There’s nothing like the sound of (nearly) instrumental old school hip-hop to create a summer mood. Austria’s Flip brings back pleasant memories of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, blending sublime beats with a laid back jazz vibe. “So everybody in the house say ho!” The album sounds best on big speakers: car, home or boom box. Don’t even bother listening to Experiences on a laptop; this is music for the road, beach or backyard, guaranteed to make heads nod, even without chronic absorption or alcoholic consumption.
“Like the old break beat, I’m-a catch a groove, but like the old hip-hop joint, you’re nice ‘n’ smooth.” This short sample from Q-tip’s “For the Nasty” lays the foundation for “Native Grooves,” one of the LP’s early highlights. Whenever Flip’s samples refer to the art of rhyme or turntablism, the music catches fire. “Turn up the volume, watch the bass get ’em open” comes from Clipse, but no explicit label is needed. The retro flavor is created by the use of scratches and vintage samplers, making the music sound authentically nostalgic, but new. Fat synth and crisp beats meet live guitar and bass; the words “don’t stop” could come from nearly any joint, but work as instruments here. The sparser tracks, such as “Sit Back and Listen” and “I Thought You Were Okay,” are the kind of cuts that rappers once sought to enhance their rhymes. The former, graced with brass and the phrase, “sit back and just listen as he breaks this down,” resurrects the daisy chain.
While the name may be new to some people, Flip has been in the business for a quarter century. He’s live through old school, nu skool, and the switch from scratch to sample. As the beat maker for the rap group Texta, he knows how to work a crowd. The fact that he’s not trying to pack floors speaks to the nature of the release; it’s part sonic diary, part love letter. As such, the set can even be construed as romantic; and if any babies are made to these beats, all the better. The next generation starts here. (Richard Allen)