Tycho: Awake (Ghostly International) review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Ghostly International

Jun 23, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Scott Hansen, the mastermind behind Tycho, was first a graphic designer, and he still balances his visual work with his growing reputation as a musician. His aesthetic is usually typified by a washed-out, simple approach to beauty. His music takes a similar road. It’s wordless and built on electronic motifs, but it doesn’t feature any real formless noodling akin to IDM,so it’s destined for background music. What’s great about Awake, Hansen’s third album as Tycho, is that it takes that destiny as soundtrack and makes it as dynamic as possible.

On previous Tycho records, Hansen created the soundscapes himself, usually with completely electronic instruments, featuring the occasional guitar and wordless vocal. This time around, he’s got some friends on live instruments. The instrumentation, more than ever, creates the impression that you could actually watch a band recreate these compositions on stage. Rather than pull the listener out of the immersive electronic ocean that typified Dive, Tycho’s last record, these live drums and guitar make the music feel much more natural and organic, which in turn does a much better job at pulling the listener out of the background and into the forefront. In addition to the instrumentation, the beats and tempos are much more varied as well, making each track distinct in its sound and feel.

If there’s a complaint to be made about Awake, it’s that at eight tracks, the album is a little short. Still, taking into account the sheer pleasantness of the music featured here, it’s hardly a demerit to the record. Put it on in the car and roll down the window, and you’ll forget it’s on and just let it repeat. (www.tychomusic.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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