Various – God Save The Machine (TipWorld)

Posted in Reviews 2006 by - May 11, 2006



You. Need. This. Album. You may even want to buy it on vinyl as well as CD. Lucas has compiled and collaborated all over the place to create something which, in my opinion, reflects his own, individual vision of what Tip mean(t). And it’s bloody good.


Lucas himself collaborates with a veritable roster of Olde Londinium of the sort you might fantasise about being on Twisted. The production: class. The trance: deep. The result: stunning.


The Raja-assisted intro drops like a bomb into Eat Static & Lucas’ Primitive Earthlings, and at this moment you’re filled with this rush of energy, of optimism, of sheer raw-edged musical thunk. The track’s got a vintage Eat Static feel, sliding deftly between 4-4 and breaks, and brimming with Somerset UFO fetishism. Porcupine features Lucas and a delightfully Audiodrome-era Tristan, and it’s as deep as you can imagine – and then some. A Leary sample and some tribal percussion before it escalates into one of the niftiest little runs ever to have featured on Tip, with shifting acid, hefty kick, and bags of attitude. The Dickster collaboration Living Dangerously has echoes of Dizzy Drops: a baggy, stretchy groove with echoes tickling the back of your ears like little flirtatious munchkins. It’s all about the textures, which combine to create an almost overwhelmingly tight and hypnotic tunnel.


Binary Bonanza, with Laughing Buddha, is where things settle down and you realise just how solid this album is. It’s vintage Tip – Graham Wood’s rolling spliffs in the corner, and things seem exciting and fresh again. Aphid Moon’s co-contribution, We Are Your Friend, is possibly his best work yet, moving away from the loop and thunk that seemed to hold back Gloobal Culture. The first genuinely new bassline since 2002 drops into meticulously-layered acid, all of which is as addictive as it is powerful. Bloody good.


And then: there is Pipeworm – Hallucinogen’s new track, another collaboration with Lucas. The key things you need to know about this are firstly that, yes, Posford has still emphatically ‘got it’; and secondly that it’s better than Bubble N Tweak, or anything on UNS2. It’s got this “wait and see, wait and see” vibe as though it’s going to do something, keeping you hanging on. Snarling, expansive, tetchy, it’s bloody delicious, not to mention bloody clever – and the way the final melody comes up out of the ether is severely tasty. It reaffirms your faith in everything. The latest psytrance supergroup Queens Park Derangers’ Create A Hippy is one of the weaker tracks here – some funny samples, of course, but it gets bogged down in itself – a pity. 


Lucas then teams up with one of psyreviews’ favourite producers ever, Prometheus, whoi returns with Nerve Centre, and it’s one of his best works. Ever. Yes. Just listen to it: absolutely everything’s in the right place, the sounds have a mind of their own, the movement is deeply psychedelic, and at times it sounds a little as though the binary is being beamed back in time to your ears from some all-seeing 31st century digital monolith. Finally, Lucas’ own project Sybarite ties it all up with Liquid Lunched, a decent slomo paceholder that almost transcends both psychedelic and progressive into one mulchy, pungent lump.


This IS the best Tip album in years. Pretty much all the reasons I got into this music in the first place are represented here. It’s refreshing because not one track relies on melodies; there are riffs, sure – and the difference between the two is like a shot in the arm. That its power comes from intricacy and depth rather than inyaface psy plod is a delight. Truly, madly, deeply essential.


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