The latest project from Swedish producer Andreas Tilliander – best known for his output under the name Mokira – is a tribute of sorts to the x0x series, based entirely around sounds generated by two 202s, four 303s, two 606s, a 707 and an 808 and released under the pseudonym TM404 (a nod to the rumour that Roland avoided producing a ’404? model in the original x0x series because the number four is considered unlucky in Japanese culture). The resulting album, TM404, is an engrossing, experimental work which is one of our highlights of the year so far. TM404 builds on the classic sounds and tropes of house and techno without falling into the cliches – a style which has seen Tilliander’s recent music described as ‘Detroit techno without the techno’. Andreas himself has described it as ‘somnolent acid’.
Since the early 2000s, unorthodox Swedish producer Andreas Tilliander has put out some of glitch-techno’s most seminal records on influential labels such as Mille Plateaux and Raster-Noton. Ever since his debut record “Ljud” (2001), the Stockholm-based label head (for Repeatle) and mastering engineer has eschewed the production rulebook, with obtuse rhythmic trajectories indebted to myriad genres (hip hop, dub, drum ‘n’ bass) and releases filed under a grab bag of artistic aliases (Mokira, Lowfour, Rechord). With his latest moniker, TM404, which he debuted at Berlin’s mythical Berghain in early 2013, the Swedish Grammy winner and unmitigated hardware lover continues to dream up fascinatingly anomalous worlds. The ambitious TM404 project – with tracks recorded in real time and no work done in post – is a tribute to a handful of genre-defining Roland drum machines from the 1980s (the 202, 303, 606, 707 and 808). As evidenced by Tilliander’s self-explanatory track labeling (i.e., “303/303/303/606” or “202/202/303/303/606”), TM404’s output on Kontra-Musik solely makes use of the aforementioned hardware, which was pivotal to the development of acid house and techno. Yet he avoids fetishizing its squelchy synth sounds by conjuring up polyrhythmic, hypnotic dub melodies, which he refers to as “somnolent acid.” His EM15 live debut promises a mesmerizing demonstration as to why Tilliander “wants to be buried” with his Roland TB-303s.