This ticktock article was written by Fraisia Dunn, a Gigsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson
ticktock is the name of Sebastian Zieler who works with a number of other musicians to make up this project. Together they make pleasingly blippy, bleepy, glitchy pop.
‘Fault lines’ starts with ‘Opt In Opt Out Opt Not’. It opens with a deep and ominous electronic melody that is reminiscent of Bach’s ‘Staccato en Fugue’. A drone-like monotonous vocal line comes in with rhythmic poetic lyrics whilst a higher melody line floats over the top of it all as the beat gets crunchier. The busy noise cuts out to reveal the lyric “My little brother died”. The vocal line is sung by ticktock and a female vocalist, suggesting a multi-faceted experience that we are invited to get absorbed in, but are not able to fully comprehend.
ticktock’s name suggests a marching rhythm and that metronomic sound is evident in the second track, ‘Off the Map’. It comes in the form of a bleep then snare, bleep then snare. The opening lyric “The devil is in the detail, honey” is immediately intriguing. The song points towards a suspicion that his lover is having an affair. The composition becomes beautifully interwoven, complex and yet still minimal. There is a Scandinavian sparseness that is somehow also very deep and full, not unlike the work of fellow Scandinavian, Farao.
‘Pastel Clouds’ is a weirdly artificial, almost super-human investigation of the sexy side of a relationship. The slow, heartbeat and swagger of sound suggest a sultry, sumptuous experience. The rattles and crackles are the electricity in the tryst.
A surprisingly standard pop melody opens ‘Stripped of Reuptake Inhibitions’. The rich voice of Sebastian swoops us into a world of big questions and uncertainty. There are hints of MGMT here, and the track has some anthemic moments. The world zooms in and out of view as the stereo sweeps from left and right before building to a big end.
The final track,’ Everything Free and Perfect Forever’ hints at an unobtainable utopia in its title and the content seems to be about the drug of love. This has almost a dub reggae vibe with the trippy, slow-mo reverberating rhythm, bubbling and popping into eternity. The floaty vocal rides over; “you could be on this forever and ever and it wouldn’t cost a dime”.
As the growl drones out, there is no doubt that there is something truly new about ticktock’s bleepy alien-like compositions, musing on existentialism and life.
‘Fault lines’ is out on December 4 on The Big Oil Recording Company