Tipper: Surrounded

Myutopia, 2003

Surrounded cover

Although I’m not familiar with Myutopia, I know Dave Tipper. He’s one half of Crunch, whose 1 was a pleasant surprise a couple of years ago. 2 was a bit less exciting, but with Surrounded Tipper returns to top melodic form. And it’s in 5.1 surround sound to boot. The basslines on “California Rolls” are deep and warm, while an acoustic guitar strays into the mix. On “Rotundus Maximus,” a chorus and orchestra are expertly worked into Tipper’s accompaniment. But “Just as the Sun Went Down” is the real masterpiece, with rolling bass notes, clicked beats, and the softest of melodies. And let’s not forget the contemplative “Illabye,” with its lush bells and electronics. This is smart, sexy downtempo music with impeccable production values. Even Plaid should be envious of this essential album.