If you can’t get to a shoreline this week, I wholeheartedly endorse watching the waves crash behind none other than TM404, aka Andreas Tilliander. We had a sort of Roland meditation with him before, and I’m even more fond of this set.

Sit back and enjoy an hour of sound.

It’s worth reflecting on the resurgent hardware set, particularly with the Roland AIRA lineup some of the most talked-about, popular gear of 2014 (and volca beats still selling, and Rhythm Wolf in the wings).


The palette of sounds from conventional drum machine and bassline hardware is, it’s true, limited. But that’s why this is the sort of set fans of electronic music should demand. It’s live, improvisatory, rhythmically inventive – and here, full of cooled waves of sound and intensely focused. Andreas sets up a harmonious ensemble of tightly-concentrated timbres, then drives them with waves of interlocking polyrhythms. And the results have a wonderful flow.

To me, the importance of vintage hardware isn’t necessarily that it’s “authentic,” that the audience always know what’s happening (they still won’t), or even, at some point, that it have a certain sound. It’s that at some point, the artist is comfortable enough with those instruments to enjoy themselves, and the crowd with them.

So yes, now we have volca beats and re-emergent vintage Roland and clones and Maschine and Rhythm Wolf and AIRA and Ableton and Arturia BeatStep and everything out there likely to spread the availability of hardware control of beats all over again. Let’s hope that translates to more live sets. And a little healthy competition on YouTube and SoundCloud couldn’t hurt, either.

Historically, musicianship has managed to be democratic and accessible for centuries, and the best has risen to the top. It’d be wonderful to see the word LIVE behind more music sets – and for it to mean something. That’s a challenge we can all take personally to heart, artist or booker or fan.

I will now step down from the pulpit and get back to sharing information on Andreas. He’s up to so much, and has so many projects, I will do so by copying and pasting from his email signature. Here goes:

TM404 / Tilliander / Mokira / Lowfour / Kondens / Elektroniskt i P2 / Etc / Mm / Osv.

Whoa. And…

Tilliander – Mini LP 12″ (Börft) August 2013
Skum One 12″ (TM404, Skudge, Frak, MRSK) August 2013
TM404 – Svans 12″ (Kontra-Musik) September 2013

TM404 – TM404 CD/LP (Kontra-Musik) February 2013
TM404 – The Morphosis Korg Response 12″ (Kontra-Musik) November 2012

Hope we see more in 2014; we’ll be listening.

  • Blue Monster 65

    I’ve listened to this set a few times via Elektronauts – I like it quite a bit! I’ve also bought a couple of his albums (via Emusic) and am similarly impressed. His music, filled with immediately familiar sounds via his use of the ubiquitous 303, is rather inventive and playful, rather than thumping and raw.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Oh, I like thumping and raw, too, but then you should be thumping, raw, *and* inventive. 😉

    • Blue Monster 65

      Ha! Well, I didn’t say I didn’t like thumping and raw myself!

  • Juanbeth

    Anybody knows What are those devices the 303s are connected to?

    • gli

      various space echo’s

    • Juanbeth

      Thanks gli, do you know the brand or model, they look melikey.

    • gli

      they are all by roland…clockwise from rear left: re-201, another re-201, re-301, and re-501

      google them and you’ll find a wealth of info (and inflated ebay auctions)

  • nicnut

    The Roland Space Echo is the shit. This guy has four of them! Anything you put through that will sound great. Reel to reel tape echo with various playback heads.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yes, actually, that was my bet for what they would try to model in the new AIRA line – definitely not what we got in the VT-3.

    • Nashorn

      Maybe they didn’t want to cannibalize the sales of their Boss RE-20 pedal.

  • Miguel Marcos

    Apologies for the following question as I assume most everyone here is
    already well versed. I’m coming from a point of view of lack of

    So the thing is, I work with Ableton Live and record
    mostly live stuff, whether guitar, bass, keyboard, and other,mic’d,
    instruments. I I’m very unfamiliar with drum and bass programming, step
    sequencing, hardward clocking, etc., as well as approaches on coming up
    with this stuff on the fly. Where can I go online or what can I read
    that will get me a step closer to the awesome stuff Andreas does in the
    above video? What’s the best starting point? (On my iPad I’ve got some step sequencing, drum, bass, synth apps that may fit very well, though I assume having physical devices makes things easier to learn.)

    Apologies again for such an ignorant question.

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Nope, that’s an excellent question – and too long to answer in a comment! Worth a separate article. 😉

    • Miguel Marcos

      An article sounds very good to me!

    • gli

      i prefer to learn on my own and learned a lot by listening

      this guy (http://giftedandblessed.bandcamp.com/)
      was the best resource during my research

  • http://soundcloud.com/potatosam PotatoSam

    I’m a fan of all-hardware sets. I love the TM404 album, and this video is great.

    I put up all hardware stuff on my soundcloud at http://soundcloud.com/potatosam if anyone is interested…

  • Carry

    Great post

  • hailey

    Agreeded andres is awsome.. Even though I really love they’re old stuff. But I have a coustom ulit PC I found the spesc from

    Armando Ferreira on youtube and the software I used is the same from when I was a beginner is from http://makemagicmusic.net/ . I wasn’t expecting it to be so great but it really surprised me and produces a clean and solid sound and work very well for my midi controller and pads.. (MPK )

    I’m having much fun producing, I hope this helps some one somehow. Also this guys peter kirn always has great articles! Love em!