end up with some songs which have an electro or techno feel sometimes. I wanna be able to push boundaries while at the same time I am drawn to melodies which sound pop-ey. I always want my style to be more intricate and more simple, more hi-fi and lo-fi looking for something that I can’t necessarily have.
And to finish this up… what is your impression of China so far?
I don’t know what to think. Everyone that I talked to said they had a great time here and that the crowd was really receptive too. It seems like a place that doesn’t have a (comparatively) thriving scene. At least it’s definitely not oversaturated.
What’s your set gonna be like?
I’m gonna play a mixture of songs from all of my records and some new stuff too. The only thing is that I’m not gonna have all my keyboards with me. But I always change my set in a way where I can improvise and consider what the crowd is responding to.