Sounds Like: Liquid bliss drizzled over a fresh marriage of old souls and blown-out binaries, rendering divides like organic/electronic and dance/downtempo 100% moot.
Why You Should Care: Because LIQUID BLISS. Also, you’ll want to claim it before every tastemaker and vibe-ologist the world over starts infusing every hip locale with it.
Get a mixing bowl -- ideally, one with a Ghostly International label on it. Throw in a dash of post-rock guitars, a dollop of driving dance bass, and equal parts ambient keys, synth-pop hooks, and urban lounge vibe. Stir ever so gently. Recipes are just guidelines, and the genre game hardly does Tycho (aka Scott Hansen)’s sound justice, but this may give you a taste of the wholesome organic ingredients deftly combined and cooked up in perfect proportions in his latest album, “Awake.” This early-2014 release picks up perfectly where his 2011 LP “Dive” left off and portends an ever-promising horizon for the San Francisco-based producer and visual artist now touring as a three-piece live band.
Tycho’s composed and well-curated “whole” on display in this opening title track carries through the entire album, which sets a tone, never deviates, and exceeds any reductive descriptions of its myriad parts. Still, in true post-rock meets ambient dance music form, the vocals he uses in his works are sparing to none, and this album is no exception. And you’ll never miss them here; his savvy sense of layering sound, groove and melody, paired with his subtle production style, entirely fills out a rich yet crisp and uncluttered sound, leaving nothing to be desired. This has earned him a very well-deserved and quickly growing reputation as a master of creating evocative, moody, dreamlike soundscapes that are at once both completely relaxing and dancefloor friendly.
So do yourself a favor: Get ahold of this album, hop in the driver’s seat, and hit the open road. Or put it in your earbuds and go for a run. However you approach it, you’ll want to get with the business of making this your very own personal soundtrack to life. Whether it’s a fresh spring day or a cool rainy night, this is music you’ll want to meditate on, move to, and be moved by. Just make it back from your journey in time to catch them this Sunday night at the 9:30 Club. It’s sure to be well worth the trip.