Tycho celebrates 10th anniversary of Dive live at Alexandra Palace Theatre

Scott Hansen and his band performed the breakthrough LP in its entirety

In 2011, Tycho’s Scott Hansen marked the transition from solo, part-time bedroom producer and graphic designer into a fully realised live band with his breakthrough album Dive. Building on the Jon Hopkins/Boards of Canada-esque meditative ambience of his earlier solo work in the early noughties, Hansen opened space for the nimble and clean punctuation of guitars, deep and often melodic bass lines and crisp and hybrid-sounding drums that from then on could be translated to the live stage, with the help of Zac Brown, Rory O’Connor and other touring members.

This live and immersive setup earned Tycho more and more loving ears in the decade since, performing at festivals touring the albums that followed around the world. So it is fitting that to celebrate the 10th anniversary vinyl reissue of Dive (which follows the remix album Back To Mine, released at the end of September), Hansen and his band took to the Alexandra Palace Theatre in North London at the weekend to perform Dive in its entirety. It’s a show performed earlier in the year in Denver, CO, but from the closed eyes and gently swaying mass of bodies from the opener ‘A Walk’, the San Francisco-based artist’s appreciation is just as evident this side of the Atlantic.

This rustic, Victorian setting is soon transformed into a kind of New Age, Sci-Fi space thanks to Hansen’s characteristically hypnotic and amorphous synth sound that floats and flickers above the likes of ‘Daydream’ and ‘Coastal Brake’ like a constellation. The warm blue and orange hues of Dive‘s album cover horizon scene reflect this. Later, when the band return for the second half of the evening to play a set of other tracks, 2001: A Space Odyssey-like scenes spanning what looks like primordial earth to kaleidoscopic, geometric cosmic scenes take us on an even further trip. (The connection to surely not a coincidence, giving that Tycho is names after one of Kubric’s mysterious monoliths, a shape that appears on the cover of Hansen’s 2016 album Epoch).

Hansen isn’t much of a talker, as is clearly more comfortable in control of the vast technology at his fingers, triggering samples and pads while working several synths. Brown, also in his flow, has more capacity to work the crowd as he frequently leans forward towards the crowd while leading with plucky, echoey guitars. O’Connor’s technical breaks feel more alive on stage, but though like Billy Kim’s bass lines they serve the overall direction of the song — as they do brilliantly on the likes of ‘Spectre’ — at times it would have cleansed the palate to have cut through in the production a little more during more angular moments such as ‘Division’ .

Tycho has never been about individual identities or egos, though, but forms, colours, shapes and emotive pulses that guide wordless stories. Through its live iteration, Dive and some of the songs that followed it added a new dimension to this purpose.