Dave Tipper, due at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom on Saturday, June 19, produces "music for sound systems." Fuel Records, the London-based label he co-owns with Rich Warren, uses that quotation as its company slogan. And Cold Fusion Mafia, Barge Charge, Buckfunk 3000, Ils, Radioactive Man, Tsunami One, Voice Stealer and Tipper himself have all pressed vinyl to substantiate that claim. Mere home stereos cannot accurately render the entire range of frequencies -- from nearly subsonic bass tones to the highest pitched percussive noises -- that Tipper and his labelmates are capable of producing, especially the surround-sound compositions. Fuel's audio intentions may not be quite as sinister as the Pentagon's "brown note" (the South Park creators' nickname for a secret subsonic weapon that supposedly causes those within earshot to soil themselves), but their cuts definitely test the limits of even the most competent speakers. Last time Tipper was in the land Down Under, monitors were removed from the DJ booth on stretchers as smoke was billowing out of them. And that tale is just the Tipper of the iceberg.
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