Release Date: Nov 8, 2011
Record label: Ghostly International
Genre(s): Electronic, Downtempo, IDM
Dive, the latest from sonic spelunker Scott Hansen, is rife with drippy synth lines that border on vagueness, barely holding their jelly-like shape as they coalesce atop relaxed but driving beats. A beautiful album with an amniotic vibe, Dive can be a bit repetitive. An album of electronic instrumentals should shift into gears we didn’t even know existed, so we marvel at the counterintuitive beauty of the machine.
As a graphic artist under the moniker ISO50, Scott Hansen creates prints that are known for their sense of unity and minimalist design, and for their warmth and the nostalgic feelings they evoke. Since the results are often dazzling, you can’t fault the guy for producing music of a similar ilk. But Dive, Hansen’s third album as the musician Tycho (and his first with Ghostly International), is more than just a soundtrack to Hansen’s own graphic art.
Miami graphic designer Scott Hansen returns from a very, very long hiatus to release his second LP of shimmering electronica. Is there any way to describe the music of Tycho other than ‘shimmering’? Not really: write down the words 'Miami graphic designer', free-associate as much as possible and chances are you’ll have copywritten Hansen’s press blurb. The Tycho sound is one of pink sunsets, shuffling hipsters and old video hardware - basically Boards of Canada washed up on the shores of San Francisco.
In our recent interview with San Francisco electronic artist and graphic designer Scott Hansen (aka Tycho), he revealed some intriguing thoughts on his particular strand of electronic music. He says his refracted productions, made using the digital audio workstation software REAPER, are meant to be "retro-future, like what people in the '70s thought 2020 was going to look like." That type of statement aligns well with Hansen's other passion: graphic design. His work as ISO50 is austere and often resembles the command screen of a intergalactic space cruiser from a sci-fi film.
Scott Hansen, aka Tycho, is a fairly well-known graphic artist, and you can hear his design skills at play in his music. Like a particularly crisp logo or font, his songs have a good sense of scale and proportion, and it's clear that a lot of work goes into them. Take a look at his artwork and you'll have a good idea of what his electronic compositions sound like, too.
The transcendental soundscapes of San Francisco’s Scott Hansen sparkle and shine in Tycho’s first Ghostly release. The San Francisco graphic designer/electronic musician stays dedicated to the musical styles of Boards of Canada and Ulrich Schnauss, with liquid keyboards drizzled over gentle beats, but as the popularity of chillwave continues to increase, these types of hazy meditations are as relevant as ever. When the airy vocals of Jianda Johnson are introduced in the title track, Hansen’s warm mellow grooves fall right in line with groups like Small Black, Neon Indian, and M83.
San Franciscan Scott Hansen's probably as well known for his graphic designwork as ISO50 as he is for the sub-aquatic drifts he creates as Tycho. As such, it's no surprise that the cover art for his debut for Ghostly International and second album overall, Dive, serves as the perfect visual summation of the music contained therein: sun-blanched, caked in reverb and semi-hallucinatory fuzz, and kind of wavy at the point where visual lines intersect. Preceded by one of the summer's best quiet-bedroom anthems, "Hours," Dive arrives seven years after Tycho's debut, Sunrise Projector, as part of Ghostly's ever expanding audio universe; it's the Ann Arbor label's first entry into the kind of Day-Glo Balearic electronica we've come to expect from outposts like Internasjonal, Planet Mu or even Border Community.
An engaging and effortless collection to plunge into and drift within. Mike Diver 2011 As life continues to move at ever-increasing speeds, music so often dissected into bite-size samples, it becomes increasingly difficult to become properly immersed in an album’s soundworld. So when a set emerges that really does surround the senses, bubbling forth from headphones to encase body and soul like the insides of an aerated chocolate treat, it’s worth highlighting.