DiveAlbum | Tycho By Stewart Mason
Lovely summer nostalgia for the midwinter blues.
A full seven years after his full-length debut Sunrise Projector (reissued in 2010 under the title The Past Is Prologue), San Francisco-based one-man band Tycho (aka Scott Hansen) returns with the ghostly, sublime Dive. It's appropriate that the album was released in mid-November, just as the dreariness of winter starts to settle in, because the dominant mood of this 50-minute instrumental reverie is that of summer nostalgia. The lovely cover image of a salmon-colored sun sinking into an impressionistic blue sea (Hansen's a graphic designer by day) perfectly encapsulates the sound: vintage synths twinkle and shimmer, while acoustic and electric guitars pick out languid melodies over gentle beats. Sonic touchstones from vintage Tangerine Dream to The High Llamas flit through the songs, but Hansen's introspective stillness and deceptively strong melodic sense are all his own. Dive is a marvelous mood piece, and hopefully we won't have to wait another seven years for the follow-up.