Based in Vienna, Austria, where at the turn of the millennium experimental electronica went through a multiplication process, Thilges focuses on two elements to stir its music away from the countless producers active in the city. First, its members rely solely on analog modular synthesizers to produce their sounds, emphasizing the unstable, almost-impossible-to-reproduce nature of their performances. Second, they embed the music in alternative settings, contextualizing their actions in various forms of installation and performance art.
In September 1996, Nik Hummer, Armin Steiner and “Gammon” decided to form Thilges 3 after an adhoc improvisational encounter. The outlines of the group’s philosophy were gradually implemented and soon they began to perform in art spaces around Austria and a few years later Germany and The Netherlands. Each performance is conceived for the space where it is hosted, taking into account the architecture of the room. The trio used a quadrophonic PA system and usually perform in an inconspicuous location instead of an elevated stage, encouraging the audience to investigate the space. The sine waves and rhythmic loops of the analog synthesizers appear to change as one moves in different directions. Noteworthy performances have included Mak, where a military orchestra performed in one room as the trio transformed and polluted the sounds in another, and Rosner, where an ice sculpture was left to melt during the concert.
The uniqueness of these happenings called for documentation and in late 1999 Thilges 3 inaugurated with Hackerbrücke a series of ten live 3” CD EPs. The first full-length album, Die offene Gesellschaft, came out on Staubgold in October 2002. The trio has appeared at the Ars Electronica festival in 2001 and at Phonotaktik 2002.