Track Review: TM404 – “303/303/303/303/606”

[Kontra-Musik; 2013]

Swedish producer Andreas Tilliander has been working on his self-titled debut LP as TM404 for some time now–the video below is over a year old — and the final results reflect his patience. Limiting himself to old Roland synths and sequencers from the 1980s, Tilliander has crafted a 51-minute ode to acid house and dub techno while coolly and calmly eschewing the typical signifiers of both genres. The track titles seem to reflect the equipment Tilliander used to make them; so on “303/303/303/303/606,” for instance, we can imagine he used 4 Roland TB-303 Bass Line synthesizers along with a Roland TR-606 Drumatix drum machine. Highly rhythmic, the track is nonetheless almost devoid of beats entirely, instead perhaps approaching something akin to microhouse with its soft percussion and marshy ambiance. It’s most appropriate for the dance floor in your mind, likelier to get your neurons firing in auditory bliss than your feet tapping or head nodding. It’s a deep, moody record that fascinates without getting boringly academic. It’s also probably the best dub techno I’ve heard so far this year.