Tonetraeger This Is Not Here

Tonetraeger is Volker Bertlemann (Hauschka, Music A.M.) and Torsten Mauss (Twig) who hail from the industrial town of Dusseldorf, Germany — a city whose music scene has seen some fresh energy lately. Tonetraeger is self described as "T-rock” or techno rock and although that may be an appropriate description in Germany, it is misleading to the Canadian music fan. This techno rock is more dance floor-oriented techno or electro beats with grinding guitar sounds — think T.Raumschmiere or International Deejay Gigolo. Tonetraeger’s emotionally charged music, however, comes across like a mash-up of down-tempo electronica and folky-emo. It’s very clean and nice sounding, even relaxing, not entirely unlike Stereolab, but with a primary school twist for extra cuteness. As much as the idea of Tonetraeger is appealing — a "band” that pairs electronics and live instruments to create avant-pop — they feel more like a band that one would need to see live in order to fully appreciate their sound. On CD, in the context of a home stereo system, their music seems a little contrived and overdone. (Quartermass)