June 6, 2007

Review: Tied + Tickled Trio | Aelita [Streams]

Tied + Tickled Trio -- AelitaThose not familiar with Weilheim, Germany's Tied + Tickled Trio (a band that enters its 13th year in 2007), and may have just heard that it is a jazz-ish offshoot of German electropop superheroes The Notwist, are in for a surprise when they listen to Aelita. In fact, as we're most familiar with T+TT's superlative release EA1 EA2, a compelling set of tunes driven by reed instruments and dub, we were a bit surprised ourselves (we've only recently scored the rest of the Trio's recordings via our EMusic subscription). That's because Aelita, which was recorded, arranged and mixed in less than a week, leaves the band's jazzist (or anti-jazzist, as the band's bio prefers) in the past.

While Tied + Tickled Trio was developed with the intention of working in a "universe" separate from that of The Notwist (although brothers Micha and Markus Acher are primary members of both acts), it seems easy to identify the crux where the two bands meet: a devotion to minimalist electronics. But that is only part of T+TT's game plan here. Aelita carries not far beneath an outwardly sterile surface twin currents of dusty goth and sweet, smoky dub. Three compositions share the duties of the title track ("Aelita 1," "Aelita 2" and, yes, "Aelita 3"), but the entire set ebbs and flows as a single entity melding gothic and Christmas-y chimes, reedy drones and rhythms that sleepily vacillate between a klezmerized bounce and a dub pulse. And so Tied + Tickled Trio has crafted a completely winning set of tunes that confidently nods into and out of the headspaces frequented by electrodub unit Pole or, at times, Cecille Schott's dreamy Colleen.

Morr Music will release Aelita June 19; the band has a handful of live dates booked in its native Germany throughout the summer and into the fall, which we've listed below. In the meantime, you can stream three tracks from Aelita by entering the Morr Music site, clicking on the album cover for the record and then clicking "listen!" We think our friends at Toolshed will be promoting the record in the future, so we're hoping we'll get an MP3 to offer, particularly if it is the excellent late-night head-nodder "Tamaghis."

Tied + Tickled Trio -- Aelita
[pre-order Aelita from Parasol here]

Tied + Tickled Trio: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

07.20 -- Jena, Germany -- Kassablanca
09.14 -- Leverkusen -- Sensenhammer
09.28 -- Hamburg, Germany -- Fabrik
09.29 -- Berlin, Germany -- Festsaal Kreuzberg


pgwp said...

Can't wait to hear this record. As much as I loved Neon Golden, it turns out that most of the T+TT discography has stayed in heavy rotation over the course of the years.

EA1 EA2 is a great record, but check out Observing Systems. That is their pinnacle so far.

jbreitling said...

Observing Systems is one of the titles I picked up from EMusic. Am looking forward to spending time with it when I'm on vacation at the end of the month.