David Tipper

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Tipper 2010.jpg
Dave Tipper performing live - 2010
Background information
Birth name David Tipper
Genres Electronica, breakbeat, trip hop, hip hop, glitch, IDM, ambient
Occupations Producer, Composer, DJ
Years active 1997–present
Labels Tippermusic, Myutopia, Higher Ground, Fuel Records (UK)
Website http://www.tippermusic.net

David Tipper, or Tipper for short (born c. 1976,[1] Wimbledon, London[2]) is a British composer and producer specializing in electronic music that ranges from ambient, through trip hop, to uptempo nu skool breaks. His live performances consist largely of his own unreleased compositions, and he is highly regarded for scratching his own sounds over his music, creating a live element of turntablism stemming from prowess early in his career as a vinyl DJ.


Tipper is widely respected as a Surround Sound composer, releasing one of the first albums composed, produced, and intended for the DualDisc format, in addition to providing content for multichannel music industry leaders DTS, Inc.. His talents at sound design (his work is included in several of the major music making software programs[3]), and in digital audio mastering, are also in great demand. His catalog has been consistently licensed for use as background in a variety of mainstream television programmes,[4] and also featured in commercials[5] and cable television projects.

Tipper was ‘discovered’ as a teenager DJing in a London nightclub by soon-to-be manager Richie Warren. Their earliest conversations centered on bass frequencies and rhythms underlying beats, and they began researching the science involved in creating the most effective dance music. Richie founded Fuel Records (UK), and Tipper released the first of several vinyl EP’s in 1997. Renault licensed one of these, Twister, for a European ad campaign. Soon thereafter, Sony UK signed Tipper to their fledgling dance music label, Higher Ground.

Higher Ground[edit]

In the late 1990s Tipper completed numerous remix projects of his Higher Ground label mates, and released several singles, each highlighting his penchant for electronic dance music with extreme bass frequencies and intricate polyrhythms; this sound helped usher in a popular new music genre referred to as Nuskool Breakbeat, and Tipper is recognized as one of the pioneering producers of this movement. In 1999 Tipper released his first album, The Critical Path. It was not, however, the ‘breakbeat’ dance record that the label hoped for. Tipper’s vision was decidedly more artistic than anticipated, confusing the label as to how to promote it, and disappointing sales led to an amicable parting of ways with Sony.

The Fuel Years[edit]

During the late 1990s while Tipper was busy in the studio, Richie Warren & Co conceptualized the Fuel Sound System. This consisted of 2 identical black 1970s Dodge Challengers, both fitted with 6 x18" subwoofers (replacing where the back seats had previously been) and a Funktion-One mid/tops speaker unit, that could be raised out of the trunk on hydraulics with the flick of a switch from the driver's dashboard. These cars were able to run independently, without the need for an electrical generator, using 6 batteries charged via an alternator salvaged out of a lorry. With a totally discreet and fully mobile sound system, the Fuel crew, assuming the role of sonic pranksters, began a pilgrimage of sound that took them on tour to various music festivals, parties & spontaneous gatherings, setting them up outside events and garnering attention for the label and its artists. One of the ‘urban myths’ surrounding these appearances recounts the incident at the 1997 V Festival, when Richie Warren received complaints from The Prodigy's stage manager, because the band couldn't hear itself due to the excess volume.[6]

With this activity as a backdrop, Tipper released his second album Holding Pattern in early 2001. Many of the individual tracks from this album found their way into DJ boxes internationally, and accordingly Tipper began touring extensively through Europe, the United States and Australia. Reflecting his travels was the DJ Mix album Sound Off which he completed for Fuel later the same year. Tipper focused on the music, and Richie promoted a lifestyle – taking the cars wherever possible to create a happening around both.


While touring across the United States in 2003 with the Fuel Cars, Tipper began composing tracks for what would become his first album intended entirely as a surround sound listening experience. Surrounded was released in 2004 by fledgling 5.1 venture MyUtopia Recordings;[7] eventually nominated as Best Album Intended for Surround Sound[8] this Downtempo album also marked a turn in Tipper’s musical output away from the NuSkool genre which he was more widely associated with. It was during this period that digital music sales and/or reproduction usurped the music industry, and ultimately Fuel Records (UK) met its demise. As Tipper toured and performed his album in 5.1 wherever possible, Richie re-focused his talents towards advanced Auto parts, and Tipper set off on a non-stop touring schedule for two years, with London only a temporary base between tours. Constantly seen living out of his suitcase, and keeping his ‘studio’ in his backpack, earned him the temporary moniker The Global Nomad.

Late 2004 saw his Surrounded album re-released as a DualDisc title, and this in turn led to the creation of his personal MP3 Surround Sound Player, by mp3 rights holders Fraunhofer Society. Regarded as one of the foremost composers in the multichannel realm, Tipper continues to provide content for a number of companies who use his highly detailed productions to demonstrate their own advanced technologies.[9]


2005 witnessed the establishment of his own imprint Tippermusic, and he embraced the digital music revolution for the freedom it gave musicians to finally determine their own path. No longer constrained by label requirements, Tipper set about releasing his music independently, mostly via online stores. Some investment was made in CDs and Vinyl, but ultimately online sales figures showed their declining relevance for his style of output.

Tipper began releasing albums at an accelerated rate. First off was the ground breaking Tip Hop, which focused on merging Hip Hop production with electronic trickery and helped usher in a new genre referred to as Glitch Hop. He immediately followed up with Relish The Trough, which was material consisting of compositions from his catalog used primarily for his performances on tour. Both albums found favor in Hollywood, and a number of tracks were used as background in prime time television shows.[4]

His second full downtempo release The Seamless Unspeakable Something debuted in 2006, with Tipper in full guise as an electronica trip hop wizard; tracks from this album also found favor as background music on TV. In 2007 he digitally re-mastered his old vinyl catalogue and quietly released Fuel Years and Higher Ground to the delight of DJ’s globally who had been requesting the very same for years. In early 2008 he decided to make available more of his unreleased ‘performance catalogue’ and thus Tertiary Noise was ushered in.[10]

His 9th studio album, Wobble Factor would be unveiled later in 2008, and solidified Tipper’s influence on the burgeoning ‘glitch-hop’ musical movement, especially in the United States.[11]

Shortly after its release, his health demanded his immediate focus, curtailing his studio time and forcing cancellation of all tour dates. While recuperating over time, he labored on his new ambient/downtempo LP, Broken Soul Jamboree.[12] This album showcases many facets of Tipper’s composition and production style, with striking artwork for the album cover and a limited edition poster accompanying the initial CD run.[13]

Since "Broken Soul Jamboree," Dave Tipper has released four EPs (extended play). Each has featured midtempo glitch-hop and glitch-step, evolving and expanding upon the bank of vocal glitch sounds that created his signature sound (and in the opinion of many, the genre of glitch-hop itself). His notoriety has risen considerably in these years as well, and he was featured as a headlining act at multiple midsize electronic music festivals spanning the entire continental US (with an extensive showing on the West coast and making it as far East as North Carolina for Gnarnia Music and Arts festival in August 2012). At multiple music festivals in 2012 he played two sets, each distinctly different in terms of tempo and feel. His "downtempo" sets feature material mostly from "Broken Soul Jamboree" and earlier releases that are generally in-between 70 and 90 bpm and that feature heavy melodic composition. These are a rarity and only seem to occur when he plays two sets at a single event. If he is only contracted to play one set, it is consistently a midtempo glitch-hop set. There are unconfirmed rumors that in 2013 Dave Tipper will begin featuring more downtempo performances.

In 2013, Tipper announced he will only participate in two festival appearances due to health reasons;[14] on June 6, he underwent a successful mitral valve repair surgery.[15]



Year Title Label
2000 The Critical Path Higher Ground
2002 Holding Pattern Fuel Records (UK)
2003 Surrounded Myutopia Recordings
2005 Tip Hop Tippermusic
2006 Relish the Trough Tippermusic
2006 The Seamless Unspeakable Something Tippermusic
2007 The Fuel Years Tippermusic
2007 Higher Ground Tippermusic
2008 Tertiary Noise Tippermusic[10]
2008 Wobble Factor Tippermusic
2010 Broken Soul Jamboree Tippermusic
2014 Forward Escape Tippermusic


Year Title Label
1997 Six Pak Fuel Records (UK)
1997 Bassgunner Fuel Records (UK)
1998 Twister Fuel Records (UK)
1999 L.E.D. Down Higher Ground
2000 Dissolve (Out) Higher Ground
2011 Snake Eyes Tippermusic
2011 Bubble Control Tippermusic
2012 Puzzle Dust Tippermusic
2012 Shatter Box Tippermusic
2013 Dusty Bubble Box Tippermusic


  1. ^ Alpha69 Productions, Perceptive Minds, SERANO. "MP3 interview with Dave Tipper (Part 1)". Toazted.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  2. ^ http://www.lunarmagazine.com/features/tipper.php/
  3. ^ "Propellerhead - Artist Stories - Signature Sound Designers". Propellerheads.se. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Tipper Music". TuneFind. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Levis Moonbathing Director's Cut Commercial". Web.me.com. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  6. ^ Car, Pulse. "Car Audio and Electronics - Car stereo reviews, how-tos, and mobile electronics news". Caraudiomag.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  7. ^ "5.1 Entertainment Group". Mixonline.com. 2001-09-01. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  8. ^ "2nd Annual Surround Music Awards Announce Nominees; Honors Led Zeppelin as Surround Artist of the Year, Frank Zappa as 2003 Surround Pioneer; Ceremonies to Include Special Tribute Performance by Dweezil Zappa. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  9. ^ "Tipper - Surrounded AVRev.com". AVRev.com. 2003-05-27. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  10. ^ a b Ranta, Alan (2008-04-08). "Tipper: Tertiary Noise < PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-07-28. 
  11. ^ "The Best Electronic(a) Albums of 2008". PopMatters. 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  12. ^ Dodgers, Drift (2010-10-22). "Tipper Interview & Broken Soul Jamboree Preview". lostinsound.org. Retrieved 2011-07-28. 
  13. ^ "The Best Electronic Music of 2010". PopMatters. 2010-12-24. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  14. ^ https://www.facebook.com/tippermusic/posts/578763182147238
  15. ^ http://www.theuntz.com/glitch-hop-pioneer-dave-tipper-to-have-open-heart-surgery-tomorrow-morning

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