Tycho @ Oval Space, London, 26/03/2014

TychoIf you’ve ever found yourself meandering through the back streets of North East London near Bethnal Green, you might have come across Oval Space. From the front, the venue looks like a garage - nothing special. Once through the main entrance, back outside and up the industrious metal staircase presented to you, you’ll find an outside bar to your left decorated with fairy lights. The stage is straight forward, sitting snugly underneath a white canopy ceiling. It's the perfect setting for the dreamy electronic sounds of Tycho.

Tycho has recently branched out from his one-man band and acquired a couple more equally talented individuals to perform with. While it’s extremely hard to decide whether Dive or latest album Awake is better - they’re both as superb as each other, one person or more – it’s always interesting to see how artists like Tycho fair when faced with just their decks.

There’s a no muss, no fuss sort of atmosphere and hipsters a-plenty at tonight's gig. Of course, this is a sold out crowd. While Tycho is an unfamiliar name in the broad musical world, within the down-tempo dance circuit, they have themselves quite a cult following. Being a graphic designer, there’s no surprise that as the ambient tones fill the room Scott Hansen has created a beautiful montage to accompany the chilled down-tempo sounds omitted from his band. The sun that's so prominent in Tycho’s artwork whirls into an orb before dissolving into an ocean scene behind the band; the subtle lights filling the room from one song to the next.

There’s a mixture of Awake and Dive combined together from start to finish. This performance isn’t just a man on his decks however. With the added instrumental element of guitar, bass and drums, each song offers a level of dynamic you aren't necessarily expecting. When listening to Tycho, you can’t help but create these strong yet mellow visuals such as waves and tranquil sunsets, how stereotypical that might be. Tycho doesn’t shy away from what’s expected of him, but makes it his own. In fact, the combination together is proof that ambient music works in a live setting. Similar to Boards of Canada, we’ve previously reviewed the latest album Dive with great delight. There isn’t so much a level of expectation for Tycho - you know they’re going to be good - but they’re definitely a must-see live. For anyone who thinks you can’t see a vibrant and liberating ambient gig, think again.


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