clipping. performing two different sets

Experimental hip hop trio CLIPPING. is a force to be reckoned with in the live arena, their minimalist onstage aesthetic belies the sonic complexities that they effuse. When several members of Roadburn’s team caught clipping. live at Le Guess Who? last year, we knew that with absolute certainty that they were a nailed-on Roadburn band. But given that they’re a band that don’t play live all that often and were no doubt inundated with offers, we settled into biding our time. Fate had other plans and when the opportunity to book clipping. came up for Roadburn 2024, we jumped at the chance. We’ll be presenting not one, but two sets from this awesome band this coming April. 

Roadburners will know that the festival is committed to exploring all facets of heaviness, and that mission has taken us into all kinds of new and exciting territories. Hip hop representation at Roadburn dates back to 2017 when Dälek threw open the doors to Het Patronaat and wowed a church full of people, walking away with their own boundaries expanded just a fraction too. Just this year, Backxwash presented two of the most electrifying, defining sets of the festival. Experimenting with confrontation and heaviness within hip hop is part of what makes clipping. so exciting, and to our ears, makes them a band that belongs at the heart of what we do at Roadburn. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the clipping. oeuvre, you can dip into almost any point in their discography and come up with any combination of righteous fury, experimental instrumentation, mind-bending beats, ominous ambience…the list goes on. Vocalist Daveed Diggs delivers whip-smart lyrics at dizzying speed, never compromising on being wholly decipherable lest his intentions be diminished. Production duo Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson loom in the shadows, providing the cinematic, undulating sonic landscape for Diggs’ words to bounce from. At times, clipping. moves at a speed too swift for a mere human brain to fully comprehend – nothing that can’t be resolved with repeated listens or a heavy dose of their live performance. 

Of their trip to Roadburn they tell us: “For Roadburn 2024, we’ll be performing two different sets. While any clipping. show is going to be extremely noisy, we are preparing the sets with the following guiding principles: one will be more of a “party” (more upbeat, dance-floor-ready tracks) and the other will be something darker (more of our harsher, less beat-driven tracks). We haven’t decided which day will be which yet—we’re waiting to learn which other acts perform before and after us each night to determine the appropriateness of each approach. That said, if you’re a fan and can only make it to one of the nights, you won’t be disappointed either way. You’ll hear some of your favorite songs (if you have such things) as well as some of our “hits” (if we have such things) at both shows. See you in Tilburg.”

That live performance can mutate into an all-consuming experience in the blink of an eye. A suffocating cloud of dystopian menace gives way to a euphoric explosion of noise, the line between artist and audience no longer detectable as the room moves as one. All this to say – we can’t wait to see clipping. dominate at Roadburn across these two special shows. We’re anticipating performances for the history books; meticulously crafted by three of the finest minds operating within experimental hip hop today.

– Becky Laverty

Date: April 18 | April 19

Time: 19:20 - 20:20 | 22:10 - 23:10

Stage: Main Stage | The Terminal