Here is the interview with Ticon, famous electronic music band from Sweden which i have difficulties to categorize with a specific music genre even though i listen them since the year 2000 or so, they have it all.
Through next couple of questions we’ll go through story Ticon guys prepared for us.
Hi there guys. Just to get things started, could you start out with a short introduction about who’s behind the Ticon project?
- We are Filip Mardberg and Fredrik Gilenholt – 30 years of age and around 60 combined We have our base in Malmö, Sweden which also houses our studio and office.
Tell me a little bit about your musical development: What did you listen to as kids and what drew you to electronic music in the first place?
- We met through Fredrik’s younger brother, who went to school with me (Filip) back in 1995. Fredrik was listening a lot to hardtrance and techno which was totally new for me. We became friends relatively quickly since this is a small town and any “odd” music-directions and lifestyles were not greeted with the best of respect. Fredrik also played around with an Amiga 500 and a 5 channel tracker sampling sequencer program and one day we started to make a track together. I remember that we had to put the kick in the left speaker and the bass sound in the right since there were not sufficient channels to house all the sounds..haha.
And about the production side of things – why did that start?
- I don’t know why we started. As I said, Fredrik was already playing around on an Amiga and it felt like the right thing to do. After the first session we immediately set up 2 days a week to make some new stuff. After some years this had grown to 4-5 days a week and today it’s our work and passion. In the first years we stayed in Fredrik’s house, but in 2001 we hired a proper studio location.
What was your first big breakthrough would you say?
- We have been producing under many names in the past, but it was not until the Malmö based label Digital Structures, which was run by Peter, Markus and Sebastian (former known as Son Kite, but now produces under the name Minilogue). They asked us if we were willing to try and make something for their labeland they gave us a bunch of techno tracks. We made 4 tracks in 4 days under the name Ticon and to our surprise they were signed and both singles sold out in no time. Then we made our first album, and after that things have just been going up.
You started out making harder, psychedelic trance music, but in later years your sound has certainly become slower and more house-inspired. How do you define your music? And what is its purpose?
- It is really hard to analyze your own music – we only follow our hearts and make music that we enjoy. Not only to dance to, but also listen to and produce. Every album we make is quite different than the previous one, since we get inspired really easy. I believe this is why we still enjoy making music together – nothing gets boring if you have an open mind, ears and eyes! The “slower” music nowadays is only a natural progression for us. I hope it’s not because we’re getting old – haha!
There were already some electro, breaks and 80’s elements on your 2003-album “Aero”, so you can saythat the album was a bit on the forefront of the development the progressive scene took in the following years. Are you consciously trying to go “outside the genre-boxes” in terms of making music, or is itsomething that just comes naturally?
- No idea. We only make music that we think is good in the moment we make it – there’s no plan to make “outside the box” songs. Things just happen due to the influences we are into at that time. Sometimes it can be a bit tricky: one week we can produce a fast techno track, and within 5 days we don’t like fast techno anymore and we throw it away and start on a house track instead. But in the end this is also what keeps us going – never looking back
I think you always had some slightly goofy elements on your tracks and albums. From the track-names, some of the lyrics and even full spoof-tracks like “Bonanza” and the secret track on “Aero”. What’s the background for this?
- We like to think of our work as fun and goofy. Music needs charm and humor – otherwise it would be dulland gray. The best music we make is made when we have fun in the studio and we just play around – no strings attached so to speak. You need to take some risks and do whatever comes to mind so that you don’ tfall into the production loop of boring, serious music…. Bla bla bla i don’t even know what that means
Looking back, which of your tracks and/or albums are you most proud of? Also – I guess some people still request that you play some of your older, harder stuff. How do you feel about that? Do you still play some of your old tracks in the original versions or maybe new re-edits in your livesets?
- We don’t have an album that we have favored. When we have finished working on a track we straight away start working on some new material – we never look back and we always play the newest material in our live sets to test tracks and techniques in unfinished tracks. We never do gigs with only older music since looking forward is much more inspiring than looking back. Some older songs we still play at times, but only in new live-versions. Since we play a lot of live sets we tend to change tracks a lot, so we don’t get tired of working on stage…
You’ve played in practically all corners of the world (except for maybe the Arctic and Antarctica) and released 4 album – how do you keep motivated and inspired?
- Music is our way of life – without it we would be lost. There’s no greater feeling than when you get just the right feeling in a track that you are making, then playing it out live and get a good response. That’s what keeps us motivated.
Let’s focus on your new stuff; Can you tell something about your new, 5th album?
- The work on this album “I love you, who are you” has been going on for almost two and a half year so it’s going to be quite an emotional rollercoaster. The music that we made 2 years ago is quite different from the stuff we’re producing today, but that is a good thing in an album I believe. Albums should (in our opinion) be fun and inspiring to listen to, and we feel that we have accomplished that. The focus lies on club oriented songs, less “commercial” than our previous album and perhaps also more DJ friendly. So how to describe your work in letters? Hmmm… there’s a kick and a bass, a high hat and stuff like that
This is also the first album you are set to release on Iboga Records, even though you’ve had a few tracks featured on the label over the years. Why did you choose Iboga Records for the new album?
- We felt that we wanted to try something new and we have been friends with the label-managers Emok and Banel for many years, so it was a natural decision for us. Iboga Records has also grown on the international market, and the guys are definitely very enthusiastic – it is inspiring to work with them!
As far as other artists go, who and what are you listening to at the moment?
- We listen to anything that has emotion and joy. Fred is into Frank Sinatra and Balkan music and I’m personally into progressive house and tech house, but that will probably change soon enough. We tend to change what we listen to every month.
Where do you see the sound in “the scene” heading?
- The great thing about the electronic scene is that one cannot predict where it is going. There’s a lot of new techniques being developed and the development away from the old, expensive midi-based studios has given room for the computer based studio with plugins and software-synths. The great thing about this,is that almost everyone with an interest can start making music in his or her bedroom and that has, in ouropinion, led to a rise in popularity of electronic music. The downside is, that in recent years the main focus has been on the production rather than warmth and feeling in the techno scene. But in general I believethat we have a bright and interesting period in the scene ahead of us.
And finally – are there still new musical things you want to explore under the umbrella of Ticon, or perhaps a new venture?
- We never stop exploring – every week there is something new to discover. So hopefully many new adventures are still to come
I Love You, Who Are You album Soundcloud clips:
Blow My Horn:
The Glue ( editors favorite <3 ):