Tom Thiel is best known as one half of Sun Electric with Max Loderbauer (and Thomas Fehlmann
). In the mid 90s Sun Electric helped define ambient/chill-out electronic music and sowed the seeds of what would become IDM. Thiel has long been member and technician for Berlin's Ocean Club around Gudrun Gut
and Thomas Fehlmann and provides technical support for friends 2raumwohnung and Meteosound. He also tweaks remixes for friends like Contriva, Rechenzentrum
and 2raumwohnung under the alias TTT. Since 2001, Thiel has been part of BUS, a dub-electronica laptop project with Daniel Meteo
that saw full-length releases on scape.
Thiel (1968) was recording engineer in the northern part of Bavaria doing high profile work for the likes of Marc Almond, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Yello, ELO, The Dolphin Brothers, DAF, Nena, Palais Schaumburg and many more. His first band was Fischermann’s Friend with Stefan Fischer and Max Loderbauer – an early manifestation of Sun Electric in which he was sometime credited as Fan-Tom. The group released two albums on major labels with Thomas Fehlmann as manager before disbanding in 1989. Fehlmann then convinced Thiel and Loderbauer to move to Berlin and form Sun Electric. When their debut single O Locco
(1990) appeared, it was picked up by the Orb's Alex Paterson for his Wau! Mr. Modo label.
In Berlin, Thiel became involved in Ocean Club events, and Fehlmann produced Sun Electric’s debut album, Kitchen
(1993) which was released on Apollo sub R&S. Sun Electric went on tour and played live sets at clubs like Tresor in Berlin. The following year brought a live album recorded at Berlin's Love Parade. Their music was cutting-edge at the time, along with contemporaries Orb, Sun Electric were pioneers of what would later be called ambient electronica and IDM. Their second full-length album was Via Nostra
released in 1999. In the late 90s Thiel and Loderbauer were active under the moniker Sextant (with Willikies Wille) with their remixes appearing on Thomas Fehlmann’s One To Three. Overflow; Ninenine/nd
(1999, Apollo). After Via Nostra
, Thiel and Loderbauer dissolved into other ventures, including experimental live improvisation project “s.e. electric”.
Thiel had a short-lived project in the mid-90s, V.A.L.I.S., producing one or two remixes. In 2001, Thiel teamed up with Daniel Meteo as BUS they produced a cluster of EPs and two albums, Middle of the Road
(scape 2003) and Feelin’ DankMiddle of the Road
(scape 2005). Bus created their electronic dub on two Powerbooks and cultivated collaborations with other musicians like MC Soom-T who, on Middle of the Road
, became less of a guest and more of a temporary project member. BUS did a lot of remixing of artists like The Orb (for Hexxus and Meteosound), Mikkel Metall (Echocord), Dntel (Plug Research), Masha Qrella
(Morr Music), Apparat
(Shitkatapult) and many others.
In the mid 00s, BUS became Meteo/Thiel and began releasing on Daniel Meteo’s experimental Shitkatapult sub, the Meteosound imprint. Sun Electric’s Lost and Found 1998-2000
was released on Shitkatapult in 2007. Thiel is currently working on solo projects.
Appearances:> CTM.09 > SHITKATAPULT presents STRIKE 100 at CTM