Co-headline evening of mind-melting majesty
Tycho, Active Child
830 E. Burnside St.
Portland, OR, 97214
Doors 8:00PM / Show 9:00PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
While his formative years were spent listening to everything from Yes to Photek, Scott Hansen didn't get his hands on an actual guitar or drum machine until he left his native Sacramento for San Francisco in 1995. "Encountering this whole new world at 20 years old was a profound experience," says Hansen, better known by his musical pseudonym Tycho and as the graphic artist ISO50. "At the time, I was just learning the processes of design and music; both felt very similar, and have flowed back and forth for me ever since."
As seamless as his two creative outlets have been, nearly a decade passed before the release of Hansen's first proper Tycho LP, Sunrise Projector (later expanded and reissued under the titlePast Is Prologue). And while three striking singles have emerged since then, the sum of all those sepia-toned parts is nowhere near the double-exposed soundscapes of Dive. The product of a prolonged break from IS050's design work and blog, it pays tribute to Tycho's prismatic past (the dense, guitar-guided turning points of "Daydream" and "Adrift") but spends most of its time pointing to the project's not-so-distant future.
That can mean any number of things, really, from the halcyon hooks and hopeful horizons of "A Walk" to the expansive, wildly expressive tone poetry of the title track, an eight-minute epic that unfolds like a compressed concept album. Or at the very least, a restless vision of prog-rock—one that's been coated in neon colors and filtered through a thick piece of blotter paper. And then there's "Elegy," a spare curtain closer that pairs a vulnerable crescendo with a fitting bridge to future works.
And with that, Dive establishes its position as the most diverse musical statement of Hansen's multi-medium career; the point where his skills as a performer finally catch up with his vaporized vision of a world that doesn't belong to any particular time or place.
"Nostalgia is a common thread in my work," says Hansen, "but this album wasn't driven by that idea. I see these songs as artifacts from a future which might have more in common with our past than our present."
Active Child is Pat Grossi, an L.A.-based songwriter who layers his keening, unearthly voice over diffuse waves of keyboards. As a child, Grossi sang with the Philadelphia Boys Choir, and that pedigree is all over haunting tracks like "Wilderness", where Grossi's high tenor pushes his woozy music even further into the stratosphere. Earlier this year, Grossi released the cassette-only Sun Rooms on Mirror Universe. Some of the tracks from Sun Rooms will end up on Curtis Lane, the EP he released this May
In the spring of 2010 Ben Schneider traveled easterly from Los Angeles to Northern Michigan. He spent a week at the site of his childhood retreats: the shores of Lake Huron. It was there he set to work developing a batch of songs and a week later, the first Lord Huron EP was complete. He named the recording, Into the Sun.
Upon his return to L.A., Ben set to work putting a band together. He called on his percussion-playing childhood friend Mark, who was in Nashville after performing for a time in the Caribbean. Mark swiftly packed up his drums and other gadgets and drove across country to California. The boys then recruited the rest of the Mighty Band, each of whom hail from Michigan.
Lord Huron's music is an auditory travelogue. Evocative of many places, but tied to none in particular. Lush harmonies inspired by Calypso singers, folk traditions and the American frontier fuse with modern experimentation to create the distinctive sound.
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