Switched On – Back To Mine: Tycho (DMC)

Reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

For the latest in their long running Back To Mine series, now 23 years old, DMC turn to Scott Hansen, the San Francisco producer, artist, designer and songwriter better known in these circles as Tycho.

He is a completely logical addition, already known for some incredibly relaxing chillout music through albums Dive, Epoch and Weather, which offer sunshine-infused meditation to even the coldest listener.

What’s the music like?

As so often with the Back To Mine series, it feels like DMC have caught the right artist at the right time. Tycho’s specialities tend to lie in the electronic field, and that is well represented here, but there are some really nice contrasts and bends in the road to navigate as the mix progresses. It hits just the right balance of moving forward but also enjoying the musical scenery on the way.

Bibio’s remix of Tycho’s own Spectre is the ideal place to start, setting a nice walking pace within a woozy dynamic as the guitar ambles along. Some spacey productions follow, with an excellent bit of serious electronic pop from Panama standing out, the clean textures of Destroyer dating from 2013. Happily the music never veers too close to the mainstream, as Schneider TM’s hybrid track Frogtoise testifies. Tycho’s remix of Little Dragon’s Little Man is the perfect fit to bridge from this to the hypnotic cross rhythms of Luke Abbott’s Modern Driveway, after which the amiable grooves of Weval’s You Made It (Part II) are ideal.

Ulrich Schnauss is a logical inclusion, his brand of weather-beaten electronica leaving a strong impression with In All The Wrong Places, before Tycho’s PBS brings a cool groove to back its probing riff. By the time Slowdive’s Sugar For The Pill kicks in we are more or less horizontal, a feeling reinforced by Octo Octa’s Beam Me Up, the Please Take Me Away mix by Eris Drew panning out rather nicely.

Does it all work?

It does – as you would expect from someone with Tycho’s love of perspective, foreground and background. Like the best Back To Mine compilations it brings a satisfying juxtaposition of familiar names and unfamiliar grooves, sitting alongside each other with the maximum ease.

Is it recommended?

It is indeed – another excellent addition to one of the longest running compilation series around. Even in this era of online mixes and playlists, there is still room for an hour Back To Mine.



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