Part-Danish, and nominal part-English citizen, Sebastian Zieler (ticktock) is ready to release his latest EP. Cryptically entitled ‘TCOLT EP’, this is the product of long sessions spent drawing sound with MS Paint-looking audio-imaging software, live recording and technical playfulness. The result is immediate, but otherworldly - like pop conceived of elsewhere.
Eager listening, from obscure DIY-punk to minimal techno to Destiny's Child (just listen to ‘Would You Look At God Go!’) the influences are many and varied, but no matter the technical approach, and no matter what genres and specific artists may be referenced sonically, the red thread in ticktock's music is an interest in the world: a profoundly enamoured and confused longing that permeates the EP from start to finish.
As an example, standout track ‘A- A- A’ started off as what Zieler describes as a “botched attempt at making two-step” and immediately morphed into some sort of very slow, fragmented and morose afro-beat, with the syncopated beats and languid basslines serving as a skeleton for an intensely direct and beautiful song, far from the dark, skittish ambience of its original point of reference.
‘TCOLT EP’ is strewn with charming synth based melodies drenched in melancholy, and compelling vocals which are both exciting and enthralling. From the lethargic and dreamy ‘A-A-A’, to the minimal yet prominent synth driven self-built canticle ‘I W R D T S Y O’, both the EP and Zieler experiment with a number of different soundscapes each more captivating than the last. Zieler says that, “The EP is about endings and what comes after - both privately, about love, and a more general sense; an apocalyptic idea, but not in a particularly dark way. More in a liberating sense.”
Zieler took up the moniker ‘ticktock’ because of a “life-long fascination and frustration with time”, and with the ‘TCOLT EP’ clocking in at just over 14 minutes you’ll find yourself frustrated that it was all over so soon, and wondering what’s coming next.