IDM musician, blogger, and industry famous graphic design artist Scott Hansen was in Colorado for the first time performing as ambient electronic title Tycho. Backstage at Summit Music Hall, he met with The Vinyl District for this episode of TVD TV.
Hansen is deified nerd, an audio/visual authority/visionary with a palette for vintage analog. As ISO50, he also maintains one of the most popular design blogs on the web. Saturday at a packed Summit Music Hall, Tycho stepped onto a Denver stage for the first time.
Low-lit Summit Hall could be the setting for the kind of late ’80s cyberpunk b-film with teenage rollerblade gangs or celebrity hackers. (Actually, I think that’s a real film.) The crowd that filled the multiple levels of the hall that evening was an unusual solution of one part clean-cut graphic designers and one part psy trance festival hippies. The graphic designers looked better, but in the arena of scent the hippies had them overpowered.
Jakub Alexander, Tycho manager and A&R for Ghostly International, led us backstage and past some other band’s personal masseuse to find Hansen. After geeking out over each other’s cameras, Hansen and I sat down, and he gave me the details on his creative process, his instrumental idiosyncrasies and his journey as an independent artist.
Onstage with bassist Zach and drummer Alex, Hansen is stage right, out of the spotlight at his command center, conjuring sounds out of stacks of synthesizers older than I am. The kind of ambient music Tycho accomplishes is powerful but finessed, and Hansen’s aesthetic in visual art seems to occupy the same place on the sensory spectrum that he elicits in his music. Projected visuals bathe the stage in the kind of warm bucolic imagery that has become signature to Hansen’s work.
After the show, Jakub pitched me a copy of Tycho’s album on vinyl to give away, which Scott Hansen then promptly signed. It goes to the electronic music geek who can tell me the most interesting name for that unnameable genre of music where Tycho lives that’s softer than synthpop but livelier than lounge.
My favorite to date is “armchair techno.”
The winner will be chosen on Thursday, December 22nd, and must have a mailing address in North America.
Video by Dan Mancini and Jimmy Gable, SneakyBoy Studios