When asked to describe his fourth album, “9 Pieces”, producer and multi-instrumentalist Thylacine often compares it to a puzzle. Not because the music’s cryptic in any way, but rather because the album collects tracks that were created independently from each other, inspired by the different places the producer visited during the past few years. It takes listeners on a trip from Norway’s frozen sea to the Bosphorus’s shores, with synthesizers meeting saxophone, piano, and other traditional instruments to paint varied landscapes. In assembling the puzzle pieces, however, a picture does emerge; a delicate and danceable journey that’s consistent with a producer that’s always been moved by adventure and curiosity.
Thylacine has always enjoyed a challenge. His entry into music came through the saxophone, but the musician soon became passionate about all kinds of sounds, and his varied interests would lead him to become a seasoned multi-instrumentalist. It was during his studies in Fine Arts that he first began experimenting with electronic music, combining the limitless world of sound production with the warm sounds of saxophone and baglama. During those first few years, his creative process was marred by the struggles of perfectionism; sometimes it would take him two hours to write a track whilst at other times it could take two weeks for inspiration to arrive. Thylacine realized early on that for him music-making is all about context. Moments of solitude and peace, such as those he’d encountered on train journeys became a sort of creative bubble for the producer. Travels opened his mind, and the destinations he’d arrive in would start leaving their marks on his sound.
It’s this wandering and adventurous spirit that stimulates the young musician and inspires him to consider each of his projects as an experience in its own right. His first albums were all recorded on the road – either on board the Trans Siberian (Transsiberian), the Argentinian roads (Roads Vol.1), or in the Faroe Islands (Roads Vol.2). His 2020 album, Timeless, sees him climbing some of the most significant musical peaks, from the repertoires of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Satie, revisiting and reinterpreting scores just as one would explore new territories. For “9 Pieces” however, the musician turns to time itself as his prime material, looking back at the last four years to contemplate the past with fresh eyes.
As a collection of the producer’s latest adventures; some of the tracks on “9 pieces” have already been published whilst other gems were unearthed from old hard drives. The itinerary is scattered rather than linear, but all the richer for it. Synthesizers, field recordings, and traditional instruments act as lanterns in a nocturnal exploration. You hear the crashing of Norway’s icy waters (“Polar”) as well as the Turkish baglama, recorded in the troglodyte caves of Anatolia (“Anatolia”). While the organ of Roi Soleil chapel (“Versailles”) chimes majestically, the whistle of a night train between Paris and Nice (“Night Train”) shines through faintly. On “War Dance”, listeners can witness the prophetic dance of Ukrainian tanks in a clip produced five years ago, anticipating the drama of the current battleground. In this opus track with industrial accents, both menacing and disturbing, Thylacine combines the aerial melodies of Moderat, the solar touch of Nicola Cruz, and the techno power of Paul Kalkbrenner.
“9 Pieces” collects special experiences and in turn is a beautiful collector’s item. The album’s vinyl conveys the idea of a puzzle through a series of beautiful and minimalist artworks. The music continues to dive into Thylacine’s universe, where synths, plug-ins, saxophones, and flutes blend seamlessly. The album confirms that in addition to their undeniable intensity, the magic of Thylacine’s songs lies in their stories. “9 Pieces” comes out on October 21st on Intuitive Records.