In September this year, a tweet from Rory O’Connor (drummer of Tycho; alias Nitemoves) sent Indian music lovers into a frenzy. In a reply to a fan’s tweet asking if he will be touring Japan, O’Connor said: ‘yes, and tycho will be in India this december! (sic)’. Thus broke the news that ambient electronic music artist and producer Tycho (known for his albums Dive and Awake), will perform in India. No official announcement, no press release was needed.
Tycho is the stage name of American musician Scott Hansen (38), and now also the name of his band.
What started off as a solo personal project is now a band, in what Hansen terms a gradual process. “I wanted to bring more organic elements into the live show. I started having Zac (Brown) out to shows to play the guitar. Then, he played on a few songs on Dive and we started touring extensively, later meeting Rory. With Awake, I wanted to capture the vibe of the live show on a record, so it was a more collaborative effort,” he says.
Not many electronic acts have a live instrumentation aspect to it, which makes Tycho as a project all the more interesting. And he is keen to retain that: “Most of the music is written and recorded using live instruments, so I want that to be represented in the live context.” Is adding vocals to his mostly instrumental music the next step? And though he admits to experimenting with vocal-heavy productions, Hansen is unsure if it’ll blend well. Tycho’s music has had human elements like weather broadcasts, talking, or simply breathing incorporated into it, which Hansen says, “gives things a sort of ominous feeling, like ghosts coming through the music”.
Hansen’s stage name is inspired by the Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe, and he was a graphic designer before he turned full-time musician. When we ask what prompted the switch in career, he says it wasn’t as much of a switch as it was a unification. Design paid the bills, but he’d always wanted to use graphic art and music together. Not surprisingly then, Tycho’s performances are known for their visuals. “I’ve always been a visual artist, since I was a kid — long before I found music. The visuals and the music come from the same place — they are both expressing a different facet of the same vision,” he says.
This will be Hansen and his band’s maiden trip to India and he is excited to see the architecture here. “I love Indian food, so it will be interesting to have the real thing. When it comes to Indian music, I can’t say I’m super knowledgeable, but I like When Pandas Attack from Delhi,” he signs off.
Q) A song that always manages to lift your spirit?
Phantom Limb by The Shins.
Q) A song you’re listening to on loop right now?
Working on a remix of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Multi-Love right now, so listening to it a lot.
Q) A song you wish you’d made?
Sea by Roosevelt.
Q) Your favourite band as a teen was?
Q) An artist you’d like to catch live.
Radiohead. Somehow never got around to seeing them live.
Q) The last time you were in the audience area of a gig?
I saw a really good band play in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile last week. Never caught their name.
Q) Can’t live without?
Q) Your ideal weekend?
Hiking in the Sierra Nevadas.
What: Tycho will perform at Johnnie Walker — The Journey on December 12, 9pm
Where: Mehboob Studios, Bandra (W)
Tickets: Rs 3,000 onward on bookmyshow.com