I just ran across this hypnotic live set from Tycho, and it’s been kick starting my day on all the right notes. Granted it’s midday, now. But the lo-fi high seems to have legs, carrying those downtempo vibes well into the afternoon hours.
Tycho’s performance comes courtesy of the Boiler Room, who’s renown DJ series features some of today’s top talent spinning on deck. In a unique move, this round ditches the turntables, and sets the stage for a full 13 song live experience, complete with requisite visuals.
Tycho’s main man, Scott Hansen, has done DJ sets before. He’s spun a few wonderful Burning Man sets, one of my favs being the “Black Sunrise” morning shot from 2014. He’s just got a way with those soft sunwashed melodies and hazy ray retro vibes. Analog seems to be his go-to, sticking with the warm organic textures and vintage progressive grooves. Of course, he still keeps things electronic, but the music never feels of it.
That approach permeates Tycho’s music, all instrumental but maintaining a traditional line-up of guitar, bass, and drums, alongside the electro keys, where the dream-like rhythm remains natural and grounded. But this ain’t dream-pop, nor is it electronica-based ambient. There’s shades of that in Tycho’s relaxed repertoire. Except it’s derived from earthbound sounds, slightly kaleidoscopic, always in focus, and easy on the ears.
Their Boiler Room set features material primarily from “Awake,” as well as their preceding album “Dive.” It’s shot in typical BR fashion, camera’s aimed squarely at the performance, slightly sterile, yet well suited to the live performance. The only thing missing is the trainspotting crowd behind them. But that makes sense, since there’s no turntables to track. Instead, we get Hansen’s visual score, projected with surf and sand imagery, filtered by sunray flares and gauzy haze. Combined with Tycho’s laid-back groove, the performance instantly transcends time and place becoming a near-meditative experiential affair.
Tycho’s music is a perfect remedy for starting the day on the serene and peaceful tip, with a warm afterglow that’ll holdover well into the hours ahead. Their Boiler Room set offers a fine example of this, capturing Tycho at a highpoint in their chilled evolution. Check out the YouTube embed below. It runs about an hour and twelve, and will blow by in a breeze. Plus, it’s got a bunch of tracks I just love … “Awake,” “Hours,” “A Walk,” “L,” “Montana,” etc. Enjoy!
Here’s the setlist, if you’re interested. I’ll leave it to you to sort out the timecode.
8. Past is Prologue
9. A Walk
And just in case you want or need a Spotify playlist of the performance …