Brussels-based TUKAN performed at Belgium’s Dour Festival with a groove-inspired electro jazz set. While the band itself is fairly new, its experienced members are pushing it beyond the Belgian scene. TUKAN shares their journey along with what’s to come in their upcoming album in a Q&A below.

How did TUKAN start?

The band began during the COVID lockdown. Throughout that time we entered and won the Concours-Circuit contest. The first EP was released after the first wave. We were then finally able to perform around Belgium and abroad for a full year. With all this momentum, our debut album, Atoll, is due out at the end of November 2022.

What got you going during and after lockdown?

This isn’t our first project together. We have over 8 years of experience in other bands. The only new addition to TUKAN came with our drummer. Since we’ve been active in the Belgian scene for a while, it’s been easy to get out there. We’ve performed with bands like ECHT!, and found a home for ourselves at the Brussels venue, Volta. It’s been a great place for us to experiment and practice.

Why the focus on experimental jazz?

The inspiration comes from studying jazz at the Jazz Studio in Antwerp. It’s also a genre we all connect with, and we look to local acts like STUFF as a source of inspiration. Being based in Brussels, the city lends itself to experimentation with the genre. There’s a lot of likeminded musicians around us doing similar things which helps us grow as a band.

Where did the tropical vibe originate?

Our tropical aesthetic naturally came together. We liked the name TUKAN and everything else seemed to fit, including the name of our upcoming album. The whole vibe allows us to express our eclectic style which is changing and evolving.

Describe what to expect on your new album

The new album, and upcoming tracks, pushes our music towards a more electronic sound. Influences for this shift include Aphex Twin, Bad Bad Not Good, Floating Points, Squarepusher. We also have an upcoming tour with Madmadmad, who has an electronic vibe we find interesting. As we evolve, our music style will keep a mix between rock + instrumental, with lightness of jazz + electronic beats.

Aside from Dour, where else has TUKAN performed?

We’ve received a lot of international attention lately. We recently performed at MENT Festival in Ljubljana, did a show in Berlin, and are heading to Spain in September. Our management company, Magma, has provided a good soil for us to grow in this sense.