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Epoch

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Album Review

Tycho's fourth studio album, Epoch, was given a surprise digital release at the end of September 2016, about a month after it was finished. With this album, Tycho mastermind Scott Hansen completed a trilogy of albums beginning with 2011's Dive and continuing with 2014's Awake. Since its beginning in the early 2000s, the project evolved from an obscure IDM solo venture to the most well-known instrumental electronic rock band of its time, selling out several headlining tours and having its music extensively featured on television (particularly Cartoon Network's Adult Swim). Epoch extended this success, as it garnered Tycho its first Grammy nomination, for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2017 awards. The album wastes no time diving into the types of warm, nostalgic melodies Tycho fans are used to, marked by U2-esque ringing guitars and lush, rippling synthesizers. However, this album generally feels much more urgent and punchy than past Tycho efforts. On several tracks, the rhythms are more complex than anything they've attempted before, verging on math rock on songs like "Slack." On tracks such as "Division" and "Rings," the beats are fast and choppy enough to verge on drum'n'bass, yet overall the music registers much differently due to the swirling guitars and cascading synths. "Horizon" and "Epoch" are 4/4 dance tracks, showcasing Tycho at its sunniest and most upbeat, but songs like "Receiver" are slower and sadder, reaching back to the project's early, Boards of Canada-indebted days. Hansen has described Epoch as his darkest album to date, but his idea of dark is still pretty light by most standards. As such, the album never feels grim, even if there are moments when clouds obstruct the sun. While Epoch is easily the band's most diverse release to date in terms of moods and tempos, it's still recognizable as a Tycho release at any point during its duration. Hansen continues to push his group's sound while remaining familiar, and Epoch is one of Tycho's best yet.

Customer Reviews

This is that chill pill

Amazing. Chill. Everything you would expect from a Tycho album and more.

Scott Hansen has been making the chillest ambient/electronica albums for just over a decade now, and he has become the master of a world once ruled by the likes of Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada.

This album is like smoking a bowl on your deck during a crisp autumn morning. You're stoned, but the chill in the air keeps you feeling fresh and awake.

It's also a great night album.
And road album.
And just a great album in general.

Dive in and chill out. It's a good time.

I'll just throw Past is Prologue out there because I subtly referenced the other two Tycho LP's throughout this review, and it deserves mention.

Electric Bliss.

Tycho does it again. The unmatched electronic sounds produced on this record are brilliant. Again, this album, like all Tycho albums, is very relaxing - but what differentiates this record from the rest is it's seemingly upbeat nature. Thank you again Tycho for creating such brilliant music.

Perfection as usual

You know that song that makes you fly out of your body? Or the one that makes your mind wander into another worlds? Do you know that album that you listen repeatedly and it kind of turn into your daily background? The one that you listen to study, to relax, to energize, to feel good about anything? Well, that´s Tycho, and Epoch do all those things and more.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Tycho (Scott Hansen) is a producer and graphic artist based in San Francisco, California. While Boards of Canada's blissful/melancholic IDM is an obvious inspiration, many of Tycho's productions play out like complete electronic dream pop songs in isolation rather than vignettes or extended mood pieces. Tycho debuted in 2002 with The Science of Patterns, a self-released four-track EP. Sunrise Projector, his first album, was released in 2004 on the Gammaphone label. After the album was re-released...
Full Bio
Epoch, Tycho
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