T’iju T’iju

Liner Notes

It’s quite miraculous that the dragon is still alive contains the first recordings Jochem van Tol has done by his lonesome, given that he has a body of work that dates all the way back to 2007. If there is one common denominator in Jochem’s work, it is that it always has a giddy ‘what’s next?’ - energy to it, each note bending in anticipation to the next. Usually, he has done that in a reciprocal environment with like-minded musical peers. Even in more song-oriented groups like SOON and Silverbones, you never felt the music was cast-iron in its composition, and more like a pile of leaves that could be swept away any minute by a gust of wind.

Jochem’s work with the renowned The Paper Ensemble has shown audiences that music is always simmering beneath sounds of everyday life, like a phantom appendage waiting to be revealed. T’iju T’iju, meanwhile, explores the relationship between sound and time in a more playful way. It’s significant to note that in many of his bands, Jochem performs the drums, which I reckon has played a part in him avidly debunking the act of keeping time; the myriad ways humankind has developed all kinds of metrics to capture our perception of it.

It feels playful to name the project after his spirit animal, the grasshopper, a creature who keeps time instinctively without being aware of time’s existence. Though the dragon is still alive consists of just two tracks, the music itself feels non-linear, like a fully realized environment to endlessly explore and get lost in. It’s a place where modern electronic sounds can descend into the primordial, and organic melodies rouse into blissful sentience. The possibilities are, indeed, endless.

– Jasper Willems

Portrait by
Isolde Woudstra