Tag Archives: Ghostly International

Tycho – Awake Album Review

For nearly a decade, Tycho has been known as the musical alias of Scott Hansen but with Awake, his second LP for Ghostly International, the solo project has evolved into a three-piece band that reaches an entirely new realm of sonic possibilities. Also known for his design work as ISO50, Hansen’s visual and musical efforts have dovetailed throughout the course of his career with the new LP detailing how the two can truly compliment each other. Previous Tycho releases came to fruition from Hansen’s delicate solo approach to constructing a song, tweaking each peak and valley but Awake is three like-minded people coming together where music becomes the sole purpose and true expression becomes the result.

The title track starts this album with its soothing, gliding melodies. The track itself is repetitive but it’s not boring. The tones send you into a trance-like state where you can totally switch off after one listen to this song. Awake takes you to a far away, dream like place.

Montana is a track that has been previously revealed. Montana sees Tycho move away from the electronic techniques and more towards the indie genre with its pleasant and peaceful guitar riff. This song steadily builds with the repetitive guitar riff taking the lead. Tycho knows how to build safety in familiarity while at the same time, ensuring a song remains fresh. He slowly adds in layers removing the repetitiveness and introducing a chance of development. The familiar guitar riff always returns though acting like a chorus for the song.

L is a complete chill out track that could easily appear on one of those ‘chill out’ compilation records. It’s simple in comparison to the previous tracks. The tempo is slower, the beats last longer and the notes feel a little more prolonged too. There are dance influences heard in this song but not negatively. There’s a good balance here which sees this track edge away from the rave genre and sit snugly in to the electro-dance genre instead.

Tycho

Tycho Awake album artwork

The next track, Dye, starts off with a dreamy melody and then the dance beat comes in to play. It’s atmospheric and calming. There’s a lovely acoustic guitar riff which can be heard at the start of this song which is complimented by an electric guitar with reverb. Dye is an ever expanding track with each layer and instrument being introduced from the background to the forefront in a very subtle way – so much so that you don’t even realise the song has expanded as much as it has.

See starts with clapping and an interesting bass riff before the electronics take over. There are break downs in this song as if Tycho want to lose layers in order for them to increase them again later on. See takes a lot of influences from the dance genre with the stylised drum beat. The bass line in this song is immense and is what carries it.

Apogee features much more stripped back electronics allowing the guitar riff and drums to feature as the dominant instruments which is quite different from the rest of the songs on the record. Apogee’s tempo dramatically builds and reduces, builds and reduces allowing this song to sound like a mixture of more than one song. It does sound at times like a trance track as the drum beat becomes powerful almost overpowering and then it reduces to take the track back to the indie/electronic/pop genres.

The penultimate track, Spectre, has also been previously revealed. It has a brilliant, uplifting guitar riff to start things off and there are certainly mesmerising qualities to this track, despite the crashing drums and soaring melodies.

The last song on Awake is Plains which suits the end of the album perfectly. It’s a completely calming song to finish on. There are guitar riffs that overlap each other perfectly creating a sense of ambience and atmosphere. Surprisingly, Plains leaves you calm, collected and thankful you’ve heard this album.

Awake will be released on 18 March via Ghostly International. It can be pre-ordered at iTunesThe Ghostly Store and ISO50. NPR have also streamed the album in full on their NPR First Listen section.

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Tycho Reveals New Track Montana From Upcoming LP, Awake

Following the announcement of his new album Awake, which is set for release on March 17 via Ghostly International, Tycho has revealed new track Montana from the forthcoming release. Tycho is also set to play a series of European tour dates this Spring with a show in London on March 26 at Oval Space.

For nearly a decade, Tycho has been known as the musical alias of Scott Hansen but with the release of Awake – his second LP for Ghostly International – the solo project has evolved into a three-piece band. Reaching an entirely new realm of sonic possibilities recording with a live band, Awake is situated in the present, reaching Hansen’s vision of Tycho like never before. He said: “This is, in many ways, the first true Tycho record”. New track Montana offers a glimpse of this with its multi-layered cascading tones.

Tycho

Tycho

Following 2011’s Dive LP, the San Francisco, California based designer toured extensively, accompanied by a full band on stage, his sound coalesced into a percussive, organic whole. Zac Brown (guitars, bass) continued to join Scott on the road but it was the particular addition of Rory O’Connor’s (Com Truise, Nitemoves) live drumming that ultimately sent Hansen back to the studio with a more precise vision for the future Tycho. Hansen explained: “After the tour, I decided that I wanted to capture the more energetic, driven sound of the live show on the next album.” Bringing musicians into Tycho’s creative process was a step towards expanding his own song writing and advancing the project beyond its current incarnation.

Also known for his design work as ISO50, Hansen’s visual and sonic efforts have dovetailed throughout the course of his career. “This is the first time in my life I’ve dropped everything to focus on one artistic pursuit,” notes Hansen. Previous Tycho releases came to fruition from Hansen’s delicate solo approach to constructing a song, tweaking each peak and valley but Awake is three like-minded people coming together where music becomes the sole purpose and true expression becomes the result.

You can pre-order the album at iTunesThe Ghostly Store and ISO50.

You can catch Tycho live on the following dates:
March 26 – Oval Space, London UK
March 27 – Trabendo, Paris FR
March 28 – M4 Music Festival, Zurich CH
March 29 – The Tunne, Milan IT
March 30 – Bi Nuu, Berlin, DE

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Tycho Announce News Of New Album, Awake, To Be Released In 2014

Tycho

Tycho Awake album artwork

Following a 2013 that saw Tycho bringing a sensory-rich live show to people around the world, Scott Hansen has been hard at work to the anticipated follow up to 2011’s breakthrough album, Dive. Tycho has now unveiled the artwork, track list and album details for Awake, the forthcoming LP out March 18 on Ghostly International.

The title track Awake premiered with Pitchfork this Autumn and listeners will notice the more organic, almost tactile elements of the track highlighted with layers of live instrumentation that serve to enhance the signature Tycho mood. You can hear the track on Soundcloud here as well.

 

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Shigeto Releases Video for Detroit Part 1

After recently releasing the album No Better Time Than Now through Ghostly International, Shigeto, aka Zachary Saginaw, has unveiled a mesmerising new video for album track, Detroit Part 1.

Directed by Rafe Scobery-Thal of The Mandus Films collective and in collaboration with animator and special effects editor Anthony Ciannamea, the new video for Detroit Part 1 shows some incredibly trippy visuals for the viewer to explore. Spreading from scenes in a derelict wasteland to bursts of immense liquid-colours, the video leaves a lot to be questioned and a lot to be discovered. A minute in and a trigger is pulled then the pounding hip-hop beat comes in. From there it’s a dream-like journey that you can’t help but get involved in.

Shigeto

Still from Shigeto’s Detroit Part 1 video

Speaking about the video, Shigeto states: “We wanted to make a video for Detroit Part 1 that wasn’t a “Detroit” video if you get me. We didn’t want your run of the mill, driving around in a Ford past the train station, Coney Island, showing all the ruin porn etc.

“We wanted to convey how Detroit Part 1 was about my life in Detroit and the experiences I have had in the time I’ve been here. Rafe and I came up with the idea to bring the audience into a very psychedelic dream of mine, loosely representing what had happened in the last year for me.”

Shigeto recently released his new album No Better Time Than Now. His new album seems very much about the idea of living in the moment. The signs of this idea are all over No Better Time Than Now— from the obvious connotations of the album title, through song titles that seem harbingers of change and immediacy to the music itself. It’s an album that reflects a pivotal year in the life of its creator.

As Zach Saginaw aka Shigeto explains: “2012 was a powerful year for me. I released my second LP; I played nearly 180 shows in 360 days; I made the move back home from Brooklyn, NY to Detroit, MI; a six-year relationship of mine came to an end and I made it 30 years on the planet.”

No Better Time Than Now is out now.

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Shigeto Releases New Track Ringleader Online

Following a packed out show at London’s Electrowerkz a few Fridays ago, Shigeto has unveiled a second new work from his upcoming LP No Better Time Than Now which is penned for release on August 19 through Ghostly International.

Ringleader is an exotic six minutes, starting off with twinkly beats and intensifying percussion that take you on a delicate safari into the new sounds of the Michagan-based beat-maker.

As Zach Saginaw aka Shigeto explains: “2012 was a powerful year for me. I released my second LP; I played nearly 180 shows in 360 days; I made the move back home from Brooklyn, NY to Detroit, MI; a six-year relationship of mine came to an end and I made it 30 years on the planet.”

Shigeto

Shigeto

The music of Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, has always been deeply rooted in his personal history. His debut EPs Semi-Circle and What We Held Onto explored his grandmother’s experience from a US internment camp through ambient, beat driven tracks, nostalgic melodies and spliced vocal samples, including his grandmother’s vocals.

His debut album Full Circle became a culmination of these EPs and further refinement of obsessive field recording and meticulous percussion, creating lush, sumptuous instrumental hip-hop. 2012’s sophomore album Lineage was a musical journey through his heritage combined with the sounds of jazz, hip-hop, funk and folk. The cover of his great grandfather’s house in Hiroshima even adorned the Lineage artwork.

For all that Saginaw reveres his connections to his past, however, his new album seems very much about the idea of living in the moment. The signs of this idea are all over No Better Time Than Now— from the obvious connotations of the album title, through song titles that seem harbingers of change and immediacy to the music itself. It’s an album that reflects a pivotal year in the life of its creator.

This sense of the restless vigor that change can bring is palpable throughout No Better Time Than Now. Fans of Shigeto’s previous work will find all the hallmarks of his sound here — the warm, inviting washes of liquid synth sounds, the intricate production, the jazz-influenced arrangements. Now, however, they’re imbued with a subtle energy — Detroit Part 1, for instance, features a surprisingly pounding hip hop beat, while Ringleader is propelled by an insistent hi-hat pattern that sits slightly ahead of the beat, giving the track a driving mood that belies its tempo.

You can catch Shigeto live on the following dates:
June 26 Lucerne, CH @ Treibhaus
June 27 Mulhouse, FR @ Bêtes de Scènes Festival
June 28 Dresden, DE @ Altes Wettbüro
July 11 Bordeaux, FR @ Hauts de Garonne Festival
July 12 Linz, AT @ Ottenheim Open Air
July 13 Prague, CZ  @ Creepy Teepee Festival
July 17 Nijmegen, NL @ Valkhof Festival
July 18 Paris, FR @ Glazart w/ Come Truise
July 19 Ljubljana, SI @ TKNP Open Air Festival
July 21 Zadar, CR @ Soundwave Festival
July 28 Dufer, OR @ WTF Festival
September 25 Seattle, WA @ Decibel Festival

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