Friday, 23 December 2016

Tycho "Epoch" (2016)


Five years since his breakout record "Drive", American, San Fransisco based musician Scott Hansen is back with Tycho's fourth full length record, another semi ambient dive into electronic psychedelia with chilled out downtempo vibes shimmering in the wake of lavish sounds gently soaked in reverbs and echos. Its essentially a carbon copy of "Drive", a slightly less ambitious sound where the oozing reverbs are dialed back for a little less ambiguity. The guitar licks have more prominence and involvement in the forefront of the music. Percussion feels somewhat "live" in some places where tom rolls and shuffling hi hat to snare grooves break away from the underlying electronic thud and snap. It gives balance to tempos that can be fired up by lively percussion without loosing its pace.

Of the nuances that differentiate it, most if not all is clearly an improvement. "Epoch" is a solid record, a masterful execution of Tycho's signature sound but in that comes a hefty amount of predictability. Once accustom to this sound it becomes a painting to frame on a wall, the soundtrack to a mood or vibe your searching for. Where this latest installment does that so well there is a lack of excitement in the unknown, nothing out of the ordinary and for that little reason for it to be fully engaging. It rarely command ones immediate attention at any point.

Predictability aside, its a fine sounding record. In comparison "Drive" sounds a little lost in itself where clarity of the instruments shines bright here. The production is excellent, a crisp sound where everything compliments one another. Deep soothing baselines groan under the ever steady thudding of the kick drum and all sorts of twinkling synthesizers stack up into walls of light as sunny melodies emerge alongside echoing guitars which pluck lightly away. Its a solid record but its short comings are obvious in a lack of adventure from what has already been done before it.

Rating: 6/10

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