Tipper Presents Sound Off

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Music is often made more exciting when it comes from a record label with a distinct aesthetic that complements the music it releases. For Fuel Records owner Richie Warren, that image consists of a nitro-powered drag racer going 200 mph while the bass bins in the trunk battle the roaring decibels of the engine for sonic supremacy. In marketing terms, this means building the world's loudest car stereo (actually consisting of two cars, a 1967 Seattle-ite XXL and a 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, each acting as the left and right speaker) with over 10,000 watts of bass carnage. In musical terms, it means recruiting nu breaks maestro Tipper to assemble a collection of quirky bass-driven tracks that might push the cars' super stereo to its limits. The result is ten tracks by Tipper himself, along with other bass manufacturers Cold Fusion Mafia, Buckfunk 3000, Andrea Parker, and Phonecia. The bass drops are certainly bottomless while the electro noodlings on the top provide something a bit more tangible to grab onto. This expansive double CD not only offers all of the tracks in mixed and unmixed form -- it also offers over two dozen bass tones and sound effect samples, each less than a minute long, with telling names such as "Bouncing Bins" and "Colonic Irrigation," the purpose of which is unknown. Another curiosity is the fact that the mixed CD is mastered at a much lower level than the individual track CD. Yet despite all of the excess baggage this compilation carries, it is a fine collection of U.K. left-of-center breaks for those with a heavy bass fixation. Still, somebody happening to possess the world's loudest car stereo might rather play DJ Godfather's booty bass or More Rockers' reggae jungle through it.

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