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Exclusive Premiere: Rippps “Pose” (Alpha Pup Records)

Electronic Jazz

Netherlands’ Niels Broos and London’s Hyroglifics have teamed up for the collaborative project Rippps, unleashing their debut EP “Hue” on Alpha Pup Records, August 3, 2018.

Five tracks of futuristic electronic music that blends stylistic synths and dynamic production work, Hue is equal parts unique, striking, and propulsive. The grooves are nonstop, and the electricity is boundless, giving the album a distinct vibe that further establishes their legacy in modern music.

‘Pose’ comes blazing out of the gate right from the start, with bent and tweaked electronics running all over the map in perfect harmony. Rippps draws styles from anywhere and everywhere – Jazz, Beats, Funk, Electronic Dance and everything in between. Although quirky and off-kilter, the duo clearly has a firm grasp on their instruments and musical knowledge making their forthcoming “Hue” EP more and more enjoyable with each listen. Recorded and shaped over the last two years, Rippps began when they met through their selection at Red Bull Music Academy Montreal 2016. Surrounding their obligations with the intensive lecture and class series, the duo would hit the studio any time they could, carving out ideas and structures into what’s become their debut as a group.

After meeting in Montreal, an immediate connection was fostered as collaborators and friends, resulting in a body of work they realized needed a place to live. Niels Broos released his self-titled debut EP in February of 2017 on Alpha Pup Records, and the connection was established for “Hue” to also land on the Los Angeles based label. The music they compiled during RBMA Montreal 2016 carried over with sessions at Niels Broos’ studio in Utrecht the following summer.

They made it a goal to search for the synchronicity and spur of the moment creativity that represented the original studio sessions. “We just kept on bouncing ideas off each other,” states Niels Broos. “Similar to a tennis rally without having to pause the match a lot. Hyroglifics would also mix the projects and later add in FX and transitions to help smooth out the music. He would usually start off laying down a drum beat and then I would start writing and jamming out chords and melodies over the top. We both know when to let each other do the thing they do best. Sometimes this means giving each other some space to work something out, before judging an idea instantly. Also knowing when to work only when there’s a certain inspiration and vibe going on instead of trying to push a vibe. I find making music is always about the marriage of those two things, but in this project, it always started with a vibe.”

One of the most fascinating components behind the creation of “Hue” is the connection it holds with Brainfeeder bass virtuoso Thundercat. Providing mentorship during Red Bull Music Academy 2016, Thundercat would travel from studio to studio, sitting in with the various Red Bull Music Academy students and providing insights, jamming, and hanging out as everyone dove into their respective works. Niels Broos adds further insight into the influence Thundercat had on the Hue EP: “Stephen Bruner (Thundercat) was also part of RBMA back in 2016 as one of the mentors. He is one of my musical heroes and I remember him walking around the studios and sometimes he would come in and start vibing with us. I found this super inspiring for me. It also gave me some healthy nerves that made me push my musical ideas a lot. Jamming with him sometimes gave me a lot of new musical ideas also, and since he’s such a genuinely funny dude, it made us remember to also put humor in our music, something that I feel you can hear in the EP. Also, as some of the songs are so over the top in their quirkiness, it’s almost funny at some points.”

Most of the synths used on “Hue” were models they had access to at RBMA. This includes the Oberheim OB6, a Dave Smith Prophet, and a Moog Lil Phatty. Once the sessions picked up again in the Netherlands, the Korg Poly6 and Moog Voyager were used for some of the leads and extra solo’s. Niels Broos and Hyroglifics recorded in Logic 9, helping the overall workflow of the different instruments present and the various studios worked out of. With the amount of layering on Hue, the music is deceptive in both its technical presentation and the elements that stand out. “What I also really love about the tracks,” Niels adds, “is that harmonically, the songs are quite difficult and we managed to put these difficult musical ideas into tracks that don’t sound difficult and stay easy to process.” This type of presentation was also a direct influence of Thundercat’s time with them at Red Bull Music Academy and the way he’s constructed music over the years.

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“Hue” releases August 3, 2018 on Alpha Pup Records

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