Keyflow Magazine

The 15™ – No.3 with Andreas Tilliander

Andreas Tilliander is a one of the most well respected and established names in the Swedish electronic scene, with as many aliases under his belt, as he has Manifest awards, plus a sneaky Grammy also sitting pretty on his shelf.

He is not a man to be restricted by genres although many of his records have been filed as tech-house, drone, acid or dub and under the monikers Mokira, Rechord, Lowfour, TM404 or his own name.

Since the turn of the century he’s released records on an impressive variety of labels such as Kontra Musik, Börft Records, Mille Plateaux and Raster-Noton and shared stages with legends such as Esplendor Geometrico, Pan Sonic, Rhythm & Sound and Richie Hawtin.

This self confessed synth junkie has been round the world a few times with his Roland babies and his array of gadgets, yet he somehow also finds time to fill a role as one of the program managers for Elektroniskt i P2 as well as running Repeatle; his very own studio, mastering company and record label.

A new LP called Compuriddim has just been released on Ideal Recordings, as has a 12″ via Echocord named Ofog, and this summer a record as Innerst Inne will see the light of day plus the first output from Repeatle in a decade. Live plans include TM404 shows in Amsterdam on May 13th and Paris at the end of June, as well as the Supynes festival in Lithuania and Into The Factory in Sweden.

On June 11th he will play a unique DJ set with drum machines, synths and tape echoes, just before his biggest musical idol; Lee Scratch Perry. This concert sold out at Fasching so has just been moved to Kägelbanan’s bigger space. Get your tickets here. But for now he joins us to tackle The 15™ because that’s how brave he is…

Perfect festival line up, past or present?
Pauline Oliveros doing a lecture during the day and then perform live.
Laurie Speigel after her. Laurie will play live for four hours.
Rhythm & Sound brings all the artists from their record ”with the artists”
The singers leave the stage after two hours and Rhythm & Sound become Basic Channel. In the morning, just when the sun starts to arise, Plastikman is doing an acid ambient set live.

What are your all time favourite sounds?
I think I would have to go for ”tape echoes”. Non musical is a bit harder though. Can I say cats?

Which song would you ban, if you had to?
The Cure – Mint Car. I was such a big fan of the works of The Cure and got very very let down when they released this single. I saw them live the same summer (1996) and the concert was fantastic. I had to leave when they performed Mint Car though. Saw them live again some months ago and they didn’t play Mint Car, so perhaps my ban already had an effect?

Happiest musical moment within your work?
I got back from Japan recently and I’ve been there many many times since the first time I went there in the early 2000’s. It’s my favourite country and I’ve wanted to go there since I was a kid. I remember arriving in Japan (the second time ever for me being on a plane actually) thinking ”shit, I’m on the other side of this globe and it’s all because of my records. Great feeling.

What was the weirdest music related dream you’ve had?
In my teens, I had my synthesizers close to my bed and I would spend as much time possible making music during the nights before having to go to sleep not to miss too much of the school days. One night I was working on the classic sampler Emax and I was trying to figure out how to get one technical thing working. Couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong and I went to bed a bit mad and disappointed. Some hours later I woke up in the middle of a dream. My consciousness had shown me how to fix the issue with the sampler and I went straight out of bed and it turned out my dream was correct!

What is your favourite all time book connected to music?
It’s been many years since I read it now, but I was fascinated by the book about my all-time favourite rock band Spacemen 3. I’ve also read and enjoyed every book by Bill Drummond. Not the biggest fan of KLF apart from that Chillout record, but I like Drummonds brain.

Which superpower would be most useful to you in your job?
At the moment I’m sleeping about four, five hours per night and I would love not having to sleep at all. On the other hand, if me and other humans wouldn’t have to eat, perhaps less animals would have to suffer and die because of our selfishness.

Name 3 bands that mean’t the world to you as a pre-teen kid?
The thing is I was never one of those kids that listened to Madonna, Tina Turner or Michael Jackson. I wasn’t particularly interested in music until I discovered artists that I like today as well. I guess Depeche Mode must have been my first love. Perhaps Kraftwerk and Nitzer Ebb after that.

Amongst your present peers, who do you most admire and why?
I really admire the work of Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus. Started listening to what they did in the nineties and I still enjoy those old records as well as their current productions. Since I only can pick one, I have to go for Moritz von Oswald.

Which song would you make a compulsory part of education for all?
Rune Lindblad – Månens Död. Swedish ambient masterpiece from 1954.  Music that really was ahead of its time. Centuries ahead of its time.

Who inspired your music/work most amongst your family or friends?
Most of my friends are artists in one way or another. Painters, musicians etc. None of them is into the same kind of music as me though, at least not the ones I meet on a regular basis. My studio partner plays in Sweden’s best synth-pop duo, another friend of mine produces house pop, a married couple does old school Moog anthems, my partner makes excellent field recording excursions. They all influence my artistic views, but there is no-one in particular that influences me the most.

If you had unlimited funds, which artist would you buy everything of?
Lee Perry. On the other hand – perhaps I could afford it already. His studio has burned down twice so I guess there’s not too much left I’m afraid.

Least favourite job you’ve had and which other profession would you like to try?
I’ve never had a job not related to music. Before I started making a living out of my own music like 16-17 years ago, I was working at a record label in Stockholm. Compared to making my own musical ideas, I guess working at the record label must have been worse. Having said that, I really enjoyed working there as well.

When my musical career ends in a few years, I’d like to become a video editor. I think that’s pretty much the same profession. Working with a narrative, a timeline, transitions and so on. That or a shrink.

Worst insult/best compliment you’ve been given for your music/label/concerts etc?
I once got a note from this girl saying something like ”this music you’re playing is shit. I’m going to go home now and listen to Wonderwall on repeat. Have a good night”. Not sure if it was a compliment or insult though…

What did you want to be when you were growing up and what would “you then” say to “you now”?
I was never the kind of kid that had any dreams of becoming anything really. No ambition to become a truck driver, firefighter, gardener or anything like that. The only thing I really enjoyed was music and art. I guess the teenage version of me would say “Ok, you did well so far, but you know it can change any day, right?” And the current version of me would reply “Well, Andreas. If you’d only studied a bit more instead of being so interested in music, perhaps we’d had a normal life right now”

Photo by Elin Franzén
Text by Gavin Maycroft