8 Songs, 51 Minutes


About Thilges 3

Based in Vienna, Austria, where at the turn of the millennium experimental electronica went through a multiplication process, the trio Thilges 3 focused on two elements to stir its music away from the countless producers active in the city. First, its members rely solely on analog modular synthesizers to produce their sounds, emphasizing the unstable, almost-impossible-to-reproduce nature of their performances. Second, they embed the music in alternative settings, contextualizing their actions in various forms of installation and performance art. In that regard, they stand close to fellow Austrians Fon or the Swedish duo Sons of God (although the theatrical element is never that developed).

In September 1996, Nik Hummer, Armin Steiner, and "Gammon" decided to form Thilges 3 after an ad hoc improvisational encounter. The outlines of the group's philosophy were gradually implemented and soon they began to perform in art spaces around Austria, and Germany and the Netherlands a few years later. Each performance is conceived for the space where it is hosted, taking into account the architecture of the room. The trio uses a quadrophonic PA system and usually performs in an inconspicuous location instead of an elevated stage, encouraging the audience to investigate the space. The sine waves and rhythmic loops of the analog synthesizers appear to change as one moves in different directions. Noteworthy performances have included Mak, where a military orchestra performed in one room as the trio transformed and polluted the sounds in another, and Rosner, where an ice sculpture was left to melt during the concert.

The uniqueness of these happenings called for documentation, and in late 1999, Thilges 3's Hackerbrücke was released as a series of ten live 3" CD EPs. Available by subscription from the group, the series stretched into 2003 and has attracted attention from avant-garde critics and audiences. The label Staalplaat was the first to extend an invitation to the trio, leading to the release of the EP Polka in 2001. The first full-length album, Die Offene Gesellschaft, came out on Staubgold in October 2002. The trio has appeared at the Ars Electronica festival in 2001 and at Phonotaktik 2002. ~ François Couture