Countdown- Best of Tycho

Tycho, an Electrogaze band who surprisingly put out their fourth full-length album with no warning. Tycho and frontman Scott Hansen, whom started the band, sound and image, has strategically made every aspect and detail in this album for a specific reason. Hansen’s blog post on Tycho’s album artwork evolution says it all from detail-mannered to minimalism to bringing back the color from his first self-released EP ‘The Science of Patterns’.

This is an article where the views are subjective, due to the nature of the blog and my admiration of Hansen’s and Tycho’s work over the last decade. As a megafan and occasional concert goer here is the list of the Best of Tycho.

  1. Coastal Brake (Dive):  One of the final songs that aren’t entitled after a single word, Coastal Brake takes you through an experiential journey starting with the first bass drop of a decoration of beautiful linking notes.
  2. A Walk (Dive): The first sound of Tycho I ever heard. Simplistic yet complex in the breathes and percussion addition. The Synth progression truly is; a walk.
  3. Dictaphone’s Lament (Past is Prologue): One of the most beautiful melodies heard to date. Hansen’s mother, a transcriptionist, recorded him and his brother as the featured vocals added to the track.
  4. Epoch (Epoch): A track to personify an entire album. Every sound and sensory detail carefully placed into the song to embody the album itself.
  5. Red Bridge (The Science of Patterns): With a trance(y) hook it’s hard to stay away from this journey. The simplicity links back to the complexity of Epoch with an emphasis on drums.
  6. See (Awake): The music video really tells the narrative on this track. Beyond visuals, one of the most diverse songs in terms of sound on Tycho’s portfolio with some very in your face guitar complimented by the classic synth in transition.
  7. Rings (Epoch): A flashback to the Dive era with vocal underlay and an emphasis on on the synth aspect yet the persistence of the presence of Awake with drum work.
  8. Adrift (Dive): Simplicity meets a classic rhythm in a beautiful harmony. The speed of drums and the slow/persistent electronica.
  9. Cloud Generator (Past is Prologue): Tycho classic. The alpha and omega of the song being the weather report from a marine radio. The in-between of a soft chorus and a staccato snare drum feels right. Not to mention the beautiful speed transition.
  10. Plains (Awake): The sequel in the trilogy of guitar-centered encores to each of Tycho’s LP’s. The barrier and combination of the nature of Tycho with the the new-age Tycho is a fitting evolution.

Lastly a note to share is that Hansen revealed in a Reddit AMA that Dive, Awake and Epoch are a trilogy. But the sequels don’t end there; Elegy, Plains and Field. Hours, L and Epoch. Dive, Awake and Source.

Advertisements

My Top Stress Relief Exercises (With detailed reasoning)

In many people’s lives they can really back one thing they believe in, whether it be gender equality, racial justice, bullying or something as light as 30-hour work weeks (hurray!). For me, I believe in mental health. I think many issues in the United States of America are pushed under the “crazy” categorization when really it’s in its roots, a mental health issue. Without getting too deep into the mental health issue, these next bullets are how I stay mentally healthy by limiting and managing stress and why I believe they work.

 

Music:

With no doubt (music pun) in my mind everyone finds stress relief with music whether they know it or not. As I am writing this listicle, I am listening to purposeful music to help me focus. The music I listen to for stress relief is hard to slap a genre on but here’s a try: Trance/Ambient/mello-electronica (really easy to remember). I don’t like a lot of words/lyrics in the music I use to calm me. I use the music to take me out of the world or even to a specific location. Throughout four years I have compiled a playlist of all the songs and sounds I find to get me to that place. The list is loaded with the likes of Tycho, Crystal Castles and Emancipator.

Color Therapy:

I believe (no idea if there is science to back it) that associating myself with a certain color when a specific feeling is desired helps me feel that way. For example, I think the color purple helps me feel mentally unburdened and stress free. Whenever I try to calm myself I use purple lights to create an ambient environment for my head. My Tumblr is decorated with many posts using this glow, or ambience. I follow many blogs dedicated to the exact thing. Every time I turn those lights on, I know it’s time to relax.

Meditation:

Meditation can be what a person wants it to be, in my opinion. What I mean by that rudimentary sentence is that meditation is not limited to guided, or breathe awareness exercises. My meditation is a combination of points above. To feel fully aware of myself on this earth and to completely be in the moment, I use my lights, listen to my playlist and many times burn incense. I need to constantly remind my brain why these element are being presented and it now is automatic to the feeling I am trying to achieve. I believe in my meditation I have almost every sense stimulated (except taste) in a manner that I know gets me where I need to be. I encourage everyone to try many techniques, each person is different and  reach awareness differently, that’s the beauty of meditation!

Exercise:

I have always been an athlete but the beauty of exercise is that anyone can do it no matter your athleticism. Ever since I ended my competitive sports career I have focused on lifting weights and bettering my running times. In doing so I found that nothing else matters to me in those moments. In the eight months of my consistent exercise I found that adding weights I can lift, cutting down seconds on my running times and seeing results stimulate my mind in a very specific way. While it is difficult to pinpoint the epicenter of this feeling, I think that it’s possibly because I get to focus on my body and my health solely for that hour or two, there’s something beautiful in that. A bi-product of the focus on my health and exercise is the awareness of my diet. I have been able to focus on what my body needs not only physically but nutritionally.

Skateboard/Longboard:

While probably hyper-specific to me, I find riding very soothing. Funny enough I don’t like listening to music while riding. The sounds, sights and monotony of my wheels hitting the cracks in the sidewalk makes for a nice break from this crazy world. Don’t worry I can’t do any tricks at all besides acting like when I fell down it didn’t hurt. Not too much skill required to longboard, try it out!pennyboardchi

Honorable Mention/Guilty Pleasure: Wine:

While I don’t condone alcohol consumption as a stress relief technique, it would be unfair to say that I don’t use it. Cabernet Sauvignon is my poison and although alcohol has some seriously detrimental effects, red wine has some benefits (AKA resveratrol- look it up!).