Review Summary: Using the term “minimal” to describe this album would be wrongfully ascribed, due to how rich in arrangement and frequency (coloration) each song is overall.
With the release of Broken Soul Jamboree, Dave Tipper has provided 13 very musical instrumentals which together contribute to make for a great album beginning to end. These beat based compositions, slowly building, constantly morphing and evolving, carry the listener through Tipper’s diverse and intricately crafted soundscapes. For fans, Broken Soul Jamboree really delivers in terms of expressing Tipper’s style as the focus of these songs. Beautiful, clean, and very well produced opuses. It is refreshing to hear how Tipper uniquely interprets current sounds and styles in the electronic arena on many of the tracks. Using the term “minimal” to describe this album would be wrongfully ascribed, due to how rich in arrangement and frequency (coloration) each song is overall; although the arrangements are stripped down at given points in time. Diverse and interspersed percussion sets, acutely designed sounds/textures, and the utilization of many acoustic instruments (from the banjo, guitar, tar, harp, piano, to the oboe, guiro and xylophone to name some). Ever-present are Tipper’s quirky glitches, and organic textures that convey the “trippy” and “gelatinous” feel central to his sound.
On “Dead Soon,” the fusion of the breathing jungle (cackles, chirps and buzzes) with electronic and acoustic tones (murky ambience, synthesizer frogs, muddy hand claps and liquefied textures) demonstrates how good Tipper is at developing his distinct harmonies. Specifically, pointing out the gracefully flow and how seamlessly this song transitions between the natural, digital and acoustic worlds. These areas all come together with a call-and-response playing style, utilizing electronic and classically acoustic instruments. This harmonic fusion, probably most apparent on “Dead Soon,” represents a central theme for the majority of the tracks on Broken Soul Jamboree.
“Broken Spectre,” is another very intriguing composition which takes the listener on a sojourn. The song begins with bossa nova style guitar licks accompanied with synth leads and dry animal hide drumming, which builds and carries the song to the drop. Here the listener is greeted by tar licks, a low, droning melody playing over the hand drumming in a Middle Eastern playing style that may have influences stemming from Shackleton of the Skull Disco camp, yet is fairly well recognizable as Tipper by his variety of melodic and percussive quirks.
“Tit for Tat” and “Reality Harshness Defender” both have a very live feel to them, which could be mistakenly perceived as performed by a bluegrass or jazz ensemble (with Tipper on the synth of course). These songs attest to the man’s diligent work as a musician, rather than a beat maker on this release.
What Broken Soul Jamboree does not have is the prominent low end (bass) present in his last (2008) release Wobble Factor. Also, is the absence of the upbeat dance and more uptempo breaks style tracks that were synonymous with early Tipper productions.
Tracks with a great musical feel to really vibe out to are, “Big Questions small head,” “Neuron Huskie,” Tit For Tat” and “Herroit Method.” No tracks disappoint and every track has its place, pulling its weight to make Broken Soul Jamboree a marvelous album, a consistent piece of work, and some of Tipper’s finest.