It’s funny the way we stumble upon new musical acts. My first introduction to Tycho was through the Adult Swim cartoon network, a place where you don’t necessarily think you’re going to hear something as delicately assembled as Tycho. But ultimately it doesn’t matter where or how you hear of Tycho, just that you do. For over a decade, Tycho has been the musical moniker of the multi-talented Scott Hansen, also known for being the designer behind ISO50, however in the past couple of years, all that has changed just a bit. No longer just a solo project, Hansen brought in backup in the form of guitarist/bassist Zac Brown and percussionist Rory O’Connor (Rory more specifically for live performances).
Newly revamped and now with additional brainwaves behind the production and writing, what used to be breezy electronic relaxation jams have filled out more into an amalgamation of post rock and intricately arranged electronics, creating some wonderfully light yet deliciously rich tracks for fans to sink their teeth into. Not too much unlike the sounds of fellow California native The Album Leaf. Much like the minimalist art created by Hansen himself, Awake envelopes you in a sense of less is more, but in a way that implies less isn’t always less. Minimal doesn’t mean missing something, it means crafted in a way where each note, each beat, each layer or complete lack there of is entirely thought out and has a meaning and a purpose. There is no filler because there doesn’t need to be.
From track to track, as tranquil and airy as they may are, when listening close enough the intricacies of the writing nearly jump off the track, but are gentle enough to fade out into a melodic anthem that could calm even the roughest of seas. It’s an apt description as the music hits you like waves, softly rolling ashore and crashing against the coast. The record builds an interesting dynamic that makes nearly every listen to this record slightly different. What you’ll get out of the listen is what you invest in, and this is a record worth investing in.
Tycho’s Awake was described by Hansen as “in some ways being the first true Tycho album”, coming from someone with as developed of a back catalog as this speaks volumes about how he himself views the album. Whether you’ve experienced Tycho before or not, this brilliantly crafted percussive heavy sensory onslaught is one that should not be overlooked.
photo credit to Reuben Wu