Review: Tycho – AWAKE (2014)
Written by Ryan Koch (http://theonionisnthiring.wordpress.com/)
Scott Hansen, AKA, Tycho, the acclaimed musician is back after three years with an LP titled “Awake” through Ghostly International. If you aren’t already aware, Tycho creates what some call “electronic post-rock” or “Ambient-Electronic Rock.” (Who? I don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll read it somewhere.) Either way, Tycho has created another album with an instantly recognizable sound that is all his own.
“Awake” is what you might expect from Tycho given the success of his 2011 LP “Dive.” However, there’s not much more ground covered than his previous effort (but that doesn’t make it any less beautiful to listen to.) Layered in textures, reverbs, synthesizers, guitars, and active drumming, it’s easy to get lost in this album after a few songs, which is what makes this particular release so interesting.
Tycho’s created his formula and doesn’t stray too far from it. Each song flows into one another keeping the mood constant throughout. Given you’re listening to the album straight through, you’ll start to notice around the third track (L), everything start to blend together, which some listeners may show disdain for, but I feel Tycho wants to take you to his world where your emotions stay consistent, rather than jumping from upbeat to downbeat songs. You’re taken on a journey with a particular feeling in mind, and that is bliss.
Though Awake is Tycho’s fourth studio album, it doesn’t feel like an album that’s crafted and produced with only the studio in mind. Awake feels like an album that’s specifically created with each arrangement to be played live in front of an audience. With a lot of electronic albums today using synthetic drums and having a real drummer playing them live, Tycho prefers real drums, all sounds that will remain consistent from how the album will translate while he’s on tour.
If you’re into instrumental music and looking for something relaxing that can be played in the background (for studying, get togethers, beach days, etc) or even as something to fall asleep to, this album is a winner.