By: Anand Harsh
1. Algae Bloom in Seven
This was going to be impossible to do, and everyone was going to be mad at me, anyway, so I might as well pick something from the heart.
Last year, before Infrasound in late May, I was given the opportunity to interview Dave Tipper--which is absolutely bonkers, because he never does interviews, so this was a total dream come true. Also, before the interview, I was told that Dave would be undergoing open-heart surgery mere days after the conclusion of the festival, which was to be his last for a good long while while we recovered. What I knew, but wasn't truly revealed, was that the surgery was pretty damn risky.
Accompanying the interview, we got a preview of an as yet unreleased downtempo album (that would become Forward Escape). As artists are generally very self-aware people, and tend to focus on their mortality as a subject manner (cheekily or otherwise), "Algae Bloom in Seven" came to me as a very bittersweet, mournful tune. That off-kilter time signature (the "in Seven" part) thrusts us into this roiling, tumultuous pattern that doesn't allow the listener to settle in. The uneasiness of the brooding tune propels us forward, and I saw that as a metaphor for where Tipper was in his life.
Never has a wordless tune so captured an emotion for me. Or a flurry of emotions as it may be. Anyway, Tipper was out at Burning Man two months later, roared back into form almost immediately, and is still wowing audiences to this day. So more than anything else, this list is my way of saying "Thank you, we're thrilled to have you around."
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