ASMUS TIETCHENS Ptomaine 1
Asmus Tietchens is a sound artist and composer from Hamburg, Germany. He got interested in Musique Concrete by listening to a German radio programme when he was 10 years old. In 1965, at the age of 18, Asmus started experimenting with tape loops and turned them into musical collages. Soon, the use of synthesizers was added. In 1980 his debut album Nachtstücke was released, produced by Peter Baumann of Tangerine Dream. This was soon followed by a series of albums of electronic pop music for the Sky label, home of many Krautrock bands. Tietchens often uses special source materials for his compositions such as water (Seuchengebiete), human voices (Von Mund zu Mund), paper (Papier ist geduldig). He is associated with the Industrial music scene through his collaborations and releases on labels such as United Dairies, Esplendor Geometrico or Dom Records. Tietchens never studied composition, he has no academic background, everything he does is self taught or learnign by doing. Nevertheless, he was professor for sound design in Hamburg in recent years. Ptomaine was originally released on RRRecords in 1996 as a 3 LP set. This is the first volume of the first ever CD re-issue. Full tracklist: 1. Atropin 1 2. Atropin 2 3. Atropin 3 4. Atropin 4 5. Atropin 5 6. Atropin 6 7. Atropin 7 8. Atropin 8 9. Lysin 1 10. Lysin 2 11. Lysin 3 12. Lysin 4 13. Lysin 5 14. Lysin 6 15. Lysin 7 16. Lysin 8 17. Neurin 1 18. Neurin 2 19. Neurin 3 20. Neurin 4 21. Neurin 5 22. Neurin 6. Price: € 18,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.
Tietchens processes 48 (I think) grooves, and each piece ends in a new groove; maybe my love for lock grooves ended there? There are no lock grooves on this CD, thank god, but each track is about a two-and-a-half-minute long, and there are twenty-two tracks on this CD. (...) Much, if not all, deals with repetition and Tietchens applying his studio trickery to the music. All of this is from the mid-90s, so its not yet the Tietchens of carefully quite sound constructions from post-2000 and also not the quiet long spun works from, say, Eisgang or Dämmerattacke, but Tietchens appears in a more industrial setting, of course, the repetition helps here. Dont think of each track as a single repeating loop but small collages of repeating elements, with odd starts and stops.
(Vital Weekly, February 2022)
As a release Ptomaine I is certainly a sonic puzzle, that offers up more questions than answers. Im not sure if its something I can regularly see myself returning to often, but when Im in a more cryptic loop-based mood, this will certainly scratch that sonic itch.
(Musique Machine, April 2022)