May 1, 2008

Tobias Lilja -Time Is On My Side

Artist:Tobias Lilja
Album: Time Is On My Side
Year: 2007
Genre:Dark Ambient,Experimental,

"Time Is on My Side” is Swedish experimental composer Tobias Lilja’s second full-length album and first on n5MD. This follow up to his sonic debut “Ex-leper” (nonresponse) has all the controlled visions of decay as its predecessor but with the addition of Tobias’ desperate yet controlled vocals. These vocals bring to the fore-front a humanistic layer of melody to the tonal blizzard of Tobias’ music yielding new dimensions which are to most, unclassifiable. Said by the artist to be somewhat loosely inspired by some of David Sylvian’s recent work, this comparison though is almost a moot point due to Tobias’ originality in his instrumental composition and his vocal delivery, melody and cadence. “Time Is on My Side” is truly in a world of its own. A teetering balance of contradictions… Frigid yet in some way invitingly warm, desperate with a false sense of hope, other-worldly yet somehow familiar, this balance is where Tobias Lilja excels and is proof of an artist who has found “his” sound. “Time Is on My Side” is one of those rare works of art that comes along to help you through those dark times when everything seems hopeless…


" Swedish musician Tobias Lilja recently completed a two year course in Sound Engineering which resulted in his disillusionment with the clinical sound of electronic music. Where his 2003 debut album “Ex-leper” depicts a stark picture of a town in decay, “Time is on My Side” sees him experiment with adding vocals to his desolate electronic soundscapes. Vocals and electronic music often don’t mix but in Lilja’s case there is a certain hypnotic tone to his voice that helps add an intimate narrative quality to his music. Each track unfolds like a story being told in a half spoken, half sung style that bears an almost folk-like storytelling theme. The often quite lengthy tracks let their tales of time, choices and longing unfold as Lilja relates his tales over icy sonic soundscapes. At times, such as on “Blood Tracer” or “Dreams of Movement”, the combination creates a potent mix of powerful atmosphere and heartfelt lyrical content. The building drones, layers of synth tones and sweeping melodies further enhance the mood of his impassioned lyrics on tracks like “Gas of Forgiveness” or the Coil-esque “To Be Thought Of”. Lilja continues to experiment and expand on his ideas for combining his unique vocal delivery with experimental electronic sensibilities and “Time is on My Side” is a more than excellent first attempt at the concept." (

"Tobias Lilja, a graduate of audio engineering sought to infuse his latest electronic work with more spontaneity and personality via the inclusion of lyrics. Yet the resultant effect is provocative rather than warmth. Imagine Helios arranged by David Sylvian. If 4AD house project, This Mortal Coil, had continued and evolved to this day, it might have sounded something like this. ‘A ruthless beast’ a descendent, perhaps, of Come Here My Love? Like a masterwork of fiction, this is a record that captures the imagination, pulling the listener into its world - a landscape that might have been conjured by Ballard or Shelley; Mervyn Peake or TS Eliot. Alternately dark, yet hopeful, Time Is On My Side is a concept album, whose themes explore choices and longing while reflecting upon the cost in lost opportunities. At 71 minutes, this is not for the jog/shuffle as each consecutive piece builds and develops on those preceding. "(


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