Clipping have been one of the most intriguing and forward thinking bands of recent years. Their sound consists of noise influenced experimentation from William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes, exhilarating rapping from Daveed Diggs who's got such a firm flow and when he wants to, can go so fast that you think the sound barrier might break. An unlikely pairing of styles for sure, but not only do Clipping make it work, they've made some of the strongest music of this decade out of the formula. 2014's semi-self-titled album 'CLPPNG' was tour de force in desolation and grit, newest album 'Splendor & Misery' saw the band taking to the stars with a concept album about being lost in space, where their fractured sound captured the horror of such an experience. Tonight, they hit London's Corsica studios to show why they also rule live.
Clipping hit the stage and instantly envelop this room with their desolate unique sound and white-noise esque visuals, featuring glitchy black and white jittering projected on a screen, in a pitch-black room. The noise elements will vary from being possessive and droning to glitchy and hard-hitting, but constantly captivatingly gritty whilst Diggs' vocals make you want to bounce. The big risk with Clipping's sound is that the hip-hop aspect might take away from the noise immovable power or vice versa, but you get everything you'd want out of a great hip-hop show and a great noise show. You find yourself going hazy and lost in the soundscapes one minute, and being hyped up by Diggs the next.
Diggs is a solid performer. It's mind-blowing how fast he can rap when listening on record, but to actually see it in the flesh, is incomprehensible. You just look at his lips and it's like they're in a race with Usain Bolt. When the crowd aren't being as lively as he'd like them to be, he even jokes 'too many Hamilton [the hit musical, Diggs features in] fans here.'
A song like 'Taking Off' with numb, post-apocalypse soundscapes has everything it needs to stun you, but at the same time Diggs' hyperspeed delivery gets you pumped, yet is able to bring you back into the comatose state when his vocals go limb. 'Wriggle' despite its glitchy jittering, has people moving thanks to how danceable the beats are, as well as the tight flow of the song.
When it comes to 'Story' Diggs states 'I'm gonna tell ya'll a little story', then goes into the middle of the crowd to deliver lines about crime and gang life. He returns to the stage going into sequel song 'Story 2' with much power, this song being such a thriller lyrically with details about a man racing to his home on fire with his children inside. Once again, Diggs' speedy delivery helps up the suspense. They end on 'A Better Place' displaying Clipping's diversity, this track being so positive, both sonically and lyrically compared to others, with celebrating organ keys and having a strong theme of a fresh start and adventuring into the unknown.
Overall this show was wicked. You could remove the whole noise aspect and you'd have an excellent hip-hop show just from Diggs doing his thing, but then there's the fact that you've got the shadowy soundscapes reinforcing it and adding so many more layers as well as the dizzying visuals that lock you in and don't let go into things are done. Sadly, this show was only one of two UK dates, but the moment they return, you're not going to want to miss this.
Seven songs to take you to victory, or seven songs to dry your eyes to.
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