Arts & Events

Blogger, artist, musician: Scott Hansen’s Tycho LP stays consistent with themes of nostalgia

On Oct. 4, 2011, Sacramento native Scott Hansen released his second Tycho LP, “Dive.”

Now 36 years old, Hansen has worked primarily as an independent graphic designer who runs a blog called ISO50, and since 2004 has occasionally released and performed music as Tycho.

Those who followed Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign might remember Hansen for the piece he submitted to the “Artists for Obama” series, which featured ten artists’ works in an effort to support Obama’s presidential race, with all proceeds from the art going toward his campaign fund.

Oct. 6 marked the five-year anniversary of Hansen’s blog, which collects his music, art portfolio, products and thoughts in one place.

The blog showcases art from all over the world in all kinds of formats, though he does tend to focus on graphic design and music.

Digging through his archives one can find pictures of coffee table books from Europe, compilations of commercials and graphics from the 1980’s, advertisements for the Olympics and Adidas, albums he likes or posters from Tycho’s most recent shows (all designed by Hansen). Like his art, the site is consistently retro.

His blog has assembled 13 playlists featuring all kinds of music, ranging from newer bands like St. Vincent, Modeselektor and J Dilla to older music like, yes, Johnny Cash and George Harrison. Each playlist comes with an “album cover” designed by Hansen.

Hansen sells shirts, posters, stickers and music through his blog’s webstore.

He has a penchant for quality, meaning his products are reliably and professionally printed.

Unfortunately, the high caliber also makes his products expensive. For example, three 2” vinyl decals from his webstore cost $8, American Apparel printed t-shirts cost $25, and about half of his posters (which are Giclee prints) go for $45, all before shipping.

Tycho’s music is downtempo electronic and emphasizes Moog synthesizers and powerful, bass-driven melodies.

On Tycho’s website, Hansen says of “Dive,” “Nostalgia is a common thread in my work, but this album wasn’t driven by that idea. I see these songs as artifacts from a future which might have more in common with our past than our present.”

Nostalgia is certainly evident in his graphic design, which features a heavy geometric emphasis, 1960s Bauhaus styling, sepia tones and frequently draws attention to particular dates (like 1973 and 1971, which can be spotted in several of his prints).

“Dive” is set for a physical release Nov. 15 on CD and vinyl, with mp3/FLAC downloads available now from