Tycho’s sound-craft shines at Union Transfer
As I write this article for WXPN I second guess the need to remind readers that radio is not dead, and despite the over saturation of information that the internet has to give us, there is still much to learn from people who dedicate their lives to music. More than just a Facebook status update or a tweet could ever offer.
So, I rewind to 2010, and one of the finest DJ mixes ever. James Zabiela (lovingly referred to as the British J.Z.) contributed to the fantastic BBC Radio 1 series: The Essential Mix. Early in James’ set, expertly shaped and crafted by a love for the movie Moon, there is a show stopping moment when soft synths, rolling snares, and gentle kicks formed together in to an epic, life changing (for me) breakbeat epic. The song: “Past Is Prologue.” The artist: Tycho.
It’s hard to describe music like that to a lot of people. Harder, sometimes, to describe it live. To express the pure joy at the subtle changes in the beat you thought you knew front to back. To express the difference from hearing the blissful synth waves, guitar licks, and drum kicks go from a cheap pair of headphones, to a solid home theater system, to massive dance floor speakers in a club. To sit with people who really, truly appreciate the sound being crafted live in front of them.
Tycho is just one arm of Scott Hansen’s art collective. The other portion, known as ISO50, also figures prominently in to the live act. As Tycho the band puts out wave after wave of chilled out, melodic breakbeats, washing the crowd over with euphoria (organically or not), ISO50 gives them the visual components to match. It’s hard to say for sure that they played all of the hits, if only because everybody has a different idea of what their favorite style of Tycho song is. For me personally they hit all of the high notes with an epically reworked beginning to “Dive”, the masterful “Hours”, “Past Is Prologue” and it’s scattershot drums, as well as the newest hits in the repertoire: the new classic “Awake,” and the pop-infused gleefulness “Montanta.” On the screen behind the band, the 70’s tinted artwork of ISO50 ebbed and flowed across a massive canvas. It is truly something meant to be experienced rather than attended.