Stateside Presents

TYCHO

Stateside Presents

TYCHO

GARDENS & VILLA

Tue, May 6, 2014

7:00 pm

Club Congress

Tucson, AZ

$15 - $17

This event is all ages

TYCHO
TYCHO
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."
GARDENS & VILLA
GARDENS & VILLA
The crystalline, aha moment, if you can picture it, comes after a month of dogged recording in a converted warehouse in the middle of the bleak Midwest winter — foreign and dissociative terrain for Gardens & Villa, whose members are more accustomed to the warm breezes and surf of their Santa Barbara, California, home. The recording situation itself couldn't have been more ideal for unbridled creativity, as G&V was locked away with acclaimed producer Tim Goldsworthy (Cut Copy, DFA Records, Hercules & Love Affair) and was given full access to gear-nerdery like Sly Stone's custom-built Flickinger recording console (used throughout There's a Riot Goin' On). However, the band had only left the studio space five times during the month, lost in a black hole of music-making. As their time with Goldsworthy drew to a close, with deadlines looming and personal woes creeping in, the band found themselves anxious, stressed out, sad. They needed a natural remedy -- an escape into the wilds of Michigan.

Members Adam Rasmussen, Chris Lynch, Dusty Ineman, Levi Hayden and Shane McKillop traversed across the winding roads and frigid tundra of Benton Harbor, MI, stopping only when they found its highest point. Their bodies worked with fervor as they summited an expanse of snow-covered sand dunes. The view at the top left them breathless. Here was the great wide world, in sharp contrast to their cloistered recording haze; with the ice crunching beneath their feet, they saw Lake Michigan, stretching across the distant horizon, simultaneously reminding them of home as well as the tyranny of that distance.

Dunes takes both album title and reinvigoration from this scene – but beneath the immediate lies a milieu of influences: random conversations with strangers, hundreds of VHS movies, British tea rituals, and explorations of consciousness and meditative focus. Opposing methodologies between band members make for wonderful tension in songs about the importance of isolation as well as connection, on appreciating the beauty of analog. The band's vibrant rhythms, fluttering flute melodies, and pulsing synth lines now intersect with more nuance than ever before. In a single stroke on standout "Bullet Train," G&V gives an eerie artificiality to Lynch's flute and embues Rasmussen's synth bassline all the physicality of played PVC piping, flipping the physical and digital. At different points, the record recalls the jerky, blissful funk of Prince ("Bullet Train") and the cold-wave of Depeche Mode ("Colony Glen" and "Thunder Glove") in its outwards-facing dance jams, while piano-heavy tracks ("Chrysanthemums" and "Minnesota") feature complementary melodies that inspire introspection. With the expert assistance of Goldsworthy, Dunes is a record abundant with contrasts, that shares a clear and evocative vision of where Gardens & Villa's members have traveled, what they've learned, and what lies ahead.
Venue Information:
Club Congress
311 E. Congress St.
Tucson, AZ, 85701
http://www.hotelcongress.com/club/