Northwest: Forever Green

Scott Hansen Tycho

Sacramento native Tycho brings new life to the old ways

Counter-clockwise, it’s 9 o’clock and the world is washed with rain… Feel 3:

Download: Feel 3 – Northwest: Forever Ever Green, at 160 kbps


“In the forests and calm bays of the Pacific Northwest, many find peace and privacy. Trip hop original Tranquility Bass retreated here. West Coast house maestro DJ Dan grew up here. And 1990s rave zine Lotus Magazine was edited from here for a time. While the shadow of grunge rock is still long in Seattle, not everyone is stuck in the rain. From Vancouver, Canada’s Interchill Records down the coast, the exposure of electronica organica runs deep with the beautiful refrains of Northern California’s Tycho or the sonic fjords receiving the Scandinavian vibes of Ismistik. And there still comes the local words of Gibson’s Neuromancer, ‘We monitor many frequencies. We listen always. Came a voice, out of the babel of tongues, speaking to us. It played us a mighty dub.'”

William Gibson

Cyberpunk beat poet William Gibson

The northwestern states of Washington and Oregon have been reliably progressive in presidential elections in recent years. Buoyed by the economic centers of Seattle and Portland, their youth cultures have embraced technology, alternative lifestyles and green philosophies. In the 1990s, it was the scene of raucous protests against the World Trade Organization and in 2011 was an epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Vancouver, Canada, just north of Seattle, is also a hotbed of social innovation and the home of cyberpunk writer William Gibson. Host to a vibrant outdoor party scene, the region has helped sustain the native EDM culture of the West Coast. The Pacific Northwest was also the home of Grunge rock, which peetered out to a large degree by the mid 1990s. Yet the earnest messages of bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana helped inject a social conscience back into popular music, paving the way for artists like Radiohead and a general taste for serious inner reflection in commercial music.

Rave culture at this time was seen as hedonistic to the extreme, but many of the rave faithful during these years were once Grunge heads and rock fans, bringing a mossy and gritty style to the electronic wilderness. That more organic ethos also informed many of Northern California’s top EDM producers, including today’s Tycho, who hailed from Sacramento and took a page from Scotland’s Boards of Canada. He in fact surpassed them in many aspects of their warm, analogue sound, a major sign post of alternative music that was originally inspired by the soundtracks of public television nature documentaries. Other hippie-fried gems came courtesy of San Francisco labels like Hardkiss, which put out God Within’s underground hit “Raincry” and Lorien Ferris’ spiritual “Arboreal Sunrise.”


Download: Feel 3 – Northwest: Forever Ever Green, at 160 kbps


Occupy Wall Street in Seattle, Vendetta

Occupy Wall Street in Seattle and local rave culture sound similar themes