asmus tietchens s/d

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I'm a longtime fan. Remember finding a copy of 'in die nacht' in 1989, seeing it was on the same record label as Cluster, buying the thing... and just being happy about the silly melodies and warped, primitive pop production. then I found a copy of 'sinkende schwimmer'; and had my head twisted off. Profoundly abstracted & processed acoustic sounds; acoustic but the referent largely lost, and no 'electronic music' structures or sounds either, not much referents of any kind really, just pure form. The first reaction was revulsion, then about a year later, I put it on again: total immersion.

Very happy about the new reissue series on Die Stadt giving the Wire a reason to write about him, though he certainly deserves more than a one page soundbite... for now just clocking in with favorites, it's somewhat difficult to write about the music itself.

My favorite of all time is the first collaboration with Arcane Device, 'dbl:fdbk'. Tietchens turns his filters loose on a series of Myers' improvisations. The range of this record is incredible. It's an absolute classic. (the later ones also have moments but don't feel as coherent as this one).

The three 'Seuchengebiete' records focus on recordings of water. Mostly. Probably. Rolling atmospherics, certainly his best records to fall asleep to and set a consistent consistently lost in.

'Notturno' is a collection of piano studies. Starts with still recognizable fragments to draw you in, angular bursts of sound that very quickly detach from the source. Extremely impressive old school concrete work.

I don't much like any vidna obmana, but his first collaboration with tietchens is basically a tietchens solo record, save the last track, which is actually quite nice. Menacing swarming fields gently gaining on you. 'Eisgang' is another excellent long drone record, great for nighttime. I also like 'das fest ist zu ende', a radical remix record of the garage pop bands tietchens was in during the 60's.

I'm also huge on the Sky pop period. His sense of melody is warped and very catchy. Felix Kubin with an added layer of menace. The best one is 'Spat Europa', but 'Biotop' is groovy too. I think the recent 'Adventures in Sound / Nachtstuke' might not be the best introduction, though it's certainly interesting.

ok watch this thread sink to the bottom.

jl, Wednesday, 18 June 2003 04:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

actually i think he spoils the kontakte de junglige or whatever. i dunno tho' maybe all his other stuff is great

bob snoom, Wednesday, 18 June 2003 12:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Very happy about the new reissue series -- when is Spat Europa supposed to come out? Also funny you mention Felix Kubin, because I also kind of associate Tietchens' early 80s stuff with him.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 18 June 2003 12:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, and please destroy all that gamma/alpha/beta menge stuff.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 18 June 2003 12:28 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I agree that there's been a recent spate of stuff that seems to run a bit on auto-pilot. That's sort of why I started this thread, to focus on the earlier work; the Menge series isn't terribly compelling, and the collaborations with Koner are nice for live collaborations but not for repeat listening. Also iffy: Glimmen, the two later double-disc vidna obmana remix collaborations, Ptomaine. Not bad, just not exceptional. I've got about 20 albums, I only listed my favorites...

Kubin and Tietchens are friends, you can certainly hear the elder's influence from the Sky albums. Felix and I had a fueled conversation about our favorite records once, 'Spat Europa' is certainly the most concentrated place to start... they're releasing one new album every 3-4 months, so 'Biotop' is next, then 'Spat Europa'... hopefully by the end of the year. I've still never heard 'Formen Letzer Hausmusik', so that's the one I'm hyped on...

jl, Wednesday, 18 June 2003 18:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

What's the one he did with his dripping sink? I was actually curious about that. I have wondered about him for a while, but not really heard anything.

Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 18 June 2003 21:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'Seuchengebiete' 1-3 are the dedicated water studies, but he feeds those drips into his filterbank on more than a couple of records.

so bad to type this much. dayquil running amok.

jl, Wednesday, 18 June 2003 22:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
I just got the Kapotte Muziek. Hard to describe, but in the best way. First track almosts sounds like Joe Colley's clay experiments. You remember in the Last Starfighter when Alex's replacement robot gets distortion in his ear because of the Zan-Do-Zan bounty hunter? Maybe like that too.

Not really anything like how I remember Biotop sounding, but I only heard that once. I found it in Gnasher's in Bath, but didn't buy it for some reason. Gah!!!

ZOT! (davidcorp), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 20:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Biotop is the happier one, melodies are demented but spiffy. Spat-Europa is much, much darker and serious, getting your brood cloned -- both total electro-pop classics, yay

Been hearing a lot of the early albums as die stadt reissues them. The first one, adventures in sound / nachtstucke -- the first disc is a compilation of 60's & 70's abstract experiments: interesting, but fragmented -- doesn't hold as an album -- good to have, but not to start with. the second disc was his official debut -- same layered minimoog chords & melodies as he'd use on the next four records for Sky, but without the drum machine. alien and good.

I'd never heard Formen Letzer Hausmusik, his return to abstract form for Nurse With Wound's label. I can see why people were impressed, but I think his better stuff was still to come.

Seuchengebiete is great, three long studies of dripping water; more loop delay-oriented and not as diverse as the later Seuchengebiete 2 (which is a serious masterpiece), but still great.

cons of the die stadt reissues: THOSE BORING UNIFORM COVERS. it's nice to have the original album art fold out on the inside, and I know it's in keeping with his character, but argh. Also, the CD spines slowly spelling out his name A-S-M-U-S is fine, but I didn't re-buy in die nacht ('M') or litia ('U') & now I've got a rude word staring at me from the shelf

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 22:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Do search for Marches Funebres, long pieces layering simple motifs subtly falling in & out of sync. Hypnotic & oppressive! Turns out I bought this vinyl at the Staalplaat shop in 89. Does anyone know if the Oude Kerk coffeeshop still exist ?

cough (blunt), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 23:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Nachtstücke (1980) = probably my favorite Tietchens album
dark ambient keyboard

UNDINE from Musik im Schatten cassette = probably my favorite Tietchens track
feels like you're falling through a warp zone

I also enjoy the Club of Rome release, it's pretty sinister.

Chris Bee (Cee Bee), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 02:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I guess there aren't too many fans of this kind of thing on ILM

Chris Bee (Cee Bee), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 02:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

never trust a thread over 50 posts

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 02:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the three Hematic Sunsets lps (it's an anagram of Asmus's name) are brilliant--the early Sky-period mixed w/ a very weird kitsch-y soundtrack sensibility. the third one has "guests" like Michael Rother and Felix Kubin. very odd, very engaging. i think they're vinyl-only, on his own label. great covers, too.

nerve pylon (flat_of_angles), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 03:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

never trust a thread over 50 posts


Aus Freude Am Elend just blows my mind every time, I am also quite partial to Geboren Um Zu Dienen. I agree on the dubious quality of Glimmen. I need to hear more of this stuff.

I also like the track he did on that Cluster album, can't recall the name.

sleeve (sleeve), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 03:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Milton Parker, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 19:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Anyone else give a listen to the recent Vinyl on Demand box? Too pricey for me to buy, but it was very engaging listening throughout.

ian, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yeah, i got talked into a copy by C Fusetron ... ultra nice

sexyDancer, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i was tempted but too poor. what kind of material is on that?

resolved, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

early tape releases. generally very minimal stuff.

ian, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:25 (eleven years ago) Permalink

vinyl versions of some early cassette releases. cool minimalist packaging. long slabs of minimal sequencer eternity. Kinda in the vein of Monoton.

sexyDancer, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

it is futuremusic, today.

ian, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I have not heard that box but the 2008 lineup for that label (VOD) is unbeatable, I caved and got a subscription. Recent Legendary Pink Dots box is also fine.

sleeve, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Pink Dots box was SURPRISINGLY excellent. Really nice kinda spooky ambient stuff which reminded me, for some reason... of... the cocteau twins? sort of. i haven't listened to the whole thing.

Controlled Bleeding box has a nice live collaboration with Borbegotmagus on it!

sorry, more tietchens less sVOD.

ian, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yeah, not to derail.

other Tietchens I would like to hear: the E/U LP/7", Seuchengebiete, Notturno.

other than Menge series releases and collaborations it looks like only sporadic stuff over the last few years in terms of new releases.

sleeve, Tuesday, 4 December 2007 22:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

this year's collaboration with Richard Chartier is the one to get of the recents

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 00:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

maybe so, but i'm excited for the new Swill Radio release, and, especially, the 4th Hematic Sunsets lp!!

nerve_pylon, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 01:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Swill Radio! What a great label. I'd heard about the Tietchens LP, do you know when the record is due out? Soon?

ian, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 03:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Milton is correct, I listened to the Tietchens/Chartier collaboration the other day and it is fantastic, highly recommended.

Plus, Tietchens collects cigarettes. How cool is that?

Drew Daniel, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 04:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

right, I'd forgotten about the Documentary we saw that interviews him. my german isn't that good, trying to follow him talking about emptiness or something and when I realized that the bookshelves on the wall behind him didn't contain books but instead a shockingly huge and varied collection of cigarette cartons, I lost the plot completely

Milton Parker, Wednesday, 5 December 2007 06:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

wow, In Die Nacht is really cool. Clearly I need to hear more of the Sky era. I love how he distorts voices until they sound like a choir of aliens. Also this record has bubbly electro rhythm.

sleeve, Friday, 28 December 2007 19:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I can't remember what the song on my mp3 player is called. Is good.

I know, right?, Friday, 28 December 2007 19:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

the box on Vinyl On Demand is fucking amazing, white vinyl too=amazinger

rizzx, Friday, 28 December 2007 21:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

so i'm really liking the swill radio lp (teils teils). one side long piece of crackle rhythms with creeping synth parts underneath, three shorter (well, 8 mins-ish) industrial ambient pieces on the flip. very clearly recorded, and strangely relaxing (considering the superficially uncomfortable nature of some of the sounds used)

this is my first real exposure to tietchens. can someone more familiar with his works put it into context with the rest of his discography?

resolved, Tuesday, 22 January 2008 21:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

TWENTY SIX DOLLARS for the new Aus Freude Am Elend CD?!?!?

Fuck you, exchange rate. I wait years for this (my fave of his) to be reissued and now this.

sleeve, Sunday, 4 May 2008 19:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Sleeve, did you invest in the Tietchens box on VOD? I crave that motherfucker like a cat craves ikura.

ian, Sunday, 4 May 2008 20:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

no although it sure is tempting. I could easily spend $500 that I don't have on the back catalog of that label.

also: hey Die Stadt, what happened to putting 2 releases on each disc and/or bonus tracks from comps? surely something from the era that would have fit on this disc hasn't been digitized yet.

sleeve, Sunday, 4 May 2008 20:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

We received this yesterday evening, #112/300. I haven't had a chance to look at the prints yet, but I like the tracks.

Das Aqualungenlied (doo dah), Tuesday, 8 January 2013 15:14 (six years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Asmus Tietchens UK tour

What fresh Hel is this? (doo dah), Sunday, 21 April 2013 21:59 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

thick as thieves, those two

there's evidently a half-completed Roedelius/Tietchens record from the late 70's, here's to them finishing it

Milton Parker, Monday, 24 June 2013 18:42 (five years ago) Permalink

great interview! thanks, Milton.

sleeve, Monday, 24 June 2013 19:11 (five years ago) Permalink


Talking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) Blues (doo dah), Monday, 24 June 2013 19:19 (five years ago) Permalink

great interview! Asmus Tiechens doesn't dance shocker! :)

nerve_pylon, Monday, 24 June 2013 19:39 (five years ago) Permalink

wonderful interview but I happened to follow a link to a madlib interview and :o

M: I don’t know. I don’t even know if I’m ready to hear it. There’s a lot of music I’ve done that’s gone unreleased: dubstep, synthesizer records, all types of different things, Cluster-like and beyond. I would say I’ve released around thirty percent of the music I’ve created.

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, 24 June 2013 19:57 (five years ago) Permalink

who knew germans could be so funny

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 24 June 2013 19:58 (five years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

"Asmus Tietchens has a piece in the August issue of The Wire magazine. It is in their Epiphanies series (always the last page) and relates the story how Tietchens was ultimately driven to making music by his fanatic adoration of The Shadows in his youth."


Talking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) Blues (doo dah), Wednesday, 17 July 2013 23:25 (five years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

playing the tietchens/moebius lp since sean booth of autechre repped for it in that interview

don't think i have heard any tietchens since 2004? or something like that, and even less well acquainted with recent moebius

Nilmar (Nilmar Honorato da Silva), Saturday, 9 November 2013 23:18 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

VOD box set is a total revelation... here's something I wrote to a friend.

Hi E***,

Since you are probably one of the only people I know who cares, allow me to rave about that Tietchens box set.

What really blew my mind about that thing was that the tapes were all made BEFORE his 4 records on Sky, I always had a fairly clear line in my head that went "working with Cluster & Eno" to "albums on Sky" to "weird alien industrial genius", but those 4 tapes have all of the blueprints/forerunners of his "later" weird period, even down to some of the same song titles. Incredible document there, I have done some deep listening twice now and remain amazed.

sleeve, Saturday, 18 January 2014 01:29 (five years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

finally sprung for the Aus Freude Am Elend reissue, so good. are there other ones with voice/vocal source material that is this prominent in the mix?

sleeve, Thursday, 31 July 2014 00:08 (four years ago) Permalink

that one's pretty special. there's the three 'Von Mund Zu Mund' eps, which are great but it doesn't have the same messed up, highly charged focus on strict source material.

shoulda sprung for that VOD box.

Milton Parker, Thursday, 31 July 2014 00:35 (four years ago) Permalink

they did a great job choosing these two bonus tracks, they sound very much like the LP

sleeve, Thursday, 31 July 2014 00:50 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

I'm getting back into these reissues, slowly, very amusing that this:

they're releasing one new album every 3-4 months

has stalled out 14 years later at (I think) #15 out of 18. I'm trying to get ones from around the same late-80's period, so I got Marches Funebres, turns out the liner notes are in German but translated on Die Stadt's website, I am putting them here for reference.

The central piece on MARCHES FUNEBRES is »Grünschattiger Nachmittag«. Work on the composition began as early as 1979. A rough sketch of these first steps utilizing analogue rhythm machine and Minimoog is included as the bonus track on this disc. It became obvious that »Grünschattiger Nachmittag« was impossible to realize on the Fairlight CMI. It took nine years for the equipment at Audiplex Studios to match the technical standards needed for the recording of the orchestral version of the piece as it was originally intended. Aided by my teacher and mentor Okko Bekker and equipped with numerous samplers and a sophisticated music software the piece was finally realized in 1988 after several weeks' hard work. The mockers would have it that I tried to have Django dancing the Bolero. Maybe they were half right. As you know, I am not not a friend of soft entertaining sounds but if it has to be kitsch then do it full-on. Hence even today I am standing in a »greenish afternoon shade«, if you know what I mean.
»Linea 5« was placed on the original LP to balance out »Grünschattiger Nachmittag«. I was hoping to create something equally austere as »Linea 1–4«. But, »Linea 5« got out of hand. Carried away by delays and echochambers I lost myself in erratic mountains of sound (complete with sceneries of St. Elmo's Fire and alpenglow) until I was wholly exhausted. For my better I was saved by some good St. Bernhards wearing their bootles of brandy around their necks. Who knows where this journey of belated psychedelia would have ended without them. This time, the mockers' questions remained unanswered. MARCHES FUNEBRES was the second time I tried my hand at something vaguely symphonic; a slippery ground for me. It was preceeded by the »Faircomp«-series and followed by the collaborative LP »E« with Okko Bekker. Then this chapter was closed. »Cobbler, stay at your last!« as they say. Still, for such an LP as MARCHES FUNEBRES to come out shows how the scope of what was possible had broadened by 1989. From now on, at the gate to the decade of the 1990ies, there shone an alternative to the quickly fading legacy of industrial at the horizon. Computers became affordable, CD began replacing vinyl, new ideas generated a musical diversity hitherto unheard of. In 1989 the new beginning was near.

Asmus Tietchens 2010

sleeve, Friday, 20 October 2017 04:27 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Forthcoming documentary & season’s greetings


neutral yogurt (doo dah), Sunday, 24 December 2017 02:34 (one year ago) Permalink

that is some serious Klaus Wunderlich homage

stakes were high for me when he started up Hematic Sunsets doing 4/4 tunes again because I love his records on Sky so much. I don't love all of them but when it works it works, I have no idea why I love the track 'In Babel' so much

Milton Parker, Sunday, 24 December 2017 04:48 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Die Stadt has put out two more reissues, only one more to go. There are some clunkers in the series but I finally gave in and got them all so my CD spines line up.

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 22:22 (two months ago) Permalink

I have too many of the originals to be tempted to line up the complete spines, was tempted by the Burrows 2CD until I visited Die Stadt and realized I missed the Kontakte Der Jüngliche 2014 studio album and flipped out. a collaboration with Thomas Köner made so much sense I took it for granted when those came out 20 years back (!!) but I got totally addicted to those again a few years ago -- I still find myself resisting some of the solo Tietchens from that period when he went all in on the -menge series but that same research sounds unbelievable in context with where Köner was going after 'Permafrost' / 'Aubrite'

Milton Parker, Saturday, 13 April 2019 01:38 (two months ago) Permalink

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