Tycho, under the direction of its San Francisco creator, Scott Hansen, as well as Zac Brown and Rory O’Connor, rests somewhere under the large umbrella of electronic or psychedelic music by today’s standards but is in many facets a more unseen commodity blending ambient post-rock and instrumentation with rich production lending itself to a listen live or elsewhere. Here, with Awake Remixes, Tycho’s fifth full-length album is undertaken by the likes of Com Truise, RJD2, Bibio and others.
A remix release is not a new venture for Tycho as they were a part of the 2013 split EP Fragments / Ascension with Washington D.C.’s Thievery Corporation where the two traded turns remixing each other’s tracks. Awake Remixes hits hard from the beginning with a Com Truise mix from New York producer Seth Haley, a label mate of Tycho. “L” is then robustly revitalized by Sacramento electronic trio Dusty Brown, a group whom Tycho’s Zac Brown is also involved in.
Tycho’s “Apogee” as per RJD2 is a special piece of this collage with syncopated hip-hop and electronic elements harkening to the true sound of Ghostly International, a label possessing an undoubted nimiety of tireless talent. The Bibio remix of “Spectre,” a seeming interaction between Tycho and something off of the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and John Frusciante 2010 collaboration, owns a warm, waxy quality while sensually illustrating an outdoor setting. Next is “Plains,” remixed by Baio, which offers a satisfying ODESZA-esque instrumental while the track’s vocals mimic a more produced Win Butler.
Most of Awake’s tracks transformed with the aid of various contributors but others evolved subtly while still embodying their creator. “Montana” is remixed twice on the album, once by Christopher Willits and once by Few Nolder, but both interpretations show stark differences and are simultaneously salubrious for your musical psyche. Willits’ of the ethereal, panoramic, ambient variety and Few Nolder’s a chilling house take that largely stays true to the original Tycho arrangement. On the contrary, Awake Remixes is far from homogeneous when in the reflection of 2014’s Awake. The cast of guests featured have done Awake a great service by showcasing a taste and approach capable of taking eight tracks to another level while still turning out an inherently ‘Tycho’ record; one its Ghostly torchbearers will delightfully champion.
Recommended If You Like: ODESZA, Com Truise, Shigeto, RJD2, Bibio
Recommended Tracks: 6 (Apogee), 1 (Awake), 7 (Spectre), 5 (See)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Harrison Hipp on 01/27/16