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There are few pleasures on planet earth that supersede days of nothingness, a clear agenda and unmuddled mind, relaxing in the summer sun. Moseying through a daily daze of chance meetings, quiet contemplation and blissful introspection. American producer and graphic artist Scott Hansen, otherwise known as Tycho, creates ambient instrumentals to soundtrack those rare moments in life when the sun's rays provide total nourishment of the soul. In 2011 Tycho released Dive, an album that bathed the listener in warm swathes ambience and begged you to plunge into it' cooling pools of washed out electronica. Awake is the followup to that album, and again aims to bask in the wholesome heat of summertime.

It is clear from the very beginning of the album that Tycho's manifesto is to create a more purposeful and compulsive sound than the dazed sprawl of Dive. Guitars drive the opening track forward in rhythmical fashion and the overlaying of simple synth motifs give the song that essential summer shimmer. Hansen retains the prominence of guitars on the albums first single 'Montana', and with the addition of handclap percussion and simplistic drum patterns, it could almost be an indie-pop tune, ala Two Door Cinema Club, dragged back to a less petulant tempo. These introductory tracks represent subtle progress for Tycho with more ambitious compositions formed around simple, yet delicate melodies, rather than a hazy unified body of rhythmical sound.

Awake is a very environmental album, but not a particularly emotional one. Tycho fails to replicate the tensions of steady apathy and occasional ecstasy in the same way contemporaries such as Toro Y Moi and Washed Out manage. It would be wrong to accuse Tycho of having it too good, but maybe a sun-kissed life in Sacremento has bleached his style and sound. There are times during Awake that could be forgiven for thinking that you're listening to the backing track of an on-screen TV guide, or some sync for a instructional video on how to get the best out of the latest Adobe software.

By concentrating on continuing to create a vibe, a record for a specific time and place, Awake unfortunately suffers mediocrity in the eye of the beholder. Without enough emotional nous to transport the listener to the sunny shores of San Francisco, this record is difficult to connect with perceptively and the pristine veneer of the sound sometimes proves disengaging and exclusionary.

On Dive, visions obscured into a haze of dazzling sunspots, you could feel the fuzzy warmth of a summer's evening heat, and the cool coastal breeze as the sun dips its colossal face into the ocean. Awake feels less alive. The sun is no longer nourishing and revelrous, but something that bounces off tall glass buildings.