Two years after the release of his critically acclaimed album “Awake” Tyco has released his most focused album yet- “Epoch“; a surprise release that proves founder Scott Hansen is now hitting his stride.
The California born post-rock/ambient mastermind has been active for the last decade having now released four full-length albums. What “Epoch” manages to do so well is push the boundaries of Hansen’s genre into a territory that is notably darker, more confident, and concise.
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Combining elements of his last two albums “Awake” and “Dive” Hansen’s latest effort displays the fluid storytelling of “Dive” with a continuity that is completely cohesive but never repetitive or boring. However “Epoch” has the energy of Tycho’s last album “Awake“; a record that was made to better translate to an audience in a live setting. Inspired by the likes of “Boards of Canada” and “Radiohead” it’s clear that Hansen meant for this album to be taken as a journey- from start to finish, “Epoch” sounds its best when it’s listened to as a whole.
Opening with “Glider” an ethereal yet very 80’s synthy track that is both bass heavy and sporadic in percussion (reminds one of Danny Carey‘s tempo on drums). Moving on to “Horizon” which quite simply opens sounding like that of a trance track; fans will then be comforted by Tycho’s familiar drum riffs and steady electronic percussion (and what briefly sounds like it could be a vocal sample- Tycho has always been strictly instrumental). Further into the album we come across another unique standout “Division“; which splits its time between a bass driven track with tangents of what can only be described as uptempo shoegaze-like riffs. To close the “Epoch” journey listeners are treated to “Field” which is completely guitar focused. Putting emphasis on anything but percussion is fairly unheard of for Tycho, but it fits right in to the progression and mood of this album (evoking memories of Radiohead a la “OK Computer” with its waning guitar distortion).
While “Epoch” melds pretty perfectly between its eleven tracks this is a definite departure from Hansen’s previous work (he is clearly trying to push himself by utilising different instrumentation).
Tycho’s sound is pretty recognizable on the whole; but what was pulled off so well here was not only continuity of the signature sound but the evolution of style. Hansen is clearly confident and in his element with the creation and execution of his music- and there’s no telling which corner of the post-rock universe it will take him next.