It’s all in the attitude. The silent majority of post-rock, electronic and jazz musicians are united in their determination to give nothing away beyond what they record. No vulgar rock’n’showbiz confessions round these parts: just take them as they sound or fuck off. Basically.
Which makes a cultural collision of these three frequently intellectually and emotionally satisfying genres all the more inevitable. Hence the Tied + Tickled Trio, a six-piece (oh yes) of assorted horns and equipment based somewhere near Munich. Dedicated followers of this sort of thing should’ve come across The Notwist, recent touring mates of [a]Stereolab[/a], by now. Tied + Tickled Trio are, in essence, their avant-garde wing, where the singer and guitars are lost and saxophones fly free to alarm those of a nervous disposition over the top of a busy throb of clicks and glitches.
Actually, it’s terrific. The closest reference point is Tortoise’s own noodle faction, Isotope 217 – though T+TT mercifully opt for a cooler, more elegant jazz school than Isotope’s often wearying love of skronky fusion. You can hear, in the likes of ‘Van Brunt’, that they’ve minted a very special hybrid of invention and classicism. And, as Johannes Enders launches into the occasional brief, impeccable tenor solo, you can even mention with a reasonably straight face that this, their second album, is notable for its, well, [I]beautiful playing[/I]. Not something you can say about Slipknot – for better or worse.