Stacking analog hardware upon more hardware to compose freeform techno flooded in delay and brimming with life—TM404 explores the intended and unintended scope of Roland drum machines from the 1980s, hardware pivotal to the development of acid house and techno. He coaxes polyrhythmic, hypnotic beats and melodies out of several machines at once, his dub dipping into drum ‘n’ bass and hip hop, his techno well-versed in electronic linguistics.
In the 90s, Tilliander started making music in his hometown of Hässleholm, first using an Amiga 500 computer, Roland Juno-1 and analog delay Aria Locobox, then in synth-pop and industrial bands before going solo. An experimental originator of “clicks & cuts” techno, using software and samples from analog gear on his early albums on the Mille Plateaux label, Tilliander's influential breakthrough came in 2004 with the award-winning minimal house album World Industries, an effective launching pad for emerging Swedish techno and electronica artists. His Mokira alias gave more space to drone and noise made directly on analog synths, drum machines and effects. TM404 falls somewhere between the two in sound and equipment—he’s called it a relaxed, echoing "somnolent acid.” Emerging in 2013 with a self-titled album of tracks labeled according to Roland machine use, like 303/303/303/606 and 202/202/303/303/606, and a live debut at Berlin’s Berghain for the CTM Festival, TM404 struck a balance between experimental acid techno and exploratory dub grooves – and, as his project's name might imply (a 404 model was never produced), TM404 is still on an imaginary voyage of discovery. Since then, he's introduced a modular Buchla rig and several more vintage machines into his studio and ever-varying live sets, yet still incorporates his Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer on every track.
Tilliander's recent tours range from expansive, hours-long improvised sets as TM404 to playing live with Swedish electro pop band Familjen, another long-time collaborator. The first time Tilliander played MUTEK, he stood out as part of Richie Hawtin's multisensory, multi-room ENTER project. Five years later, he unleashes an even more refined TM404 live acid-techno set for the festival, shifting from ambient experimentation through to rolling techno, soaked in his signature 303 acid lines and deep delay.
Presented as part of North-West Passage, a project by Insomnia, Intonal and MUTEK, with the support of the Nordic Council and the Quebec government.
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.