Band of the Day

2012.04.24

Tycho

Ambient soundscapes of gorgeously mesmerizing electronic music
We dare you to listen to “Dive” without thinking of your local childhood swimming pool, time slowing as you glide below the surface.
Band of the Day Review

Tycho is an ambient music project from San Francisco, CA as well as the persona and stage name of artist and producer Scott Hansen. Also known as ISO50 for his visual design work and photography, Tycho has been active in the music scene since 2002. The Science of Patterns EP was independently released by Tycho in 2002 and re-released in 2007 on Gammaphone records, which he signed to before releasing his first full-length album Sunrise Projector in 2004. In 2006, Tycho released Past is Prologue on Merk Records before switching over to Ghostly International, where he has released a number of singles, the EPs The Daydream, Adrift, and Coastal Brake, and his latest album Dive in 2011. Tycho toured Europe in early 2012 in addition to playing several gigs at Austin’s South by Southwest.

There's been plenty of music made in the last few years that evokes water -we've featured our fair share- but it's difficult to imagine anything short of a recording of water droplets plunging you into an aquatic mindset more thoroughly than Tycho. We dare you to listen to “Dive” without thinking of your local childhood swimming pool, time slowing as you glide below the surface and watch the sunlight play on the walls. In real life, the spell is broken the minute you surface and the calming murmur of the water turns into hyper active children screaming at each other. In Tycho's world, the chilled out euphoria never ends.

Tycho is the project of San Francisco based producer and graphic designer Scott Hansen, who has been releasing electronic compositions since 2002. His most recent album Dive is mostly free of vocals and the kinds of high energy builds and drops in most club-oriented electronic dance music, instead building hypnotic ambient soundscapes. “Hours” begins with a swan dive into shimmering waves of high frequency synths, then adds on a mesmerizing lead. Much like the legendary ambient duo Boards of Canada, the synth lead is incredibly warm and melodic with a layer of reverb and delay trailing it like a watery comet. The title track “Dive” is gorgeously meditative with a joyful, uplifting feel to it. Tycho lays down a strong and steady beat to anchor the track, then buries it below his signature waves of synths ebbing and flowing. A pretty female vocal sample comes in and out of focus throughout the track, bursting into a spray of reverb and merging with the rest of the sounds. The stars here, however, are Tycho's synth leads and a surf guitar riff which provides plenty of hooky melodies.

Tycho's music doesn't give the easy access of a traditional pop song - no verse, chorus, no catchy vocals - but there's plenty of fantastic melodies to be found throughout Dive. Let yourself be immersed in his meditative compositions and you'll understand the allure.