Although Ulrich Schnauss had to cancel his headlining spot for Decibel 2011’s Optical 1 showcase (due to problems with his visa), the situation was quickly remedied with the addition of San Francisco-based psych-ambient electronic musician (and accomplished designer) Scott Hansen, aka Tycho. Often compared to Boards of Canada and Schnauss, Tycho mesmerizes listeners with warm, nostalgic synths, engaging beats, and occasional guitar riffs. Appropriately, Tycho performed for Decibel’s Optical series last year as well. This time, he’ll be previewing songs from his upcoming LP, Dive, along with beautiful visual projections.
Opening the show will be electro-acoustic ambient acts Simon Scott (formerly of Slowdive) and Mountains. A complimentary set, both create richly textured sound tapestries which stimulate a transcendent state of mind. Scott played with legendary shoegaze band Slowdive on their first two LPs before moving on to form his own band, Inner Sleeve—later renamed Televise—which has since become a solo project. Scott also teamed up with Isan‘s Anthony Ryan to create Seavault, has performed with Rafael Anton Irisarri‘s The Sight Below, and started his own label—KESHHHHHH Recordings—in 2006. Most recently, he has been putting out ambient/drone recordings under his own name.
Ambient duo Mountains make a timely return to Decibel after the release of their latest LP, Air Museum, earlier this year. The album’s closing track, “Live at the Triple Door”, was recorded during the festival two years ago. Consisting of childhood friends Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, Mountains create hypnotically gorgeous folk-electronic soundscapes using layers of acoustic and electronic instruments. The two also co-founded Chicago-based ambient/experimental electronic label Apestaartje and have each released solo material.