Ambient chillwave maestro Tycho always has his head in the clouds — something the man also known as Scott Hansen takes as quite the compliment. Hansen got his stage name from Tycho Brahe, a 16th-century Danish nobleman, astronomer, and alchemist who vigorously pursued the value of empirical data. (Heady stuff, to be sure.) Hansen is also known for his stellar photography and design work under the name ISO50, and he masterminds all of Tycho’s visuals.
Tycho set new ambient standards with his 2006 analog nostalgia snapshot, Past Is Prologue, then switched from using Cakewalk Sonar to Reaper for the serene dreaminess of 2011’s Dive. After touring with a live band in support of Dive, Hansen added other musicians to the studio proceedings for 2014’s Awake, an album awash in a mesh of synthetic blends and live energy, as evidenced by the dreamy underwater vibe of “L,” the new-wave callback jam on “Dye,” and the percussive delay fest that defines “See.” In Hansen’s mind, there is literally nowhere to go but up. “I want to introduce some new elements and try to push in new directions instead of going in a linear way,” he affirms.
Currently, Tycho is gearing up for the band’s first-ever appearance at Coachella by testing out some new stage elements on their current spring 2015 tour. “It’s kind of intimidating, because you hear all these stories,” Hansen says about the iconic music festival. “We’ve heard about all these crazy productions by people like Daft Punk, so I feel like we have to step it up. Right now, we’ve been experimenting on this tour with a few volumetric effects, like projections through smoke. But we’re going to have to scale that up even more for Coachella.”
I rang up Tycho during a tour stop in Denver to discuss the different recording initiatives he undertook for Awake, how high resolution has changed his thinking for the next album, and get his assessment of his guitar chops. The man sure is a Cloud pleaser.
Full story at Digital Trends: Interview: Tycho (Scott Hansen) on Touring, Digital vs. Analog